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One Pilgrim's Sure Fire Cure All Bullet Proof Camino Packing List

Discussion in 'What equipment should you use and take' started by HuskyNerd, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    Here I am, a month out from Camino #4, beginning once again to identify what I do and don't want to carry, what's on my shopping list (edited from pre-Camino #3), and what I'm going to leave behind this time. In my previous three Caminos (2008, 2010, 2011) I realized the most annoying and difficult part of the walking is the weight of my pack. As with most pilgrims, I began to jettison unnecessary items at each stop -- books, etc. -- and now I think I have a pretty good idea of what should be included. Here's what I am and am not taking this time around:

    What I'm taking (fyi, this is for a May/June camino):
    • Backpack – lightest weight, best fit possible. 40L +/- size. Prefer a pack with outside mesh pocket for drying clothes while walking. My pack is an Osprey Atmos 50, a little large (35L would be fine);
    • Backpack rain cover – kept in an outside pocket. Keeps pack plenty dry
    • Emergency mylar foil blanket -- A person can argue this is superfluous, but it's basic survival gear that never leaves my pack. Here's a sample: Space Emergency Bag - Free Shipping at REI.com
    • Sleeping bag and sleeping bag liner (I'll have both), treated with Permethrin to discourage bedbugs
    • Inflatable pillow – very light and slips inside the hood of my sleeping bag. Not that comfortable with resting my head on the occasional albergue-provided pillow (do they ever wash these?), and can’t really sleep without one;
    • Hiking shorts (poly material, light and quick-dry, with zip pocket for money and large pocket for credencial) – 2 pair
    • Long pants (lightweight) – 1 pair (for restaurants and church)
    • Shirts (technical t-shirts) – 2. Very lightweight and quick drying
    • Shirt (with collar) – 1 (for dinner and/or church)
    • Undershorts (stretch poly material for quick dry) – 3 pair (Why 3? I’m wearing one, I’m drying the other, and the third is ready to go after my afternoon shower.) These are boxers - never had a chafing problem with them;
    • Socks (wool trekking socks, light for summer, heavier for cool weather) – 3 pair (the drying, again)
    • Sock liners – 3 pair -- these are the best blister prevention strategy I've ever seen
    • Hiking boots – 1 pair (prefer heavy, tall boot with thickest possible sole, while some prefer hiking shoe or sandal)
    • "Camp shoe" – 1 pair (for evenings and walking about town. Lightest weight possible, some use Crocs or Teva sandals)
    • Rain jacket – 1 (breathable material e.g. GoreTex, with sealed seams)
    • Warm layer fleece – On cold days here are the layers: 1) technical t-shirt close to the body, 2) fleece jacket layer (lightweight fleece is fine), 3) rain jacket layer. These three layers make a pretty warm combo and also prepare you for rain.
    • Sun hat – (wide brim to protect face, ears and neck from sun exposure
    • Baseball cap – (for warmth in cool mornings and windy days) It is a luxury to have 2 hats, but I don't look that hot in a sun hat according to my wife. And she knows best.
    • Toothbrush
    • Toothpaste – I purchase a small tube when I arrive in SJPP (or at airport or train station) so I don’t have to worry about it in airport security
    • Shaving cream and razor -- a tiny can and 1-2 disposable razors. Very light and my afternoon shave protects me from growing a beard and having a 1/2 tan face when I get home
    • Deodorant – small roll-on, also purchased in SJPP or at airport or train station
    • Soap – I now bring a small bar of mild, all-purpose soap for my body and hair. I carry it in a mesh bag so it can dry out overnight and not make a wet, soapy mess in my pack.
    • Camera, camera pouch and charger – a small, digital camera kept in its own bag on my backpack’s chest strap. Cameras that live in the backpack are seldom used because each picture means taking off one’s pack. A small bag hooked onto the chest strap takes care of that problem. All chargers are not created equal -- I chose a camera years ago that has a super light charger and no cord -- it plugs directly into the wall and save me carrying a cord;
    • Camelbak or similar water bladder or other water storage – 2L (spring) or 3L (summer) Camelbaks work for me. I fill it once each day and don’t worry until the next day. I’m also not fumbling in pack pockets for flimsy plastic water bottles. If you never touch the inside of a CamelBak and never put anything other than clean water inside it will never require cleaning, only drying between uses.
    • Clothes pins – 4-6 for hanging up laundry each night. When I don't have these my t-shirts invariably end up blown on the ground. So, 1 for each sock, two for each shirt. I wash my hiking shorts every other day or since they take longer to dry.
    • Hiking towel – quick dry and lightweight so it dries overnight hung over my bunk rail after my evening shower;
    • Passport, airline ticket, waterproof bag for documents – Got my passport wet in Tahiti once and will never let that happen again
    • Sunblock lotion – I tan quickly and use a low SPF lotion until my skin has caught up and is able to be outside all day
    • Inflatable sleeping pad for emergency overnights (it happened once on the Via de la Plata in 2010) but mostly for afternoon naps when laying in the dirt doesn't seem that attractive. Mine is .25 kg in weight. This is also a luxury item.
    • Toiletry bag – to keep my toiletries together for the bathroom. I use a mesh bag so these items dry out before they go back in my pack.
    • Pen and paper and/or journal – to write pilgrim e-mail addresses for future use and to make notes as necessary, the journal to record thoughts and remember names and people and prayers.
    • Blister kit – blisters need prompt attention. Americans don’t yet know about Compeed, so when we get to Europe we should throw away our old-fashioned Moleskins and purchase a small pack of these, preferably with a tiny scissors. These are helpful for "hot spots" but are not a complete blister remedy. Also a needle and thread are helpful – pilgrims will explain how to use them. I now also recommend a small bottle of betadyne, some adhesive tape, and gauze pads.
    • Toilet paper roll – just put it in a plastic bag in your pack and forget about it. You may never need it, but if you’re like me, you’ll be happy you had it for those few times when nature’s call had to be answered, but no toilet was available.
    • Debit card and credit card -- The debit/ATM card is for occasional stops at cash machines. I usually get out 200€ that last me for several days.
    • Family photos -- pilgrims are always interested to see what others' homes and families look like. I've forgotten these in the past, but won't this time.
    • Telephone -- this is purely for SMS messages to other pilgrims. I never call home given the 9 hour time difference (they're usually asleep when I'm awake, etc) and entrust myself to Internet kiosks to keep in touch with my beloveds. I have a cheap European phone that I just recharge with Euros when it runs out. I leave my expensive iPhone at home.

    What I'm leaving at home this time (but you might want to have with you)
    • Flip flops for the shower – I leave these at home due to the extra weight and trust my feet to nature. I'm in the shower at the gym almost every day with no issues. For me, the weight of flip flops is the big thing. I don't get blisters, don't have open sores, and I'm pretty sure my feet will continue to be fine, so I save the weight by leaving these at home.
    • Sunglasses – On the Camino Frances the sun is at your back all morning (when most walking happens) and seldom in your face. A baseball cap keeps it out of your eyes after noon. I've brought sunglasses on two caminos and never used them, so they're staying at home.
    • Medicine kit – If I need meds I purchase them there rather than carry the extra weight all the time.
    • Ear plugs – I’m plenty tired when I hit the sack at night and long ago stopped worrying about the snoring and night sounds of other pilgrims, though they may have to worry about mine ;-)
    • Rain poncho – the extra weight of a good rain poncho is too much – a GoreTex rain jacket and pack cover do the trick just fine and the rain jacket doubles as a windbreaker
    • Flashlight (aka "torch") – I can find my way to the bathroom at night ok, and I don’t want to be one of those pilgrims who get up at 4:00 a.m. to beat others to the next albergue or who shine flashlights into the eyes of unsuspecting sleeping pilgrims.
    • Knife – It’s hard to get these through airport security, and I seldom cook at albergue kitchens, preferring to eat the menu del peregrino each night. If you are cooking, though, a little knife might be nice.
    • Guidebook -- The Brierley guidebook is a fabulous resource, but now that I've done a couple of caminos I'm ready to leave it behind. I'll trust instead in the one-page albergue/distance listing the nice folks at the SJPP camino office hand out. That'll save some serious weight in my pack.
    • Walking sticks – some swear by these. I’m strong and fit enough at this point in life that they’re a bother to me, but if a person has balance issues or a leg or foot injury they can be a lifesaver. I've only once wished I had a stick to fend off a dog.
    • Anything that might mean my pack would have to be checked in for my flight. (note that according to UK regulations Restricted Items Onboard walking sticks/poles are specifically not allowed in the passenger cabin. See this article for US regs Walking stick won't be flying in carry-on baggage: Travel Spot - Los Angeles Times)

    I hope this list is helpful for one and all and look forward to others' ideas to make it better. ¡Buen camino mi amigos!
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  2. joe

    joe Member

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    I bought a really sturdy walking stick that fits inside my backpack, it's lightweight and can be extended, I'm sure it'll come in handy even if it is just to fend off some dogs :p

    I've also got Crocs which can act as footwear for the showers (just in case other people have warts or a bad infection on their feet).

    Will also be bringing my phone, I got it unlocked for £10, and bought a pay-and-go Spanish sim card with €30 on it for £28 on ebay. So it'll be cheaper for me to call home as i'll get charged the local costs instead of roaming costs, (plus it won't charge me when I recieve a call from home - O2 charge 18p a minute for recieving a call, so it'll save me quite a bit of money).

    Sunglasses I think i'll take as I just received a designer pair from my aunt to take away with me (it'd be rude not to take them lol). They have a case which is light and fits inside my Crocs perfectly. So in the afternoons when I'm putting my Crocs on it'll remind me to put them on too.

    I have everything else you said we should take, and the above unnecesaary items don't take up much space or weight in my pack. It's a really good list, minimal but necessary! Very logical.
     
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  3. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    I finished my Camino 2011 and have some reflections on my choice of gear. The packing list was excellent and I'd do it all again largely unchanged. Here are some reflections:
    • My backpack was fabulous. It's an Osprey Atmos 50 and, while it had more space than I needed, its lightweight build and back ventilation were superb features.
    • My Permethrin bag liner gave me piece of mind about bed bugs but also was handy for warmth a few times. It was bitterly cold at Foncebadon and the chapel overflow at the albergue was unheated. Thank heavens for the bag liner. Many of us slept that night (in early June) in all our clothes!
    • Technical t-shirts are lightweight, so next time I'll take 3 instead of 2. It would have been nice to not have to do wash every single night, and only having 2 t-shirts meant laundry duty each evening.
    • The waterproof bag for documents was very valuable. I was rained on 3 times and my docs were dry, but I saw a pilgrim in Finisterre whose credential was soaked and ink from his stamps had run all over the page, making it almost unusable.
    • I've updated my blister kit to include adhesive tape, gauze and betadyne disinfectant. Fewer pilgrims are using Compeed now, I notice, and more are covering blisters only for walking and letting them dry during off hours.
    • I missed having a Brierley guidebook with me only once or twice, primarily when I had some route options to consider. I purchased the Brierley Finisterre guide in Santiago and was happy to have such a rich resource.
    • No regrets in leaving flip flops, a flashlight, walking sticks, ear plugs and a rain poncho. I know these work well for many other pilgrims, but for me they added weight with relatively little benefit.
    Buen camino, all!
     
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  4. Oak

    Oak New Member

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    HuskyNerd, I do believe from my understanding that you are able to travel with your rucksack in the cabin of the aeroplane, this I agree is something worth trying to achieve!

    The great-thing about having a list is you can add & subtract from it.

    & the items too, going to cut my toothbrush in half:D
     
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  5. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    Yep. I've travelled 3 caminos now including somewhere around 10 airline trips and have always been allowed to put my backpack in the cabin. Adding hiking poles and a knife, however, would put that in jeopardy. I'd rather leave hiking poles and a pocket knife at home than have to check my backpack in the cargo hold of the plane.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
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  6. John Hussey

    John Hussey Super Moderator

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    I take a more spartan and considerably lighter weight approach. Here is where I differ from your list:

    Backpack rain cover- I never use them. They are a single-use item. Instead get a good enough pack that is rainproof and then pack all items in ultralight, waterproof silnylon bags. One bag for sleeping bag (7"x15" by Equinox), moderately compressed, 2 of the same silnylon bags for extra clothes , 1 smaller silnylon bag for "needed stuff". Now all items inside are compartmentalized and you can reach inside even in the dark albergue and find anything quickly, just by pulling out the appropriate bag.

    Foil blanket - It is a single use item, so I leave it at home. The Camino is not the wilderness and help is almost always just a few km away.

    Pillow
    - Leave it. It's a single use item so I leave it at home. Use one of your clothes bags packed inside the silnylon bag instead. Or just use your pack for pillow. I sometimes do either.

    Hiking shorts
    - One pair hiking shorts only. Leave the other. Wear shorts hiking and long pants in evening when you are not exerting yourself.

    Shirt
    - I take 1 shirt, a Railrider ecomesh shirt, fast dry, nylon and looks good even in the cathedrals. I would leave the other two. That drops one whole pound dropped from your pack.

    Undershorts
    - I take 2, never 3. After my shower each evening I wash the one I just wore and put on the dry one I washed the evening before. By morning the one just washed is completely dry, even in colder weather. Every synthetic item you take should dry in just a few hours. Dropping one drops 3.2 ounces if you wear Underamour size L.

    Socks
    - I take only two pair merino wool socks, and two pair synthetic liners. wear one, wash other with underwear after shower.

    Hiking Boots
    - I now wear mostly hiking sandals, working on my last pair of Teva Trail Wraptors which I'll wear on my next Camino. They weigh just two pounds, one pound for each foot. Or, I have been known to occasionally wear low-cut trail shoes, those that look like tennis shoes but made for trail running. They actually weigh less than the sandals.

    Camp shoe
    - sometimes but only if the camp shoe is one of the aforementioned two.

    Rain Jacket
    - Get one of the lightweight ones weighing slightly less than one pound but with pit zips so you can vent the perspiration. Breathable is great when you buy it but it becomes less breathable after each wearing and after a couple of months is no longer very breathable at all! It is still rainproof but becomes a sauna without someplace to vent your sweat while humping the pack in the rain.

    Hat
    - Take just one, either the floppy one or the cap with bill. A lightweight suggestion is to look for a good visor instead.

    Toiletries
    - I re-package everything in rather tiny plastic bottles or containers. You would be surprised how much more "container" you are carrying around than the liquid inside. I even cut off my roll-on deodorant and pour into a tiny container and use fingers to apply each day after shower. The same with others and just replenish as necessary. You don't need shaving cream. My complete toilet kit weighs just over 6 ounces and includes the bar of soap and all I will replace along The Way is another bar of soap and some toothpaste.

    Soap
    - Use your bar of soap, as shaving cream and not liquid as it has water you cannot drink and does not last. One normal bar of soap should last you about three weeks washing you, your clothes, and shaving every day. Keep it in a baggy.

    Water
    - I use a Camelback for kayaking but find them too heavy for hiking. Instead I use a 1 L Platypus weighing just a single ounce. Potable water is in every village so why carry around more than you need? Water is heavy and weighs more than 2 pounds/L.

    Clothes pins
    - I take a few safety pins instead

    Hiking Towel
    - single use again and too heavy when wet, dries slow. Instead I take a large silk scarf that dries me and doubles as head covering when cold.

    Compeed
    - I carry some band aids instead and try to apply one to a hot spot the moment I detect one and so try and prevent a blister. I did use a Compeed to an established blister I once developed trying to keep up with others, walking faster than me (serious mistake!) and sadly discovered it stuck to my wool socks so when I removed the sock to shower it pulled the Compeed off as well as part of the skin off too and I bled profusely.

    Fanny pack for tummy wear - Now I do take one thing, beside two Pacerpoles that you don't and that is a little Patagonia fanny pack that I wear in front, just under my pack's hip belt. Inside it I carry passport, money, cards, guidebook, camera, aspirin, etc., and keep it with me at all times. It is waterproof.

    These are the major areas where we differ in our choices of just what to take. I have learned, from bitter experience, to become a lightweight backpacker and would rather suffer a little discomfort by not having an occasional item rather than carry an item upon my back across the breadth of an entire country and never use it, or, even use it just a few times. I have weighed every single item going into my pack so I can cull heavier items for lighter ones.

    Keeping ALL weight carried to a minimum, on my upcoming Camino, the total weight upon my body, from the skin out, FSO, it's called, including everything, is 25.84 pounds. That even includes 1L water and 1.25 pounds of the daily snacks of bread and cheese, chorizo, orange, I usually carry. Remove 6.50 pounds from that FSO weight comprising my clothes worn, sandals, poles, watch, glasses, pocket knife, and the remaining, including tummy pack, is just 19.34 pounds (8.8 kilos). This even includes cold weather wear since I will end my Camino about mid December. If I take the fitted sheet soaked in Permethrin suggested by Covey - a very good one, I might add, for bed bug protection - I will have to add another 12 ounces and I am still trying to justify that much weight.

    This is just my point of view and I am sure there are others as well. On the Appalachian Trail I have observed twice that everyone who starts at Springer mountain, Georgia, with those huge packs loaded down with all the nice to haves either fail to make it beyond a few days or, if they are persistent enough to make it, stop at Neel's Gap three days away and change out everything, including pack, for a "lightweight" way carrying often a third of what they once felt needed when they left Springer Mountain. When I was younger I could, and did, hump those massive pack weights. But not anymore! Even parts of ounces add up to pounds!
     
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  7. Covey

    Covey Active Member

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    If you are flying from a UK airport you will not be allowed any form of blade or scissors and a max 100ml in liquids and no poles if you want to carry your pack inside the cabin.

    I always carry a sharp small kitchen knife with a plastic blade guard, a small pair of scissors, and at least one pole, so its "pack in the hold time" My flights are all single leg flights from London to Bairritz so I don't have the worry of baggage transfers for long distance flights where I am changing carriers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  8. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    Thanks, John, for your comments on my bulletproof packing list. Your list sounds super, too, but I do want to point out that my pack, fully loaded (without water) is 7.7 kgs, which is 16.9 pounds. If I add water and a little food I'm somehow still much lighter than your 25+ pounds. Ouch! Twenty-five pounds seems like a pretty heavy load for a camino. Are you sure you want to carry that much?

    I'm wondering why your pack ends up so heavy. Does it have a heavy frame? Or are your clothes bigger/heavier somehow? I'm guessing a waterproof pack means a lot of extra weight and the many waterproof bags you're using are adding up, too. Any thoughts on that?

    Not sure exactly what you mean by "single use item" in your post. I've used my backpack cover multiple times over several years, along with my inflatable hiking pillow and hiking towel (which is very lightweight and actually dries quite quickly). The pack cover worked great in three downpours on this year's camino; the inflatable pillow is super light and saves the day (er, ummm "night") when there's no albergue pillow (or the albergue pillow looks too grimy); and the hiking towel may not look as pretty as a silk scarf, but it does its job extremely well.

    The safety pins are a pretty good idea, but clothes pins are quite light and don't require puncturing any fabric. As for liquid soap, I think I'll try Irene's Aleppo soap next time. I've purchased some now and really like it. So I'm climbing aboard the bar soap bandwagon with you and Irene, at least for my next jaunt. I've previously avoided bar soap because there's nothing messier than a bar of wet soap in a backpack, but Irene's idea of drying it in a small mesh bag each evening sounds pretty smart.

    Again, thanks for your good comments and suggestions!
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  9. John Hussey

    John Hussey Super Moderator

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    Weight is everything and the less one carries upon their body on their Camino the more comfortable their Camino will become. To get it down, they must become rather ruthless!

    Note that I said "From The Skin Out" when I ventured the weights. When you carry any weight upon your body you must carry that weight. The weight in my post included ALL THE WEIGHT upon my naked body, including clothes, watch, footwear, glasses, etc., plus the loaded pack. To accurately make a comparison, now you must include everything as well. This will include your food and water as you will start out carrying it. You must add the weight of your clothes, your socks, your heavy boots, whatever is in your pockets, the weight of your water, and food snacks, etc., to your pack weight to arrive at a "From The Skin Out" weight which became the mantra of the long distance ultra lightweight backpackers for comparison purposes some years ago on the AT, PCT and, to a lesser extent, CDT. It is the only way to accurately compare one's "carry weight". In short, the weight upon your body is the weight of everything upon your body and not just the weight of your pack.That is why I suggest 1 L water container rather than 2 L or, horror, 3 L because water weighs slightly more than 2 pounds/ L and having a larger container makes it far to easy to fill it up. There is water in every village so why lug around more weight?

    My pack is a custom McHale pack that I have used for over 10 years now and weighs precisely 3.27 pounds, far to large for the Camino at 43 measured liters but I have used it on long distance, unsupported hikes where I needed to carry large quantities of food, water, shelter, etc., not even close to being necessary on the Camino.

    The "single use" term refers to the attempt at substituting one item for two single use items, and thereby saving weight by doing so. Take my silk scarf you referred to. Mine is quite old, shabby, a dull drab olive color, certainly not pretty but it does eliminate two heavier items from my pack-a towel and warm hat-that I no longer carry. The silk scarf does not function quite as well as the two heavier items it replaces but it does work and saves me from carrying many ounces. It also dries in minutes-not hours. It also doubles as a sweat band in the heat, sun protection for the neck in lower latitudes, and others I can't recall. It is not "single use" but "multi use". For another example, even your sleeping bag is more than just "single use", too. Keep it dry in the silnylon bag and it becomes a survival bag, eliminating the Mylar bag you listed. Backpack? Well, I often use my partially filled one in the evenings for a pillow. It is not perfect but beats, for me at least, carrying any extra weight.

    There is no right way or wrong way, just different ways of achieving the same end-experiencing The Journey, hugging Santiago, and watching the setting sun over the Atlantic.

    Ultreia et Suseia!
     
  10. Oak

    Oak New Member

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    John, I see in your pictures Camino1:
    Untitled.jpg
    Lovely pic, it seems to show 'your old pole'(with rubber foot). your pics help me lots, one I can see you travel, lite, seriously & no Poncho thing either; I would love to walk in my 'sandals' but I get annoyed trying to flick stones out; Now your pole I think you are using it more like a 'pilgrim stick' & not like a walking pole; now I would like to know how you are getting on with your pacerpoles (Trekking poles, Walking poles, Pacerpoles apply biomechanics to whole body movement). It maybe to early for you to tell me; I think you can still use a PP like you are in pic but inorder to use it like they show you are going to make the pole shorter & I think more efficient, & relaxing than you've had before. It's a bit more scary to begin with cause you are putting trust in the pole, which I mean if the pole was to collapse you are going to get hurt.

    I very much welcome your approach to 'walking', you are giving us your experience & letting us take it up or not; our loss if we don't. Thank you
     
  11. John Hussey

    John Hussey Super Moderator

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    Where did you find that photo? It is from my first Camino. And that was my uniform every day during the 43 days from France to Finisterra, and the Atlantic ocean - sandals and shorts the entire way in October and November. It worked great!

    I really seldom get stones in the sandals but if so all I do is put my toe to the ground and lift the weight of the foot up slightly and the pebble slips out. I can about do it without even stopping. But, really, it seldom is a problem. They are trail running sandals, with an aggressive sole and work great. It is amazing how much more nimble one is wearing sandals rather than heavy, limmer style hiking boots.After a couple of weeks the bottoms of my feet mold the sole of the sandal to the shape of my feet and it is almost like walking on custom orthotics. With heavy boots its the other way around. I have used them in snow, too, just not deep snow!

    I have gone to the Pacerpoles and have practiced some but after so many years using just one pole it is tough trying to coordinate the hand and foot movement with swinging the poles. But I am learning. Next week I get to do it every day for a month and a half so I suppose I'll develop the correct rhythm sooner or later-hopefully sooner! I keep looking at the Pacerpole web site and watching their instruction videos, hoping more will rub off. The poles themselves are quite good and I really do like them. I can tell even now, even on level ground (I live in Florida, we have nothing but level ground), they take many pounds off my knees and lower back and transfer it to my arms and upper body. I hope it is enough to keep the joints from complaining much. I didn't have the aches and pains till my hair started turning white!.....I wonder....

    Was that a photo from the Railrider clothing adventure series on their website?
     
  12. Oak

    Oak New Member

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    John it is on your profile, under Albums. Enjoy your next trip, Hope you have courage to shorten your poles. I Think walking poles need to be adjusted in length regularly not just whether you are going up hill, flat, or down dale, but how you are feeling. Yes the lower back is where I suffer too, we are supposed to do pelvic floor exercises to toughen/strengthen our backs, I will start again soon!

    Gosh what a weight saving if I manged sandals.
     
  13. John Hussey

    John Hussey Super Moderator

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    I had forgotten about those. Perhaps that is yet another transformation accompanied by the changing of hair color in one's advancing years?

    What I used then was a single staff rather than poles and I could not shorten it.

    As for the sandals, I believe I am just following tradition. I would hazard to venture that their use has only recently, relatively speaking, become in the minority. I suspect that were we to observe the footwear of all the pilgrims who have ever traveled by walking to and from along The Way, from the 9th century onward, we would find that the overwhelming footwear choice would be sandals. The pilgrim in the old etching in the album you discovered wore them back then. You will find another example when you go downhill westward from O'Ceibreiro along The Camino. On the left, just a few kilometers down, is a huge bronze statue of a similarly attired pilgrim, too and remember that far more pilgrims walked The Way in the middle ages than do so today. Wearing sandals is not as hard as you think. Personally, I believe it gives one an advantage. Of course, to each their own or, as is often said along another long trail, "Hike your own hike"!
     
  14. Padraigl

    Padraigl New Member

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    So three of us are planning to walk for 10 days in May. We would rather carry on the bags in the cabin of Aerlingus. We realise walking poles and also my leatherman will have to be left at home.

    Can walking poles/sticks and a leatherman type tool be bought in Sarria?

    Some other questions?
    Also waht type of sleeping bag is needed for May, a 2 season maybe?
    Is there a possibility that we will be locked out of a Refuge? and need to sleep under the sky?

    Thx
     
  15. John Hussey

    John Hussey Super Moderator

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    There seems to be a huge amount of confusion as to whether hiking poles can be taken inside the cabin with the airline passenger. I suspect this has arisen over their being confused with ski poles. If they are ski poles, with their pointed, spear-like tips, then yes, they must be checked into the luggage hold of the airplane. But hiking poles are 'walking aids' and, as such are allowed to be taken on board. I tested this just recently on my last Camino and neither the Orlando or Miami, Florida or Madrid security scanning personnel had a problem with them separated into their three parts and stowed inside my backpack which I happily carried on board. If, for some reason some fiesty security type calls you on it, calmly say that it is a "walking aid".

    Leave the knife, though and just purchase a cheap one from any ferreteria in Spain. It does not take much of a blade to slice bread, chorizos, cheese or, my recently discovered favorite, salchichon.

    Buen Camino
     
  16. sean

    sean Active Member

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    Hi Padraigl,
    There is a shop at the base of the hill you climb to reach the Refugios in the middle of Sarria. It is on the right hand side and sell the lot-camping, walking gear etc. Some of my friends thought the boots and walking gear were great value. I personally would not spend too much on a knife, as you will only have to dump it again on the way home.
    Enjoy your Camino.

    Sean
    Dublin
     
  17. piper10

    piper10 New Member

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    Just back from a camino. Left SJPdP March 4. Weather cold for first few days. Lightweight gloves and a ballaclava would have been a great help. Otherwise, this was a excellent packing advice .
     
  18. StorkRN

    StorkRN New Member

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    I walked the Camino Frances from SJPP in Sept. 2010 and leave in 4.5 weeks for the Camino Portuguese! I like lightweight flipflops as shower shoes and to wear in the evening to let my feet "breathe". I also love Dr. Bronners organic liquid soap. Comes in several scents and is good for everything, hair, body, clothes... I bring a tiny LED flashlight just so I don't stumble around to the bathroom and in case I need to get something out of the bottom of my bag. I bring earplugs. They weigh a gram and I use them a lot! I used my sunglasses a lot because I found there was a lot of glare coming up off some of the surfaces, including light-colored rock. As a gal, I add a swimsuit. This is a personal choice because I love to swim at any opportunity! I read all over the forum that your pack should weigh about 10% of your body weight. I stuck to this and just added water. GREAT advice!! Buen Camino!

    Danette
     
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  19. bonanza

    bonanza New Member

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  20. Leslie

    Leslie Administrator

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  21. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    Very good catch, Leslie. This is important -- "walking stick/cane/walking aid" are allowed, but "walking/hiking poles" are specifically called out as not allowable in the passenger cabin according to UK regulations. Thank you for reading the page thoroughly and confirming this important detail.
     
  22. divergordon

    divergordon New Member

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    What do you guys think about Merino boxers for a Camino Frances starting end of May?
     
  23. Leslie

    Leslie Administrator

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    I don't know what "merino" is, however I would not wear boxers for any long distance walk - I find that I need "support" and if I don't I end up swollen and in a bit of pain. I will be more specific if required...
     
  24. nollaigc

    nollaigc New Member

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    Divergordon,
    Just back from 9days on the norte,and as a first time user of merino boxers- they were a fantastic success. This followed on my discovery of merino wool socks last year. I havent given up on the tech/polys but for me they were great.
    Nollaigc
     
  25. davehooper

    davehooper New Member

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    Thanks for the info. Am planning to walk the Camino Frances in September of 2013 and need all the advice I can get.
     
  26. Lynnek

    Lynnek New Member

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    Hi Leslie

    'Merino' is good Aussie wool from merino sheep.
     
  27. JAMC

    JAMC New Member

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    I've taken on board all that's been said here and today I packed most of my kit into my backpack... apart from the toiletries, my guide book, spare glasses and my phone it all weighed in at 7.1/4lbs, so fingers crossed it will be under 10 lbs when all said and done! I'm a wimp of a girl (*old gal) at 5'1" in stocking feet so really took it to heart the advice on less is best, I'm sure if I'm missing something really important you'll let me know...
    I'm leaving on 11th July for 6 weeks SJPP to Santiago, I don't use a pillow at home so won't need one while I'm there, I'm happy to manage with only one set of spare clothes. I really want to do this as simply as possible and know I will fall at the first hurdle if I struggle with the weight of my backpack. Here's my list, what do you think....

    • Backpack –
    • Backpack rain cover
    • sleeping bag liner
    • Hiking shorts 1 pair
    • Zip off leg trousers (lightweight) – 1 pair
    • 2 T-Shirt Very lightweight and quick drying
    • 1 Shirt (long sleeves) (for dinner and/or church)
    • 1 zip up lightweight fleece
    • 1 lightweight shift dress (for dinner/church)
    • Sarong
    • Underwear (stretch poly material for quick dry) – 2 pair
    • Bra - 2
    • Socks 2 pair
    • Sock liners – 2 pair
    • Hiking boots – 1 pair
    • Crock prepair – 1 pair (for evenings and walking about town)
    • Rain jacket – 1 (breathable material)
    • Sun hat – (wide brim)
    • Toothbrush
    • Toothpaste
    • Deodorant – small roll-on
    • Soap – block to use on body, hair and clothes
    • Smart phone & recharger (phone, camera, torch, phrase book, music player, kindle, video camera, notebook, family photos)
    • Clothes pegs 6
    • Hiking towel – quick dry
    • Passport, train ticket, E111, credit card, debit card, waterproof bag for documents –
    • Sunblock lotion – Rienamm P20 –
    • Toiletry bag – aftersun/mositurizer
    • Pen and small notepad
    • First Aid kit - Compeed, tiny scissors, a needle and thread, sports tape, gauze pads, plasters.
    • ½ Toilet roll –in a plastic bag
    • Spare glasses
    • Regular Meds
    • Ear plugs –
    • Small sandwich box with built in picnic cutlery, small sharp lightweight knife – for impromptu picnics
    • The Brierley guidebook
    • Walking sticks – haven’t got them yet, going to borrow some and see if I like them first!


    From the clothes on this list I will be wearing one set to travel in
     
  28. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    Great job! Do be careful about the tiny knife when you go through security at the airport. You don't want to lose it to the guards or to have to check your pack. Buen camino to you!
     
  29. Dollmac

    Dollmac Member

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    Hi J,
    Wow so impressed with the list. Is your kindle on your smart phone. I have thought about bringing my kindle. So glad you are doing before me I will learn all the tricks from you :))
     
  30. JAMC

    JAMC New Member

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    Thanks Sandy - No worries with airport security though as I'm travelling from the UK by train...
     
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