Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pinay Pilgrim's Camino de Santiago Packing List



Pinay Pilgrim's Camino de Santiago Packing List
Item Quantity Description
Equipment
Backpack 1 30 liters volume or more, lightweight with good suspension, hip belt and sternum strap. Try out with at least an 8 kg load at the shop before buying. I used the Deuter ACT Trail 28. Check out Deuter, Osprey packs.
Pack raincover 1 Preferably integrated into backpack.  It rains quite a bit.
Water bladder 1 1.5 - 2 liters, should fit in backpack.  Easier to sip water while walking. i.e. Platypus, Camelbak
Drybag 1 12 liters or more, waterproof, and with compression valve.  Put your clothes inside to keep dry, and compress (take out air) for a compact package during your hike. This can also be used as a pillow. i.e. Ortlieb, Sea to Summit
Hiking boots/Trail shoes 1 Well-broken in, Goretex, preferably with ankle-support, i.e. Lowe (boots), Salomon (trail shoes)
Small knife 1 Lightweight #4 Opinel (can be bought in France/Spain) or basic Swiss knife. For cutting cheese, ham, bread
Spork 1 Integrated spoon/fork for light weight
Folding mug 1 Lightweight plastic, available at camping stores
Nalgene bottle 1 500 ml bottle, aside from water bladder in backpack, for fast filling in fountains along the way. Can double as hot-water bottle
Travel towel 1 Small and lightweight, fast-drying. i.e. Sea to Summit
Sleeping bag/Bed liner 1 Preferably bring a sleeping bag, specially for cold weather - very light weight (i.e. light down fill weighing less than a kilo);  Lighter bedliner/sleeping sack for warmer season
Headlamp 1 Choose a small and light headlamp. Very useful for going to the washroom at night!  i.e. Petzl, Black Diamond
Whistle 1 For emergency
Small tweezers 1 From Swiss knife
Tying rope 1 About 2 - 3 meters, for making clothesline or tying on stuff to your pack
Clothes

Hiking pants 1 Comfortably loose, with belt, as you may lose some weight. Sturdy, non-cotton, synthetic polyester material for easy washing, drying. Preferably with zip-off pants so you can also use as shorts i.e. North Face, Mammut, Marmot
Extra Lightweight Pants 1 To change into, very lightweight easy washing material
Long sleeve top 1 In cold weather, to use when hiking as another layer. Nice if light wool/woolblend with zip-up top, that stays warm even when wet, and dries fast. i.e Icebreaker, Smartwool, Odlo
Short sleeve tops/Tech shirts 3 -4 One for hiking and two or three extra changes.  Lightweight, quick-drying, i.e. I used Icebreaker 150 merino wool tops -- they were great for cold and even warm weather
Light Wool bottoms 1 Only in cool to cold weather, to use under hiking pants as another layer. Nice if light wool/woolblend, that stays warm even when wet, and dries fast. i.e Icebreaker, Smartwool, Odlo
Extra lightweight shorts or light cotton dress (for ladies) 1 For walking around once you get to hostel, for sleeping, and for changing into from your shower.
Sleepwear 1 set (For cold weather) I used light wool thermals, top and bottom. For warmer weather, just use the extra short sleeve top and the lightweight shorts
Sports bra (for ladies)2(For ladies only) One for hiking, and an extra one to change into when the other one is washed. Dryfit/quickdry material.
Underpants 4 Lightweight, polyester, quick-drying.
Hiking socks 3 - 48 One for hiking and two to three extra changes. Socks should be washed everyday to prevent blisters. One to double as a sleepsock in cold weather.  Wool socks preferable. i.e. Icebreaker, Smartwool, Woolpower
Sports Sandals 1 Lightweight and supportive sandals, to change into, shower with and walk around with (to rest your feet) when you arrive in the hostels, and in a pinch, to use for hiking. i.e. Teva or Crocs
Fleece sweater 1 For cool to cold weather, pullover with zip top to save on weight. I used a relatively thin fleece and added layers when it got too cold, i.e. Odlo
Lightweight gloves 1 Lightweight and warmth retaining, wool or polypropylene
Lightweight skullcap 1 For cool to cold weather, wool or polypropylene material. i.e. Odlo
Hiking hat 1 For sun and rain. Sun can be extremely strong, and it rains pretty hard too, so it's nice to have a waterproof or Goretex hat. i.e. Outdoor Research
Rainjacket 1 Very important piece of clothing.  Choose a lightweight Goretex. i.e. North Face, Marmot, Arcteryx
Rainpants 1 Choose a lightweight Goretex. i.e. Montrail, Marmot
Windbreaker 1 Lightweight and easily packable, i.e. Arcteryx, Marmot.  Use with light wind, and layer under rainjacket when cold
Buff or scarf 1 - 2 Use a Buff scarf, very useful to cover head, neck
Sunglasses 1 Important for strong Spanish sun
Reading glasses, small screwdriver 1 Bring if needed
Important Stuff

Money Belt/
Fanny Pack
1 To hold important stuff that needs to be accessible, i.e. cash, credit cards, passport, cellphone, medicines for the day (I always have arnica globules), sunglasses, reading glasses, comb. Make sure it is waterproof, or put things in ziplocs. I also bring this when I shower (or put them in another stuffsack). Find a sturdy fanny pack.  The zipper of mine broke so I stuffed most of my things in my pockets or my money belt
Passport, Residence Card (and photocopies) 1 Put photocopies in your backpack, store soft copies/pdfs in your smartphone
Health Insurance card 1
Cash
Bring enough, you can also withdraw along the way. Always have some cash, as not too many places accept credit cards.
Debit/Credit Card 1 There are ATMs in bigger cities where you can withdraw cash
Cellphone and charger with EU plug adapter  1A smartphone is great to have, although you need to charge everyday. I sometimes charge my phone at lunch stops. Do not leave your phone as it is charging, as there have been cases of lost phones. I did not bring a camera and used my smartphone for taking photos, and uploading my blog to the internet.  I have seen pilgrims with extra power packs/batteries, and I would bring one next time (as they are quite lightweight now).  
Journal/Notebook 1 Very light/small. To write emergency numbers/contacts and other scribbles.
Pen/Pencil 1
Travel Documents 1 Booking certificates, train and flight tickets
Guide to the Camino
(app on your smartphone, printouts, or a guidebook
1 Load a camino app into your smartphone if you are bringing one! Check out my Android App Camino Pilgrim! :-)  You can create your own schedule, check out facilities in localities, albergues and look at their location on offline maps (even when there is no wifi).  You can also bring printouts of itinerary, distances, hike profile, list of albergues), or bring a guidebook. Refer: Guides, Books and Apps for the Camino. If you do bring a book, make sure it is lightweight!
Pilgrim Passport 1 You should have one to be able to stay in pilgrim albergues! Get this from one of the bigger towns on the Camino, i.e. Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, Roncesvalles, Pamplona, Burgos...
 Pilgrim Shell 1 Nice to have to show you are a pilgrim. I made one for myself and my sister from a scallop. I bought 2 big Jakobsmuscheln, cooked and ate them -- yum! -- dried the shells, drilled 2 holes along the hinge part and put a string through it. You can also find them for free ( I saw them at the St Jean-Pied-de-Port pilgrim office), or for sale in albergues along the way.
Toiletries
Toiletries organizer 1 Important to organize your toiletries. Find a lightweight organizer, with mesh pockets, a little mirror and a hook for hanging. i.e. Eagle Creek, Deuter. I also put my medical kit in here.
Deodorant 1 50 ml in a plastic bottle is enough for one month
Toothbrush and toothpaste 1 Bring a 75 - 100 ml toothpaste tube, you can buy along the way
Moisturizer 1 50 ml/50 g in a plastic tube, should be enough for a month, for your face
Sunscreen 1 Small plastic tube, can buy refills along the way
Soap 1 In a soap case, or if liquid, in a 100 ml refillable plastic bottle
Shampoo 1  In a 100 ml refillable plastic bottle, refill along way
Comb 1 Small
Lip Balm 1 For chapped lips
Soap 1 In a soap case, or if liquid, in a 100 ml refillable plastic bottle
Nailclipper 1 Small
Toilet Paper 1 Half a roll for emergency (remove inner cardboard part). Usually, hostels have them in supply
Sanitary napkins 1 (for ladies) If necessary
Hand Tissues 1
Earbuds 1 pack Enough for the hike
Laundry soap 1 If liquid, in 100 ml refillable bottle or a small pouch of detergent for daily washing. At some hostels, when you use the washing machines, they provide some detergent
Medical Kit
Blister tape 1 pack i.e. Compeed is best, you can buy these in pharmacies along the way. Compeed also has a blister stick which some people use to prevent blisters
Foot ointments/Muscle pain ointments 1 50-100 ml tube i.e. Voltaren gel, Hirschtalg/Milchfett (in Germany). I used these quite a bit to relieve painful feet at the end of the day, and to prevent blisters/pain at the start of the day. See also my blog entry on:  Caring for your feet and Legs during the Camino 
Ibuprofen 6 pcs For aches and pains. i.e. Voltaren, Alvedon. Use sparingly as it is not so good for the liver.  I also brought Arnica globules (homeopathic medicine from Germany) to relieve pain and swelling
Paracetamol 6 pcs For fevers and pains. i.e. Biogesic, Tylenol, Advil
Antibiotics21 pcs For infection, one cycle is 3 times a day for 7 days, use only for emergency. I used them when I had cough, colds that did not go away for 5 days.  Always finish the cycle of 21 tablets.
Antihistamine 4 pcs For allergies
Diarrhea medicine 4 pcs For diarrhea
Betadine/Iodine 1 Small plastic bottle, about 15 ml. For external use, for cleaning and disinfecting blisters, wounds
Cotton 1 Just a few cotton balls, store in a little plastic bag
Katinko/Anti-itch cream 1 Bring a small pack of pain and itch relieving, mentholated cream. i.e. Katinko, Vicks
Bandaid 6 pcs For wounds
Special Medicines Bring any/all special medicines you may need as they may not always be available on the way. i.e. Asthma medicines, blood pressure maintenance doses, etc
Vitamins Bring enough of the vitamins you need. Vitamin C always useful (repack in small plastic bags)
Oral Rehydration Tablets/Salts 2 Used as fluid replacement for dehydration, after bout of diarrhea/vomiting. Can also be made with one teaspoon of salt and six teaspoons of sugar added to one liter of water
Miscellaneous Items
Sewing kit 1 Needles, thread, buttons, i.e. bring one they provide in hotels
Safety pins 6 For pinning wet clothes to backpack to dry
Earplugs 1 Important! For noisy nights in albergues, to be able to sleep.
Extra ziploc bags 4 - 6 For all sorts of uses
Food to bring along way
Energy bars2 Bring along a few
Dried fruits and nuts 1 pack Bring some, then buy along way
Bread, hams, cheese 1You can buy food along the way for quick and fast lunches/snacks along the way.
Chocolate bars 1 For energy, bring some, then buy along way
Other Items you may want to bring (not necessary)
Walking poles 1 set If you need extra support for walking. I used them but discarded them later. Note that this is not allowed as cabin baggage for airlines
Camera 1 A smartphone does the trick, others may prefer a small camera or even an SLR
Rain Poncho 1 I preferred to use a rainjacket/rainpants combination (which also doubles as cold weather gear for me) and a raincover for my backpack, but others prefer to also bring a poncho for the rain and to cover their packs. I noticed that when the wind blows, people have a hard time with their ponchos. Because of the wind, it is not a good idea to use an umbrella for the rain.


Fully-packed Backpacks
The list above contains all the things I brought with me for a 35-day Camino during Spring (March-April), with temperatures from 5 to 15 degrees Celsius. I used each single piece I brought!  The only things I added were an extra pair of shorts for sleeping and one walking pole that I bought halfway through but discarded later.  I weighed each piece I brought (with a kitchen scale).  When I started, my backpack without water weighed about 4 - 5 kilos, and with water and food, about 7 - 8 kilos. My weight then was about 55 kilos and I had lost 5 kilos by the end of the Camino and felt great!  Also refer to how I planned my packing at What to bring to the Camino?  A Packing List for the Camino de Santiago.  My pack also was acceptable as cabin baggage (note that per EU air regulations, a knife with not more than a 6 cm blade is accepted as hand luggage so the Opinel #4 was okay). You can also very easily buy this folding knife or a similar one in France/Spain then just leave it, as it does not cost much.

Remember that for a comfortable Camino, the total weight of backpack and contents should not be more than 10% of your body weight. Choose the most functional and lightweight equipment. A comfortable broken-in pair of hiking boots or trail shoes is very important for a enjoyable hike, together with good socks.  In the list above, I noted the brands of the gear I brought.  Test them all out before you go. Pack your backpack and hike a few kilometers with what you plan to wear -- you will be bringing this pack for 800 kms so make sure each piece counts.

When cold, use layering -- noted here from the inside/closest to the body going outward (top: short sleeve tech shirt, longsleeve wool, fleece jacket, windbreaker, rainjacket; bottom: wool thermals/bottoms, hiking pants, rainpants; buff scarf, fleece cap and mittens). These layers were enough for me up to 3 degrees, even snow, and I generally always feel cold! :-) The extra changes were used when my clothes got wet during rains - it rains quite a lot in spring.  Make sure you keep your extra clothes in your pack dry with a drybag or plastic bags.

You should have a basic medical kit with you as specified in the packing list above, but you can resupply at pharmacies available in bigger towns along the way. Remove all unnecessary packaging to minimize weight.

Good luck and Buen Camino!

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