I hiked a total of eight days from Santiago de Compostela in Spain to Porto in Portugal. For this journey it was most important for me to have only very light luggage with me. Therefore I only chose my small “Deuter-Rucksack” (Deuter Cross Bike 18, a bikers backpack actually) which at time off departure had a weight of about three kilograms (6.6 pounds), excluding drinking water. The backpack itself weighs 650 grams (1.4 pounds) with a volume of 18 litres. It features a chest strap and a waistbelt, which both are not really comparable to real hiking backpacks of course. I bought that backpack for my Around-the-world-trip as a daily packer and was absolutely satisfied with it by now – in any circumstances. So what did I take on the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James)?
Here is my packing-list for my hiking-tour from Spain to Portugal. Items with a star (*) are things of which I wore one on the day of departure or somehow carried it (in my jacket, e.g.) – which is why they did not count to the three kilograms inside my backpack.
- 1 functional trousers (splittable from the knee)
- 1 shorts
- 1 functional pullover (half-zipped)*
- 1 functional longsleeve
- 3 functional t.shirts*
- 3 functional underwear*
- 3 functional sneakersocks*
- 1 light sleeping shirt
- 1 sports top*
- 1 tanktop
- 1 bikini (used bathing shorts as sleeping shorts)
- 1 functional scarf
- adidas GORE-TEX runners (waterproof)*
- 1 tooth brush
- 2 small toothpastes
- 1 bottled shampoo
- 1 disposable razor
- 1 small germicide spray
- 1 small sunscreen
- 1 mini body lotion
- 1,5 tubes Aquaphor (skin regeneration)
- Some painkillers
Technique and anything else:
- iPod Shuffle with earphones
- Compactcamera* and charger
- Mini shoulder-bag for a camera or smartphone
- Printed documents
- Pocketbook DIN A5 and two pens
- 1 empty 0,75 litre bottle
- 7 powerbars with lots of protein and little sugar
- 1 small karabiner
- Polar Loop Activity Tracker*
The functional longsleeve and the bikini top were too much. Two instead of three shirts, socks and underwear would also have been enough. I used the iPod only twice and did not really need it, just like the jacket, which was way too much due to the wonderful weather. Most of the time my pullover was absolutely doing it. One might certainly like to discuss the powerbars, but the thing is, I do not like most of them and being picky about powerbars I put up with carrying those around. As I was travelling in a group we could take turns in dragging a bug spray, a hair brush as well as one charger for smartphones and the polar loop.
I was more than just pleased about my shorts although I expected it to be needless. I had to take Aquaphor, which was comparatively heavy, because I just got inked before that trip. Otherwise this weight would have been dropped out. In a checked piece of luggage I placed two safety-pins that I used to fix and dry my laundry on my backpack during the day. There was nothing that I really missed during the journey. However, I was indeed very glad and thankful for a Voltaren ointment someone had packed, which, together with my functional-scarf used as a bandage, saved the trip for me after I cinematicly twisted my ancle on the second day.
Altogether I tend to be a bit disappointed about still packing too many things and not having reached my optimum yet. But three kilograms are still okay I presume. Generally my urgent tipp for packing: less is more! One rough rule of thumb should always be on your mind: Take half of what you want to take, and don’t forget that only a maximum of ten percent of your body-weight is comfortably to bear. One fourth of your body weight should be the absolute maximum. Note: There is no worse thing than being on the road with too much luggage – mostly when you have to carry it around all day (in the heat of the sun!).