WHAT TO PACK FOR CAMINO
The most important information we can offer you with regards to your Camino packing is, be practical, keep it simple and think layers! Our list of packing suggestions are written based on experience; ask any person that has done a Camino, they will tell you they gave STUFF away because shuffling unnecessary items around your bag every day becomes very tedious.
Crossroads Travel Camino Packages include daily transport of 1 x 20kilo bag per person. For those planning further travel prior or after Camino there is a fee per extra baggage (which is also a bit boring if you have to carry your bags to your room and there are stairs!) our transport company has a pickup (from your start point) and store service at their office in Santiago de Compostela.
Note; You can discuss this with us at the time of booking.
For your comfort, wear clothes that breathe, if you check with your local hiking or outdoors stores they will advise you of the best fabrics, it is vital that you are comfortable and your clothes are suitable for all weather conditions.
This list is based on doing the Classic Camino (41 days) and can be adjusted to suit a shorter Camino although there is not a lot of difference as you will not want to be washing if you are doing the Compostela Camino for example and for the Leon to Santiago I would recommend the same list.
Shirts – 5 shirts, 2 long sleeve and three short sleeves. Get all of them in a moisture-wicking, quick-dry fabric
Note: short sleeves work best, even a small backpack will rub on your arms and shoulders in the heat if you are only wearing a singlet.
Singlets – 3 for layering on cold days.
Pants – 4 pairs trecking pants/shorts, yoga pants or tights; many people like trekking pants that zip down to shorts (2=4) or you can take a mix of short and long tights.
Underwear – 7 pair of fast-drying sports underpants that will help with chafing and for the ladies sports bras for comfort and movement. (more if you like to wear them while sleeping)
Socks – 7 pairs of socks we recommended 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 toe socks help to prevent toes rubbing.
Gloves – depends on the time of year, get a pair with fingertips for using your phone especially if it is your camera
Jacket/Sweater – You will need a jacket that can keep you warm, the weather is unpredictable in all seasons, of an evening you may also need this when you go out of an evening.
Rain Jacket & Rain Pants – A quality lightweight rain jacket is a must for your daypack, it is very uncomfortable to walk when wet. No matter what season you are walking it is possible to encounter rain. This can also double as a wind jacket when in the mountains or on the open plains. Rain Pants are a personal choice if it is not too wet often the jacket is enough, I personally have never needed them as I have tights that are really good quality fabric designed to keep the water off your body.
Casual Clothes – Pack a few items for socialising. If you are going in the summer a couple of light dresses for women and some shorts and t-shirts for men in cooler months a pair of jeans and a couple of tops/shirts, whatever you pack, stick to simple mix and match. You are not restricted to have a pack on your back so you can afford to pack a few luxuries. Crossroads Travel will be recommending a few nice places to dine along the way, I always like to feel dressed when out for dinner and it is good to have some clothes for days off when you might decide to do a bit of washing.
Buff/Scarf – Read up about buffs’ they are 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 not for you a scarf is a good idea to add a little extra layer.
Sun Cap – there are sections of the Camino where you have no relief from the sun a cap with a peak is good as it will also be a benefit when it rains to wear under the hood of your rain jacket to keep water off your face.
Swimmers – for the opportunity to take a dip in a river or you may have accommodation with a spa!
There are some things you just don’t compromise on and your shoes are one of those things. What you wear on your feet, in some cases, will be the difference between finishing or not. Our suggestion is a lightweight waterproof walking/hiking shoe, go to a reputable store 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, 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 will work for you, however, if it does rain and they get wet you are opening yourself up to rubbing and blisters.
Note; if your feet are prone to swelling when you travel, take that into consideration when you purchase your shoes and discuss with the sales assistant.
A pair of hiking sandals are a good investment, they have a good grip on the sole and allow your feet a well-deserved rest at times when you are on flat surfaces, or when the unfortunate happens and your feet have blisters.
Thongs are good to have in your bag
Quick-dry towel – 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
Walking Poles – 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, I have had many clients who thought they would not use them, purchase a set along the way, this is possible and something to keep in mind if you really feel they are not going to be for you.
Guidebook (provided by Crossroads Travel) – Having a small guidebook is essential, a good one will include distances, altitudes, nearest villages, information kiosks and bus services, taxis, surrounding maps and so much more. Make sure this is in your day pack every day, it is imperative you are always aware of where you are and how far you have to go before you can refill water, get food, go to a toilet, find transport if you are not able to continue and especially with time frames ensuring you don’t get yourself into trouble with losing daylight.
Small light/headlamp – 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!
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, protect your eyes.
2-litre water bladder – Hydration is critical for many reasons a water bladder is the best option, the tube sits by your mouth you can drink without having to stop and fuss (also good for the environment, not buying bottles every day) or a refillable bottle. Fill it every morning before you get going. A tip for hot days ask your hotel or a local cafe if you can have some ice to put into your water bladder keeps it nice and cool (I always offer some small change for the service, most will not take it however it is polite to offer)
Plastic Ziploc bags – For food, wet clothes, keeping your documents dry and more, very useful to carry a few different sizes with you.
Toilet Paper – The whole toilet conversation along the Camino is a bit daunting, however, you can enter any establishment along the way to use the toilet. There are many places who now expect you to make a purchase, in this case, I ask if I can pay to use the toilet, some will allow you for nothing (for having the respect to ask) others will tell you the price. 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 an environmentally friendly paper).
Compeed for Blisters – 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.
Regular Band-Aids – for any other little mishaps
First aid tape – 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
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.
Note; it is good to have for customs also just in case they want to question what is in your bag
You will find Wi-Fi in many locations along the Camino, we have aimed to ensure it is available in all of your accommodation so you can keep in touch with family and loved ones. You may want to consider trying to limit this though, just a suggestion.
Headphones – 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.
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.
Chargers – 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.
Converter/ Adapter – for all of your electrical goods, one with USB ports is a good idea
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
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 for women.
Sized for a man’s body for men.
A secret interior pocket is 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