What Should You Pack For Your Camino de Santiago Adventure?
What actually needs to be included on a Camino packing list? As this is a question we get asked a lot we decided to put this page together for you.
After talking to walking enthusiasts and working with Camino de Santiago pilgrims for many years now, we know that it can be hard to decide what to pack and what to leave behind when you’re embarking on such an epic journey.
Whether you decide to walk or cycle the Camino, we’ve compiled a list to help you choose the right clothing, pack carefully for the road ahead and detail the extra items that will make your journey more comfortable.
The Camino is a big adventure and needs to be taken seriously. The guide is divided into 6 sections of packing advice. It includes weather guidelines, essential clothing tips, walking and cycling gear, top packing tips and a printable checklist.
Of course, this list is not comprehensive and may need to be adapted depending on the person and the route or section of the Camino walked.
Packing for your Camino Walk
Deciding what to pack before walking the Camino can be a daunting task and planning is key. You should have a detailed list of what to bring on your walking holiday and just as important: what not to bring.
Tip 1: Bring Foldable Clothing
Try to bring a jacket that is foldable, rainproof and easy to pack. Follow the ‘onion’ advice: layering your clothing. Wear your different layers for warmth when it’s cooler and take layers off as the day gets warmer.
Tip 2: Stay Comfortable
Remember the type of holiday that you are about to embark on. You want to be comfortable while you are walking so glamorous outfits are unnecessary. Also, avoid any clothing that will irritate your skin. You need a soft fabric, suitable for long-distance walking and relaxing in the evenings. For the long-haired men and women, don’t forget some hair bands or a bandana to help keep your neck cool.
Tip 3: Backpack
In addition to your main suitcase, you should take a small backpack (for people travelling and getting your luggage transferred with CaminoWays.com). A small day bag will be enough to carry your water, wallet, a few nuts and snacks and a bandana will prove to be key on those hot days of walking.
Tip 4: Sunscreen And Sunglasses
Bear in mind wind can be just as damaging as the sun to the skin. A high-factor sunscreen lotion will help to infuse moisture into dried-out skin and protect against sunburn. Apply the cream generously each morning and make regular top-ups during the day. In addition to sunscreen buy or borrow a good pair of sunglasses. These will protect your eyes and help you to keep on track if the sun is blinding.
Tip 5: Take Care of Your Toes
The right pair of walking shoes and hiking boots can be the difference between an enjoyable walking holiday and a nightmare of a trek across Europe. Be sensible when it comes to your shoe choices. The most important thing to remember when buying a new pair of walking shoes is to make sure that they are waterproof and to break them in before your Camino de Santiago journey. Cheap shoes and socks will fall apart with daily wear and tear. Walking boots will give you better ankle support than walking shoes and of course, walking sandals.
Tip 6: Bring a Book
A book is a great companion for the walk if you need to take a quick rest, turn off the thinking switch from the day or if you are walking the route solo.
Packing For Your Camino Cycle
Don’t underestimate the preparation required for cycling the Camino. The following pieces of equipment are chunky and the prices can be a bit cheeky but they will make your Camino journey safe and far more enjoyable:
1. Bike helmet – A no-brainer!! Protecting your head must be made a priority!! Helmets these days are lightweight and well ventilated, and can literally save your life.
2. Cycling shorts – Make sure that your cycling shorts are seamless and chafe-free, this will help prevent soreness from repeated rubbing whilst cycling.
3. The Basics (included in your package if renting a bike as part of your trip with CaminoWays.com)
-A puncture repair kit & pump
-A spare inner tube
-Knowledge on how to change a tyre and mend a puncture
N.B. Sunglasses are a must for your Camino, they will help you by:
1. Keeping dust and flies out of your eyes
2. Cutting out glare and reflections
3. Sharpening your vision in low light conditions if you buy a pair
with interchangeable lenses.
The Camino de Santiago is a big adventure and needs to be taken seriously. There are certain items of clothing that are essential to any Camino packing list, no matter what time of the year you’re embarking on your journey.
Shoes & Socks
Remember your walking shoes are the most important part of the gear. Make sure they are comfortable before you go to avoid blisters. A common mistake is purchasing new footwear and taking it to the Camino before ‘breaking them in. Please note that a change of clean socks (wool/cotton looped variety) each day can also make a huge difference.
Even if you decide to walk the Camino in Summer the weather can be unpredictable so a light, windproof raincoat that you can stuff into your backpack is always handy to have.
T-shirts & Pants
The type of material for the clothes that you wear is an important factor to consider before purchasing any new items to take on a walking, hiking or cycling holiday. Lightweight, soft fabric pants and t-shirts will help to prevent chafing and skin irritation when walking long-distance journeys.
Camino Packing List – Top 10 Tips
- Check your luggage allowance
(20kgs per bag per person with CaminoWays.com)
2. Create a check-list
3. Fold, Roll or Bundle
4. Check the weather forecast
5. Personalise your suitcase (Add our luggage tags…)
6. Keep Valuables in your hand luggage
7. Make use of empty spaces (inside shoes…)
8. Use small bottles for toiletries
9. Painkillers, plasters and insect repellent are necessary for any
long walking holiday.
10. Don’t forget your toothbrush and camera
When you go on any holiday you need to protect your skin from any extreme weather conditions, prepare for any travel sickness that may occur during your trip and look after your health first and
foremost! This is especially true when you decide to book an adventure travel experience like walking the Camino.
- Anti-inflammatory cream
- Blister Plasters (i.e Compeed)
- Suncream and Aftersun cream
- Painkillers such as Aspirin and Paracetamol
- Anti-histamine tablets for allergies
- In addition to these items, we recommend that you carry a bottle of water at all times. Sport drinks and water will keep you hydrated during your travels. Remember, don’t wait until you get
thirsty to take a drink. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated! Drink frequently!
Tip: Straw-coloured urine = you are well hydrated
Darker coloured urine = you need to drink more
Your Packing Checklist
- Walking Shoes
- After hiking shoes (i.e sandals)
- Socks for walking & others for evenings (Merino Wool is best – light, no odour, reduced irritation
- Hiking Pants (no jeans)
- Short sleeved t-shirts (light wool)
- Long sleeved shirt
- A Fleece
- Sun hat or cap
- Water bottle
- Walking Poles/Sticks (these are widely available in towns along the way so only bring them if you really want to)
- Day bag (if you have booked luggage transfers with us)
- Flashlight – With batteries
- General painkillers
- Books – to read while you relax during siesta time and after day walking
- Toilet paper – You will generally find cafes en-route, but toilet roll is not always available
- After sun lotion
- Antihistamine tablets
- Blister Plasters (Compeed)
- Safety pins, needle and thread
- Plastic bags
- Binoculars – Spain is one of the best countries for birdwatching
We hope you found this Camino packing list useful. If you have any questions or need help planning your Camino de Santiago adventure, please don’t hesitate to contact us.