Away and away… and plenty of packing!

I departed on April 10th. It’s an interesting feeling to go somewhere having bought a single one-way plane ticket and no specific agenda for what to do when getting there. It is true I have a route I plan to follow, but right now there are no strings attached anywhere and considering the possibilities is exciting in and of itself.

Here are some pictures showing what I packed and how it evolved so it could all fit into the backpack (I think I packed close to double what the guidebook recommended). Total weight: +25lbs

Everything I tookEverything I took pre-packed

Full pack_with airplane towel Carrying the pack

Here are a few of the guidelines I followed for packing:

  • Pack as light as possible: Contrary to what one would initially think, you would actually want to pack less for long-term traveling than a 1 or 2 week vacation. For this type of traveling every ounce of weight counts
  • Keep those extra items at home: All those “just in case” items one usually throws in don’t make it.
  • Pack essential clothing only: Extra pair of shoes? Can’t decide what dress clothes to wear so you take all options? Not a good idea when traveling like this. Trust me, it was hard for me to get here with a minimal amount of clothing, only a pair of sandals and walking sneakers. The idea of wearing the same shirt several times per week isn’t that appealing either.
  • Bring clothes that are easy to wash and dry: Thick cotton sweatshirt? Not good. Thick large towel? Not good. Jeans? Not good. These take very long to dry and weigh a decent amount. I did have to buy clothing of specific material types that are easy to wash and dry. I will be doing a lot of hand washing. (PS: I did bring jeans and other items I probably won’t need, although I will at least leave them at my cousin’s apartment for El Camino and I’ll decide when I come back in 2 months if I missed them that much)

Here are some items which are not typically included when I travel for a week or two:

  • A comprehensive first-aid kit
  • Headlamp
  • Sleeping bag
  • Rain Jacket
  • Duct Tape
  • Nylon strings
  • Swiss Army knife
  • Clothespins
  • Solar charger (for electronics)
  • SteriPen (UV water purification system that kills bacteria, viruses and protozoa)
  • Headband
  • Nail clipper
  • Earplugs
  • Camino de Santiago specific items:
    • Trekking poles
    • Extra pairs of wool socks (best on the feet for long walks and a variety of weather)
    • Body glide anti-chafe
    • Platypus hydration pack (3L)

First stop is Madrid, Spain (arriving April 11th) where I will spend a few days with my cousin Andres and will prepare for “El Camino de Santiago” walking pilgrimage.

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4 thoughts on “Away and away… and plenty of packing!

  1. Pingback: Ultra Light Packing List for the Camino De Santiago | Read it to absorb my awesomeness

  2. Pingback: Ultra Light Packing List for the Camino De Santiago | Melanie's Life Online

  3. Gracias por compartir tus experiencias, noce como expresar como me impresiono lo que e leido en este blog, solo se que este tiempo que me dedique a leerlo a sido valioso, me a hecho reflexionar como yo estoy inviertiendo mi tiempo y como es mi rutina, nunca es tarde para emprender un nuevo camino, un camino de proposito. La vida es un aprendizaje continuo y al caminar vamos aprendiendo mas y mas cosas.

    Ojala hubiese leido el “guideline for packing” antes de mi viaje a Ecuador…jaja :0), lleve 100 lbs por dos semanas….. bueno 50 lb se quedaron alla (correspondiente a regalos) pero no volvere a llevar excesos jamas.

    Buen viaje y que Dios te acompane siempre, seguire leyendo tu blog.

  4. Hey! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I
    could find a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having
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