Mountain Top Goat

Everything You Need To Have On Your Camino Packing List

by Mountain Top Goat
Mountain Top Goat: Solo Female Travel Blog | Visit Now

When traveling with just a backpack on Camino de Santiago, it’s fundamental to think about what you’ll pack in it. Everything you pack must be functional because you’ll be carrying the weight on your back and shoulders for extended periods. To help you choose the right gear, I’ve crafted my ultimate Camino packing list.

Camino Packing List Recommendation – Pack Light!

You can use the same gear you would pack with you for your one-week Camino trip for your one-month journey. Along the route, there will be possibilities to wash your clothing. You can also wash it by hand to save some extra cash. Therefore, leave the things like “maybe I will need this” at home.

Camino de Santiago has a good infrastructure, so you don’t need to carry camping gear. You’ll be staying every night at Albergue or a hotel. However, there are a few things I highly advise.

You should add a light sleeping bag to your Camino packing list if you plan on staying in Pilgrims’ hostels. This is because the nights are usually cooler, especially after a long day of trekking. And for your peace of mind, since you’ll need a good night’s sleep to get through the following day.

Which Backpack for Your Camino Trip?!

If you carry all of your gear by yourself throughout the trip, a 40L backpack will do you just fine. However, a small daypack will be more than enough when going on guided/supported trips and having luggage transported to your next accommodation.

Either big or small backpack, padded hip, shoulders, and chest straps are essential on long hikes, so make sure your bag has them. They’ll increase the stability of your pack and reduce stress on your back, neck, and shoulders. It’s a huge benefit when carrying even a few kg for a more extended period.

If your backpack isn’t waterproof or doesn’t have a built-in rain cover, be sure to bring one with you. You will most definitely need it.

four backpacks from eighteen to fifty liter volume
Backpacks for Camino, from 18L – 50L

Clothes

Hiking Pants

Two pairs of quick-dry zip-off hiking pants should be enough. Mine have +50 UPF, are water repellent, and have mosquito protection. It rained a couple of times on my Camino walk, and my pants dried in less than half an hour after it stopped raining.

Ladies also wear yoga pants, but I like hiking pants more because of the pockets. I have easy access to my wallet, phone, earphones, tissues, or hand sanitizer.

If you want to take a pair of jeans for the evenings when you go to dinner, you can do that. It’s not necessary because you will find that most of the pilgrims wear their regular hiking clothes. The key is to travel light. However, you can also bring some nice pants to change into in the evening.

camino packing list zip-off hiking pants
Zip-Off hiking pants

Hiking Shirts

2 or 3 hiking shirts. Please don’t go for cotton shirts because they will never dry. I brought two long sleeve sun hoodies and one merino wool t-shirt.

Sun hoodies are perfect for sweaty summer activities. Their soft and comfortable fabric is breathable, transports moisture, and dries quickly. In addition, the added UPF treatment helps protect your skin.

As you probably already know, Merino wool is perfect all year round. Highly breathable, odor-resistant, quick-drying material for all your outdoor adventures.

camino hiking shirts
Hiking shirts

Fleece/Sweater and/or a Puff Jacket are Necessities!

My Ortovox Grid fleece hoodie is one of my favorite pieces of apparel. It was not only on my Camino packing list, but it is on all of my packing lists.

Of course, you will want to have fleece for the evenings: it’s always nice to cover yourself with something warm when the temperature drops.

Speaking of warmth, a Patagonia Micro Puff Jacket is my go-to thing. It’s always in my backpack, no matter where I’m traveling. It’s a lightweight, insulated jacket that packs in its pocket. For me, it’s the best outdoor jacket out there.

camino hiking softshell jackets
Warm layers for Camino

Rain Gear – a Must-Items on your Camino Packing list

Rain gear is a must-pack piece of clothing on the Camino packing list. I brought my OR rain jacket, although I understand that some folks prefer a poncho. You can wear rain pants if you like, but you won’t need them if you wear quick-drying pants. Rain, mud, and small stones will get into your shoes if you don’t wear gaiters. For my Altra shoes, I purchased Altra gaiters. They weigh practically nothing and keep my feet dry and my socks clean when walking in shorts.

camino packing in its own pocket rain jacket
Outdoor research rain jacket

Underwear/Socks/Bra’s/PJ’s

Your Camino packing list should also contain three pairs of underwear, three pairs of socks ( 2 for walking and one pair of liner socks), and two pairs of sports bras for the ladies.

Exofficio underwear, Smartwool socks, and Icebreaker bras are what I’m using. I heard about Exofficio underwear a couple of years ago, and now they are the only underwear I use on my outdoor adventures.

Smartwool is a company that creates socks out of merino wool, and they offer a wide range of designs and colors.

Also, try out Smartwool liner socks to prevent blisters. By wearing them, you will reduce friction on your skin.

A liner sock is a sock that you wear before your ordinary hiking or athletic sock, and it drains moisture away from your foot and transfers it to the outer sock, where it evaporates. Liners may also be cleaned and dried fast over a multi-day tour, which is a huge advantage for individuals on multi-day hiking, bicycling, or backpacking trips.

I’ve been wearing liner socks on every hike for four years now, and I haven’t had any blisters since!

For sleep, a t-shirt and shorts in summer. In winter, you’ll probably want to go with a base layer-merino wool, or cotton, whichever you prefer. The most vital thing is to keep warm in order to have a decent night’s sleep.

hiking socks and liners
Smartwool liner and hiking socks

Footwear

Walking/Hiking Shoes for your Camino Packing List

Now that’s a tricky one. Shoes are (next to a backpack) the essential part of equipment when creating your Camino packing list. Most of your time you’ll spend walking, and if you don’t have the right shoes, you might have to stop for a few days before you can keep going. Worst case scenario, you won’t be able to finish your Camino walk.

I wouldn’t recommend bringing sturdy hiking shoes because they don’t breathe well. Also, they are not necessary for non-technical walking routes like Camino.

I took my trail-running shoes with me, and they did the job flawlessly. They are sturdier and more rigid than most lightweight running shoes/sneakers. It would be best if you had shoes that would be comfortable for long stretches of walking on non-paved surfaces. Don’t bring new shoes for your Camino walk. Try them on for a few weeks and break them in.

Hiking sandals are also an excellent option, especially in summer. The ones I use are Keen Clearwater CNX. Super lightweight, comfortable, perfectly fitting hybrid sandal with flat sole construction and slim fit. Also great in the evenings to rest your feet after a long day on the trail.

Flip flops are essential for communal bathrooms. I always have my flip-flops with me no matter where I go.

trailrunning shoes and hiking sandals, a amust on camino packing list
Trailrunning shoes and sandals for Camino walk

Headwear

Baseball Hat, Buff, and Sunglasses

Bring your baseball cap, sun protection wide brim hat, or a buff. If you wear a baseball hat, protect your neck from sunburns.

Wearing a buff would be a good option here. It’s what I do, and I’ve learned it the hard way. Also, take a beanie if you’re not doing Camino in the summer months to keep your head warm when it gets chilly.

Finally, of course, some sunglasses, especially in the summer. I got my Julbo Explorer 2.0 with Photochromic lenses. You can take your casual sunglasses or whichever you have at home—no need to buy an extra pair.

baseball cap and bandana
Headwear
sunglasses
Sunglasses

First Aid kit

Prevent Blisters

Compeed blisters balm and don’t forget adhesive moleskin, plasters, vaseline, and foot cream to put on before going to bed.

Take small scissors, alcohol wipes, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, a pin or needle to pop blisters, and duct tape. You can prevent blisters when applying some blisters balm to the sole of your feet.

Don’t forget to bring some Ibuprofen, aspirin, and Imodium if you have a sensitive stomach.

First Aid Kit, camino packing list essentials
First Aid Kit

Other Extras to Put on Your Camino Packing List

Walking/Hiking Poles

Hiking poles are an optional item to put on your Camino packing list. I don’t go anywhere without my LEKI hiking poles. They’ve helped me a lot on my hiking adventures, and I can say that I would for sure not have made it to the top of Kilimanjaro without them. For Camino, you will need to put rubber tips on them because there is a lot of walking on the sidewalk, roads, and gravely areas. You will benefit a lot on some stages, especially where there is a lot of downhill. It also helps your legs not to do all the work alone while walking when you include your arms to help a bit.

Hiking poles
Hiking poles

Mummy Liner

My Sea to Summit Thermolite reactor extreme mummy liner is always with me when I travel. I’ve used it on my Camino walk, although I slept in the hotels.

Most of the accommodations have just bare bedding. You don’t want to wake up in the night shivering and putting on everything you can find in your backpack.

sleeping bag liner
Sea to Summit Liner

Hydration

Water bottles are, in my opinion, the best choice for Camino. You can stove them in the side pockets of your backpack and have easy access to hydrate or refill. Of course, if you take a water bladder, it will serve you excellent as well.

There are plenty of streams and fountains to fill them up along the way. But, of course, avoid drinking water from places with a sign “not for drinking.”

To be safe, I had 2 Nalgene 0,5L water bottles and my 2L Hydration Pack because I drink a lot of water, and I didn’t want to run out of it.

Water treatment is not necessary. Water is drinkable, although it tastes somewhat strange in some places. I had no issues, but bring some purification tablets if you feel more comfortable having that option.

Water bladder and water bottles for camoino packing list
Water system

Microfiber Towel

When sleeping in Albergues, add a microfiber towel to your Camino packing list. They are lightweight, dry quickly, and pack pretty small.

Of course, you won’t need one if you stay at the hotels. But when doing, for example, Camino de Notre, you will pass by some beautiful beaches. A microfiber towel and a swimming suit will come in handy there.

Packing Cubes

The packing cubes to organize your things. For example, I use packing cubes and stuff sacks to manage my laundry, electronics, and first aid kit.

packing for camino with Packing Cubes
Packing Cubes

Toiletries

Bring your everyday essentials in your toiletry bag. Shampoo, conditioner, soap bar, face wash/cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, a hairbrush, tweezers, and a razor. Some sunscreen, chapstick, and mosquito repellent.

Don’t go overboard; they have shops along the way if you are missing something.

Electronics

Europen plug/adapter Type C, preferably with a couple of USB ports, so you can charge several things with one port. You will, of course, require cables to charge your devices.

Headphones. Small portable charge 5000-10 000mAP to be safe while walking.

A camera, if you like, though smartphones these days make excellent photos and you will save on weight.

Kindle is a great item to have when traveling solo. I’ve been using my Kindle Paperwhite for several years now.

kindle e-book reader
E-Book Reader

Camino Packing List Miscellaneous

Earplugs and eye masks are always great when sleeping in Albergues. Although, some will probably need them in the hotels too. Soundproof walls are not so common in Spain.

You will also need a lock to lock your backpack or suitcase when transporting or storing your things at the accommodation.

Use a Swiss knife to open bottles or cut ham and cheese when stopping for a lunch break.

If you want to wash your clothes by hand, I recommend taking a Scrubba wash bag and a hanging clothesline.

Last but not least, add a fanny pack to your Camino packing list. You want to keep your personal belongings with you at all times. Passport, paper documents, credit cards, around your neck or waist.

waist pack
Fanny pack or waist pack for the valuables

Planning Your Camino Trip?

Check out my blog post on traveling with only a backpack here. And if you need some help with planning your Camino trip, here is the agency I went with.


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