For weeks prior to walking the Camino Francés in the summer of 2014, my gear looked like this:
I would pack everything up into my Osprey Sirrus 36 pack but then take it all out, find something new, trade out one thing for another. As it turned out, that’s not totally uncommon. I’ve read great threads on backpacking forums (I love following the PCT forums on Facebook even though I’m not sure I’ll ever walk it myself) about backpackers and their table or floor space devoted to their packing items…even though they are not departing for months.
It’s interesting taking a look at that photo above now, seven months after returning home from the Camino. While some items are still in my pack for this year’s Camino, (the pink Sea-to-Summit toiletry bag in the upper right corner and homemade flannel towel, for example), many of the items were taken off the list either before, during, or after last summer’s Camino:
- The yellow fleece jacket on the floor, for example. Not only did I not care for the pastel yellow, which always made me feel like an infant when I donned it, I decided that for me, despite all the admirable qualities of fleece, it’s bulk took up too much space in my pack.
- My old Tevas made it to the Camino but were sent ahead to Santiago from Viana when I decided that their usefulness was far outweighed, literally, by their, well, weight.
- There’s a sarong in the photo that didn’t go to Spain with me because I decided that it weighed too much and
- The fleece sleep sack I made went the way of the fleece jacket mentioned above for the same reasons. (Read more about my attempts at making my own sleep system and what I actually ended up taking here.)
- The small black shoulder bag on top of the pile also made it to Viana before it was packed into a box and mailed to Santiago along with a new Sony digital camera (after I realized that I was perfectly content with the photos taken by my iPhone).
The photo below shows the gear I ended up taking with me, displayed in a much more organized fashion.