Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Monday, September 08, 2014

"The Weight of Your Pack is the Sum of Your Fears!"

I just read this awesome quote on Melinda Harrigan's Facebook page 
and it really hit home
 because it is TRUE!

Think about it.
What do you put into your pack?
Things you "might need just in case!"

And often "just in case" never happens,
and you're left lugging around
many pounds more than needed.

How about just tossing your fears to the wind and packing light?
Anything you discover you need on the trail, you can buy on the trail.
I promise!

Here's a sample packing list for someone who isn't too afraid:

Pack in your Backpack:
  1. Sleeping bag. Yes, unless you're sleeping in private rooms, you will need a sleeping bag, especially if you're going in Spring or Autumn. In summer, you can get away with nothing but a sleep sack (silk is lightweight and tiny).
  2. Travel Towel. You can buy expensive towels, but I love terrycloth and so I use an old threadbare terrycloth dish towel that really soaks up water. It's so think it easily dries in a couple of hours.
  3. A half or quarter shampoo bar. Use this for hair and body.
  4. A half or quarter bar of Fels Naptha or other cold-water-handwashing-clothes soap.
  5. Toothbrush and travel toothpaste
  6. One pair of leggings
  7. One short sleeved teeshirt (preferably merino wool)
  8. One long-sleeved merino wool or silk tee
  9. One longjohn bottom, merino wool or silk
  10. Two pairs of hiking socks - I like SmartWool
  11. One pair flip-flops or Croc knockoffs
  12. One ALTUS poncho or other featherweight rain gear
  13. One wide brimmed hat, or if you prefer, a stick umbrella (buy a sturdy one there for under 10 euros) The umbrella is awesome for both rain and sun.
  14. One merino wool beanie
  15. Two pair of underpants
  16. One extra bra 
  17. Tiny Journal and pen
  18. Two bandaids
  19. Two alcohol wipes
  20. Sharp knife - buy one in Spain
  21. Lightweight windbreaker
  22. Featherweight fleece shirt
  23. A 1-gallon ziplock bag to carry passport/money to shower
Wear on Your Body
  1. Macabi Skirt or Hiking Pants
  2. Underpants
  3. Bra
  4. Short sleeved teeshirt
  5. Socks
  6. Shoes - whatever is comfortable. Do NOT buy new boots, your feet will be like hamburger. ONLY wear boots if you are used to wearing boots and if they are well-broken-in.  I wear New Balance Running shoes and have every year for many years. I take buy them 1.5 sizes too large, take out the inserts, and add Motion Control Inserts for extra cushion and support.
  7. Moneybelt or money pouch. NEVER NEVER NEVER leave your passport and/or cash in your backpack. Carry it on your person at ALL times, even to the toilet or shower
  8. Small changepurse for "today's" cash
  9. One 8 ounce water bottle to be refilled at fountains along the route… easy peasy if you're walking the Camino Frances.
  10. Women: A hankerchief in a ziplock bag to be used for urinating and to be washed each night with your clothing,.
* * * 

That's it.
Anything else you need, literally, can be purchased when you need it.
Everyone on the Camino will have first aid supplies.
Everyone on the Camino will have a phone.
Everyone on the Camino will have an iPad or electronic tablet
Think about disconnecting for 6 weeks and really enjoying the freedom.
You can call your folks at locatorios in the large cities
like Burgos, Leon, Pamplona.
Or borrow someone's tablet to send an email.

What do you think? 
Am I missing anything?
Can you do this?

Or are your fears adding pounds?

Buen Camino!


  1. My list is pretty close to yours but no beanie, just taking a merino buff instead. I still need to edit my first aid kit. I have contact lenses and supplies on my list. My windbreaker is also my featherweight rain shell. No longjohns, no leggings. I have packed convertible pants but will probably live in my Macabi. I will be carrying my iPad mini though!! I fly into Madrid on Sept 15 for my Bizkarretta to Burgos camino.

    1. I think I'd take longjohns in mid September but I tend to get cold.
      Have a BUEN Camino!


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