This post is also available in: Español
If you are here, it is because you have already decided to do the way of St James or Camino de Santiago in Spanish. Good! The first step is completed. Now all that’s left is to prepare for it. It is one of those trips where the destination is not important, but the road and what you experience on it. However, this road becomes a little harder if we forget at home something we would have needed. For this reason, and so that you do not leave anything behind, today we tell you what to bring on the Camino de Santiago and everything you should not forget. Let’s start!
What to bring on the Camino de Santiago regardless of the time of the year
There are some things you should carry in your backpack depending on the season of the year you go. However, there are others that you have to keep in mind no matter when you do it. Here are the ones we think are essential:
- Backpack: obviously. Try to bring light and waterproof one. In fact, no matter when you go, in this area of Spain it is likely to rain someday.
- Small backpack: in case you have hired a luggage transfer service. This way, you will be able to take with you the personal objects necessary for the day-to-day.
- Trekking poles: the Camino de Santiago is hard, and this will make the route much easier. It is best to carry folding poles so that you can store them when you don’t need them. If you are not convinced by this idea, here is a post that explains what trekking poles are for and 10 reasons to use them.
- Flashlight: and if it is adapted to carry it on your head, all the better. This way, you will have your hands free for your trekking poles. It is a very useful item if you start the route very early and it is not yet dawn or if you are late.
- First aid kit: a simple first aid kit can save you from more than one trouble along the way. Something simple and basic: band-aids, gauze, painkillers…
- Refillable water bottle: you will not always find stores where you can buy water and you will see water fountains every few kilometers. Therefore, it is advisable to carry a bottle that can be refilled and if it keeps the cold, the better.
- Earplugs: think that in the hostels there are a lot of people and although tiredness will let you sleep as soon as you step on the bed, there are always those who will not have the same luck and will make some noise. They will help you rest, something essential in this type of travel.
- Quick-drying towel: microfiber towels take up much less space than normal towels and dry much faster.
- Tissues: they always come in handy, believe us.
- Tiger balm: helps soothe sore muscles after long days of walking.
- Solar cell phone charger: it is important to have a battery on this type of trip for what may happen during the hours of walking.
- Hygiene: another obvious one, do not forget your toiletry bag with gel, shampoo (or soap that works for both), and deodorant as a minimum. The best idea is to take small, reusable plastic bottles so that they weigh as little as possible.
- Product for blisters. You are going to walk a lot, and you will get blisters. Special products for them will save you the trip.
- Documentation. Don’t forget your passport or ID card, credit card, and cash.
- Tweezers. You will have to wash your clothes on more than one occasion because it is unlikely that you will carry enough clothes for every day. You can hang out your clothes in the hostels if you bring clothespins.
Clothes to carry in your backpack
The Camino de Santiago is still a trekking route for several days, so think about choosing the right clothes for trekking.
Think that in the north of Spain, summers are cool and although in winter and autumn it rains more, in spring and summer can rain too. Does this mean that it rains every day? It doesn’t have to, but it is likely that among all the days you are on the move, some of them will.
On the other hand, summers can have very hot days, but they are occasional. As a general rule, it can get cooler in this area, especially at night. Taking all this into account, these are the clothes you should pack in your backpack:
- Hat or cap for the sun. There are many hours walking and if it is a hot day, your head will thank you for it.
- Breathable T-shirts: quick-drying and comfortable. Whether it is winter or summer, being in constant movement will make you sweat.
- Underwear: preferably breathable.
- Shorts: essential in summer. If you have long zippered pants that convert into shorts, they will do double duty in half the space.
- Bathing suit: along the way you will find streams that invite you to take a bath if it is a hot day.
- Waterproof windbreaker jacket: no matter what time of year it is, you will appreciate it.
- Sweatshirt or thin jacket: if you go in summer or spring in the evenings you will appreciate putting on a layer while you are relaxing in the hostel.
- Hiking boots: waterproof and with good grip. Important! Use them a month before starting the route to get used to them. On the Camino de Santiago, you walk A LOT.
- Light sneakers: you can wear them between walks when you explore villages or go to a restaurant to relax your feet.
- Flip-flops: for when you’re at the hostel. Nothing like having your feet in the air.
Clothes to wear on the Camino de Santiago in winter
In addition to the above, if you go in winter, there are some clothes that you should also take:
- Thin gloves: and more if you go with trekking poles. Keeping your hands out of your pockets and the air will freeze your hands. You will appreciate it especially early in the morning.
- Scarf, buff, or neck warmer: whatever you want to call it. But having your neck covered in winter will be absolutely necessary if you don’t want to catch a cold during the experience.
- Thermal leggings: to wear under your hiking pants and keep warm.
- Thermal T-shirts: to wear under your clothes.
- Cotton T-shirts. Essentials
- Hiking jacket.
- Hiking pants
Now, you have the hardest part apart from training for this adventure, of course, getting everything to fit in your backpack. Here are some tips and ideas to prepare the backpack for trekking and get everything without having to give up anything for lack of space.
We hope all this information has been useful and we have given you some ideas you didn’t count on. Do you think we have forgotten something that is essential? Tell us in the comments!