What’s in my pack for the Camino de Santiago 2016

I learned from my first pilgrimage what’s essential on the Camino and what isn’t. Packing for my second (return) journey will be agony-free and much easier based on what I learned. I hope it helps you too!

Here’s what I plan to pack for the Camino de Santiago 2016


  • Deuter Women’s Futura Vario 45L+10 (same)

Sleeping gear:

  • Sea2Summit pyrethrin-treated sleeping bag liner (same)
  • Homemade blanket of silk fabric and Primaloft (same)


  • 1 quick-dry sports bra (same)
  • 4 pair quick-dry underwear (same)
  • 2 pair medium weight REI wool socks (same)
  • 2 pair Injinji liner toe socks (adding a pair – I love them)
  • 2 lightweight quick-dry running t-shirts (same)
  • 1 huge cotton t-shirt for evenings and bedtime (same)
  • 1 REI running pants (one fewer than last time)
  • 1 Patagonia zip-off pants/shorts (swapping these for the pants above in case it’s hot)
  • 1 zip-up fleece with hood (same)
  • 1 wool hat (same)
  • 1 REI sun hat (same)
  • 1 fleece gator (mostly used as an eyemask, but good for warmth)
  • 1 pair micro gloves (same)
  • 1 pr Brooks Cascadia trail runners (same, technically a new pair)
  • 1 pr black Crocks (now with holes! I may swap these for flip flops)


  • Printed flight confirmation (same)
  • Passport (same)
  • Photocopy of passport, ID, and bank cards (same)
  • Driver’s license (same)
  • Compostella (same)
  • Scallop shell (same)
  • Camino de Santiago guidebook (same, updated version)
  • Cash (600 euro – more than last time)
  • 2 credit/bank cards (same)

Handy stuff/first aid

  • Folding scissors (brought a utility tool last time — too heavy)
  • Plastic fork, knife, and spoon (same)
  • Keychain LED squeeze light (same)
  • 1 16oz Nalgene bottle (same)
  • 1 32oz collapsible Platypus bottle (same)
  • Reusable fabric sack for groceries, laundry, and my carry on (same)
  • 1 gallon Ziploc bag for first aid supplies (same)
  • Small antiseptic cream (same)
  • 3 sewing needles and case (same)
  • Bandaids (same)
  • Mefix blister wrap (same)
  • Ibuprofen (20ct) (fewer than last time)
  • Immodium (3ct) (same)
  • Chewable antacids (10ct) (needed them and didn’t have any last time)
  • Allergy pills (for sleeping) (30ct) (same)
  • Calms Forte (100ct) (same)
  • Cranberry pills (30ct) (same)
  • Acidophilus pills (50ct) (same)
  • Wellness formula (20ct) (bringing many more this time)
  • Anti-inflammatory supplements for arthritis (added since last trip)
    • Vitamin D (5oct)
    • Turmeric (150ct)
    • Glucosamine (150ct)
  • Night guard and case (same)
  • 10 pairs of Hearos earplugs (same)
  • 6 feminine pads (same)
  • Bandana (same)
  • 15ft of line & 8 clothespins (twice as many clothespins this time)
  • 10 safety pins (same)
  • Leki walking sticks (same)

Shower bag

  • 1 gal baggie for shower stuff (same)
  • sarong to use as a towel (I brought a chamois washcloth last time – terrible idea with long hair)
  • Mini hair brush (same)
  • 3 ponytail holders (same)
  • 6oz shampoo in two hanging bottles (new – I plant to put them on a lanyard to hang from the showerhead. I also use shampoo as soap and for laundry)
  • Tiny “rock” deodorant (same)
  • Small toothpaste (same)
  • Toothbrush and flosser (same)
  • Pink scrubbie (same)
  • 2 disposable razors (same)

For the Spirit

  • 100-page art journal with: (all the same)
    • List of emergency contact numbers
    • Friends’ addresses for post cards
    • 1 Pilot V5 black pen (THE BEST!)
    • Pentel ICY .7mm mechanical pencil
  • St. Christopher’s medal (same)
  • Scallop shell necklace from Mom (same)

Still need to purchase…

I’m amazed how prepared I am! Here are the only things I want to get…

  • Poncho
  • Keychain with temperature gauge (in F and C) with mini compass
  • Lanyard for hanging shampoo in the shower
  • Dr Scholl’s arch-supporting shoe inserts
  • Second pair of Injinji runners’ toe socks

What I’m not bringing (that I brought last time)

Experience taught me that anything packed “just in case” can be left at home and purchased in Spain if really needed. No sense carrying what you don’t need! (True in Spain and in life!)

Here’s what I brought last time that I’m leaving home

  • 1 Patagonia Nano-Puff jacket (I’m on the fence about this one. It’s great for evenings, but is too hot to wear when hiking)
  • Utility tool (too heavy, not useful enough)
  • Long sleeve cotton t-shirt (too heavy and took too long to dry)
  • 1 pair thin wicking socks (didn’t use them as much as the toe socks)
  • 1 pr of thick wool socks (they were too thick for my swollen feet)
  • Fabric money belt (too awkward to use and it got all sweaty and gross)
  • Disposable camera (too heavy and didn’t use)
  • Sunglasses (the sunhat was cuter and worked fine keeping the sun out)
  • Powdered sunblock (a good idea that didn’t work)
  • Night guard case (my night guard got crushed on the way home – $400)
  • Silk long underwear top (too hot to wear when walking and too see-through to wear to bed)
  • Sucky, pain-inducing shoe inserts (my arches needed WAY more support)
  • Stupid Rick Steeves leaking poncho
  • Spork (not necessary – a plastic fork is fine)
  • Tupperware (took up too much room, and I didn’t use it enough)

Want to know why I’m doing the Camino in reverse — and how you can help? Read on!


7 thoughts on “What’s in my pack for the Camino de Santiago 2016

    1. The only dilemma I’ve found with them is the new pair rub against the back of my ankles in a way that the 2013 pair did not. I may have to splurge on the newest model! Thanks for commending! Your post the other day brought tears. ❤

  1. Jen: I was thinking with a smart phone you could use a gps on the road back. You do realize that the Pope declared a Holy Year for 2016. Nothing like swimming “upstream!” 😉

    1. Hi there!! Good points, both! I’m trusting that the Holy Year is a part of the lesson. It’s going to be a madhouse, but good.

      As for a phone, you know me well enough to know I won’t bring one. 😉 Thanks for the idea, though! Will all those additional pilgrims coming by, the path will be replete with opportunities to ask for directions. 🙂

  2. I have a Rick Steves compass/thermometer (F only) on a black loop thingy. you could add a carabiner or something to clip it to your pack or jacket. It’s about the size of a large zipper pull. Want to use it? Warmly, Mary Ellen

    1. Ohmygosh! Yes! That’s exactly what I need. I’m just afraid I’d lose it, Mary Ellen. The REI one is only $7.

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