What equipment to bring on the camino
What we recommend in this article is only the result of a pilgrim who walked the way before you.
For those who are planning the Camino de Santiago, here are our tips on what to bring on the Way. Everything you take with you on the path has weight! This burden will weigh on the shoulders, back, knees and feet. Therefore it is very important to make a good selection and choose the right equipment. Bring only the things necessary otherwise you may do as most of the pilgrims who carry too many things. You are then forced to leave what will be in excess in the hostels; or return it at home or in Santiago (paying). There is no exact weight on the equipment to be brought. Much also it depends on the season in which you follow the Way and your physique.
We can distinguish the different moments in which you are going to do the Camino. In the summer, I suggest you bring backpacks between 5 and 7kg. If you do it at other times a bit ‘colder as the spring, autumn or even winter make sure that everything you need is in the 9 kg maximum. To make a selection of things to bring and to limit the weight of the backpack divide the stuff: useful, necessary and indispensable. So you learn to prioritize.
The things that you classify as useful to exclude. Bring ONLY the indispensable and necessary. Many things that you might find helpful, in fact, you can buy them along the way. Remember that you will cross several villages and there is a short distance from each other. You will find supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies, sports shops and more. In short, you are not going in the desert!
Let’s see now what to bring on the path necessary equipment.
The backpack. Choose a backpack 40 / 50l at most, preferably with many side pockets. But the most important thing is to have the lap belt. This is to take the weight of the backpack to life, then going to lighten the burden on his shoulders. Through this belt, the backpack downloads the weight on the hips. The backpack must be loaded by placing heavy things at the bottom and lighter things up. Make sure your backpack has a cover-backpack: a key waterproof cover to keep dry the backpack and your belongings in case of rain.
Sleeping bag. And ‘necessary because you cannot sleep directly on the mattress. In the hostels you will be given a bed and a fully covered pillow in cling film. This is for hygiene purposes. You then need to equip yourself with sleeping bag or sleeping sheet. Our advice is the light model on sale by Decathlon. As for the pillow you can bring a pillowcase from home to cover the pillow. Or you can buy an inflatable pillow with a few euros. They are very practical and comfortable.
Shoes: do not look at the cost! Shoes and even socks are the most important things to avoid physical problems on the way. Do NOT buy cheap ones. Look for a suitable model for you. Choose low hiking shoes. Do not buy hiking boots. They are too heavy for an experience of this kind. Unless you go in winter road. If you are leaving in spring or autumn choose a waterproof shoe gore-tex. If you will leave in the summer choose a trail running shoe in canvas, very light and breathable. In this case, avoid the gore-tex because it might make your feet sweat and this may cause blisters. From our experience, the brand Salomon are excellent for walking so many hours and so many kilometers. They fit like a glove and is very light on the feet. The most popular model is the Xa Pro 3D Ultra. But the other Salomon models have equal quality.
Windproof jacket. We recommend a technical jacket in softshell fabric preferably fleece inside. This material will keep you warm in case of cooler days or evenings and above will also act as anti-windbreaker. This technical material fact isolates you from the wind and guarantees you a certain warmth and comfort.
Trousers. Two pairs of trousers are more than enough. Please note that the pants you can use it even 2/3 days. They don’t get dirty like the T-shirts. Choose the modular pants, long pants that have a zip to the knee that allows you to cut off about one side and turn them into shorts. They are very handy because they allow you to have more chances carrying less weight. Over 2 pairs of pants more technical advice is to bring a pair of sweatpants. They come handy when you are relaxing in the albergues and then you can also use them as pyjamas!
Socks. As I said before invest in a good pair of socks for your physical well-being. Choose only anti-blister socks for walking. These too can be easily found in the sports shops.
Rubber slippers. For showering and relaxing moments.
T-shirt. At least 3 t-shirt made of breathable fabric, lightweight and easy to dry. It is important that you they have technical fabric (mesh). When you walk, you sweat and this material favours a rapid drying of the garment. Even when you wash it at the hostel, the sun will dry it quickly.
Intimate wear. 3 microfiber panties are more than enough. Every day you will wash your laundry when you arrive at the hostel.
Hat. Depending on the season you choose, a proper hat is indispensable. If you walk in winter choose a hat that will shelter you from the cold. A wool cap then. If you are leaving in the spring / fall or summer you need to obtain a wide-brimmed hikin hat.
Poncho or rain jacket. You’ll definitely need a pocho to protect you from the rain, especially in Galicia, even in summer. The only drawback is that it will make you sweat a little.
Headlamp. This can come handy in the hostels especially not to disturb others sleeping. You’ll need it both in the morning and evening before going to bed. I recommend it, the front type because you have your hands free (for storing or taking something from one’s backpack, etc).
Bottle. This is necessary. We recommend a light one in fine plastic. When it ruins, throw it away and with a few cents you buy a new one.
Lanyard, bobby pins and safety pins. It is useful to bring a string of 3/4 meters in case you do not find where to lay your stuff out to dry.
Towel. A small microfiber towel will be almost necessary.
Bathrobe. Strictly microfiber.
Marseilles soap, toothbrush, toothpaste
Dressing kit: sterile gauze, betadine (rapid healing, type chrome mercury), needle and thread (in case of bladders), lighter (to sterilize the needle). Then again scissors, disinfectant wipes, spool, arnica cream (miraculous for tendinitis). Everything else, if you need one, you can buy it along the way.
Pen and notebook (if you want to write a diary). The credential, identification card, health card, camera and charger, ATM and a little cash
Once you arrived in Spain buying your concha (the shell St Jacques) to hang on your backpack.