What to pack for the Camino
The most important information we can offer you with regards to your Camino needs is to be practical and keep it simple! Ask any person you know that has done the Camino and they will tell you they gave away items bought because it becomes tedious to shuffle them around in your bag each day when you realise that they are just not necessary.
If you are planning further travel prior or after your Camino we suggest you talk to your travel agent with regards to options available for storage of excess luggage in, for example; Hotel you may be going to on completion, Airport lockers, Railway luggage storage, mailing forward to post offices etc.
Our list of suggestions for packing is written based on experience; you have a baggage transfer allowance of 1 bag 20kilos pack wisely.
Note – If you wish to have extra luggage moved with you it is at an additional cost.
These are not an essential item, and some of you may choose not to use them however if you talk to a seasoned walker they will tell you never to leave home without them, we strongly recommend them.
For your comfort wear clothes that breathe if you check with your local hiking or outdoors stores they will advise you of the best clothes, it is vital that you are comfortable.
- 4 shirts: 1 long sleeve shirt and three others in a mix of tanks and/or short sleeves. Get all of them in a moisture wicking, quick dry fabric
- 3 pants/shorts: 1 pair travel pants, 2 pair hiking shorts/yoga pants or tights
- 4 Good quality socks designed for hiking we recommend injiji toe socks, you will find them in most outdoor stores and online, blisters are one of the most significant sources of pain on Camino and this help to prevent toes rubbing.
- 5 Underwear – fast drying sports underpants that will help with chafing are the most suitable and sports bras for comfort and movement.
To save you rustling through your bag repeatedly it is beneficial to keep everything in order especially as you will be getting up early most days and have to place your luggage in the foyer for pick up before 8 am
- Bags to itemise clothes, i.e. underwear, shirts, pants etc.
- one pack for toiletries
- one technology bag chargers earphones etc
- Shoe satchel
You will need a jacket, something made for exercise that can keep you warm the weather is unpredictable in all seasons, something that helps block wind is a good idea.
Rain Jacket & Rain Pants
A quality lightweight rain jacket is a must to have in your daypack, it is very uncomfortable to walk when you are wet, and no matter what season you are walking it is possible to encounter rain. Pants are really a personal choice if it is not too wet often the jacket is enough
It is recommended to carry a sun hat; there are sections of the Camino where there is no relief from the sun
Good quality WATERPROOF Hiking Shoes and sandals
There are some things you just don’t want to compromise on, and one of those things is your shoes. What you wear on your feet in some cases will be the difference between finishing or not. Our suggestion is a light waterproof walking/hiking shoe, make sure you go to a reputable store to purchase your shoes and have them fitted, then wear them in! SHOES are so important, things seen on the Camino when it comes to feet are never unseen, and you don’t want your feet to be one of them. If you have a good pair of walking shoes with a suitable tread, they could work for you however again if it does rain and they get wet then you are opening yourself up to rubbing and blisters and not to mention discomfort.
A pair of hiking sandals is also a good investment to make, they have a good grip on the sole and allow your feet a well-deserved rest at times when you are on flat surface
Read up about these and see if it is for you however it is a convenient and lightweight way of covering many needs they provide warmth for neck and ears, can be used as a headband, an eye mask or light towel and so much more. If a buff is not suitable for you, a scarf is a good idea.
A small, fast drying towel is great to have in your day pack. You may want to stop by a river and dip your feet in or even yourself, perhaps on a hot day you may want to put your head under a fountain there are many useful reasons to carry one of these, and they are light and compact to carry
Guidebook (provided by Crossroads Travel)
Having a small guidebook is essential it includes distances, altitudes, nearest villages, information kiosks and bus services, taxis, surrounding maps, accommodations and so much more. Make sure this is in your day pack every day then you will always be aware of where you are and how far you have to go ensuring you don’t get yourself into trouble especially with time frames
For our early morning walkers who want to see the sunrise, something recommended at least once on your Camino; a headlamp can ensure you don’t miss the yellow arrows!
- Compeedfor Blisters– are the best blister bandages hands DOWN. They work differently than Band-Aids, they stay on your feet for days as the blisters heal. Look into these they can literally save you.
- 4-6 regular Band-Aids.
- First aid tape to prevent blisters by taping trouble spots and protecting your feet before blisters take hold, try to find some that are flexible and waterproof.
- Medicinal needs – Having something to soothe aching muscles is necessary Traumeel is an excellent choice as it has no smell and works well, a soothing skin cream like calendula for any unforeseen rashes allergies etc. better to be prepared. There are plenty of pharmacies along the way but always better to be safe than sorry
- If you are on any prescription medications, it would be wise to have a scanned copy of your prescriptions in case you need a refill; this also ensures you can communicate with the pharmacist in case you lose any of your medication along the way. As a side note, it is good to have for customs also just in case they want to question you on what is in your bag
- Small Sewing Kit– For when you need to fix those pants that are falling apart or to speed up the healing of a blister, just make sure you sanitise the needle first!
- Sunglasses– You are outside all day. You need to protect your eyes. Enough said.
- 2-litre water bladder – Hydration is critical for many reasons a water bladder is the best option you can have the tube sits by your mouth without effort to reach for a bottle and also saving the environment, drink without having to stop and fuss. Fill it every morning before you get going.
You will find Wi-Fi in many locations along the Camino, and we have aimed to ensure it is available in all of your accommodation so you can keep in touch with family and loved ones, no need to feel that you will be too far away despite being on the other side of the world.
Music If you like to listen to music as you walk it is polite to use headphones, don’t spoil the peace of fellow pilgrims with your choice of music
Photos – the scenery is beautiful you will want to take pictures all day! Ensure you power up your battery on your phone or camera for the day.
Camera (optional). You can use your phone for pics. But if you are a more serious photographer, you should make room in your bag for a good point & shoot or mirrorless camera.
- Card reader.
Plastic Ziploc bags
For food, wet clothes, keeping your documents dry and more. Very useful to carry a few with you.
The whole toilet thing along the Camino is a bit daunting at first. However, you can enter any establishment without making a purchase and use the toilet. When you have to go, you have to go!! You may find yourself an hour from the next opportunity. For this reason, it is essential to carry toilet paper please buy environmentally friendly paper
CHOOSING YOUR PACK
A Camino de Santiago packing list wouldn’t be complete without a discussion of backpacks. Here are some things to consider when you purchase your pack:
- Small pockets on the hip padding (suitable for storing your phone or small camera.
- Rain cover for backpack
- Sized for a woman’s body.
- Secret interior pocket good for holding money.
- Easy to reach water bottle holder or water bladder clip
Whichever bag you use be sure to try it on first you will not be carrying a huge amount each day however a poorly fitting backpack can cause sore shoulders and have other rubbing issues