Hiking Gear List

Packing your bag for walking the Camino

Things will vary depending on the length and difficulty of your chosen route as well as your own personal tastes and requirements. The interactive tool above can help you determine the best things to pack for your Camino de Santiago. It also allows you to see suggestions based on the season, the weather, and your gender. In addition to the interactive packing tool above, there are a few golden rules we suggest you follow when packing your bag.

The first piece of advice from someone who has previously walked the Camino is usually "pack light!” What most Camino walkers find hardest is carrying their luggage on their back all day. Luckily, if you book your holiday through Follow the Camino, you can use our luggage transfer services so you don't have to carry your full bag from hotel to hotel. Our normal baggage allowance is one item, with 15kg per person but if you need to add more bags just contact us in advance.  Either way, travelling light allows you to really enjoy the adventure.

If you do choose to carry your own bag, this first rule is particularly applicable, because you will have to support that bag the entire trip. If you are hiking in the summer, it is easier to pack lighter; however, the temperatures along the Camino de Santiago will make it harder to carry much weight. Check out our interactive weather map to decide when is the best time for you to book your Camino de Santiago.

So then the question becomes: what should you pack?

Well, when packing your bag for the Camino, always prioritise comfort over fashion. Pack a comfortable pair of hiking boots. It is a good idea to invest in a reliable and durable pair of hiking boots. Make sure to wear whatever boots you are taking with you and get used to them before your departure date, otherwise you will be more likely to get blisters along your walking holiday. If you are walking the Camino during the summer, it is better to bring trekking shoes instead, as boots will be very uncomfortable in the heat.

Pack appropriate trousers for hiking. Jeans are a poor choice as they are too hot in the sun, not warm enough when it's cold and have poor water resistance. Bring pants made from waterproof, breathable materials (long pants are essential; shorts are optional but are great for the summer). Also, take a selection of light, long sleeved and short sleeved shirts with you. Breathable shirts are a good investment, because they will allow you to feel the breeze during the hotter days, but will not leave you shivering in the winter-time.

Even in the height of summer you may encounter adverse conditions: a thin waterproof jacket is perfect as its light to carry and not too hot to wear. To ensure your pack stays dry, bring a rain jacket large enough to fit around both you and the bag, or choose a bag with a protective coat. A warm fleece is ideal for cool to cold evenings. If you are walking in winter you will most certainly need added protection from the elements. In which case, items such as thermal pants, hats and gloves are essential. Try not to bring too many extra jackets, though, because it will simply weigh down your pack.

Bringing several pairs of socks and underwear is one of the most important things to remember when packing your bag for your Camino de Santiago walking holiday. Make sure to avoid taking cotton socks with you, as the material soaks up water and holds sweat, which in turn causes blisters. You will also need to bring a small selection of toiletries including toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap. Along with your hiking gear, you will probably also want to pack some casual clothing to wear during downtimes, for example, having dinner in your hotel. Once again, we stress that you do not focus too much on the fashionable items. Pack one or two casual outfits, but focus most of your packing on practical items. If your luggage is taken care of during the day, you only need to carry a light daypack of around 4kg and 15-20 litres capacity.

One of the most essential items to put in your daypack is sweat and water resistant sun-cream. Sunglasses and a light hat are also a smart choice, particularly in midsummer. Water fountains can be rare on certain routes so it's worth bringing a water bottle or camel bag with you, particularly when you're walking remote rural stretches. Since parts of the trail will be less inhabited, light snacks are always great to bring as they help to keep energy levels high. Typically, you will eat breakfast and dinner at your accommodations, so depending on you and your walking companions need for food, we suggest bringing along a smaller snack for during the day.

Basic First Aid Items

Such as plasters and painkillers, is a smart move but you don't need to bring a whole pharmacy with you. If you take medicine daily, make sure that you have packed enough for the trip and a few extra days. Accidents happen, so we suggest you prepare for anything! There are other items you can bring along on the trip, such as playing cards, small musical instrument or reading materials to pass the time. A flashlight can also prove useful, particularly if you're travelling in the shorter winter days. Above all, only bring things you'd be comfortable carrying around for the day - it's a physically challenging experience, and there's no need to make it harder!

You can check out our Equipment List article on our website. It lists more of the essential items you will need to bring with you on your Camino trip.

If you have any questions about the Camino de Santiago tours or our services, then please feel free to contact us at info@followthecamino.com

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