The Camino de Santiago is an incredible journey. To fully enjoy the experience, you need to come well prepared. Working out how to pack light as well as making sure you have everything you need can be very challenging.
The maximum weight you are allowed each day for your luggage transfer is 15kg per person, so travelling light is a must. Think comfort over fashion!
If you are going to be in Europe for a longer period, then you can transfer an additional bag to your end destination. No one cares or remembers what you are wearing so you can wear the same thing over and over, as everyone else does!
Here are my top 10 tips from walking the Camino de Santiago (and many other RAW Travel walks)…
1. On the flight, I take my light daypack as my carry-on, along with my hiking boots and a change of clothing. That way, in the unlikely event that the airline misplaces my luggage, my trip is not affected (make sure you also pack a rain cover for your daypack and dry bags to pack your spare clothes and electronics in).
2. I always pack clothing that is quick-drying and breathable, and I choose items that are well worn to prevent chafe or rubbing.
3. Your shoes can make or break your trip. Whether you decide on hiking boots, trainers or trail shoes, make sure they are comfortable. Take a few hikes in them before you start your Camino. I take a second pair to give my feet a break, but to also have a pair handy in case of bad weather or tired shoes. I also take light flip-flops or sandals for the evenings.
4. I recommend wool socks. They are thick and protect your toes and heels by keeping your feet dry. I take different thickness socks as I change my socks until my feet are happy. I have been known to wear different thickness socks on each foot. Whatever works!
5. Comfort is the key with tops and bottoms. One pair of long pants and 2 pairs of shorts are adequate. For women, yoga shorts or Capri length exercise pants are great. I pack two hiking shirts, a thermal top and 2 woollen or synthetic t-shirts. You can even pack a skirt.
6. Pack a light jacket or fleece top, plus a good quality rain jacket and rain pants. A poncho (for ladies) is great for rainy days when you might need a bathroom stop in the woods.
7. Regardless of the season I always take a sweater or fleece top for the evenings. Make sure it is light wool or synthetic; cotton will not keep you dry. There are many options available in high-tech fabrics, so do your research and test your items in the rain before you travel.
8. Fast-drying and comfortable undergarments are essential to avoid chaffing. Sports bras are the best.
9. Always wear a good hat for sun protection. Your buff (provided free by RAW Travel) can be worn in many ways to add protection for your neck and ears.
10. If you have balance, foot or leg issues, walking poles are highly recommended.
Other items to pack
- Medications you need, and add a few headache tablets as well.
- Compeeds (blister pads), which are basically hardcore band-aids and are the best for blisters.
- Sunglasses, sunscreen, moisturiser, chapstick and a hat.
- Earplugs and eyemask if you want to sleep early.
- Small bag with all shower items like body wash, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrush.
- Plastic ziplock bags for food and wet clothes.
- Toilet paper.
- Converter and/or adapter.
- Camera and phone.
- Water bottle or bladder for your daypack.
- I also pack a small plastic container and a pocket knife. This is to cut up fruit or to make a salad for the road.
Lastly, pack good humour and a positive attitude as the Camino will challenge and reward you. Approach it with an open heart and excitement and you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable experience.