After much research and brainstorming, I have compiled the list of each item I will be packing into my backpack for the French Route of the Camino de Santiago. Scott and I will begin at St. Jean Pied de Port, France and walk 500 miles to Santiago de Compostela.
You can also check out the video we made as I was packing my backpack.
Packing Video for the Camino
I need to amend this list as I mailed home a bunch of items from my pack to reduce weight. I had about seven blisters and my feet were killing me. I knew I needed to simplify and just carry the basics with me. This ended up being the best decision I could have made. It allowed my blisters to heal and my feet felt fine after reducing my pack weight. My pack weight started at 14 pounds without water and ended at about 10 pounds without water. It is recommend for Camino pack weight to be no more than 10% of your body weight, so I started out a little heavy.
The items I sent home will be in a list at the bottom of the page, with explanations as to why some things were removed. Here is everything I began the Camino with.
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- 1 pair of Hoka One One Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3 Running Shoes – Women’s Midnight Navy/Spring Bud 7.5
- 1 pair of Teva sandals
- 1 REI Down Jacket (easy to compress down)
- 1 REI Ultra-Light sleeping bag
- 1 pair of Black Diamond Trekking Poles Black Diamond Women’s Trail Pro Shock Walking Pole, 63-125cm
- 1 Journal and Pen
- 2 long sleeve shirts
- 1 pair of pants
- 3 pairs of shorts, one is a hiking skirt
- 3 short-sleeved athletic shirts
- 1 pair of yoga pants
- 1 nice skirt
- 2 Sports Bras
- 6 pairs of underwear
- 4 pairs of socks and 2 sock liners. The socks are all Darn Tough Vermont Women’s Boot Cushion Socks, Slate, Medium and in different levels of thickness. One sock liner was cotton (brand unknown) and one was nylon (brand unknown.)
- 1 mini Terrycloth beach towel and washcloth
- 1 Bathroom carrier pouch containing 1 toothbrush, small toothpaste, Lush Seanik Solid Shampoo, (it’s a bar for the body and laundry too,) hair ties, bobby pins, sunscreen, Compeed blister protection Compeed Blister Cushions, Extreme, 1 package of 5 pc, mini deodorant, mini Aquaphor, Blistex spf 15 chapstick, nail file, nail clippers, Band-Aids/bandages and a razor. My husband will carry the Glide and more sun screen.
- 1 hat
- 1 pair of flip flops
- Rain poncho
- 2 plastic shopping bags (to hold dirty laundry)
- 4 fruit bars
- 1 toiletry bag with prescriptions and feminine products
- 1 Scarf
- 1 Buff BUFF UV Multifunctional Headwear, Vintage, One Size
- 3 pairs of ear plugs
- 6 EmergenC vitamin powders Emergen-C, Raspberry, 30 Count 1000mg
- 1 Hydroflask water bottle Hydro Flask 24 oz Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle, Standard Mouth w/Loop Cap, Mint
- 1 electric converter
- 1 USB port
- 1 Cellphone
- 1 Stone from home
- 1 Passport and Credential
I was ready to send some items home after about a week. Unfortunately, it was festival time or a Sunday, and no post office was open. This allowed me to suffer a few extra days more than I wanted to, but it also helped me make more decisions on what I didn’t need.
Items Returned Home:
Sleeping bag– This was a huge decision. Most alburgues had one sheet to sleep on, and it was getting cold. I decided I would rather spend a few uncomfortable nights sleeping in my down jacket than carrying my one pound sleeping bag any longer.
Hiking sandals– In the beginning of the trip I wore them in the evenings. I didn’t like walking in them on the Camino. So, home they went!
Nice long sleeve shirt
Short sleeve athletic shirt
Pair of socks
Random pills and prescriptions that I “might” need
Carrier pouch for toiletries
Lessons Learned: I definitely learned that I can get by with only a few items of clothing and just the basics. I didn’t need make-up or fancy hair products. I think the Camino can be a metaphor for life, as it helps us look at our life at home. I realize that I am not a fancy person, as I am not into clutter, or collecting. I hope my packing list will help you if you are considering a big trek in the future!
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