Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Equipment List




We are a couples days away from striking out onto the Way, along the Camino Portuguese route.  Key to this, and the part we have most struggled with (the part everyone struggles with), is packing our bags. What to take?  What worked before?  What didn’t work?  What is different given our ages now and experiences since?  We hope to take our packs for the entire length of the trail, and realistically we are only able to carry so much comfortably.  While this seems easy, the desire to stay comfortable hiking while also being prepared for a range of temperatures and weather types, being able to clean up, change at night, etc…..makes it a little bit of a challenge.

Given the range of choices we all face at this point, we thought we would share what is in our backpacks, perhaps serving as something useful for what others might carry.  Three things to remember here are: First, our bags differ according to our own interests and needs.  Second, please remember that not all that is listed went into our bags, one set of clothes and either our hiking shoes or sandals will be worn by us at any given time.  Third, on both previous Caminos – the Camino Frances across Spain and the GR65 / Via Podiensis across France we took far more than we ended up needing and donated a lot en route – we hope to avoid this scenario this time. 


With all of that said, the list of things we are taking on the Camino Portuguese are almost identical to what we brought with us on the Camino Frances and Via Podiensis, save for the fact that I know own a lighter backpack (Osprey Xena) than I did two years ago.

As mentioned before this is neither a typical backpacking trek, nor a traditional holiday – both realizations mean that the type of supplies you take with you will vary from previous thru-hikes or holiday ventures. Having completed two Caminos we pretty much know what works - for us.  With that said this is not an exhaustive list on what others would take, nor should it be considered a perfect list.  As I posted last time, pack what works for you.  What do you need?  What makes you comfortable?  What type of pack do you like?  How much weight are you comfortable with?  All of these questions will lead you in the direction of what is right for YOU.  Listen to the the online commentaries and advice, but make sure to also listen to common sense, and what you know about yourself!

Our list, and many of the things we carry – in order to blog, photograph a region, and keep in contact with friends and family likely seem to be – and perhaps are – excessive to most pilgrims along the Camino.  But then again so much of the Camino is about what we carry with us...on the trail and in life.

Sonya's Bag – Osprey Xena 85


- 2 merino wool short sleeve shirts
- 2 merino wool long sleeve shirts

** This number of shirts is excessive – realistically you only need 2 or 3, but I vary between staying warm, cooling off, or trying to keep the sun off me to prevent getting burnt **

- 2 pairs of merino wool leggings
- 2 Columbia hiking skirts / skorts
- 1 pair Prada hiking pants   
- 1 swimsuit
- 1 fleece sweater
- 1 sun hat (OR Helios)
- 1 hiking merino wool buff
- 1 pair of mittens
- 3 pairs of hiking socks – merino wool
- 3 exofficio underwear
- 2 exofficio bras
- 1 Sea to Summit Food Container - Medium
- North Face Rain Jacket and Rain Pants
- Patagonia Down Jacket - packable
- 1 backpack rain jacket / cover
- Keen hiking boots
- Keen hiking sandals

** I decided to sleep in a Merino shirt and leggings - so no night clothes were brought **

- camp towel
- headlamp (for early morning departures)
- 1 small bottle of camp soap - body wash and laundry soap
- first aid kit - Band-Aids, moleskin, Tylenol, Advil
- light weight summer sleeping bag
- 1 SIGG water bottle - 1 litre
- 1 pair of hiking polls – Komperdell with Cork handles
- overnight bag including deodorant, razor, hair brush, tooth brush,  travel tampons, nail clippers, lip balm, and sun screen
- Brierley guide book – Camino Portuguese
- Brierley guide book – Camino Finisterre and Muxia
- Village to Village Guide Book – Camino Portuguese

- 1 Canadian passport
- 2 Camino Credential passports
- Scallop Shell
- small day bag
- phone
- tablet and keyboard


Sean's Bag – Gregory Whitney 95

- 2 MEC Merino wool shirts, short sleeve
- 1 Icebreaker Merino wool shirt, long sleeve
- 2 pair hiking shorts
- 1 pair of hiking pants
- 1 swimming trunks
- 3 pairs of merino wool hiking socks – Wigwam
- 3 pairs of hiking liner socks - Wigwam
- 3 pair of exofficio underwear
- 1 fleece sweater
- 1 North Face Rain Jacket and Rain Pants
- Patagonia Down Jacket - packable
- 1 backpack rain jacket / cover
- 1 pair of Keen hiking sandals
- 1 pair of Merral Moab hiking shoes
- camp towel
- 1 baseball cap
- 1 sunglasses
- 1 Merino wool hiking buff

- overnight bag, including tooth brush, toothpaste, camp soap, tweezers, lip balm, deodorant, razor 
- summer sleeping bag

- 1 Sea to Summit Food Container - Medium
- 1 SIGG water bottle
- 2 Camino Credential passports
- Scallop Shell
- 1 Day bag
- Nikon Camera, 3 FX lenses (birding scope, portrait, and superwide angle)
- 2 camera batteries
- Lens cleaning kit
- Camera Battery recharging device, phone recharging device
- European plug adapter with USB slots  
- 1 Canadian passport
- wallet, bank card, cash (enough for 2-5 days, often 500 Euros split between two of us)


We also each carried 3 large Ziplocs to put our clothes, electronics, and journals into while in our bags to keep them separate and dry.
















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