Sunday, 24 July 2016

Camino de Santiago : Gear Choices

 Camino Frances Santiago pilgrim passport shell

We are about a month away from striking out onto the Camino De Santiago, along the Camino Frances route.  Central to this, and the part we have most struggled with, is packing our bags. What to take?  We hope to take our packs for the entire length of the trail, and realistically we are only able to carry  so much comfortably.  While this seems easy, the desire to stay comfortable hiking while also being prepared for a range of temperatures and weather types, makes it a little bit of a challenge.

Given the range of choices we faced, we thought we would share what is in our backpacks, perhaps serving as something useful for what others might carry.  Two things to remember here are: First,  our bags differ according to our own interests and needs.  Second, please remember that not all that is listed went into our bags, one set of clothes and either our hiking shoes or sandals will be worn by us at any given time.

** Post Camino Addition: I would also point out that en route we disposed of a great deal of our supplies and lowered the weight of our packs.

Sonya's Backpack:

- 1 merino wool shirt
- 2 HH running shirts - disposed of en route and replaced with 2 Icebreaker shirts
- 2 pairs of merino wool leggings
- 2 hiking skirts
- 1 pair lole black pants  
- 1 swimsuit - disposed of en route
- 1 fleece sweater
- 1 sun hat
- 1 hiking scarf - disposed of en route
- 1 pair of mittens - disposed of en route
- 3 pairs of hiking socks - disposed of 1 pair en route
- 3 pairs of merino wool underwear - disposed of 1 pair en route
- North Face Rain Jacket and Rain Pants
- 1 backpack rain jacket / cover
- hiking boots
- hiking sandals

** I decided to sleep in my backup shirt and leggings - so no night clothes were brought **

- camp towel
- clothes pegs
- headlamp
- travel sewing kit - disposed of en route
- 1 large bottle of camp soap - body wash and laundry soap for both of us
- first aid kit - Band-Aids, moleskin, Tylenol, Advil
- light weight summer sleeping bag
- thermarest mattress (ultimately carried but never used, would not bring again)
- SIGG water bottle - 1 litre
- 1 pair of hiking polls (Komperdell)
- overnight bag including deodorant, razor, hair brush, tooth brush,  travel tampons, nail clippers, lip balm, and sun screen
- 2 pilgrim passports
- John Brierley guide book
- 1 Canadian passport
- 2 Camino Credential passports (though these can be purchased in St. Jean Pied de Port)
- Scallop Shell
- small day bag
- phone
- tablet and keyboard
- journal and pen
- empty stuff sack to put daily treats in to eat along the route

** Post Camino update - no thermarest, no HH running shirts (too plasticy, too hot, and too smelly), instead I bought and used another two Icebreaker Merino wool shirts, no physical journal I would type a digital journal on cell phone next time. **

Sean's Bag

- 1 MEC Merino wool shirt, short sleeve
- 2 HH running shirts - disposed of en route and replaced with 2 Icebreaker shirts
- 1 pair hiking shorts
- 1 pair of hiking pants - disposed of en route and replaced with Columbia convertible pants
- 1 pair lightweight shorts
- 3 pairs of Smartwool hiking socks - disposed of 1 pair en route
- 3 pairs of hiking liner socks - disposed of 1 pair en route
- 3 Ex-Officio underwear - disposed of 1 en route
- 1 fleece sweater
- 1 swimsuit - disposed of en route
- 1 North Face Rain Jacket
- 1 backpack rain jacket / cover
- 1 pair of Keen hiking sandals
- 1 pair of Keen hiking shoes
- camp towel
- 1 baseball cap
- 1 sunglasses
- 1 Merino wool hiking scarf

- overnight bag, including tooth brush, toothpaste, camp soap, tweezers, lip balm, deodorant, razor  
- summer sleeping bag

- 1 SIGG water bottle
- 2 Camino Credential passports
- Scallop Shell
- journal and pen
- Camera bag (Day bag)
- Nikon D5300 with (Nikon 10-24 lens, Sigma 18-35 lens, Sigma 8-16 lens)
- 3 camera batteries
- Lens cleaning kit
- Camera Battery recharging device, phone recharging device
- European plug adapter
- 1 Canadian passport
- wallet, bank card, cash (enough for 2-5 days, often 500 Euros split between two of us)

We also each carried 3 large Ziplocs to put our clothes, electronics, and journals into while in our bags to keep them separate and dry. (eventually disposed of ziplocs as too loud in the albergues and bought 3 Sea to Summit stuff stacks instead)
 
Camino Frances books and shell