Twenty-six days and counting…time to finalize the list of items I’ll be taking on the Camino. The criteria is: lightweight, quick to dry, with the ability to pack down to a very small size.
walking poles (they’re in that brown yoga bag, which will go as checked luggage along with my ‘liquids’ and pocket knife, as opposed to my backpack which I will carry on the plane with me)
1 pair hiking pants
2 sleeveless tops with built in bra
2 pairs underwear
1 short sleeved t-shirt
1 set of long underwear, silk weight (top and bottom)
3 pairs socks
1 hiking towel
1 fleece jacket
1 ultralight wind jacket
1 rain poncho
foot care (bandages, second skin, vaseline, needle and thread for treating blisters, antiseptic)
medication (pain killers)
tooth brush, tooth paste, floss
soap (for shampoo, body and washing clothes)
large safety pins for hanging up laundry
two suction cups for hanging towel and cosmetic bag in shower
notebook and pen
credential (pilgrim passport)
camera and adapter for European plugs
pouch for credit and debit cards, health care card, passport, etc.
ear plugs (to help drown out the snoring of the other people in the room)
Swiss army knife with scissors, knife and cork screw
scallop shell (symbol of the Camino that travellers attach to their backpacks)
few small stones: one from N.S., one from the Yukon, one from Scotland, to leave on the Camino. The idea is to pour all your troubles into a stone and when you set it down on the Camino the stone absorbs your worries and takes them away.
There are a few things I’m humming and hawing about. The first is a sleeping pad. I understand the Camino is going to be quite crowded this year, so taking a sleeping pad would mean I could sleep on the floor if I had to. However another part of me thinks I should just trust that there’ll always be a place for me to rest my head and not drag along this ‘security blanket’. It’s all about fear and what I do with it, so we’ll see what wins out in the end.
The second question mark is whether I should take a dress. I have a lightweight one that packs down small and doesn’t wrinkle and it would be nice to have something other than hiking gear to wear in Paris and when I go out for dinner at night on the Camino. But, it is one more thing to carry. Comments/advise from anyone who’s reading this who has walked the Camino before?
And the third is whether I should bring along a colourful silk scarf to wear around my neck, as just something cheerful to pick me up during those moments when I know I’ll be ready to throw in the towel.
This shell has already seen two Caminos so I’m sure has many stories to tell. My friend carried it on her travels and she has now passed it on to me for my own walk.