Camino de Santiago 6 Must-have Clothes

Camino de Santiago 6 Must-have Clothes

Basilica de la Encina Ponferrada

Basilica de la Encina Ponferrada

The list of 6 must-have clothes when walking the Camino de Santiago is a guideline to prevent packing too much clothes. I packed too much clothes and it resulted in leaving clothes behind on the Camino de Santiago. It is important that the clothes are lightweight, fast drying and provide protection against the elements.  We walked the Camino de Santiago in summer.  The 6 must-have clothes are therefore intended for walking in a warm environment.

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1.  Trousers

When walking in late summer, Capri Trousers trousers would be nice to have. Trousers with multiple pockets with zips and/or Velcro closures are essential. I carry my iPhone in my pocket so that it is easy accessible when I want to take a photograph. I also put the spending money for the day in a small plastic zipper bag in my trouser pocket. It is essential that the trousers are comfortable, lightweight and fast drying.

2.  Shirt

A shirt needs to have sun protection elements to protect your arms and neck from the sun. This shirt has Omni-shade UPF 50 sun protection, sun protection collar and Omni-wick advanced evaporation technology to keep you cool. The shirt has strategic venting and convenient roll-up sleeves to help control body temperature.

3.  Microfleece Jacket

The lightweight microfleece jacket is warm, versatile and fast drying. It will keep you warm when you start walking before crack of dawn and at night. The fabric is thin and light but it is surprisingly warm, yet not  bulky. It fits loose enough to give plenty of space for movement.

4.  Rain Coat

The raincoat is ultra-light, high quality, thin, strong, breathable, comfortable and folds up small. It is perfect in warm humid conditions because the material is breathable.  The raincoat was not wet, moist or sticky inside. It is also machine washable.

5.  Hat

Looking ridiculous in this hat does not matter because it protected my face from the sun and the mesh part kept my head cool. In the dry, bake-oven heat in Spain, from two to five o’clock in the afternoon, this hat helped a lot and is a must-have. It is breathable, washable and crushable for easy packing. The CoolMax headband pulls moisture away, leaving you drier and cooler. The hat brim and top are made of cotton twill, and the crown is mesh to let the air flow through. The leather chin cord prevents it from blowing off in the wind.

6.  Sunglasses

Sunglasses are not clothes but it is still something you wear, therefore I included it with clothes.  Walking on the white gravel roads 2013-08-28-IMG_0443of the Camino with the reflection of the sun could be an uncomfortable experience. It is therefore essential to wear sunglasses. The sunglasses have a metal and acetate plant-based plastic frame known for being lightweight and durable. The lenses provide great protection against the harmful rays produced by the sun.

Climate in Spain, Camino de Santiago

Before you make your selection of what to wear, you need more information regarding the climate in Spain. You have to decide when to walk the Camino de Santiago, summer is hot and winter is freezing, cold and wet.  We tried to go between seasons, at the end of the summer, off-peak, because the Camino is popular to walk in mid-summer.

We walked the Pyrenees in fine sunny weather with a light breeze, the views were glorious. The Meseta, (Castilla Y Leon) on the other hand, was hot and dry with little shade, with wide open clear views. To reach Galicia, you must cross the mountains of Montes de León and Cantábrica, two mountain ranges that are roughly the same height as the Pyrenean pass (the Pyrenees was unfortunately not the only mountain to cross). The weather was mild, very hot in the middle of the day, especially when going uphill. Galicia has a mild Atlantic climate, it is very green, rarely very hot or very cold, but often very wet. We experienced light rain, fog and nice cool weather.
We had three sets of clothes left after we abandoned some of the unnecessary/impractical  clothes somewhere on the Camino. The clothes we had were sufficient for the demands of the environment. We were lucky in many aspects, we did not encounter extreme weather conditions.

Buen Camino!