When hiking the Camino de Santiago it is very important to get your gear right. Not only if you carry too much will you be weighed down but it will be less efficient when you arrive at your Albergue to find what you are looking for. With that in mind here are our top 10 items you may not have thought of for the Camino.
This one is of paramount importance, most Albergues require you to have a sleeping bag or your own sheets, however if you are tackling the Camino in spring summer or early autumn there is no requirement for any additional insulation so a sleeping bag is not necessary. A sleeping bag liner is a great alternative it is lightweight and will serve as a hygiene barrier between the sheets in the Albergue and you.
As we all know a good night’s sleep is super important especially when you are staying together for multiple days on long-distance walking. Sharing rooms with strangers can challenge a good night’s sleep, to say the least! Having a good pair of earplugs will mean you will be able to block out the sounds of others.
Keeping the sleep theme going and an eye mask will limit your disturbance especially if you are sharing your room with a really early starter and you plan on sleeping in for a couple of hours.
Some people prefer the Platypus reservoirs and some people prefer water bottles. We will not prescribe either of these options as they are both great but just be sure that you have storage for at least 2 L of water to keep yourself hydrated on the trails. The benefit to a water bottle is that they’re far easier to fill at fountains but are more challenging to access if you were hiking solo.
If you have never used a pair of lightweight Merino or Coolmax socks before you should absolutely treat yourself to a few pairs of these before you head on your trip. For the Camino, we would recommend the ultra-light T2 from Bridgedale or the lightweight PhD’s from Smartwool. Having a few pairs means that you will always have a clean set with you.
Crocs are also an option! Having a lightweight pair of “chill-out” shoes that will allow your feet to breathe when you arrive at your Albergue is an absolute must.
*Great Outdoors top tip: Bring a pair of Hoka Ora Recovery Sliders not only do these serve the purpose of regular sliders but their additional cushion will mean that your muscles get a bit of respite.
The full brim sun hats are Commonplace on the Camino we would advise one of the Tilly options that we stock in the shop. This 360 protection is very important especially if you are doing the Camino in summer or you are up hiking later in the day than anticipated. However, protection such as sun hats does not substitute the need for sun cream!
A small customized first aid kit with an emphasis on foot care is an absolute must for the Camino. As you are walking through towns you will notice that all of the pharmacies will have additional Compeed and other foot care solutions for you to restock but arriving prepared is very important. We would advise purchasing one of the lifeventure first aid kits before heading out.
A lightweight buff will also add additional sun protection around your neck on warm days as well as extra insulation on cooler mornings if worn as a hat. These also double as an excellent eye mask if you want to limit your kit list!
It is no secret that many people use the Camino as an opportunity to disconnect from day-to-day life for this reason we would advise bringing a journal or a book to enjoy on on your easy days or evenings in the Albergues.