After completing the Camino Frances in 2012, I put together a list of the “10 Most Important Gear Items to Bring On Camino De Santiago“. That post has turned out to be one of the most popular gear lists that I’ve published on Trail to Peak. As much as readers seem to love that post, I get a lot of follow-up questions about what my complete Camino gear list looks like. I just completed a hike of the Camino Portuguese this summer, and decided the time was right to answer those questions with a comprehensive look at all the gear I brought along with me.
My Review). This pack comes in at an ultralight 1lb 12oz and pretty much disappears when it’s on my back.
You’ll see in the list below that I also brought along a waterproof pack cover to keep my bag dry in the rain. I also brought waterproof stuff sacks for organization and a second layer of water protection. Trash bags work well, too! Finally, you’ll see I have a fanny pack for walking around Camino towns after a long day along The Way. This is a safe way to store cash, cards, and passports while leaving my pack in the albergue.
|Osprey Levity 45L (My Review)||1.75 lbs||REI|
|Osprey Ultralight Dry Sacks 30L, 20L, 12L||0.29 lbs||REI | Amazon|
|Osprey Ultralight Pack Raincover||0.19 lbs||REI | Amazon|
|Patagonia Travel Hip Pack||0.22 lbs||REI | Patagonia|
My Review) for the Camino Portuguese and paired them with Smartwool and Darn Tough Merino wool socks. The SLAB Ultra comes in at a little over 12oz per shoe, provides phenomenal comfort and protection, and has outsoles that will stick to anything.
|Salomon SLAB Ultra (My Review)||1.55 lbs||Zappos | Amazon|
|Smartwool PhD Socks x2||0.32 lbs||REI | Amazon|
|Darn Tough Socks x1||0.15 lbs||REI | Amazon|
When picking a shoe, keep in mind that one pound on your feet is equal to five pounds on your back. That extra pound will result in a 5% increase in energy expended. Your choice of footwear will be the most important gear decision you make. Just like tires, your shoes are the only piece of gear that will always be in contact with the trail.
Here are seven key things to focus on when purchasing a pack:
- Lightweight: try to stay under 14 oz. per shoe
- Breathable: must let feet breathe in hot weather, then drain and dry quickly when wet
- Forefoot Protection: The Camino has a lot of rocky trail and cobblestone. Make sure your shoes have enough underfoot protection.
- Fit: I prefer shoes with an anatomically foot shaped toe box. Also look for a precise fit in the midfoot and heel. Any mild slipping can turn into big blisters.
- Durable: Shoe must be able to handle 500+ miles per pair or more
- Comfortable: No hot spots or rubbing points, with a nearly seamless interior upper. If it causes you issues in the store or on short hikes, it will be much worse on The Way.
- Stable: Not necessarily with inserts or built in support, but you’ll want shoes that can handle a pack
Daily Worn Clothing:
For my daily clothing, I always try to focus on breathable and light materials that provide maximum sun protection. Keep in mind that you only need one or two of each item, as you can wash your clothes each day to be ready for you in the morning. This is another reason to get light and breathable items, as they will dry faster. I’m a big fan of Patagonia, as their clothes fit me well, always perform well, and have a lifetime warranty.
You’ll also want to pack a rain jacket for backpacking poncho. It rained on our first three days, and I was very happy to have adequate rain protection. I hiked in the summer and didn’t need warm pants. If you’re doing a winter Camino, warmer pants and/or rain pants are something you’ll want to consider.
|Nike Golf Hat||0.12 lbs||Amazon|
|Julbo Aero Sunglasses (My Review)||0.06 lbs||Backcountry | Amazon|
|Patagonia Capilene Lightweight LS||0.14 lbs||REI | Patagonia|
|Patagonia Nine Trails Shorts||0.60 lbs||REI | Patagonia|
|ExOfficio Give-n-Go Sport Brief x 3||0.47 lbs||REI | Amazon|
|My Trail Co Storm UL Rain Jacket (My Review)||0.63 lbs||My Trail Co.|
|Salomon S-LAB Light Jacket||0.21 lbs||Amazon|
|Garmin Fenix 5X||0.22 lbs||REI | Amazon|
|Outdoor Research Chroma Sun Gloves||0.06 lbs||Amazon|
|BUFF Scarf||0.08 lbs||REI | Amazon|
Enlightened Equipment quilt is the one I would recommend for all pilgrims.
|Envelope Sleeping Sack||1.60 lbs||Amazon|
|Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow||0.13 lbs||REI | Amazon|
For the casual pilgrim, your smartphone will be good enough. If you’re a little more serious, an APS-C camera like the Sony a6300/a6500 would be a worthwhile purchase. You can pair that camera with the lightweight Sony 10-18mm lens for some incredible photo and video. If you want profession photos in a lightweight camera, you’ll want to go full frame. I recommend the new Sony a7riii or a7iii.
|Sony A7rii||1.38 lbs||BH Photo | Amazon|
|Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8||0.73 lbs||BH Photo | Amazon|
|Extra Battery x2||0.20 lbs||Amazon|
|64GB SDHC Cards x2||0.02 lbs||Amazon|
|Zhiyun-Tech Crane v2 Gimbal||2.01 lbs||Amazon|
|Camera bag w/ Cleaning Kit||0.82 lbs||Amazon|
For my electronics, I try to go light. I have one multi-outlet power adapter, and all of the cables to charge my phone and camera. I also downloaded the Wise Pilgrim app this summer to help with choosing places to eat and rest. The app needs a lot of technical work as it crashes and freezes often. When it works though, it is very valuable.
|iPhone 7 w/ case||0.42|
|Wise Pilgrim App||0.00||Download|
|Total||1.03 lbs|Item Weight Price Check Sunscreen Stick 0.09 lbs Amazon Arnica Salve 0.16 lbs Amazon Toiletries 0.52 lbs Clothes Pins 0.18 lbs Amazon Burts Bees Chapstick 0.02 lbs Amazon Brierley Guide Book 0.35 lbs Amazon Microfiber Towel 0.25 lbs Amazon Washcloth 0.11 lbs Amazon Black Diamond Storm Headlamp 0.24 lbs REI | Amazon Sink Plug 0.08 lbs Amazon Ear Plugs 0.01 lbs Amazon Total 2.01 lbs
Food and Hydration:
Food and hydration aren’t counted in your base weight since consumables disappear with consumption. I like to buy things from markets along The Way, but start with a few items for day 1.
|Honey Stinger Waffles x6||0.50||Amazon|
|GU Electrolyte Tabs x1||0.15||Amazon|
My Review). These lightweight poles can be purchased on Amazon for around $45.00!
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Author: Drew Robinson