Both Susan and I would confess to spending way too much time thinking about what and how to bring what we needed on this trip. So I thought it might be useful to point out where we made and where we missed the mark.
1) Train in the boots or trail runners you will wear, and do it on hills. So different from walking in Central Park!
2) Take a second pair of shoes/boots to use, and consider trekking sandals to wear with socks… If you end up with a blister problem this is a great solution, one we’ve seen often on the trail. But that’s your second pair – they don’t work if it rains! Susan’s feet are much better now, thank you.
3) I don’t care how light you think you’ve packed, take at least half of it out. It’s too exhausting to dig through a suitcase at the end of the day and you just end up wondering WHY you brought all that stuff with you.
4) Do not, I repeat DO NOT take a bag of snack bars with you. And do not buy a 2lb bag of M&M peanuts at duty free because you’ll just give them away to reduce the stuff in your suitcase. Though this does make friends. You are never going to starve on this trail.
5) You do not need more than 2 pairs of socks per day. Not 4. Three pairs of quick dry undies are plenty. Not 7. Forget PJs, sleep in tomorrow’s shirt. It’s too much work and trouble to wear pjs.
6) Bring plenty of foot care with you so you don’t have to spend hours searching them out here. Blister bandaids, moleskin, tape. Bio freeze is very useful. So is Aquafor or other anti- friction stuff to slather on your feet.
7) Your backpack. Now this assumes your luggage is being transferred for you each day. Your day pack should be small and light. It should have a hip belt to rest the weight on your hips, not your shoulders. Your shoulders where you might get terrible pain. And then you’ll discover you really only need some pockets and a fanny pack! I feel fine now, thank you.
8) And everything you buy, everything, should be the smallest, most lightweight and compact version you can find. The Camino will bring out the minimalist in you!
9) We LOVE repeat LOVE our pacer poles http://www.pacerpoles.com
10) I love my Macabi skirt, even if it looks dorky. It’s about the most wonderful thing to hike in and it goes from skirt to pants to shorts in no time. Plus it has huge pockets. Www.macabiskirt.com
11) I tried to stop at 10 but remembered…packing cubes and zip lock bags. OMG how did I live without you??
PS, this photo represents excessive behavior: