What to pack for the Camino Frances
30 essential items not to forget for your Camino
Have you decided to walk the Camino Frances? The French Way is the most popular of the routes of the Way of St. James, the ancient pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. I made the pilgrimage in October of 2016, and today it still ranks as one of the best adventures of my life. When not focusing on my health and fitness, my packing list pre-occupied me for months leading up to the trip – videos, books, questions, and yet more videos. Knowing what I know now, I wanted share my list of 30 essential items not to forget for your Camino. An important rule for walking is to travel light. Don’t bring more than you need, and what you do need, bring in small quantities. Traveling in Spain, you’re never too far away from a store or pharmacy should you need something.
- Needle and thread – when you get a blister this will help. Thread the needle and run through the blister, leave a bit of thread inside to drain the blister.
- Two pairs of shorts, one for night other for day. (zip able long trousers are good). A female friend recommended women may benefit from a dress – of light weight material like you’d get from an outdoor store. After being sweaty all day it is a nice break. Skorts, and layers also work well for chilly mornings, and warm afternoons.
- 2 T-shirts – Icebreaker Merino Wool. Long sleeve and short sleeve. Wool wicks away moisture and keeps you warm, even when it’s wet. Daily washing and drying won’t break down these shirts, and they dry quickly.
- Evening shirt long sleeve
- 3 pairs of socks – double-lined
- Vaseline to cover your feet before putting socks on… VERY IMPORTANT. Also helps with chaffing on the legs and arms.
- Anti-Bacterial lotion… cools and cleans the feet after the shower
- A light Sleeping bag
- Pillow Case Cover
- Hiking Boots – Well broken in. Not new.
- 2 pairs underwear (again merino wool is preferred)
- Rain gear or poncho. If it doesn’t rain it will be a miracle.
- Fleece, it does get cold at night and the mornings can be chilly. Makes a great pillow.
- Sandals for the evening giving your feet a chance to breathe – also hygienic for the showers.
- Pain-killers (advil) – lots available enroute.
- Sunscreen, a must. Sport or non-sweat.
- Toiletries – keep it very light, you can buy anything you run out of as you go along
- Towel – get quick dry from outdoor store, they are also super light.
- Mobile & charger – if desired. Replaces need to have a separate camera and charger.
- Earplugs – too many people snore – loudly
- Small torch to pack at night, use the washroom – or use your phone. Please mind fellow travellers.
- Swiss army knife
- Wine opener
- Water reservoir (inserts into backpack) – 3 litres. Fill the night before.
- Electrical adapter for use in Europe.
- Waterproof pouch for passport, valuables, etc. Ziplock bags also helpful.
- A carbine lock to tie up your backpack to something immovable if you have to be away from it for a moment.
- A small notebook and pen/pencil. “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” ― Oscar Wilde