do you take with you?
of Saint James of South Africa
(C.South Africa) PDF
Who does the Camino and why?
What does it cost to walk the Camino?
Is it an organised tour?
How long does it take to walk the Camino?
What route does the Camino follow?
What is the route like?
How do you get from South Africa to Spain?
How does one get to the starting point?
What about language?
When should one go?
What about medical care and emergencies?
How fit do you have to be?
What do you take with you?
What about security?
Where do you sleep?
What is there to eat?
What happens when you reach Santiago?
What do you take with you?
people advise you to take the bare minimum, please
believe them. Apart from the fact that glamour and
variety become totally meaningless on the walk,
every gram starts to weigh more as you walk. The
general rule is that your backpack should not weigh
more than 10% of your bodyweight. Take light, loose
clothing that won't get too creased and dries easily,
with options for cold or wet weather. The following
list is suitable for spring or autumn where temperatures
varied from about 10 - 35°C. Asterisked items could
probably be left behind in high summer.
What about medical care and emergencies? as well.
2/3 short sleeved shirts or t-shirts - fast drying
and non crease
1 pr shorts - fast drying material ( not cotton)
(Note - not acceptable wear off the Camino for visits
to churches etc.)
2 pr zip-off longs or 1 pr plus light track pants
1 lightweight long sleeved shirt if you need sun
protection while walking
3 sets underwear (one on, one to wash, one to dry)
2/3 pairs of socks
1 pr comfy sandals or flip flops to change into
at the end of each day or to give feet a break
rain poncho (which is useful as a ground sheet as
light sleeping bag/blanket. * For any time other
than high summer season when you could get by with
a light sarong or sheet, sleeping bags are essential
as many refugios don't keep blankets. The lightweight
ones are fine for most weather - (Cape Storm Midge
or similar - 300g or First Ascent from Cape Union
Mart - 500g). Make a pillow out of your clothing
of take a lightweight pillow case into which you
can stuff soft clothing each night.
small, light torch or LED head torch
lightweight wind breaker (for cooler times a more
substantial jacket may be needed)
coloured thermal vest or long-sleeved sweatshirt
to double as evening wear/pyjamas*
sleeveless fleece waistcoat* (optional)
toiletries: soap or shower/shampoo gel, toothpaste
& brush, moisturiser, deodorant, suntan lotion,
minimal makeup, comb/brush, laundry soap
small diary/notebook and pen
a few pegs, nylon cord 2 metres long for a wash
line, safety pins to attach wet clothes onto the
back of your backpack
earplugs - these are invaluable to counteract disturbance
in the plane, the snoring and rustling of plastic
bags by early starters in refugios, the chatting
(frequent) and the traffic noise (infrequent)
credit card, phone card, passport in a money belt
waterbottle (you can easily use plastic cooldrink
bottles obtained there) or a "camelback"
camera, batteries and/or charger
light, easy drying travel towel
sarong (which can be used for a wrap, a scarf, a
sheet, a towel, or a cover when it is too hot for
small Swiss army knife, scissors and/or clippers
(remember that trains (eg Eurostar) and all airlines
forbid carrying knives in cabin luggage.)
zip-lock plastic bags to keep things dry and accessible
walking stick - many pilgrims recommend walking
with one or two sticks, claiming it is easier on
the knees and helps on inclines/declines. Cape Union
Mart offers the Italian 'Master' brand which "telescopes"
to about 10cm. Wooden ones are available in shops
and at some refugios, some complete with gourds
and scallop shells. It is also suggested that you
train with a stick to toughen the hands ahead of
remember to have some way of securing your backpack
for travelling - either padlocks, an outer cover
that locks or shrink-wrap (available in Cape Town
and Johannesburg airports international departure
Camping gas stove and mugs or a little spiral immersion
heater, plug for Spain, camping cup, tea bags, coffee
sachets and cup of soup packets
travel alarm clock
space blanket (± R15 Trappers' Trading)
1 neck scarf/bandana
two large suction wall hooks to use in the showers.
There are very few clothes hooks to hang your dry,
dirty or wet clothes and, some of the showers don't
a universal bathplug
small sewing kit (hotel sample)
Hi-Tech 'Sole Saver' is a fluid rubber with which
you can do DIY repairs to rubber soles
Choose shoes one to two sizes larger and always
try them on with the socks you plan to wear on the
If your feet get wet then smear them with vaseline
Lambs wool can be the answer to any abrasive problems
It's important for ladies to wear ladies' boots
/ shoes - amongst other things they're narrower
at the heel than men's boots / shoes
Lacing of boots and shoes can be done in a number
of ways: Cross lacing and parallel lacing are the
most common methods but other variations can be
made: for example, for the pilgrim experiencing
problems with metatarsals the Arthur Lydiard method
of lacing skips a couple of eyelets to leave the
affected area free.
Some people recommend taking boots and socks off
to air the feet at every rest stop (every 10 or
Wear clean socks every day
Make sure that your boots/shoes are long enough
to accommodate your toes on the downhill, to avoid
Feet swell if you walk every day, so make sure shoes
are also wide enough
Make sure that stitching on the toe of the sock
is not going to hurt you - especially the knots
at the end of the stitching
Keep feet dry
Think about getting extra padded inner soles too,
but make sure shoes are still spacious with your
We did an informal survey amongst returning pilgrims
to find out what type and size backpack one should
carry. Consensus was that it's all about travelling
light (35 - 45 litre capacity). Most men preferred
backpacks with an internal frame, but cautioned
on not filling every available space!
Road Claremont, Cape Town)
Cape Union Mart '
Quadrant pack, waterproof 45-litre (about R450).
It carries a lifetime guarantee with it on zips
Kilimanjaro / 35 litre "Duzi" which has
side and back pockets and a sternum strap / 45
litre Lowe Alpine, no frame
Even if you carry a small daypack your sleeping
bag can be wrapped in plastic and strapped on the
Use a black plastic garbage bag as an inner lining
to keep clothes dry
Too much to carry? We all start off too heavy -
don't despair! Post extra stuff to yourself Poste
Restante in Santiago. Pack a nice strong white plastic
bag for your unwanted items, sticky tape and put
on labels addressed to yourself eg: Mr 'Joe Soap',
Lista de Correos, 15780 Santiago de Compostela,
You can also buy pilgrim boxes, some large enough
to take a suitcase, at the Post Office. On arrival,
take your parcel ticket and ID/passport to the Post
Office (Correos). It is open till about 7pm, and
they will keep it there for 30 days.
A "porter" service Originally started
for ailing or handicapped pilgrims is now available
if you are really desperate. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Electricity Most refuges have electricity but not
all have kitchens. Spain uses normal European 220
volt current with round two pin plugs
Loo call Take a toilet roll, remove cardboard inner
and fold it flat - handy when refuges run out of
paper or for use along the road. And please respect
Maps You do not really need maps, as the trail is
very well way-marked. Some guidebooks have strip
maps for each stage.
Public phones Available all along the route. You
can purchase call cards or use cash.
Cell/mobile phones Take a plug for Spain to recharge.
Switch off when in a church, monastery, museum etc.
Vodaphone covers all UK and Spain with the same
ΰ Q.Pratique Dιpart