My (updated) Camino Packing List.

My (updated) Camino Packing List.

In my previous post I mentioned I’m voluntarily walking 800kms across Spain and as the two month before departure date looms, I’m feeling more and more pressure to secure my camino packing list for both piece of mind and practice trek purposes.

After reading an abundance of books, blog and forum posts I’ve come to the conclusion that pack weight is the most important thing to first time and repeat pilgrims alike. Making sure the pack size and weight are within 10% of one’s body weight is much harder than it sounds and as such I’ve created my version of ‘camino essentials’. I guess reading it in print will make for a more practical procedure of culling anything without purpose. So here goes, and by all means feel free to make comments as I head into the unknown.

1 x Shorts
1 x Long Pants
2 x T-Shirt
1 x Long Sleeve Shirt
1 x Fleece
2 x Underwear
3 x Socks
2 x Bras
1 x Bathing Suit
1 x Dress
1 x Hat
1 x Poncho
1 x Rain Jacket & Pants
1 x Teva Sandles
1 x Merrell Boots
1 x Sarong
1 x Towel

My Trusty Teva’s

1 x Sleeping Bag Liner
1 x Sleeping Sheet
1 x Ear Plugs

1 x Toothbrush & Paste
1 x Multi-Use Soap (for clothes, body & hair)
1 x Hair Brush
1 x Deodorant
1 x Nail clippers
1 x Moisturiser
2 x Essential Oils (Peppermint & Rosemary)
1 x Lip Balm
1 x Packet of Tissues
1 x Hand Sanitizer

First Aid Kit:
1 x Compeed Plasters
1 x Panadol
1 x Anti-Inflammatory
1 x Anti-Histamine
1 x Sewing Kit (for Blisters)
4 x Safety Pins

1 x iPhone & Charger
1 x Headphones

1 x Cotton Bag (for walking around town)
2 x Water Bottles
2 x Spork/Knife
2 x Walking Pole
1 x Zip Lock Bag
1 x Sunglasses
Credit Card/s
Pilgrim Credential
Travel Insurance

I’m yet to actually weigh the above, both because I’m frightened to realise it’s actual weight and also because I don’t own scales. I’m sure there could be some opportunities to drop off a few things from the list but I’m nervous as to what it might mean to do so.

{Segue alert} As a side note, if you’re curious to learn where the feature image is from this week, it’s a photo I took at the MONA museum in Hobart, Tasmania. The artist Wilfredo Prieto created an entire room filled with 6,000 empty, white covered books. I kind of love it, there’s so much information fed to us daily, but it’s all completely empty. Except for this blog of course…

Oh! and speaking of books {another brilliant segue} if by any means this post has inspired you to learn more about the camino, below is a list of all the books I’ve read on the Camino de Santiago thus far:

The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho ~ Some thing for everyone

Walking Home by Sonia Choquette ~ A daily recount rather than an actual story

The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit by Shirley Maclaine ~ My least favourite on the list

I’m Off Then by Hape Kerkeling ~ I’d like to watch the feature film, it could be better than this book

What the Psychic Told The Pilgrim by Jane Christmas ~ The most humorous on the list

My Husband Made Me Do It by Margaret Wilson ~ A close runner up to the most humorous

Sinning Across Spain by Ailsa Piper ~ My favourite on the list

A Million Steps by Kurt Zoontz ~ Just okay

On the Primitive Way by Landon Roussel ~ A reprieve from only reading about the Camino Frances

The Journey In Between by Keith Foskett ~ Just okay

Travels With My Donkey: One Man and His Ass On A Pilgrimage To Santiago by Tim Moore ~ Not my style and didn’t finish it

The Year We Seized The Day by Elizabeth Best and Colin Bowles ~ Currently reading (plenty of chuckles)

By all means, please comment of how you think I’m doing so far with the packing list and wish me luck in my final weeks in preparation for five weeks of the unknown…

Why I’m voluntarily walking 800km across Spain…

Why I’m voluntarily walking 800km across Spain…

Last year I made the bold decision that 2017 needed something epic. Something big, something new and challenging, something so gigantic it’s going to leave a substantial imprint in my life forever. And so, I decided that this year, I would voluntarily walk 800kms across northern Spain… for fun!

For some of you, this will come as no shock, this epic adventure has actually been done countless times before. In fact millions of people make this commitment annually. It’s just that no-one I know is crazy enough to actually attempt it. This epic adventure also has a name: The Camino de Santiago aka The Way. The Camino is a religious pilgrimage route whereby pilgrim’s from all over the world walk from varying starting points that all lead to the same destination: Santiago de Compostela.

I can hear your questions already! Are you looking to find yourself? But you’re not religious, or are you? Are you seeking a spiritual reawakening? I thought you had to be Catholic to do that. What the hell are you thinking? (that last one I’m sure will come from quite a few of you!)

Legend states that the remains of apostle St James are within a shrine inside the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (field of the stars) and walking all the way to witness this means a lot of stuff to a lot of people and no, you don’t have to be religious to walk it.

Some people walk as penance, some for enlightenment and others like me for the physical and mental challenge. They say that the Camino is a concoction of thirds. The first third is for the body, the second third for the mind and the final third for the soul. I can’t say what I believe in just yet – all I know is Spain is calling and this is something I NEED to do.

So! When am I going? I leave in early June and I’ll have 5 weeks to reach Santiago de Compostela. I can see you doing the math in your head as you read, so let me help you out: that equates to 22km per day, every day.

How did you find out about it? Back in 2013 I spent a month in Spain. I went there with an aim to practice my Spanish, learn about the art of siesta and learn some history along the way. During my time I had the opportunity to visit Barcelona (where the feature image came from, although my friend Jess is the true owner of this one), San Sebastian, Granada, Seville, Tarifa, Cadiz & Madrid.

I didn’t get to meet any pilgrims back in 2013, but I read this book: Sinning Across Spain by Ailsa Piper. It was then that my mind tolerated the idea, but promptly parked it for another day to dream about. Instead of starting down south like Ailsa I’ll begin in San Sebastian, my favourite place in Spain and will walk the Northern route (Camino de Norte) until it tears off and the original way commences (the Primitive Way) which is the oldest route, first taken in the 9th century. In Spain alone there are approximately 9 pilgrimage routes, but anyone who knows me will vouch for my love of the ocean and so walking along the cliff edges of Spain’s most northern coast line was too tempting to pass up.

Follow my journey from Sydney to Santiago over the next few months and please, please leave some tips if you’ve walked the way yourself.

From here, wish me luck!