Total weight you carry is something I can’t emphasize strongly enough. In my opinion; the less weight you carry = the better your Camino experience will be. This doesn’t mean you can carry 0 kg, there are things you’ll need. But its definitely less than you initially think. Some ultra-light pilgrims use buff instead of towel, drill holes in the toothbrush handle to save weight. When I first read about it I found it … weird, but after a few days on the Camino I could understand that point of view better.
After 8 Camino’s and 3.000+ km of walking, here is my packing list:
- short sleeved t-shirt, pants, hiking socks, hiking shoes, fleece jacket, soft-shell jacket (not needed in the summer)
- buff, pocket knife, wallet, passport and credential (in a plastic sleeve, you don’t want this to get wet)
- smartphone, headphones, charger, spare USB battery/charger
- wide brim hat, hiking poles (warmly recommended)
On my back:
- Backpack 44l (Osprey Talon 44), one extra set of clothes, 2 extra pairs of hiking socks,
- sleeping bag (light, about 600g)
- raincoat with sleeves (not a poncho)
- Teva sandals (most hostels have “no boots/shoes inside” policy),
- multiple socket outlet (lots of people need to recharge their devices and not all hostela have abundance of sockets), headlamp, 4 clothes pins, 2 S-shaped hooks (to hang stuff in the showers),
- Scrubba, a portable washing machine (for me it was faster and cleaner laundry than by hand washing in the sink)
- hiking towel (quick-drying), toiletries (keep it to a minimum and travel-sized), first aid kit, earplugs (take few spares as well),
- medicines: aspirin, magnesium powder, multi-vitamin pills, Voltaren gel (anti inflammatory, similar to Ibuprofen), Body Glide, sunscreen
- 0,75 l plastic water bottle (take extra water on routes without frequent water fountains) spare food (usually sandwich, fruit, few energy bars).
All clothes are quick-drying, specialized hiking variety. Cotton stuff (especially jeans) should be avoided, because it takes forever to dry.