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Ultimate Guide: What to pack for the Camino de Santiago for 2 weeks?

Find out what to pack for the Camino de Santiago by using my comprehensive list for my own personal pilgrimage of 2 weeks on the French Way.

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What to pack for the Camino de Santiago, Camino de Santiago logo

Packing lists for travel are so incredibly personal that I usually wouldn’t advise you what to take on a trip. What one person considers essential, I may think is ridiculous and vice versa. However, when you are trying to figure out what to pack for the Camino de Santiago when you only have 2 weeks to walk, I think you have to follow a guide.

What to pack for the Camino de Santiago, Camino de Santiago logo

What to pack for the Camino de Santiago

Since I announced I was setting off on The French Way, I have been asked several times exactly what to pack for the Camimo de Santiago.

I only had a couple of weeks for my pilgrimage and it didn’t go so well (full story to come) so I can’t count myself as an expert. Nor did I do nearly enough research. I only had 5 days to get everything ready from when I booked my flight, until I flew out.

But even so, there was nothing in my backpack that I felt like I could leave behind and this is everything that I recommend you pack for the Camino de Santiago.

What to pack for the Camino de Santiago for 2 weeks?

Weight and comfort are the only things you want to think about when figuring out what to pack for the Camino de Santiago. Most people choose to limit their Camino backpack to 10% of their body weight which is a good starting guide.

My full backpack with all the gear below weighed a touch over 10 kgs. But luckily my trusty Trespass Harket 35L Backpack is comfortable. So while it was a little heavier than I would like it wasn’t as bad as some of the 25 kg backpacks I saw.

It also fits in carry on for the plane and I definitely wouldn’t go larger than this.

Clothing:

What to pack for the Camino de Santiago?

What to pack for the Camino de Santiago? My Trespass Harket 35L backpack

North Face Hedgehog Gore-Tex Walking Shoes
Jandals
Undies x 3
Beanie
Merino Thermal tops x 2
Buff
Merino Thermal Trousers
Waterproof Trousers
North Face Waterproof Jacket
Plastic waterproof Poncho
Ethcs T-Shirt x 2
Running shorts
Merino wool socks x 4 pairs
Sweater
Sun hat
Woollen Gloves
Sunglasses

Electronics:

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Inch
Samsung NX11 Camera
GoPro Hero2
HTC Desire S smartphone
iPod
Travel USB memory sticks x 4
European plug travel adapter

Medical Supplies:

Asthma Inhaler
Sun block
Compeed Blister Block (various sizes)
Nurofen
Needle and Thread
Padded sports strapping tape

Other essential items:

Sleeping Bag
The ultimate silicone sleeping ear plugs
Renewable grocery bag
Ziplock bags for waterproofing electronics
Toilet paper
Twistie clothesline
Duct tape
Quickdry towel
1L Reusable Sigg drink bottle
Paper notebook and pens
Whistle
Spork
Shampoo
Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Dental floss

What to pack on the Camino de Santiago

Ok, even this list is slightly personal to me. And you can definitely argue about a few of my items in my backpack. But for my own sanity, and so that I could keep this blog updated, I sacrificed weight to keep things like my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and GoPro Hero2 in my Camino kit.

If I wanted to really do it as a full blown pilgrim convert then I could easily have left all the electronics at home. I also would have cut down on my clothing by losing 1 t-shirt, 2 pairs of socks, 1 pair of undies, and a thermal.

But for the benefit of my other pilgrim buddies, I didnt want to have to walk alone smelly the entire time!

Also take the time to check out my favourite photos from the Camino de Santiago.

What do you think of my ultimate Camino de Santiago packing list? Anything you would leave out? Something additional you would have packed?

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Adam @ SitDownDisco

    March 25, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Yeah, would definitely have left out some of those gadgets. A bit of duplication there. Of course would have tried to rationalise clothing too. Anything to get that weight down to avoid injury!

    • Cole Burmester

      March 25, 2013 at 5:46 PM

      The gadgets were pretty vital to me and didn’t mind lugging it around. Probably could have sacrificed a couple of items of clothing though to get it under 10 kgs for sure!

  2. Jose

    March 26, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    I´ve done it with a 22 ltrs weigthing 7 kilos backpack and believe me it´s a completely different expereince. You walk and walk with no pain.

    • Cole Burmester

      March 26, 2013 at 8:54 AM

      If I was blogging then I definitely would have had it under 7 kgs. The problem was my camera equipment and tablet. But they were necessary for what I was planning. Hopefully will return in the future and do it with basically nothing.

    • OCDemon

      March 30, 2013 at 12:20 AM

      I’ve gone that small and it was the greatest thing ever. No one believed me.

      • Cole Burmester

        March 31, 2013 at 9:16 AM

        Packing light is the best way to travel! Especially if you are walking the Camino de Santiago!

  3. Jonathan Look, Jr.

    March 26, 2013 at 4:47 AM

    Looks like a pretty complete list to me. I looked for missing items but after the third time double checking your list it was always there. Looking forward to the stories.

    • Cole Burmester

      March 26, 2013 at 8:53 AM

      Haha thanks Jonathan. Was a bit skeptical about taking it all, but better being over prepared than under prepared.

  4. Michael

    March 26, 2013 at 5:24 AM

    That’s quite a collection of stuff. Good to see what others bring in their travels though.

    • Cole Burmester

      March 26, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      It’s amazing how much stuff we carry without realising it. Only by laying it all out did I gey to see the full kit for the Camino de Santiago.

  5. Sebastian @ Off-The-Path.com

    March 26, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Interesting stuff mate! Really interesting to see what other people pack for such trips…

    • Cole Burmester

      March 26, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      That is the same backpack I travelled around Italy and Spain with for 2 months as well last summer. Definitely recommend nothing bigger than carry on in Europe!

  6. Paddy Waller

    March 26, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    Nice practical guide.Brought back some great memories.You’re right. For most people the tablet probably would have been a leave behind item but logically not for you. I did the whole of The French Way from Roncesvalles in 2010( I also wrote a post about it) and started with 10kgs and managed to get down to 8 and a half kgs after a few days. I gave some stuff away and carried less water as there were loads of fountains etc

    • Cole Burmester

      March 26, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      Very true about the fountains Paddy! I found I ended up just carrying a half-full water bottle most of the time but made sure I filled it regularly. Definitely were some longer stretches though which I wouldn’t want to be caught out in the middle of the summer heat. Apparently some of the wells also run dry over summer.

  7. Matthew Hirtes

    March 26, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    I’ll be packing soon for my Rota Vicentina trip. Great post, Cole. Thanks for the tips.

  8. Audrey | That Backpacker

    March 27, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    Your backpack looks like a good size for 2 weeks. I’ve only been backpacking a month and I’ve already had to send stuff home *several* times…still learning. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      March 27, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      I used it for 2 months around Europe as well last summer. Definitely ideal for backpacking although I am about to start travelling again with my 65L pack… Not excited at all about carrying it haha.

  9. Endri Hasanaj

    May 22, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    You have such an amazing way with words Cole.
    My wife is from Spain (Granada) and we are planning on going and walking “Camino de Santiago”

    Great tips though

    Cheers,
    Endri

    • Cole Burmester

      May 23, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      Thanks Endri! Enjoy the Camino once you get a chance to do it 🙂

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Adventure Travel

Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos

These are my favourite Camino de Santiago Photos from my pilgrimage along the French Way in March. A truly beautiful way to spend a few weeks.

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Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

El Camino de Santiago kicked my ass. Well technically it kicked my feet. Turns out my minimal preparation for the Camino de Santiago was terrible. After a miserable effort of only 4 days, the doctor in Legrono told me that I wasn’t allowed to go on until me feet healed. I had walked just over 100 km’s and my feet were bloodied and blistered.

To be honest, I was relieved.

The thought of putting back on my shoes made my shudder. For the last 9 km’s I had stumbled along in jandals and socks. One of the travelling fashion sins I vowed I would never break.

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

So while I have unfinished business with the Way of St James (an upcoming post), I did want to share with you some of my favourite photos from the Camino de Santiago. Because I had yet to reach some of the more “unsavoury” parts of the Camino that Sherry Ott had discovered, every step of my pilgrimage had been beautiful.

Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

Puenta La Reina Bridge – Camino de Santiago Arrows

There is no way you can get lost on the Camino de Santiago. Arrows, scallop shells and signs point you in the right direction at every bridge, road crossing and intersection.

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Reaching the top of Alto Pedron gave views back the way I had come from Pamplona, as well as views to where I was going. The rocky path on the way down proved to be my ultimate downfall, as my too small shoes caused my toes to smash into the front.

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

There were so many beautiful old churches along the Camino de Santiago. But since I was walking in early March, it seemed that most were yet to open for the busier summer season.

Church of Obanos

The Church of Obanos

And between every small village the well-maintained pathways of the French Way wound across the spectacular Spanish countryside.

The French Way - Camino de Santiago

The French Way – Camino de Santiago Photos

Puenta La Reina

Puenta La Reina in the evening

Puenta La Reina has one of the most amazing bridges I have ever seen. It was also the 1st village I had the pleasure of sleeping in after busy Pamplona.

Puenta la Reina Bridge and Sunrise

Puenta la Reina Bridge at sunrise

Most mornings I was up and walking before the sun began to sprinkle across the horizon.

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Every village and town was built on a small hill. Sure it looks beautiful until you realise you have to go back up again to go through them all!

Church of Santa Maria - Los Arcos

Church of Santa Maria in Los Arcos

While there were only about 20 pilgrims walking each section every day, it wasn’t uncommon for you to encounter them all. The people I met along the Camino de Santiago were some of the most inspiring and remarkable people I have ever spoken to. They are the ones that make the pilrgimage so special.

The endless French Way

The endless French Way

Irache Wine Fountain - Fuente del Vino

The free flowing Irache Wine Fountain or “Fuente del Vino”

Hay bales along the French Way

Hay bales along the French Way

Every village had at least one ancient church and it wasn’t uncommon to find them dotting the landscape in remote locations either.

Ermita de San Miguel

Ermita de San Miguel

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

I have travelled through Spain in the past, including cycling in Costa Brava and surfing in San Sebastian with both independent planning and a vacation planner. But having the opportunity to walk at my own pace through some of the most beautiful scenery in Spain on the Camino de Santiago has so far topped them all.

Natural arches - Camino de Santiago

Natural arches on the Camino de Santiago

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Adventure Travel

Hammock vs Tent Camping

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Camping with a hammock is slowly but surely becoming more popular in recent years with new and improved hammock designs being preferred by some campers, compared to the traditional tent.

In this article we will discuss some of the key benefits and drawbacks of sleeping without a tent, and analyze key criteria so that you can choose your preferred shelter choice!

Weatherproof

Most tents work well in the rain; however, you’ll need to bring a tarp if you’re using a hammock. Traditional hammocks are not waterproof, and are generally open at the top, allowing water to find itself inside if you don’t have an adequate tarp. Moreover, a decent under quilt is also a good idea so that you can stay warm and cozy during cold and stormy nights.

Packing up your hammock after a long night of rain isn’t too bad, whereas packing up a soaking wet tent is always annoying. You almost always get wet in the process.

Setup

For first time campers, pop-up tents are the simplest to setup. All you need to do is find flat ground, and bam, your setup is complete! The beauty of pop-up tents is that you don’t need to worry about figuring out where to insert the poles and erect the tent. Although, traditional tents are usually more robust, and have a longer life span.

Essentially, a tent is simple, but a hammock can become a little more complicated for first timers. You’ll need to find 2 trees facing a good direction and tie each end of the hammock to them. If your hammock setup is too tight, you will generally wake up with sore ancles, but if it’s too loose, you run the risk of the hammock touching the floor, and insects crawling in with you.

If your campground doesn’t have many trees, or if the trees are dead (they could break and injure you), hammock stands come to the rescue! Basically, hammock stands allow you to pitch a hammock if there are no trees nearby. They are portable, adjustable, and are easy to setup. The only drawback is that the ground should be relatively flat, whereas if you were to hang a hammock between 2 trees, there won’t be any stands touching the ground, so a rocky floor wouldn’t be a problem.

Comfort

One of the main reasons for choosing a hammock is the comfort that it provides you! It has a basically has in-built seat which is arguably more comfortable than a standard blow up mattress. You need to pick your tree’s wisely though! You don’t want a pinecone falling on your face mid-sleep.

If you have constant back pain and find it hard to sleep inside tents, you should give hammocks a try as they cause you to sleep sideways, similar to a banana shape, which a lot people find much more comfortable.

Price

Hammocks are usually lighter and don’t include a wealth of poles and gear that tents do. Depending on the type of hammock that you purchase, they are usually quite similar to tents. You can however, find very cheap tents <$60, but they most likely won’t last long.

A good tent or hammock can cost between $200-500 without accessories. If you need a hammock stand, that will add to your cost, just like a mattress and other tent necessities will to its cost.

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Adventure Travel

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

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Trekking through the valleys of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys with Middle Earth Travel feels more like the set of a Star Wars movie than a historical region once carved out and lived in by humans. Churches, homes and pigeon houses are scattered throughout the valleys, all waiting to be explored. The best part is, Middle Earth Travel know all the hidden secrets.

Standing at the top of Cappadocia

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

On the 26th of July (which just so happens to be my birthday!) Middle Earth Travel took us on their private and guided Top of Cappadocia day trek. From Pasabag, along the top of Cappadocia and down through the Gulludere Rose Valley to Goreme, we trekked 15kms in one day! (We recommend getting your bearings with this map)

Upon arrival to the Middle Earth Offices, we were warmly greeted by our new friend Atil whom we had met a few days earlier while mountain biking through the Kizilcukur Red Valley. We were then introduced to our guide and given a briefing regarding the day. Normally, the Top of Cappadocia tour would start from Çavuşin, however, since we had already explored Çavuşin Castle, they adapted our tour to compensate ensuring we would explore new terrain!

With charged cameras, plenty of water and our running shoes on, we were driven to our starting point of Pasabag. We wandered through the fairy chimneys, coming across camels and markets – then the true hike began.

Pasabag in Cappadocia

The police station in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

It was a slow and gentle incline. With no trees to provide shade, I quickly realised why our tour guide had chosen to wear fully covered clothing! As the sweat quickly set in (a waterfall in Moss’s case) we snapped away with our cameras and enjoyed the entertaining shapes of Imagine Valley and the amazing view. We also passed a lot of rock piles, which according to our guide mean ‘father’ and are built to help lead the way.

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Middle Earth Travel, Cappadocia

Making our way to the top of Cappadocia

Father leading the way (rock pile)

Father leading the way (rock pile)

The higher we trekked, the more breath taking the views became! As we walked along the summit of Bozdag mountain (the Top of Cappadocia) we could see EVERTHING – Pasabag, Çavuşin Castle, Kizilcukur Red Valley, Gulludere Rose Valley and Goreme. We were on the Father of Valleys! After a quick nod of agreement to the guide, we pushed ourselves the extra distance and made our way to the flag, as this HAD to be the highest point and was definitely worth a photo and a selfie or two!

View from the top of Cappadocia

View from the top of Cappadocia

Flag at top of Cappadocia

From the flag we looked down upon Aktepe Hill which is known as a popular destination for watching the sun set and could spot Kizilvadi Restaurant, our destination for lunch! Kizilvadi Restaurant is an attraction of its own. With its own historic winery and Grape church, plus some Middle Earth Travel treks even stay there for the night! After having a massive feed of soup, salad and pasta plus a surprise birthday cake, we made our way down into Gulludere Rose Valley.

Kizilvadi Restaurant

Kizilvadi Restaurant

The scenery is amazing, with strong colours visible in perfect layers on the chimneys, you would wonder what an artist was thinking, had it been a painting. Also, hidden to the side of the track we walked across a little bridge and not expecting anything to be there we were wowed by the massive church carved. It was absolutely huge and hard to believe that its most recent use has been as a pigeon house!

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Church in Gulludere Rose Valley

Hard to believe this Church is carved inside a fairy chimney!

Middle Earth Travel Review

  • The team at Middle Earth Travel were extremely knowledgeable and certainly know Cappadocia’s hidden secrets. They have friendships with local tea garden owners which is also of benefit as it gained us entry to locked churches and hidden rooms that we would not have otherwise seen.
  • We covered a lot of ground, however we did not feel rushed. The whole day focused on showing us the region, therefore we had as much time as we needed to explore each church and to take ‘just one more photo’.
  • It wasn’t all about trekking. With a whole day and 15kms to cover, there were a few silly poses (especially in Imagine Valley), and we learnt a lot about the myths, legends and way of life in Cappadocia.
  • In conclusion I highly recommend Middle Earth Travel if you wish to go trekking or mountain biking in Cappadocia.
  • Cost: Day treks with Middle Earth Travel range from 50-90 euro, depending on the number of people taking part. This includes lunch, guide, vehicle transfers and entrance fees to historical sites, but excludes alcoholic and soft drinks.
  • Middle Earth Travel are outdoor enthusiasts and offer multi-day over night treks, mountain biking, abseiling, or custom made itineraries, in multiple regions throughout Turkey.
  • www.middleearthtravel.com

Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the trek with Middle Earth Travel, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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