Things to take to the Camino de Santiago

Things to take to the Camino de Santiago

This post is also available in: Español

If you are here it is because I suppose you have already decided to do the Camino de Santiago. In order for you to fully enjoy this journey it’s important to know what things to take to the Camino de Santiago. In this blog post we explain what is necessary to bring on this trip, to make it the best experience of your life. It’s the perfect blend of adventure, history, culture and stunning landscapes. This adventure will show you that it’s not always about the destination, but about the journey and what you experience on the way. On this journey you will not only meet other pilgrims and get to know the culture of Spain; you will also discover yourself a little more. 
“Travel is getting to know yourself by facing new experiences.” 
Camino de Santiago views

Objects to pack for Camino de Santiago:

What to pack greatly depends on the season you’re planning to go. First, we’ll list the most important items to pack that are season independent. 
  • Backpack – the most vital items to bring is a comfortable backpack. Our tip: get a bag with a solar panel, so that you can charge your electronic devices while walking (you can find these on amazon). 
  • Trekking poles – this will make walking easier for you (we recommend getting foldable poles so that you can store them easily when not needed). 
  • Flashlight – we recommend you bring a head light (flashlight attached to a strap to put on your head) so that your hands remain free for walking. 
  • First aid set – a simple first aid set (plasters, hydrogen peroxide, gauze, etc.) to be prepared for any challenges along the way. Howlanders also provides an emergency assistance vehicle on your journey.  
  • Refillable water bottle – preferably a 1L bottle to keep you hydrated on your journey. You can refill it at the shelters and fountains.
  • Lip balm – can be with sun protection if you’re going in sunny times. 
  • Sunscreen – for sunny days.  
  • Ear plugs – sometimes it can get a little loud in the accommodations and you want to make sure to get enough rest for the next day. 
  • A fast drying travel towel or some tissues
  • We also recommend tiger balm or magnesium pills to help with muscle aches after long days of walking. 
what to pack for the camino de santiago

Valuables and Documents

Put your valuables and documents into a small bag and keep them close to you at all times.
  • Passport and ID card
  • Credit cards – it’s best to bring two in case there’s problems with one.
  • Cash – a lot of accommodations and stops along the way only accept cash payments. 
  • Phone – with the charger and an external battery pack. If you’re travelling alone you can also bring a little tripod, to take photos of yourself along the way (although you’ll meet many nice people along the way that can take photos of you). 

Clothes to pack for Camino de Santiago

As you know there are many different routes on the Camino de Santiago, and each one goes through different regions, landscapes and therefore climates. The temperatures also vary depending on the season, with the highs reaching 35-40 C on the hottest summer days and 0C on cold winter nights. It’s best to dress in layers on your trip, so that you can adapt to the different weather conditions throughout the day.
Clothes to pack for different seasons Camino Santiago
For warmer weather:
  • Sun hat or cap 
  • Sunglasses 
  • Breathable T-shirts – fast drying and comfortable to wear in the heat. 
  • Long sleeved shirt – in case it gets cold at night. 
  • Shorts – or a pair of pants with zippers around the knees that can be made to long pants or shorts. 
  • Underwear and socks – preferable breathable, anti-blister socks. 
  • Windbreaker jacket or poncho to protect you from occasional winds or rain.
  • Swimsuit in case you want to take a refreshing dip along the way. 
For colder weather:
  • Thin gloves, warm hat and scarf (if needed) – to keep you warm during the cold winter mornings and nights. 
  • Thermal t-shirt and cotton t-shirt – to keep you warm
  • Thermal tights- to keep you warm and comfortable under your hiking pants 
  • Hiking pants – one pair is enough and they don’t have to be warm, just waterproof ( thermal tights will keep you warm).  
  • Thick sweater – for the evening and night time 
  • Underwear and socks – preferably thick anti-blister socks to keep your feet warm.
  • Poncho – against heavy rainfalls. 
Footwear:
  • Hiking boots – waterproof and with a good grip (wear them for a month before starting this adventure so you know they’re comfortable).
  • Light sneakers – to wear after your hikes, when relaxing, exploring the towns or going to a restaurant. 
  • Flip flops – also to wear after your hikes, to let your feet breathe. 
If you are planning to do the French Camino de Santiago we recommend you to do this tour with us, you won’t forget anything 😉 We also leave you some recommendations on how to prepare your trekking backpack in general in this blog post.
Walking along the Camino de Santiago

What is the best time of year to do the Camino de Santiago?

Many people ask about the best time of year to travel to the French Camino de Santiago from Sarria, spring being an ideal time because the weather is balanced, that is, there is neither too much cold nor too much heat. However, summer is also recommended for many pilgrims because they’ll have more hours of light to walk in, so the daily walk is more leisurely and the day can be enjoyed. Although the heat could be a concern, in this case it’s not, because in this area of Spain the summer is not very hot. For those who are passionate about the landscape, autumn is the time of year that is most suitable in this case, while winter is a time of year in which you can breathe peace and quiet but you have to take into account that there can be more rain and cold.
A direction sign at the Camino de Santiago

Itinerary and routes

Taking into account what to take to the Camino de Santiago, in our Howlanders tour we will give you a guide with maps, route profiles and places of interest kilometer by kilometer of each of the stages. Explained with the times of the route for each way. However, you also have the option of managing your own time. The itinerary also includes documentation such as accommodation bookings or luggage transfers, so you can send your backpack with all the luggage to the location already one month before starting the Camino de Santiago.

Preparing for the Camino de Santiago on foot

There are those who constantly exercise and have a good physical preparation, others on the contrary, have a more sedentary life. However, besides knowing the right things to take to the Camino de Santiago, in both cases a preparation is needed to be able to start with the Camino de Santiago. Every day, you walk between 15 and 20 km, so if you are one of those who does not constantly exercise, the best thing to do is to start walking for about 20 minutes two or three times a week and increase the time until you reach 4 km every hour. But, if you have a physical preparation that does not end there, you should start walking between 45 and 60 minutes a day and increase the amount of time and kilometers. When? Three months before starting the journey to Santiago will be enough for you to be super prepared when the day comes.
Cross camino de Santiago

Services you can count on during the Camino de Santiago

Although, there are things to take with you on the Camino de Santiago, there are others that are always required by travellers and that cannot necessarily be carried in a rucksack or pocket, as is the case with pharmacies. Although not all the villages, towns and villages you will pass through have all the services, on the route you will find places such as cafes, pharmacies, cash machines, restaurants, supermarkets, tourist information and health care. A fact that cannot be overlooked is that the places that have more services are those where each stage ends and begins, that is, where you will spend the night.
Sacred way on the Camino de Santiago

Careful and safe luggage

If walking 20 km a day is hard enough, imagine carrying a backpack in which you carry your life for a week, or as long as you are on the Camino. The most recommendable, or the most comfortable, is to have a luggage transfer service. They take it from one hostel to another during the day so that when you arrive it is waiting for you, and so on the journey you only carry a small bag with only what you need. Now that you know everything you need to take with you on the Camino de Santiago, it’s time to train to live the adventure and not arrive at the Cathedral of Santiago with your tongue hanging out – you can do it!

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