Walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain
A Special Program called 'Just Get Me Started', for First-time Pilgrims on the Camino Francés
What to Bring

One of the first things first-time pilgrims ask is, What do I pack for the Camino?  Packing for a Camino walk is different from packing for any other trip, as you will likely be carrying everything you need on your back, every day.  Carrying everything...that means you will want to pack light - lighter than you have ever imagined!

This page covers goals for packing, what to bring, and some suggestions for what to leave at home.

One tip before we continue:  You can find just about everything you might need for your Camino in Spain, and it's kind of fun to shop in another country!  Our favorite pilgrim shop on the Camino is located in Pamplona.  Check out Caminoteca - the sell anything and everything a pilgrim needs, plus a bunch of things you will really want.

Camino de Santiago

Now, let's start with our core goals for packing...

Pilgrim Packing Goals

The primary goal with packing for the Camino is to pack light.  A good goal is to keep your packed backpack (without water and snacks) to 10% or less of your ideal body weight.   

Then the next goal is to pack simple.  What do you really need to be clean, comfortable, and cared for?  Can you get your Camino possessions down to just need 

And finally, we pack smart.  This is the time to have the right items, the tried and tested items that you know do the job you need them to.  And this is the time to be organized, even if it’s not your natural tendency. 

When you join our
'Just Get Me Started' program and begin your Camino with us, you will receive a detailed packing list that helps you calculate and keep track of total weight of the items you are bringing - helping you pack smart, simple, and most importantly, light!

What to Pack

Clothing
Toiletries & Grooming
Bedding & Other Nighttime Items
First Aid Kit
Miscellaneous Essentials
Optional Items
Consider Leaving These Things at Home


Clothing 

Be sure to pack for the season and weather you will be walking in.  The following list is applicable for spring, summer, and fall walks.  For a winter walk, you may need additional gear.

  • Bring at least two full changes of clothes, one to wear on the trail and one to change into in the evening

o   Pants (or shorts or skirt):  one made of quick-dry fabric, and one of lightweight knit, khakis, or similar; NO jeans!

o   Shirts: one made of quick-dry fabric, and one lightweight knit or woven; NO sweaters! (unless it’s lightweight Merino wool specifically designed for hiking)  Sleeve length is personal; select long or short depending on season and your tolerance for heat and cold.

  • Three sets of undergarments
  • Three pairs of socks
  • Hiking boots, walking shoes, or sandals
  • Second pair of footwear, such as Crocs (without holes) or other lightweight slip-on shoes
  • Flip-flops for the shower (optional)
  • Hat or head covering for all kinds of weather:  sun hat, fleece or wool hat, scarf or bandana
  • Gloves and scarf if walking in early spring, late fall, or winter
  • Fleece or soft-shell jacket
  • Waterproofs: jacket and pants or a poncho and gaiters
  • Something to sleep in, conducive to your level of modesty in a mixed-gender dorm room

 

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Toiletries & Grooming

A good rule of thumb is to take a two-week’s or travel size supply of each item, unless you can’t live without a certain brand or flavor for the duration of your trip.  Don’t forget the sunscreen.

Also bring along the smallest, lightest version of only the essential grooming tools:  comb, hairbrush, shaving kit, etc. 

Ladies, sanitary supplies are readily available in Spain, so unless you can't live without your favorite brands, consider carrying just a two-day supply.

 

Camino de Santiago what to brin gBedding & Other Nighttime Items

  • Sleeping bag or silk sleep sack
  • Pillow case or cover
  • Eye mask
  • Earplugs (several sets)
  • Headlamp or small flashlight
  • Eye glass case, if needed

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First Aid Kit

Carry at least a minimum supply of first aid items to address problems that arise on the trail, away from a pharmacy, or Farmacia.  Everything else can you will need can be bought, as needed, on the Camino. 

(Note that this is a traditional western approach; bring your natural cures if that’s what you use!)

  • Prescription medications in original containers
  • Anti-inflammatory, such as Ibuprofen, 200 mg (12)
  • Antihistamine, if you are prone to allergic reactions (4-6)
  • Anti-biotic ointment, such as Neosporin
  • Anti-diarrhea, such as Imodium (4)
  • Alcohol swab or similar (4)
  • 2” gauze pads (4)
  • Paper first aid tape
  • Band-aids / plasters / Compeed (8)
  • Duck tape or runner's tape (to cover hot spots on your feet before they become blisters)
  • Small scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Needle and thread

 Add in anything you know you need for your personal health requirements.  Health is personal!

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Miscellaneous Essentials

  • Money belt
  • Fanny pack or small personal bag
  • Small luggage combination lock (if your backpack has a lockable zippered compartment)
  • Scissors, small, with rounded tips
  • Diaper (nappy) Pins
  • Guidebook or accommodation list and map (we provide the Pilgrim's Handbook, so no need to carry a heavy guidebook)
  • Journal or notebook and pen
  • One large trash bag (bin liner)
  • Ziplock baggies, assorted sizes
  • Camera, with power cord or extra batteries
  • Sunglasses, reading glasses, as needed
  • Swiss Army knife or similar
  • Towel
  • Whistle
  • Backpack rain cover (if your rainwear doesn't cover your backpack or one doesn't come with your backpack)

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Optional Items

  • Trekking poles or walking stick
  • Camelback resevoir or reusable water bottle
  • Reusable shopping bag, doubles as daypack
  • Wristwatch or alarm clock
  • iPod, MP3 player, or similar, with power cord or batteries


Consider Leaving These at Home

Heavy books

Cosmetics

Electronics (cell phone, Kindle, iPad/iPhone, etc).

Hairdryer, curling iron, etc.

Jewelry and accessories

Tent and other camping gear

Sporting equipment

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Learn how to get started on the Camino de Santiago.

Learn more about the
Camino de Santiago.


 
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