2014 packing list for Camino Portuguese

See my full packing list on excel spread sheet
packing list 2014

of the items listed I didn’t use the following:

  • liner socks – I wanted to take them ‘just in case’ but didn’t need them
  • sarong
  • shirt – proper ventilated long sleeve walking shirt, which I thought would be useful for hiking and for relaxing but was totally unnecessary
  • wind-up torch – a very cheap one that I wound like crazy for a nano-second of light – the light from my phone was sufficient for all purposes
  • inflatable pillow – quite an expensive item that I used once and found very uncomfortable – I wouldn’t take one again, but would use my clothes as a pillow. Maybe I’ll take a pillow case instead next time
  • knee braces – I needed them last year but fortunately not this year
  • eye liner and lipstick – these items also came on my Camino Frances last year and remained unused, but a girl has to be prepared!

My creams and potions were sample sizes scrounged from beauty counters and just about lasted the journey. I did not scrimp on hair products because these were the items I really missed last year

Many pilgrims would balk at the amount and weight of technology items that I carried, but with the exception of the mifi gadget which I could not get to work, I didn’t regret taking any of my toys.

Last year on my first camino I panicked about weight, worrying about every item in my pack. But this year I knew that I could carry the weight and was a little more laid back, although of course still cutting down to what I considered was a comfortable bare minimum.

Keep in mind that this list is for a spring camino, I would definitely have taken a second pair of walking pants, long sleeve T-shirt and long johns, all of which were on my original list and left behind at the last moment. I would also have packed a pair of warmer gloves for a colder season.

I omitted from the list the Brierly guide book. I had sliced all the pages from the binding and dumped the ‘waffle’ pages before leaving home. I didn’t really use the book at all whilst walking with Elly because she was doing all the planning, and I just chucked out the pages as we progressed from stage to stage. However once I set off on my own I did refer to the book occasionally, particularly the map pages, which I kept  in a zip lock bag so I could see the print without removing it.  I slightly regret dumping the pages now and if I had thought it through I should have at least kept the map pages for future reference. I am now an advocate of paper based guide information which is much easier to access whilst walking than electronic info which is not easy to see in bright sunlight.

Overall, I was very pleased with all the items I took on this journey, including the few that I added en route, my lovely penknife purchased in Lisbon and posted home from Santiago. And a T-shirt and pair of pants purchased at a Chinese shop when I thought I had left my sleep wear in the previous night’s albergue. And then of course when I returned to my room I found the missing items that had fallen out of my pack and were hidden under the bed. My first reaction was to dump the new items but I didn’t notice the extra weight and kept them with me.

I don’t remember wishing I had taken any additional item except one or two more pairs of pants (of the underwear variety) for the evenings. With three pairs there would be one to wear after a shower and then to sleep in, a clean pair to wear after the next day’s shower and one in reserve in case the washing didn’t get dry. One pair definitely isn’t enough!

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17 Responses to 2014 packing list for Camino Portuguese

  1. I enjoy reading about your experiences and all you have learned along the way. At one time I thought I wanted to do the Santiago walk but realized my feet couldn’t take the workout. I have lived vicariously through your last journey. :-)

    • magwood says:

      It has been great to have you on board Tess. I have really enjoyed your company. It is well to be aware of your comfort zones and strengths and weaknesses. Are you up for another hike next year?

  2. Jo Bryant says:

    Your planning skills blow my mind

  3. Where and when are you going next? That’s what I want to know!

  4. Kristina Wilkening says:

    I love reading your posts, too. Your writing style is very readable. Your advice almost motherly! Missing all those wonderful photos you took along your journey, too. I am going on my Camino at the end of September. Struggling with the ‘right’ kind of shoes to take. Boots vs. something like a Brooks Cascadia Trail runner vs. Keen sandal. There are so many opinions. Anyway, thank you for such a lovely blog. It is like getting a letter from an old friend sometimes. Reminds me of the movie ’84 Charing Cross Road’…a fantastic movie of two people getting to know each other through their letters.

    • magwood says:

      Hi Kristina. Thanks for such a lovely comment. I am at the age where I am very happy to be thought of as motherly! I love the sound of the film, I shall have to see if I can order it. We have no tv here (other than news channels) so am always on the lookout for a good film. And my parents met after initially corresponding for a few weeks, and were married within six weeks of meeting – now there’s a good plot for a film!

      Footwear is such a difficult issue. I am comfortable in boots so will stick with them, but I am always a little envious of people walking in sandals, although I hate to have dusty feet so I probably wouldn’t get on with them.

      I shall be posting plenty of photos in my posts about life here in Spain, so I hope you will stick with me.

      Will you be blogging when you walk? I would love to follow you along the camino.

      • Kristina Wilkening says:

        Hi Maggie, I would like to blog. But am leaning towards just taking my Droid phone for emails, texting and pictures. I have blogged before when I was in Australia and Oaxaca (Mexico). It is a bit like homework…but always fun to share the trip with others who are interested but can’t be there with you. I loved clicking on the send button when all was said and done…and always looked forward to the responses! I will let you know if I change my mind. That is so cool how your mom and dad met. I think you would absolutely love that movie ’84 Charing Cross Rd’. It stars Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins.

      • magwood says:

        Blogging is certainly a discipline when travelling – I like the ‘homework’ analogy!
        I have ordered the book Kristina, my daughter will bring it over when she visits next month.thanks for the recommendation – I am looking forward to reading it.

  5. Johanna Redelinghuys says:

    I am back home after a wonderful Portuguese Camino. Still a bit overwhelm by the experience. I am so glad that I could follow your blog before we left, although nothing can prepare you completely for the “walk”. What I can add though is that I can’t believe with how few worldly possessions one can survive.
    I am 73 and had a bad day on the Old Roman Way outgoing Redondela. It was beautiful surroundings but not easy with backpack . It was a hot day and I nearly ran out of water also.

    • magwood says:

      Hi Johanna. Thanks so much for getting in touch and congratulations to you. I only hope that I still have the stamina to complete a camino in thirteen years’ time. I am not at all sure that I will!

      Yes, it is incredible what we can do without when we are living a simple life. That day out of Redondela was hard, I have just read my post for the day and I was very weary. And having to cross back and forth over the N550 didn’t help much. The heat makes a huge difference to stamina levels. I almost preferred the rain during the second part of my camino.
      Well done you – time to out your feet up for a while.

  6. Kristina Wilkening says:

    I haven’t read 84 Charing Cross Road. But I have seen the movie a few times. Let me know how you like the book. Then, maybe I will order it!

  7. Rich Cooper says:

    Magwood,
    RE: Packing list
    Can you say something about your need for a sleeping bag? I remember you referencing it in your trip blog, but I don’t know that I read any recommendation. I used a poncho liner on the Frances (May / June) some years ago, but wonder about Portugal in September. I bought one that weighs 1 Kg. and wonder if it’s worth packing. Your thoughts?
    Rich (flewitheagles)

    • magwood says:

      The only time I used my bag before Porto was at the youth hostel in Parque Nações and the church albergue in Alvorge. Then until the other side of,Porto we stayed in hostels where they provided bed linen. Although at Vilafranca de Xira and Santarém we were given a private room despite paying the dormitory price. The dorms may not have linen provided.
      After Porto there is a more structured albergue system and you will need your own bedding, whatever you choose. It is such a personal issue, whether you sleep hot or cool. The conditions in the albergues can be challenging enough without the added issue of not being comfortable. I took a silk liner and and spent a ridiculous amount of money on a new down sleeping bag that opened up completely for use as a blanket. I didn’t regret it, it weighed only 430 grams and packed down into a tiny stuff bag. I wouldn’t want to be without it for the small amount of weight. September will probably still be quite warm but with the possibility of rain. Only you can know your comfort zone, for me, I liked the reassurance of a lightweight bag just in case.

      Take a look at my assessment of gear http://wp.me/p3azEo-PS, and bom caminho!

  8. June Smith says:

    HI Magwood,
    Thanks once again for all your insight and information which you so kindly take the time to post on this site. It’s inspiring and exciting to read of your experiences on the different routes. I found your views and advice regarding items to pack most interesting. My friend Andrea and I are getting more and more excited. I don’t normally wish the time away (especially at this age), but can’t wait for March 2015. Well done to Johanna Redelinghuys at age 73 to still take on the challenge of a Camino. Fond regards from South Africa.

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