Who knew that a hook in a shower stall could be such a big deal?
Prior to walking the Camino Francés last year, I read a number of posts about hooks, or lack thereof, in many of the albergue shower stalls along The Way. So I purchased a beautiful chrome S-hook at the Container Store (when I was unable to locate a plastic version). But when push came to shove and it was time to lighten my load, I left it at home.
Instead I ended up taking two lightweight velcro cinch straps that really came in handy for all sorts of things; hanging my toiletry bag in the shower, strapping my poles together in the giant pole racks in the albergues so they would be easier to locate in the morning, strapping my backpack to the bunk beds, etc.
“I think it’s important to find the little things in everyday life that make you happy.” —Paula Cole
But honestly, I often daydreamed about that s-hook while I was on the Camino. Okay, daydreaming is a bit of an exaggeration but I definitely thought of that hook from time-to-time and the lack of hooks was often the topic of conversation many afternoons and evenings at the albergues. It was always such a joy to come across a hook on the inside of a stall to hold all the items that I carried to the shower with me because I either needed them (toiletry bag, towel, clean clothes in dry bag) or didn’t want to chance them being stolen (dry bag of electronics, money belt, etc.).
So, today I bought a new hook. (Guaranteed my friend Don, who will also be walking his second Camino this year, will give me a hard time about this purchase as soon as he reads this. On a recent training hike to Barnabe Peak in Marin County, Don gave me a hard time about all the additional things I kept saying I was going to bring this year… “Your pack’s going to weight 30 pounds,” he kidded me after I went on and on about taking mayonnaise packets, salt and pepper packets, a sink plug, and heaven-only-knows what other creature comforts this summer.)
My new hook is a plastic, over-the-door version that weighs 8/10 of an ounce and fits in my toiletry bag. My plan is to take it with me and if it doesn’t work well or isn’t worth the weight or space, I can easily drop it in a “free” box at one of the albergues.
In the overall scheme of things, does a hanging hook really matter? Will it make or break my Camino or anyone else’s? Definitely not.
Would I recommend that a first-timer spend any time or energy worrying about hooks? Nope.
But do I feel satisfied with my dollar store purchase?
Main photo credit: Hooks by Peter Dutton