Pilgrims dream and plan their Camino in some cases for many years. On this blog post, we help you get organised for your trip with JWT Travel, sharing our tips on what to pack for the Camino de Santiago.
Before you get packing, it is worth considering a few factors so you can adjust your list:
-Which route or region you are walking
The Camino routes crisscross many regions and countries, with their own different climates. It is worth checking the forecast before your trip, as well as the average temperatures and rainfall for that particular area.
For instance, if you are walking in a mountainous region such as the Pyrenees, temperatures can cool down dramatically in the evenings or cloudy days even in the Summer months.
-Time of the year
The season chosen will also determine what you should definitely pack for your Camino trip. Spring can be quite wet, so waterproof gear is a must; while in the Summer months, sun protection should be top of your list.
If walking in the Winter months, you will need to pack additional warm clothing items such as gloves, thick socks and warm layers.
-Length of your trip
What to pack for the Camino de Santiago will be adjusted depending on how many days you are walking. The longer your trip, you will probably need to pack a few extra items of clothing.
-Type of trip and accommodation
If you are travelling with us, remember we will book luggage transfers for you so you can have a main piece of luggage that gets moved from hotel to hotel each day with all your clean clothes, toiletries, spare shoes and other items you won’t need during the day.
We recommend you walk as light as possible during the day, taking only essential items such as snacks, water, passport and purse/wallet in your day pack.
These are some essential items and ideas on what to pack for the Camino de Santiago:
-Good walking shoes
Good walking shoes are the most important item you will take with you on the Camino. If you are buying new shoes, make sure you ‘break them in’ and that you are really comfortable walking in them for long periods of time. This is to reduce the chance of getting blisters, which are a common problem among pilgrims.
Take a day pack of 25 to 35ltrs approximately with essentials for the day such as water, snacks, your passport or ID and pilgrim passport. Backpacks with hip straps are great, as the straps will take weight off your shoulders, literally.
-ID or passport
Taking a picture with your phone of your ID or passport is also a good idea, in case it gets lost or damaged
-Your pilgrim passport
Very important, so you can document your journey and request your Compostela in Santiago. If you are staying in public hostels, this will be required to get a bed for the night.
Walking poles are very handy for support as they distribute your body weight when walking long distances, they will basically make you lighter, as they take some weight from your legs. They are highly recommended for any long distance walks and we would encourage you to include them in your list of items to pack for the Camino de Santiago.
-Reusable water bottle
They are more Earth friendly and can be refilled in drinking water fountains along the routes or at your hotel/accommodation
If you are travelling from outside mainland Europe, you will need an adaptor to charge your electrical devices whether it’s your phone or camera.
Suncream, sun hat and sunglasses are the three basic items to keep you sun safe.
While generic medication such as paracetamol or aspirin is easy to find on the many pharmacists in the main towns; make sure you pack any specific medication you might need on a daily basis, in case they are not available when you need them.
-European health card
If you are a EU citizen make sure you get your EHIC European health card and take it with you, in case you need medical assistance. UK citizens have a new GHIC card. Travel insurance should also be purchased..
In general, it is good to consider layers so you can adjust to changes in temperature, wearing base layers, t-shirt and a fleece for instance instead of one very thick jumper for instance.
It is also good to avoid cotton and choose clothing items that dry fast, particularly for hiking trousers. Avoid materials that will get heavy if getting wet and take too long to dry.
Socks in merino wool are highly recommended for the Camino as they don’t retain moisture like cotton.
Here’s a simple list with ideas on what to pack for the Camino de Santiago, if you are walking for a week:
-2 pairs of leggings or quick dry hiking trousers
-Underwear and socks for each day
-2 long sleeves shirts
-3-4 short sleeve t shirts
-1 long sleeves shirt
-Change of clothes for the evening
-Comfortable shoes or sandals in the Summer to wear in the evenings
-Light waterproof and windproof coat
-Cap or sun hat for Spring and Summer, and a warm wooly hat for the cooler months
At JWT Camino we work with guest houses and hotels so you don’t have to worry about bedding or towels as the rooms are comfortably equipped with all you need to rest after your day walking and all waiting for you on your arrival.
You might also like to read our Essential guide to the Camino de Santiago.Contact Us