Journey to the Camino de Santiago - What the heck to bring?

Here I am about 8 months away from leaving for the Camino and trying to figure out what is it exactly I need. 

Let's revisit my backpacking experience thus far.

even more ...

That's right!  Nada.  I have to admit, that's one of the most terrifying part of this process.  Yep, I know that there are shops all along the way but I am doing this on a tight budget and the idea that I get to Spain with a key item forgotten that costs $$$ ... well, makes me nervous.

Thankfully I have a bevy of knowledgeable folk around me who are generous with their patience and advice.  First up, my #caminotwits partner, Krista (who is the blogger behind bitesizedtravel).  She has a wealth of knowledge, great at planning and who will be critiquing my pack ruthlessly (with my blessing).  Also on my speed tweet is Todd (the blogger behind dragonflyhiker). He's a guy who gets gear, tries gear and evaluates it.  A big plus for me!

A few questions that will influence what to take:
  1. What must I purchase here?
  2. What can I purchase there?
  3. How much space do I have (aka How much am I willing to carry)?
  4. How long am I going?
  5. What's the weather going to be like?
  6. Is it possible to share items amongst others traveling with me?
I thought these questions were brilliant.  Not at all original but wicked brilliant anyway.

All the credit goes to Krista - she started me on the list and recommended 95% of what is here.  She is doing her blog post as well.  It will be interesting to see what is different and what is the same.

Lori's Preliminary Camino Packing List 

(as of September 9th, 2014 - updates are in RED)

ItemSize /# of ItemsSourced FromName/Link/Notes
General Gear
Backpack 40 L(itre)MECAria 40 Daypack
Backpack Cover25-40LMECPack Rain Cover (Silicone)
Waterproof Sacks/Stuff SacksVarious SizesMECMEC Pack Rat Sil Stuff Sacks
 - I opted for a 2L and a 5L and a Outdoor Research Ultralight Dry Sack in 15L.
Lightweight Sleeping Bag LinerLL BeanBig decision. I opted for a sleeping bag liner to piggy back on my silk liner. I've packed one inside of the other. It's less than half in weight than the sleeping bag I was considering.
Total weight of sleeping gear =  348g/12.27oz  
Sea to Summit Thermolite Sleeping-Bag Liner
Sleep SheetSilk/Cotton MixTrekmates via AmazonTrekmates® Silk/Cotton Mummy Travel liner
Ultra Light Weight TowelXXLMEC MSR PackTowl Ultralite Towel
MEC Folding Spork
Hydration System 2 L (1)MECDecided on the Source WLP Hydration System.
Also to be used as a clothesline if needed.
Headlamp1MECBlack Diamond Cosmo
Batteries1I'll likely purchase spares in Spain
Guidebook/Albergue Lists1I'm using the one from John Brierley
Walking Poles2This has been an ongoing debate about the poles. After last weekend's hike, I think the poles are a good investment for my body. I opted for Mountainsmith Carbonlite Pro via Amazon.
Money Belt1
Hiking BootsMECLa Sportiva FC ECO 3.0 GTX Trail Shoes (Women's)
SandalsLahout'sTeva Terra FI Lite - Scored it at $60US
Socks (prs)4IceBreaker Multisport Ultra Light Mini. I'll likely switch socks 1/2 way through the day so I figure I need 4 pairs for washing and drying time.
Underwear3 IceBreaker Tested both Merino and Synthetic fabrics (here's the post). One pair to wear, one is drying and one in case of emergency. Decided on Sprite Hot Pants. Also purchased 2 pairs at Take it Outside.
Bras2Moving Comfort via MECMoving Comfort Fiona
Fleece Jacket1MECMen's Trek Jacket
Wool Gloves1MECWool Gloves - Upon consultation with the wondrous Krista Spurr I decided to get a pair of wool gloves
Rain Jacket1LL BeanDiscovery Rain Jacket.
Tank Tops2MECMerino Wool blend (2).
T-Shirts2Take It OutsideMerino Wool blend (1) thus far. Icebreaker brand. One (1) synthetic technical T shirt from Nike.
Long Sleeved Shirts1MECMerino Wool blend (1) thus far
Pants 1 LL Bean
Comfort Trail Pants from LL Bean.

Shorts2 (was 1) I purchased 1 pair of The North Face and 1 pair of Adidas quick dry running shorts. Mens. They have the length I want and the bagginess I like.
Sleep Gear1MECBoxers and T-Shirt
Sun Hat/Buff1
Have a Running Room hat and a Buff (Thanks dragonflyhiker!)
Personal Care Items
Ear Plugs
Snorers in the Albergues.
Laundry Soap
I am traveling with a friend and we are splitting some necessities. I have the phone, she has the Laundry stuff.
Shower Gel/Soap
One small bottle to start then purchase in Spain.
ShampooOne small bottle to start then purchase in Spain.
Benefit They're Real mascara in travel size. No joke - It's coming!
Deodorant1 smallShould last 21 days
Toothbrush1Travel sized
Toothpaste1 smallReplenish in Spain
Floss1 smallReplenish in Spain
Contact Lenses (spares, case)
Contact Lens Solution1 Travel size will be enough
Sun Glasses1
Facial Tissues1 small
Toilet Tissue1/2 roll
Body Lotion1 smallReplenish in Spain
Face Cream (with Sunscreen)1 smallReplenish in Spain
VaselinePeople swear that slathering your feet in this makes a world of difference

Purchasing some here and refill in Spain. I have learned that putting some on parts of my foot prevents blisters. Sides of Big Toe for instance.
Antiseptic Spray or cream

Reduce infection around blister area.
Anti-Trots Medicine

Thank you Immodium
Pain Reliever

Ibuprofen and Motrin (Muscle & Body)
Sunscreen2 smallReplenish in Spain
First Aid Kit1 smallMECVery Basic - Will add some of my other items to the packet
iPhone (with a Spain SIM card)1Wifi is openly available in Spain. Still, in emergency...
Camera & SD cards1AmazonOlympus VR-370 Point and Shoot Camera.  Weight=172g
Charger for ipod/camera1
Power adapter for Spain1
As I am taking a phone, Linda is responsible for the power adapter for all electronics (she's taking an iPad).
Journal1I have a leather journal that I purchased in Florence, Italy.
Multi-tool1MECKnife, scissors, etc. From MEC. Leatherman Squirt PS4 Multi‑Tool
Not Addressed/Undecided
 Money/ Credit Cards/Passport/ID
Solar Charger1
Levin Solstar Charger - I have purchased this to test to see if it is worth the extra weight on my pack. It should hook to pack to charge while walking. We'll see.
Micro Solar Lantern1
Luci Light - It's a backup light should I get stuck in a place where lighting (over and above my headlamp) is needed.

You may notice that my much loved, much mocked (yes I'm looking at you +Krista Spurr) eyelash curler has been removed from my list.... Reluctantly. It won't be making the trip to Spain though - the extra grams mean so much!

So there is my list to date. It seems daunting especially as I hope to keep my pack to less than 15lbs total!  I will be updating the list with my finds as they are decided. I know I've forgotten things. All a work in progress.

There is one thing that all experienced pilgrims/trekkers/hikers agree... Cotton is whack!  It gets absorbs sweat/water and keeps it close to your skin.  Yes, yes, so does wool, however reports indicate that cotton when wet loses insulating properties.  Wool does not. Opt for merino wool or synthetics that wick sweat from your body.  Also a good idea are clothes with antibacterial properties - you know... the smell and rash thing.

I will be posting on my continuing saga for good underwear and socks, the right way to tie my shoe laces, and my physical training for the Camino.

You think I am kidding about the underwear and tying of my laces.... I am not.

Next up is my footwear selection adventure!!!

Buen Camino,


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