10 Must-have Stuff when Walking the Camino de Santiago

10 Must-have Stuff when Walking the Camino de Santiago

The 10 must-have stuff when walking the Camino de Santiago, are things that you definitely need when walking the Camino. If you want, you can use this as a guideline and tailor it according to your personal needs.

We walked the Camino de Santiago in the summer, 811 km from St Jean Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostela. The keyword for this walk is:  lightweight. You have to carry everything you need for days, weeks and packing too heavy would make your journey unpleasant.

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1.  Backpack

The most important 2013-09-06-IMG_0786item of the 10 must-have stuff when walking the Camino de Santiago, is your backpack. It must be lightweight. I used a Deuter backpack, the backpack is well-designed and I did not have any fitting problems, but unfortunately it is too heavy. The bag weighs nearly 2 kg and is a bit bulky. My daughter used the Osprey backpack, which was lighter, less bulky and more user friendly. As said before, lightweight is the keyword.
Therefore, I would recommend the Osprey, a super lightweight women backpack, focussed on ventilation and comfort. It has a redesigned suspension system for a customized fit, with fully adjustable torso length, interchangeable harnesses and adjustable fit-on-the-fly hip belt and hydration sleeve. It also has removable sleeping pad straps, removable top pocket, tool attachment and vertical zip pocket. I would recommend the small size with 47-litre capacity and weights 1,4 kg or the medium size that has 50-litre capacity and weights 1,45 kg.

2.  Sleeping Bag

The sleeping bag is high quality goose down, lightweight, warm, compact and suitable for every season. I never was too warm and the lightweight compact feature of the sleeping bag was a bonus. It packs down small and it easily fits inside the sleeping bag compartment of my backpack. It was just the right down warmth with just the right weight for increased comfort and cosiness.

3.  Silk Sleeping Bag Liner

The silk liner provides inner protection for the sleeping bag. A silk sleeping bag liner can have dual purpose in summer. When too hot you can sleep only in the liner. Silk is also known as a bedbug repellent. This liner weights only 110 g. Silk feels cool in the summer and is warm in the winter. Liners made of silk are easy to hand or machine wash and dry quickly.

4.  Water Bottle

You have to carry at least 2-litre water with you, it means 2 kg of weight. The bobble water bottle is free of BPA, Phthalates and PVC. It has an activated carbon filter, which has a slight electro-positive charge. The filter should be changed after 2 months or 150 litres.

5.  Mug

A lightweight stainless steel mug is essential. This stainless steel mug is a double-wall insulated mug that can be used for keeping fluid warm or cold. There are several water fountains in villages where the cool water is revitalising after a long warm walk. It is nice to full up your mug and gulp down the coolness. Or to pour an ice cold beer later when relaxing, it will keep it cold. You also need the mug for a cup of warm drink before bedtime, coffee in the morning and most important to mix your rehydrate or slow magnesium, to replace what was lost by sweating on the Camino.

6.  Pocket Knife

Sometimes you need a knife to peel an orange or other fruit, or a spoon to eat yogurt or stir coffee or tea. This tool is just what you need. This is made of stainless steel and it is easy to clean. When folded up it is small, easy to carry, sturdy and practical.

7.  Travel Towel

You must have a travel towel. This towel consists of microfiber with super soft ultra-suede finish. It is absorbent, fast drying and feature a silver-ion antibacterial treatment, which prohibit the growth of bacteria and other microbial life. The result is a towel that does not smell or transmit germs.

8.  Headlamp

If you plan to start early in the morning when it is still dark, you definitely need a headlamp. This headlamp weighs only 78 g, with 43 lumens of brightness and 146 hours of burn time. Multiple settings give the flexibility to adjust the light brightness and/or beam width to illuminate greater distances or to conserve battery power.

9.  Cell Phone

I carried my iPhone with me and used it every day to take photographs along the way. The iPhone has an 8-megapixel camera. The iPhone 5 includes a 4-inch Retina display, AirPlay media streaming, Siri voice assistant, front facing camera and comes with 16 GB of internal storage and supports Wi-Fi connectivity. You can browse the Web, stream videos, shop online, and chat with friends from wherever you are. The iPhone 5 offers a slim and stylish design that is both lightweight and easy to carry, and is also equipped for international use.  I also used it to make accommodation bookings, GPS purposes and Internet banking.

10.  Guide Book

You would be unwise to not pack a guide book.  This is definitely one of the 10 must-have things when walking the Camino de Santiago.  Updated to include the latest maps and photos and lighter in weight to support carefree traveling, this comprehensive guidebook to the Camino de Santiago contains all the information needed to walk the sacred Way of St. James. Overview route planners plus daily stage maps and detailed town plans is included. Information on all pilgrim hostels and alternative accommodation provide information to plan for overnight stopping points. Helpful spiritual guidelines are included to support the inner journey.

Medieval Pilgrims

Having this 10 must-have stuff when walking the Camino de Santiago would contribute to making your pilgrimage comfortable.   Actually, I think that the medieval pilgrims would be amazed to see how modern pilgrims do the long walk on the Camino, in luxury, compared to then.

Buen Camino!