This Camino de Santiago packing list will give you a brief overview of the necessary items you need for this adventure. Of course, you can add or remove items as you need them, but this list worked perfectly for me and will do so for you. You don´t need much, and it does not have to be expensive.
Camino de Santiago packing list
- One pair of reasonable hiking boots, ankle-high
- Backpack with approx. 50 – 60 L capacity
- Wetness protection cover for the rucksack
- Rainwear (light jacket + trousers)
- Sleeping bag
- Drinking bladder for the backpack or bottles
- Three (quick-drying) underpants
- Three pairs of hiking socks
- Three functional shirts (quick-drying, breathable)
- Long hiking pants with the possibility to remove the legs (2 in 1)
- One pair of short trousers
- One fleece jacket
- One thin, long-sleeved shirt to wear underneath
- One long, thin pair of underpants
- Hat, cap, scarf (whatever protects against the sun)
- One microfibre towel, quick-drying
- toilet bag with hooks for hanging up (there is often no possibility to hang up your things in the typical shower – therefore with hooks)
- One toothpaste, small (for luggage)
- One detergent, small
- One shower gel, little (for bags)
- One sun protection cream
- Mobile phone charger
- Pocket knife (e.g., Leatherman Multifunctional)
- Document cover for travel documents
- Emergency pharmacy (blister plasters, ibuprofen, Voltaren, tape…)
- Pilgrim guide (I recommend the one from Reimund Joos)
Some facts I want to mention
With this Camino de Santiago packing list, you should carry about 10 kg in your backpack. I would recommend this mark as a guideline because the more weight you take with you, the more strenuous it becomes. You have to consider that water and food will also be added.
Does the gear have to be expensive?
To make sure that your adventure on the Way of St. James does not fail because of the cost of the equipment, I would like to say a few words about it. If you look for the right equipment, you will see that you can spend an incredible amount of money on it. But one does not have to!
Underwear made of merino wool can easily cost 100 EUR, but you don’t need it. You can get the complete equipment, for example, at Decathlon for relatively little money. A quick-drying microfibre towel costs between 5 and 10 EUR. Expensive high-end equipment is not necessary.
There are two things on the list where I emphasize the highest quality because they will be the two most essential items on your trip: Backpack and hiking boots.
You have the backpack on your back for up to eight hours a day, so it has to be comfortable and fit well. It should have hip straps and be height adjustable at the back so that you can adjust it to your height. If the backpack does not fit, daily hiking can become torture. I recommend that you try the rucksack in a specialist shop. It should be said for inexperienced hikers that hip straps take the strain off the shoulders because the weight is distributed over the body.
You also wear hiking boots for many hours a day, and they protect you from twisting, wetness, and blisters. Yes, blisters are a serious issue on the Way of St. James, and everyone tries to avoid them. “Suitable footwear is essential here—basic rule: buy hiking boots one size larger than your standard shoe size. Your feet swell up during the day. Do not buy them too small because your toes will bump into the front when you go downhill, and it will be excruciating. Also, go to a specialist shop here and get advice.
Don´t give a shit of brands with this Camino de Santiago packing list.
I deliberately don’t mention prices and brands because everyone has a different budget and should stick with it. As I said, it is not a question of money to embark on the Way of St. James; please do not fail because of that. I have seen people walking in frayed sneakers and a broken T-shirt, and they, too, have reached their goal. The beautiful thing about the Way of St. James is that everyone goes his way and that materialism has no place there. People and their history are in the foreground. So if you only have a minimal budget available, take what you already have and set off. You will get help and find everything you need – I can promise you that. Please don’t be afraid of the physical challenge either, because you will make it. Your body can do more than you give it credit for as long as you do everything at your own pace. Take your time on this path, and it will be an unforgettable experience that could possibly change a life.
If you are interested in my personal Camino de Santiago story, please be invited to have a look at my book. It´s written from the heart with honest feelings, struggles, and moments of happiness. The book is available on all international Amazon markets, and the link will direct you to your local one.