Essentials for walking the Camino de Santiago
To face the Camino de Santiago successfully, the most important thing is the will of the pilgrim, since, in this experience, it is more what we take back home at the end than what we will bring in the suitcase at the beginning of our journey. Of course, as important as spirituality is on the Camino de Santiago, and that the fundamental thing is to enjoy this enriching experience, there are some essentials that it is convenient to consider before starting out. The point is that, during the days we spend on the Camino de Santiago, we have everything we will need on a day-to-day basis so that our experience is an absolute success.
It´s the Camino: you will have to walk
The Camino de Santiago is an experience suitable for all ages and for all physical forms in general, but we must not forget that we are going to spend a minimum of a week walking, day after day, an average of between fifteen and twenty kilometers per day. Therefore, we must make sure that we are going to undertake the Camino de Santiago in the best conditions.
Our first recommendation is that you bring walking sticks. Although the traditional walking stick of the pilgrim is the wooden one, currently it is advisable to bring hiking sticks. Light and foldable, it will not be a problem to put them in the suitcase for the trip by plane, car or train, or carry them in the backpack during the Camino de Santiago when you don’t need them.
We must bear in mind that the Camino de Santiago passes through different types of pavements and roads and that we can find rain on our route, so good hiking sticks will ensure our passage and will avoid injuries.
And speaking of injuries. The most feared on the entire Camino de Santiago, and these are inevitable with walking sticks, are blisters. To escape from them, you have to keep in mind how you dress your feet in two fundamental aspects: footwear and socks.
Looking after your feet on the Camino de Santiago
The ideal is to face the Camino de Santiago with trekking or hiking breathable shoes, but above all, you must wear shoes to what you are used to. The first commandment of foot care on the Camino de Santiago is that you forget to wear new shoes. New boots will be tough for the first few days and will cause chafing. Remember that you will spend many hours walking, so what you should put in your suitcase is footwear that your feet are more than used to.
It is also convenient that your feet rest at the end of each stage of the Camino de Santiago. For this we recommend that you include open flip flops in your luggage, so that your feet can breathe and relax after an intense day. Flip-flops are also useful to help heal any small blisters that may come out.
As said, we cannot forget the socks either. A comfortable and accustomed footwear will be of no use to our feet if we use socks that give us a bad result. We also recommend that they are not new and preferably choose them without seams.
Essential luggage for the Camino de Santiago
Of course, the first thing you will need is clothes that are comfortable for you to walk on. Since you will be leaving early in the morning, it is fine to add something warmer for the first hours. It is important that you include a light raincoat. In Galicia it does not rain as much as they say, but the rain on the Camino de Santiago can be unpredictable and appear and disappear at any time. It is also advisable to bring head protection, a hat or visor, since you will pass through areas with less shade and, if it coincides with you at noon or in the middle of summer on the Castilian Plateau, you will appreciate it. Do not forget, for these hours, also the sunglasses.
Remember to also include in your luggage clothes to change once you arrive at the destination at the end of each stage of the Camino de Santiago. We recommend that you visit the places where you spend the night, that you get know those intermediate destinations of the Jacobean Route and that you enjoy Galician cuisine in its magnificent restaurants.
To complete your toiletry bag, don’t forget your usual toiletries, moisturizers and, very importantly, sun protection. Although the sun may not seem very strong, so many hours outdoors will have a bad effect on your skin if it is not properly protected.
Luggage transfer on the Camino de Santiago
Beyond the guide of essentials to do the Camino de Santiago that we propose, you can include other items that you consider necessary, since Rutas Meigas will take care of the transfer of your luggage in each of the stages of the Camino de Santiago, from the first of the stages until you reach Compostela. So, feel free to pack whatever you want in your suitcase, as you won’t have to carry it around. Of course, we recommend that you bring a small backpack so that, in each of the stages, you can take the essentials with you while you walk.
Your backpack for the Camino de Santiago
This piece is another of the essentials for walking the Camino de Santiago. Leave in the luggage that Rutas Meigas will transport to your next accommodation the heaviest and what you do not need. What to carry on your very small backpack for the Camino de Santiago?
Personal documentation. Of course, along the Camino de Santiago you must carry with you all the personal identification documents that you may need at a given moment.
Water. It is common to find fountains of drinking water and establishments where you can buy it, but hydration on the Camino de Santiago is essential, so do not forget to always carry a bottle with you.
Some snacks. In most of the Caminos and, especially, in the section of the Camino de Santiago from Sarria to Santiago, you can stop for a drink to recharge energy throughout the stages. In any case, it is always convenient to carry something like fruit, nuts, or protein bars in case we have a burst of energy at any time.
The raincoat that we mentioned before. Take it with you whenever there is the slightest threat of rain. We recommend that it be light so that it does not take up space or weigh you down if, in the end, the sun prevails.
Sun protection and a hat or cap. The noon hours will require your head and skin to be well protected from the sun.
A small basic first-aid kit, with plasters (or special dressings for blisters), some bandage and tape.
Essentials for the pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago
Of course, beyond what you can include in your suitcase for the day to day of the Camino de Santiago there are other items that are essential for every pilgrim. Given their importance, in this case, it will be Rutas Meigas who will oversee providing them, so it will not be necessary for you to worry about getting them yourself. You will find them in the welcome pack that will wait for you in your first accommodation.
Maps of each of the stages (which you will also have available online on our website, if you want to follow them on Google Maps)
The Pilgrim’s Credential so that you can stamp in each of the stages of the Camino de Santiago and obtain the Compostela when you arrive at your destination at the feet of the Apostle.
Pilgrim Scallop shell, the centennial symbol that will distinguish you as a true pilgrim of the Camino de Santiago.
In addition, for any questions that may arise, the staff of Rutas Meigas, all pilgrim experts, are at your disposal to solve it.