With two caminos behind me I think I’ve worked most of the wrinkles out my packing list and have made just a few changes that I hope will be an improvement over past equipment.
The most notable change is a return to the Gregory Jade 38 backpack that I used in 2013. Last year I had a North Face Casimir 36 that was a pound lighter. Much as I liked it, the Gregory was a bit more comfortable for me.
I loaded everything in my pack and put it on the scale at the post office: 12.2 pounds. No complaints.
Here’s the list for 2015:
My best friends
Gregory Jade 38 backpack. Going back to what worked best for me.
Brooks Cascadia 10 trail runners. After two good years in running shoes it’s time to try some trail runners. The mesh tops make them breathable and they will dry faster on wet days.
Pacer Poles with spare tips. (pacerpole.com) These are the best walking sticks on the planet!
Sleeping Bag. Western Mountaineering, “Summer Lite” in a compression sack. Some nights it’s a sleeping bag, on warm nights it’s a quilt. Weighs just 19 ounces. This bag was a splurge and I thought about it for a long time before handing over my credit card.
Tyvek “sheet”. (intothewind.com) I bought a three yard piece for $10, washed it twice to make sure it was quiet, then sprayed it with Permethrin. Weighs just four oz. (This is not the noisy material with the green “Tyvek” written on it.)
Pillow. Sea to Summit “Aeros”. (Improvement over the 2014 Exped pillow–much quieter with none of that “empty potato chip bag” rattling.)
Pillow case, cut to size and hemmed.
Packing cube. Eagle Creek. Helps keep my clothes organized.
Fleece jacket. Arcteryx Delta LT. Black. Third year running. It’s one of those things that works well. Lightweight yet warm.
Convertible pants. Mountain Hard Wear, Yuma. Black. Third year on these, too. I’m too old to be wearing short shorts. Zip off the legs of these pants and you have a pair of capris.
Skort leggings. REI. Black. Year three.
Skort. Title Nine, tan. (Took a pink one last year and really liked it.)
T-shirt. SmartWool. (2) Three-peat.
T-shirt. lightweight, for sleeping.
Running shorts (for sleeping).
Quick-dry underwear. Ex Officio. (2 sets) Will give Ex-O a try.
Socks. SmartWool. (2 pair) My go-to socks.
Sock liners. Fox River. (2 pair) Haven’t had a blister yet. Fingers crossed.
Cycling gloves. Castelli. (Protects sweaty hands from walking sticks)
Buff. Neck scarf. Found them at Dollar Tree for $1. (compared to $20 at REI) At that price I won’t feel bad if someone “borrows” it from the clothesline as has happened in the past.
Poncho. Altus. (Available in Spain) Covers me and my pack. A seriously ugly thing but worthwhile. No need to bring a pack cover.
Flip flops. Reef. My feet beg for flips after a day of hiking.
Passport. (With a tiny ziplock taped inside the back cover to hold my US Sim card and a paper clip to pop the Sim in and out)
Credencial. Pilgrims passport. (I put faint pencil lines in it to create squares so the zealous stampers don’t go crazy.)
Daypack. Stuffable, tiny. Useful for carrying food (we don’t buy anything else…) when my pack is in the albergue.
BandAids, mini scissors, OmniFix tape, steri-strips. You never know what you’ll need and when you need it there probably won’t be a pharmacy in sight.
Duexis (prescription Ibuprofen) Three times a day for a bum hip.
Night guard and case. Don’t want to make enemies in my sleep.
Money belt. Eagle Creek. (Sleep with it, keeps valuables safe)
Braided clothesline. Rick Steves. Especially useful when the clotheslines are full.
Toiletry bag. Eagle Creek. New this year.
Small reusable shopping bag. Holds clean clothes, towel, shampoo, etc. in the shower.
Gear Tie. Wraps around the shower rod to hang my shopping bag and keep everything dry.
Towel. Aquis microfiber. New. Weighs more than the REI brand but seems just a bit fluffier.
Comb. No dreads for me.
Lush shampoo bar in a small tin. Cleans hair, body and clothes.
Deodorant. Don’t want to smell like some of the pilgrims I’ve met.
Lotion. Just 3 oz. Can resupply at a pharmacy or from the “free boxes” in the albergues.
Toothbrush and toothpaste. Duh.
Sunscreen stick. Neutrogena. Carry it in my hip belt and reapply it often.Doesn’t get in my eyes or on my hands.
iPhone 6 (with e-version of the Briefly guide, music and audiobooks), earphones and charging cable. When I get to Spain I’ll buy a Vodafone Sim card with 2 GB of data and about 60 minutes of talk time. Also, the iPhone is my first choice for shooting video.
Euro plug adapter (triple). Available at Chinese shops in Spain for 1 euro. Accepts US and Euro prongs so I can share the outlet with two other people, Brits excluded).
Note: Near the center of the photo above is a yellow bottle of Permethrin. No, the bottle isn’t going to Spain, but its contents will be liberally sprayed on my sleeping bag, backpack, Tyvek and a few other things to keep the bed bugs at bay. I’ve never seen one of those nasties and think the Permethrin is the reason why. Buen Camino!