How to Pack for El Camino De Santiago

A pilgrimage to Santiago has to be thought through. You'll be on the road for at least four weeks and what you carry on your back may determine how pleasant your journey will be. The primary mistake most pilgrims make is to pack too much. These easy steps will ensure you only take what you need.


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    Find the lightest and most comfortable backpack. It needs to rest properly on your hips, not on your back. It needs to breathe properly because you'll be carrying it for up to six hours a day. It should be waterproof if possible, and if not, make sure you have a waterproof casing for it.
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    Make sure your boots are as comfortable as possible. Forget the expense on this item. Whatever the cost, spend it. You'll be living in these boots, and it rains often along El Camino so they should breathe well as well as be light and waterproof. If possible, buy them several months before you leave so you can break them in.
    • This is a rainy route and the weather can change quickly. Make sure you have rain gear. A poncho is particularly useful both for yourself and your backpack.
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    Take the bare minimum when it comes to clothes. If you can, limit yourself to 2 sets of underwear, 2 tops (lightweight quick-drying blouses/shirts), 2 pairs of socks (no-blister socks — basically two socks in one), 1 pair of pants, 1 pair of shorts, 1 pair of shoes (see above), a hat, and a fleece for cool evenings.
    • A hat is very important. Take one that protects against the sun and rain. If you take one made out of cotton, you can soak it in water from time to time to keep your head cool.
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    Go light on the toiletries and incidentals. Toothpaste, a toothbrush, a basic first aid kit, a flashlight, a Swiss army knife, mosquito repellent, sunscreen and shampoo, which can double as soap.
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    Pack your sense of adventure. You'll be leaving behind the world as you know it for at least a month.


  • Most refuges along the way will have washing facilities so it shouldn't be too difficult to keep your change of clothes clean.
  • Take earplugs. Most refuges are dormitories and may be filled with dozens of snoring pilgrims each night.
  • Don't leave your money or valuables in your backpack. Keep them in a money belt around your waist, neck or leg. When going to shower, put all the important stuff in a plastic bag and take it with you.
  • Consider taking along a walking stick. Even if you're not used to one, it is often a welcome addition on long-distance walks. A stick will also help you to intimidate some of the more or less aggressive dogs that are walking around in those tiny villages along the path.
  • You can refill your water bottle in every bar. When doing so, ask them to also put a glass of white wine into it before refilling. It`s cheap and removes the chlorine smell. Also the water becomes way more refreshing.
  • If you want to get your bag carried while you walk, get it transported by a local taxi (

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Categories: Spain | Travel Packing