I have spent another couple of half-days faffing about with my camino packing. But however many times I weigh all the various items, I can’t seem to make them any lighter.
I’m trying some new ideas this year. I’ve made a new pack cape (as reported in this recent post) which is a little heavier than the previous version, but only by 30 grams.
Instead of two pairs of walking pants, this year I am taking one pair and have made a hiking skirt which I can wear alone on warm days and when it’s cold I will wear a pair of runner’s tights under the skirt. This combination is heavier than the trousers by around 60 grams, but the tights can multi-task to keep me warm in the evenings and if necessary I can sleep in them.
The last home-made item is a rain kilt. I am expecting to encounter a fair amount of rain on the Norte – the region doesn’t get to be so green without a reliable watering system. If it works efficiently it will be well worth its weight (242 grams), but I haven’t tested it other than wandering around the garden on a stormy day. If it isn’t efficient and comfortable, it will be getting jettisoned and I will be getting wet legs. Some people take waterproof trousers for rainy weather, but they are a bit fiddly to get on and cause a lot of sweaty condensation.
So, here are a few photos to show just how much will fit into a 34 litre backpack.
First aid / prevention items – gauze, steri-wipes, iodine (in eye drop bottle), adhesive tape, compeed (only because I already had it – I wouldn’t buy it again), ENGO patches, toe caps, scissors and knee braces.
Toiletries – Lush shampoo bar (for hair and body), muslin face cloth, home-made body lotion bar (made with coconut butter, almond oil and beeswax), tissues, loo roll, Lush toothpaste tabs, ear plugs, face serum, face wash, moisturiser, cleanser/tonic (may get jettisoned), foot cream, deodorant, hair oil, tweezers, nail clippers, miniature perfume, cotton buds and pads, hair ties & comb, hair serum
Walking clothes – Hiking skirt with yoga waistband, zip-off pants, short sleeve merino T-shirt, sleeveless merino T-shirt, 2 x smart wool hiking socks, 1 x merino liner socks, 2 x merino underwear, sports bra, runner’s tights
Relaxing wear – Merino cardigan, cotton skirt, cargo pants, 2 x tops, 3 x underwear, bra
Rain wear – rain jacket, pack cape, rain kilt
Miscellaneous – Buff, infinity Buff, spork, gloves, microfibre towels, arm warmers, waist pack, hikers’ wool, visor
Sleeping gear – silk liner (new white one so I can easily see if I have any visitors), pre-treated bedsheet, down quilt/sleep bag, tote for carrying valuables in the evenings. The liner, quilt and my backpack have all be sprayed with permethrin.
Technology – mini tripod, USB hub, iPhone & cable, ear phones, iPad mini & cable, folding keyboard, camera and cable, spare camera cards, power bank & cables. All marked with hiviz tape so that no-one will accidentally or intentionally take my stuff.
And last, but not least my backpack, with hydration system, boots (alas, not the ones that were meant to be), and pacer poles – all adorned with copious amount of hiviz tape
Not photographed, but will be coming along for the ride, are my crocs for the evenings, a piece of yoga mat to sit on, a magnifying mirror for plucking eyebrows, ultralight down jacket, silk scarf to wear and use as pillow cover, sun glasses, sun screen, spare insoles, passport & credential, debit card, medical card & cash, washing line & pegs, laundry powder, food bags, tiny cable ties, a few rubber bands.
And I am pretty sure that is absolutely everything that I am taking. And it weighs around a kilo more than last year, which is a bit of a blow. But I have been more thorough about including every last item on the list this year. I haven’t done any practice walks wearing my pack, I am saving that experience for the first day when there is some serious elevation to tackle. When I have remembered how to post my packing list I will do so.
In the meantime, I have just checked the weather forecast for the first few days and guess what? My rain gear will be getting an early trial – rain, rain and more rain, oh yes, and plenty of wind to go with it.
Exciting stuff. Not long now X
Great idea about the hiviz tape! you”ve only 6days to go, its getting closer
Barbara & Bob
It’s now arrived – I set off for the airport in less than an hour!
Oh Maggie you are so organised ALWAYS with packing, wherever you are heading!! I am having probs with determining just what to take to Normandy for 3 nights next week!!
Shall be looking forward eagerly to your blogs
Best of luck Maggie
Love Pat and John xxx
Thank you my lovely friends. I hope you have (have had) a fab time in Normandy xxx
I don’t usually get to be privy to the contents of other ladies bags, my darling wife excepted, so thanks for the preview! I’m facing a similar quandary from down under having to cater for a start in heat and a finish in late October, but am trusting the layering technique will once again suffice. Can’t wait to hear your first entry once the walking commences.
Step it out Maggie!!
Thanks Brian – yes…the intricacies of female packing – even on a minimal regime. Have just smothered my pack in clingfilm ready for my flight in a couple of hours. Storms forecast for my first day – I suppose it’s just possible they got it wrong.
Inspiring to read about your preparations again Maggie! My son will walk the Frances this year, departing on the 26th from St Jean Pied de Port. Great memories of that route together! If all works out with my work planning I will join him for the last week to Finisterre and Muxia somewhere late May / early June.
Buen Camino for you again! 🙂
I hope you get the opportunity to join your son Peter. Ella and I had a few hiccups during that first week, but overall we got on really well and it was a great experience. She is currently at a festival in South Africa – she has travel in her blood!
I am expecting to be on the trail to Finisterre at the very end of May – it would be fabulous if we could coincide. Let’s keep in touch.
Glad to see you taking the magnifying mirror don’t forget the tweezers, couldn’t see them in the photos!! Can’t believe another year has passed. You are just amazing good luck. xx
Tweezers are well and truly packed Maggie – shaggy eyebrows is a step too far, even for a pilgrim!
Good luck, Maggie and keep the blogs comi g!
Many thanks Conchy
The rain has not let up at all since February…for every day of sun, it’s been about 12 days of rain. I was hoping you’d bring the Andaluz sun with you 😉 Buen camino and buen packing!
I will do my best, but it’s definitely not looking too good for the first few days.
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It’s been horrible lately And even worse, it tricks you into a false sense of security with a few minutes of sun before pouring down rain.
I’ve been really lucky for the first two days – let’s see what tomorrow brings
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All looks good Maggie all ready for the off. Well done you. Sorry we will miss you as we are coming to Spain on 23rd! But we will give David some company. Look forward to following your blogs.
Love Frances & John
Sorry to be missing you. It’s lovely and fresh here after a day and night of heavy rain. Everything is green and sparkling in the sun. Have a good visit xx
Good luck & take care, looking forward to your postings
The 2 geordies
Good luck Maggie and buen camino. Looking forward to the posts everyday. Love Mary xxxx
Hi Mary. Thanks for your company xx
I think you have OCD saying something weighs 242 grammes
What else would I say? It weighed 242 grams.
Hi Maggie, I am planning my first visit to Spain in June/July 2017 and I plan to walk El Norte as my first Camino because it will take me through Asturias where both my parents were raised. Your blog has been most helpful in my planning. I have a few questions if you don’t mind. What do you wear for sleeping? I didn’t notice any in your packing list. And when would you launder it? Also, what guide did you use for your camino? And why did you fly to Santander, is that the closest airport to Irun? Gracias.
Thanks for your comments and I am glad that the blog has been useful to you. How lovely that you will be visiting the area that your parents are from.
To sleep I wear a vest top (that I also wear in the evenings) and a pair of pants, but if it is a bit cold I can always wear a walking t-shirt and leggings. I can’t imagine wearing a full set of hiking clothes to sleep in as some pilgrims do. I now take two pairs of walking pants (knickers) – merino wool, very large and comfy, and three pairs of regular pants. They weigh next to nothing, and three is a good number. I change into them after showering and sleep in them. Then they will be washed the next day, even if I am not washing my walking clothes. I have to admit to washing my clothes less frequently with each Camino. Merino wool (walking shirts and underwear) is excellent at not getting whiffy, and they only get washed when they don’t pass the sniff test. Hiking trousers need washing even less frequently. If there are good facilities for washing and drying I will take advantage of them, but know I can go a couple of days if necessary.
There are closer airports to Irun, ie San Sebastián and Biarritz, but not direct from Malaga.
I am happy to answer any other questions you may have
Thank you Maggie….so helpful. I will be flying from the US. I do have many more questions, but I’m sure they have been asked before so I will continue to search the forums for answers. However, I will keep a list of those I don’t find answers for and try to ask you several at once so as not to be a complete bother. Gracias, Rachel
No bother at all 🙂