I’ve talked about my love/obsession with packing lists in the past and planning for the Camino is no exception. I worked on my packing list for months, diligently researching, reading the forums, learning from the successes and mistakes of others. While the starting point for this list was the one I’ve been using for years, it was enhanced and improved by the steady stream of packing information that flows through the Camino forums, the many knowledgeable people I’ve met in real life and through social media folks who are pilgrims, outdoorspeople, and packing enthusiasts.
I also tried to approach this list by identifying the needs that would have to be met during my journey. A Maslow’s packing pyramid, if you will! My conclusion: feet, hydration, protection from the elements, sleep, food, finances. Then, secondarily, navigation, ease of travel, memory retention. I walked the Camino from mid- to late September, so I knew my clothing would need to cover me from warmth and sunshine (if lucky) to cold and rain (a near certainty).
Here is the result, my packing list and post-Camino thoughts on how much I used a particular item and whether I’d take it again next time.
And one last piece of packing advice: don’t try to plan or pack for everything. Part of joy of the Camino de Santiago is learning how little you need to get the most of the experience. After the Camino, most peregrinos agree you need less than you think you do and most of the things that got thrown into a pack “just in case” went unused or were discarded. For what it’s worth, this was the information I found the most useful in my own planning – reflections after about items that were the most useful and what could have been left behind.