22nd of March – The Camino Packing List!

by | Mar 20, 2015 | Blog, Equipment, Preparations | 17 comments

The Camino Packing List…

I think most first time Camino Pilgrims agonise a bit over their packing list.  I certainly did!

The advice from experienced Pilgrims on this great forum was invaluable: Camino de Santiago Community

Only take what is essential.  Try to take things that have a dual purpose. Take ‘light weight’ versions of things.  You will feel every extra kilogram over the journey!

I made the mistake of rushing out to buy things too early and ended up with a lot of equipment that I didn’t need or that was not appropriate.

But I’m happy with what I have now.   Though I still expect to ‘ditch’ a few things in the early days if they don’t work out to be essential.

Here’s my final list….  No sleeping bag, as I don’t plan to use Albergues (communal hostel type accommodation)

My Packing List

My Packing List

I should explain….

FSO = From the Skin Out.  The total weight being carried including clothing that I am wearing.  Thank you Doug Fitz for explaining this…

It’s generally recommended to keep pack weight below 10% of body weight, so at 5.9% I think I’ll be OK.  Lighter than most ….

2015 Daily Posts


  1. Rob

    I’ll update this list at the end of my Camino.

    Already I can see that much of my gear is not required…

    Next time, will be ultra lite!

  2. Irma

    Hi Rob
    We are over 60’s and will be doing a week on the Camino for a start! Leave SJPDP on 20 Aug ,’15 following the Napoleontic route to finish in Pamplona. My husband deciced to join me with the result we are playing it safely as we have NO idea what to expect… Have been through that area last year by car and decided on a week with him accompanying me.
    I am glad your wife has decided to join you next time!!
    I have just started reading your blog and can’t wait for the rest!!
    Tot siens!good bye from South Africa

    • Rob

      That’s a beautiful section of the Camino Frances Irma. Be sure to visit the Church at Zabaldika!

  3. Andy

    Rob, I’m wondering whether I should get a new camera for my camino or rely on my iPhone. Not sure if my iPhone has enough memory for all pictures and the occasional video, so I’d like to ask how you handled this.
    You stated Spare Mem Cards for your Samsung phone on your packing list, so how many GB did you need in the end?

  4. Rob

    Hi Andy. A phone is fine for personal photos. Obviously not as good quality as a dedicated camera and does not have the same functionality.

    But all the photos and videos on this site were taken with my phone. A Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

    I used the Samsung because by removing the back cover I could replace the memory card and battery. I swapped the battery a few times (I took a lot of pics, video, used voice recording, GPS etc) but never needed to swap out the memory card (64GB)

    All up I used about 40GB of memory. But that was about 400 video clips of 30 secs to 3 mins. Plus 1,000 photos! It all depends on the resolution you set the camera to as well. Not sure if iPhones have that feature. If it does, use hi resolution…

    I suggest you shoot a 3 minute video and see how big the file is.

    Personally, unless you want professional standard photos. I would just take a phone. It makes things les complicated. Take some ‘waist band’ type elastic, make it into a loop, and you can use that to secure the phone to a post or a tree to take selfies. No need for tripods or anything fancy.

  5. Rob

    Andy, I should add that you might want to think about backups for your pics and videos. Partly the reason I picked the Samsung phone.

    But…I actually backed up by uploading everything as I went along. I uploaded to youtube and drop box. Partly the reason I had to recharge my phone a lot, but I also made use of free wifi each night. But that was slow.

    I had someone adding pics and videos to my blog each day and transcribing my audio dictations.

    Maybe we should provide that as a service 🙂

  6. Andy

    Rob, thanks for the prompt reply, appreciated. Very helpful to know. Think I will go and get a new iPhone then, my current one is old and slow anyway. Now I have a great excuse for upgrading 😉
    Would have brought it anyway, so I think I will go without an additional camera, just want to have some nice pictures to show at home.

    Have not thought about backups yet, thanks for bringing this up. Will check if my current iCloud subscription includes enough GB for this.
    However, considering the growing international camino community, providing backup and blogging services could be the business model of the future… You should probably give it a try… 😉

  7. Ivan Ilici

    Rob, thanks for the info presented here: they are very useful. I understand that you did not sleep in albergues. If so, can you still get stamps on your pilgrim passport? Thanks!

    • Rob

      Hi Ivan.The Pilgrim Passport (Credencial) serves two main purposes.

      1. It shows you are a Pilgrim and allows you access to the Albergues.

      2. When you arrive in Santiago, it is evidence of your walk so you can collect your Compostella.

      You can get stamps in your Pilgrim Passport everywhere. Albergues, Hostels, B&B, Casa Rural, Café….

      You won’t have a problem getting your passport stamped.

      • Ivan Ilici

        Thank you, Rob! Now I can explore more accommodation options, not being restricted to albergues.

  8. Ally Carlsen

    Hello Rob
    I note from the photo of your backpack in the overhead bin on board your flight to Dubai that you did not check it into the hold.
    Also from the list above, that your packing list included walking poles.

    Did you carry them in your backpack? If so, any issues at the airport?

    cheers and Buen Camino for your upcoming camino


    • Rob

      Hi Ally. I checked in the poles packed in a mailing tube. Most airlines won’t allow them in the cabin.

      • ally carlsen

        thanks Rob – i walked last Sept/Oct and left Australia from Perth. I ended up checking the whole backpack, including poles.

        Returning for my 2nd camino this Sept. Very much looking forward to repeating the whole walk again, but this time arriving into Paris, not Madrid.

  9. Ievgen

    Hola Rob,

    Thanks for sharing your Camino Packing list! But you didn’t mention whether it should include maps or not! In my opinion, it’s an important item since you always need to make sure you’re on the right trail. On the other hand, printed maps are not always helpful when you want to figure out your exact location (plus, they have many other disadvantages, such as poor detalization, etc.).

    After all, it’s the 21st century and nearly everyone has a smartphone. So there’s no need to use printed maps, you can simply go with a mobile app instead! I’d like to suggest you trying TrailSmart. It’s a mobile app providing in-depth coverage of the Camino de Santiago and some other trails. TrailSmart has GPS tracks of the trail, online and offline maps, and a huge amount of geo-located information about accommodations, attractions, communities along the way, services, and so on. The app is completely free and entirely non-commercial, other than a small charge for the optional offline maps. You can download it from the App Store:


    Hope this helps!
    ¡Buen Camino!

    • Rob

      You don’t need maps on the Camino Frances. … you just follow the arrows….

      • Ievgen

        Agreed — which is why TrailSmart has yellow arrows built into the app that update as you walk! 🙂 Also, TrailSmart covers the Portugués, Primitivo, and Finisterre (with more coming), where trail markings are much, much less reliable.

        Thanks again for the great posts, Rob. Keep ’em coming!


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