If you're reading this, then chances are you're planning to walk the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage route in Spain that has been travelled for centuries.
This trail winds across beautiful landscapes, from the Pyrenees Mountains to the stunning Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. It's a journey not just for your feet, but for your soul. But before you set off, you'll need to know what to pack. Here's your complete checklist to make sure you're fully prepared.
The Best Route to Take:
You should think of the Camino de Santiago, also known as St James Way as a network of routes rather than a single trail. There are a number of routes like Camino Portugués and Camino del Norte but the most popular route is the Camino Francés. Starting in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France, this route takes you through the heart of northern Spain, across 800kms of diverse landscapes, from mountainous terrain to vineyards and historical cities. So in short, the best route to take depends on the time you have available, your fitness levels and what experience you want to have. But remember, the best route is the one that calls to your heart. So, what to pack for the Camino de Santiago?
Clothing & Footwear
You are going to be on your feet for hours every day so taking care of your feet is non-negotiable. Make sure your hiking boots / runners are comfortable and break them in before your trip. Your feet will sing your praises, trust us. For your clothing bring merino layers because they're lightweight and odour resistant.
You're going to need a trusty backpack to carry your gear up for the duration of your trip. Opt for one with a rain cover or waterproof bag – you don't want all your gear soaked by a surprise rain shower. Your goal is to have the lightest bag you can. Most travellers stay in Albergues so you won't need to bring your own pillow or sleeping bag.
First Aid Essentials
Now, strictly speaking, you could argue food and water are not items you'd usually find in your first aid kit but you could soon find yourself in a bit of a pickle without them.
As we mentioned above, depending on your route, you could walk up to 800kms. You might decide to do sections of a route so the gear you'll need will depend on your exact route. And you'll notice we've only included snacks and not food for your meals. You can purchase your food from local shops , cafes along the route and most travellers opt to eat from the Pilgrim Menu where available.
You're now armed with all the essentials you need for a memorable journey on the Camino de Santiago. But remember, the Camino is much more than a physical journey – it's a spiritual one, a chance to meet fellow travelers from all walks of life, and an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of Spain. We've provided you with the practical tools you need, but don't forget to pack your spirit of adventure and openness to new experiences.
And remember, we are here to answer any other questions or concerns you might have. Don't hesitate to reach out to Portwest - The Outdoor Shop for advice or guidance. We're always here to support you on your journey. So what are you waiting for? Let the Camino call you. Your journey begins now.