Camino de Santiago Packing List
The Camino de Santiago is one incredible, long journey that always ends in the the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. But you need to come well-prepared if you want to experience it fully in order to enjoy one of the most famous European hikes. Read here how to pack light, which is the right weight for your backpack and which routes to hike.
Camino de Santiago Pack Weight
Packing for Camino de Compostela is less complicated than you might think. This is because you pretty much have access to modern conveniences along the way including restaurants, cafes, ATM machines, water fountains, and hostels or albergues. Some routes have slightly less than others, but they all have these establishments. In addition, you can easily arrange to have your luggage transferred from one stop to another for the whole duration of your journey.
This means that you do not have to do your hike with a massive backpack on your back filled with dehydrated food, extra clothing, camping gear, emergency shelter and other equipment you would typically need for a wilderness backpacking trip. All you need are a few essentials that will get you through the day or at least a couple of sections of the route.
Packing Light for the Camino
Supposing you’re taking it one day at a time and you’ve arranged for your bigger luggage to be dropped off at your end of the day stops or at every other stop, you only need a few essential on your person. This way, you have your basic comforts without suffering a substantial weight on your back, and you can simply enjoy the experience.
- Light backpack - A daypack, preferably waterproof or with a rain cover, that is big enough to carry all your essentials should be enough for your day to day needs.
- Cash, ATM card, credit card - You don’t have to carry too much cash on your person, just enough to make sure you have more than enough to last you until the next ATM machine. Some establishments accept credit cards, so that will be good to have as well.
- Water bottle - One or two 1.5-litre reusable water bottles is enough as there are water fountains where you can fill up along the way. If you’re buying new ones, be sure to test them out to make sure that they don’t have a weird smell or give your water an aftertaste.
- Sleeping bag - Though hostels or albergues are on hand to provide a more convenient and comfortable alternative to camping, carrying your own sleeping bag is simply hygienic.
- Bath towel and washcloth - The washcloth is also useful for giving your arms, legs, neck and face a bit of a refreshing wash when the weather proves too hot along the way.
- Head torch - A light head torch will prove useful when you’re hiking on shorter days and you might have to do some hiking at night.
- Utility knife - You never know when these things come in handy on the trail.
- First Aid Kit - Though there aren’t overly dangerous sections along these routes, a First Aid Kit is a good thing to have in case you cut or minorly injure yourself.
- Toiletries - Forgo carrying big bottles and opt for travel sizes. If you can’t travel without makeup, at least simply pack the most essential.
- Passport, government ID and other documentation - Opt to have these with you at all times instead of tucking them away in your luggage.
- Chargers - Do not forget your phone, camera and other gadget chargers. Opt to bring those that support 100V to 240V so you won’t have to pack a power converter.
- Adapter - Be sure to pack a lightweight adapter for your chargers. Spain uses types C and F, which are a plug with two round pins and a plug with two round pins and two earth clip, respectively.
- Snacks - You might keep fruit and protein bars as well as a few other snacks in your pack to tide you over until the next meal.
Camino de Santiago Clothing
As with any other trip, packing clothes for a Camino de Santiago hike depends on several factors: how long you’re doing the hike, what time of the year you’re doing your hike, and how light you would like to travel, to name a few. Do your due research whilst accounting for these things. That said, you must start with these basics.
- Boots - A good pair of sturdy, comfortable and breathable hiking boots that will give you great support and last you throughout your hike is a wise investment.
- Comfortable, hiking clothing - Also invest in hiking clothes that protect you against the type of weather you’ll be hiking in. Breathable and cooler clothing in the summer are preferable, and warm, moisture-proof layers are good for the winter.
- Outwear - Whether it’s a light sweater in the summer, just in case, or a cold weather jacket in the winter, and a raincoat for rainy days, a good outwear is just as important as your hike clothes.
- Casual, off-duty clothing - You need to take a break for your hiking clothes, especially if you’re going out for a nice dinner or if you're taking a day off from hiking.
- Headgear - A baseball cap, a hiking hat or a bandana is a great way to protect your head from the heat in the warmer months, while a beanie is useful for cold weather hikes.
- Hiking sandals - To give your feet some time to breathe and to use in showers, a pair of hiking sandals that can get wet is recommended.
- Pyjamas - Remember that you will be sharing rooms with other hikers so a nice pair of pyjamas that allow you to be comfortable and give you enough coverage is a good idea.
- Sunglasses - You need to protect your eyes from the glare of the sun, especially in the summertime.