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The Camino - What to Bring

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What to Take on the Camino

Before I left for Spain and my trek on the Camino, I thought I spent my time wisely. I found a nice light weight backpack then I carefully thought out what to put in that backpack: light weight, fast drying clothes, micro-cassette recorder and tapes, sunscreen, a hat, and all the other necessities.

The contents of my pack had intentionally been kept light and to a minimum, but with each passing day I found it heavier and more cumbersome than the day before. I began to make conscious descisions about what I did or did not need. I, like many other travelers, began and continued to discard items of little or no consequence. It is truly amazing what you can live without. We basically lead a soft life cuddled in our security blankets. We want to make certain we are comfortable no matter what the circumstances.

Frankly, comfort is not a part of this trip. The Camino is a sojourn, a soul's journey. It brings to the surface a number of things and issues that need to be faced or discovered in yourself. The early pilgrims that undertook this journey did so with little more than sandals, a walking stick they picked up along the way, some type of a container for water and an open heart.

When I completed my journey, I had about as much on me as my predecessors had when they finished. Nevertheless, here's a list of things you might need and will probably leave behind.

The real essential are:

  • Passport
  • Record of required medication or vaccinations
  • Credit card
  • Calling card
  • Clothing
    • Hiking shoes or boots
    • Gortex jacket
    • Wide brim hat
    • Rain poncho big enough to cover you and your backpack
    • Socks
    • Underwear
  • A comfortable light weight packpack
  • Sunglasses
  • Miniature Flashlight
  • An ultralight sleeping bag
  • Light weight water bottle, either aluminum or plastic depending on your tastes
  • First aid, supplements and hygiene
    • Adhesive tape
    • Aleve or some similar type of pain reliever
    • Antibacterial ointment
    • Anti-perspirant cream (I hear you don't get blisters if you put this on your feet)
    • Arnica for sprains and bruises
    • Band-aids
    • Compede for blisters
    • Insect Repellent
    • MSM
    • Muscle soothing cream
    • Oxygen to purify water
    • Plastic ziplock bags for storage
    • Soap and shampoo combination
    • Swiss Army knife with tweezers
    • Sunscreen
    • Vasaline

You may want to consider taking:

  • A micro camera and film
  • A micro cassette recorder and tapes
  • A journal
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The Camino
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