Thu 3 Sep - The art of packing...

Packing, unpacking, repacking and... then the same all over again.

Good Mrs has printed out my packing list at work so many times that she is understandably sick of it. But we are very close now. 

Better be. I will leave in 6 days time. And besides, I can always get supplies in Spain.

Wherever I read about somebody undertaking a long distance walk, the message comes repetitively across loud and clear. Keep the weight down.
Your body, your feet, knees, shoulders etc etc will all thank you for it.

Without any food or drink, my backpack with contents adds up to around 7.5kg.
With water and snacks / lunch, it clocks in at around 9kg.

Bringing a minimum of 1 litre of water appears to be the Camino recommendation. Some stretches of the Camino, such as the long and scarcely populated Meseta (the dry high plains of central Spain), more water is recommended as the next waterhole may be some distance away.

On the other hand, the 7.5kg also weighs in all my clothes except for the minimum. As autumn progresses and presumably temperatures drop, I will obviously wear more clothing.

Also, much of the supplies and bottles are more or less full now and as I use the contents, the weight should drop there too.

Of course, all rookies, like me, try to anticipate what you need and should bring and therefore we all bring too much. "Just in case" which probably never eventuates. So things get discarded along the way.

Well, here is my packing list (which may still change in the less than a week left until I go):
  1. Backpack - Osprey Kestral 48 liters
  2. Boots - Mammut Basefit - size 47.5 as feet will swell
  3. Pants - 2 pairs - 1 zip off, 1 light weight
  4. Shirts - 2 pairs - LL Beans long sleeve hiking shirts - LOVE these
  5. Socks - 3 pairs - Marino wool combination
  6. Undies - 3 pairs - Exefficio
  7. Base Layer - Thermal t-shirt
  8. Mid layer - Fleece - Anaconda brand - an absolute bargain for $15 at a closing down sale
  9. Outer layer - Mammut wind and water proof soft shell jacket
  10. Leggings - just in case it gets cold along the way - can double as PJ
  11. Gym shorts and shirt - very lightweight - PJ and for when washing clothes
  12. Swimmers - because you never know
  13. Poncho - to cover me and backpack - it rains a lot in Galicia
  14. Gloves - 2 pairs very lightweight: 1 waterproof, 1 for keeping hands warm (old hiking gloves)
  15. Sleeping bag - Sea to Summit Traveller TR1 - Good for down to +10 degrees Celsius
  16. Liner - for use inside sleeping bag - brings comfortable temperature down to around +6 degrees
  17. Ear plugs - I have been warned about master snorers in the albergues
  18. iphone6 - 2 covers: 1 for carrying on belt or backpack, 1 for keeping in sleeping bag at night 
  19. Phone charger with European connector
  20. Headlight - very small - to find your away around albergues in the middle of the night
  21. Hand sanitizer - hygiene essential
  22. Cutlery pack - fork, knife and spoon in a plastic sleeve
  23. First Aid Kit - Band aids, stomach pain, headaches, for blisters, antiseptics, alcohol wipes etc
  24. High blood pressure tablets - well, there is almost always some medicine at my age
  25. Clothes line - small for inside use - with a number of safety pins
  26. Shoelaces - spare
  27. Glasses - 2 pairs: 1 for reading, 1 for long distance viewing doubling as sunglasses
  28. Sunscreen - will buy in Spain
  29. Foot balm and foot scraper
  30. Hat - my good old trusty Australian fishing hat
  31. Knee support - preventative for both knees
  32. Towels - 2 small: 1 for body, 1 exclusively for feet
  33. Washbag - with 3 compartments: 1 for feet care, 1 for general washing, 1 for teeth care (contain the usual suspects including shampoo which doubles as washing liquid for clothes)
  34. Thongs - perfect for grungy bathrooms
  35. Day backpack - very lightweight - bundles into a small pack - for flights, shopping etc
  36. Small lock - for bag during flights and for locking backpack to something along the way. I will check in my backpack inside an IKEA bag locked with this small lock
  37. Printed copies of some "important" documents
  38. A variety of zip lock bags - GREAT for many, many purposes
In addition, I would be carrying the following:
  1. Safety pouch - passport, credit card, extra money, dongle for online banking access
  2. Wallet - hidden away
  3. Coin purse - with some notes
  4. Cheap watch - for finding out the time in the middle of the night in the albergue
  5. Guide book - John Brierley's "A pilgrim's guide to Camino de Santiago" which is considered the "bible" for the Camino
  6. Ear buds - for music, podcasts etc
  7. Notebook and pen - for writing down experiences, feelings etc along the way - some for blog
  8. Lip balm
  9. Credential - see earlier post regarding this topic
Some things I will buy in Spain. For example, a roll of toilet paper is recommended to carry with you. The banos of Spain do not always have that.
Water obviously and sun screen.

So, dear reader, what do you think of this summary? Have I missed anything essential? What can I scrap?

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