What am I taking with me? Probably too much (again)

As you will discover in any writing about long distance walks it is pretty important to keep the weight of your pack to a minimum. Leave the hair dryer and all the camping gadgets at home. Don't take a stove or a tent unless you are really going to use them - and you are most probably not going to use them on any of the paths to Santiago. I took both a tent and cooking gear on the St. Olav's Way in Norway (a much more lonely and wild walk than the French and Spanish caminos) - and I never used either.

These walks are not in the same "hardship" league as the big American walks such as the Pacific Crest Trail. I am quite happy leaving those trails to the real hard case pros such as the wonderful Carrot Quinn (read her book!).


Walking shoes (I don’t use boots any more – too heavy. I use trail running shoes)

Trekking Poles



Money & cards

Document holder or belt (I put this – but I don’t take one. I use trousers with good zip up pockets)



Travel tickets

Sleeping bag

Sleeping bag liner

Headlamp & spare batteries

Swiss Army Knife

Plastic zippy bags

Water bladder or water bottles 

Seat pad (tiny pad to put under your bum when you stop for a break. Stay dry and comfy!)

Toiletries & meds (sun screen, toothbrush, floss, deo, razor, soap, hankies, wc paper, comb,


First aid kit (including Plasters, compeeds, disinfectant, elaspoplast by metre and elastic bandage, blister repair kit, Paracetemol)

Emergency blanket

Knee bandage

Spare laces

Extra insoles

Spare glasses


Phone charger

Phone supplementary battery and charger

Clothes line (I have 2 sets of clothes and I wash/rinse the clothes I walked in at the end of each day)

Duct tape (great for repairing boots)

Phone and phone protection case

Maps and GPS

Guide book (although I use an app when I can and scan the guide book if I can’t get an app – it weighs!)

Resting footwear (really light weight)

Walking socks x 4

T Shirts 2

Knickers 3

Duvet jackets (1 ultralight, 1 a bit heavier))


Shirts x 2

Gloves plus neck warmer/scarf)




Trekking pants x 2

Thermal underwear (depending on season)

Backpack rain cover

Waterproof jacket

Waterproof over-trousers

Yellow high viz safety jacket

Put all that in your backpack. Weigh the backpack. If it weighrs more than 10 % of your body weight get rid of some stuff! Preferably not your shoes.