Camino Groups

What will I pack and wear for a week?

On April 10th, I’m going to be walking on the Camino with a group – and Sarria to Santiago is the most popular of all Camino sections – so what am I going to pack?

Our trip is booked for for 7 nights with 5 days of walking…and it looks like rain is likely on and off during the week. I have a 10kg bag which will be transferred between accommodations daily, while I also will be bringing a “day bag” with me – this is exactly what Aer Lingus (and Ryanair if that applies to your route) allow for luggage with their “standard” fares. So in a sense, this is typical of most 1-week bookings.

Everything here has a purpose, over-packing is a very common mistake.

If it was July or August, I mightn’t bother with a warm top (hoodie). If it was a school trip, you’d also have to pack a sleeping bag and travel towel extra to my list below (and some schools carry their own bags, so they’d bring a rucksack rather than a small case). But other than that, the idea is the same, so here goes…

From the waist up:

  • 3 light walking tops that are versatile enough to do me in the evenings as well – I’m thinking 1-2 to walk in and I only want one top for the evenings. I have a couple of collared walking tops – what you want is something that will dry easily. (For students, think football jerseys)
  • A hoodie – to keep me warm if the evenings are cold.
  • A light rain jacket / wind-cheater – same idea, useful throughout the week. I can wear it walking if it’s too cold for just a short-sleeved top. I recently bought a poncho for €27 from Decathlon – the best one they had – and it kept me dry standing for 5 hours  at a concert last weekend! Any outdoor store would have similar.
  • A sun hat (it should offer sun protection if possible) – I have a Legionnaire’s peaked hat that also has a clip-on fabric to protect my neck and ears from the sun if needed. Sunglasses too.

From the waist down:

  • My walking shoes – the most important of all! 
  • Walking sandals that I will change into after my walking is done. Any second pair of footwear will do (runners etc) – I just pack my sandals as I can walk in them too if needs be.
  • 1 pair of walking trousers that I’ll wear in the evening. They can zip off to shorts if it’s warm.
  • 2 pairs of walking shorts – again light and easily-dried is good. I found shorts by a company called EUBI online – the best ever!
  • 3 pairs of walking socks. I use Bridgedale and 2 pairs might do fine – the 3rd is a luxury! 
  • 3-4 pairs of underwear. 

Rain Gear

  • The debate is always poncho or rain jacket.  I think  that a good poncho is the best compromise – you can use it multiple times, not like the cheap freebies you might get at a match, for example.

Other stuff

  • Toiletries – kept to a minimum as I’ll get anything I need over there anyway, other than medical prescriptions).
  • Compeed – I always carry a few in case of blisters.
  • Phone plus adaptor – essential kit. Depending on how your phone battery is, you might consider a small power pack as back-up.

Odds and ends

  • I have a tiny sweat towel that’s a quarter the size of my fist (very useful).
  • 5-6 clothes pegs – if there’s a drying option anywhere.
  • LifeVenture liquid – I can use it to wash clothes as well as myself – very versatile!
  • Clothes separator – this is a small fabric bag with a zip that allows me to keep smelly clothes in and all can be used if I want to do a wash (allows me to share a wash with someone else – useful for the small clothes items that get smelly).
For school tours
  • If you’re staying in a hostel/albergue, you will need to carry either a sleeping bag or a sleeping bag liner. A sleeping bag is warmer but also takes up more space in your case – it’s a trade-off whichever you choose!
  • A travel towel is also essential.
  • For both of the above, any outdoor store will advise you.

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