What to bring in your backpack for the Camino de Santiago?

Preparing the backpack for your Camino de Santiago is not an easy task. As important as adding everything you may need is to avoid going overboard with the essentials.

That is why we are going to help you make a list of the items that cannot be missing in your backpack for the Camino de Santiago. And if you prefer so, remember that you can count on a backpack transport service that will make your pilgrimage much easier.

When preparing your backpack for the Camino de Santiago we must take into account two main premises: carry everything, but at the same time do not carry too much.

What we put in our backpack will be what we need at each stage of the way, but also what we will carry on our backs (unless you hire a backpack transport service for each day), so we better prepare a list of essential things and try not to add many extras.

Besides clothes and footwear, this is our proposal with the essential elements to add to your backpack to the Camino de Santiago:

Items to carry in your bag:

  • Important documents

    - Your ID or passport
    - Pilgrim's credential
    - Health card or copy of private health insurance
    - Money, both on card and in cash
  • Personal Hygiene

    - Soap for your showers and for washing clothes
    - Toothbrush and toothpaste
    - Toilet paper and tissues
    - Fiber towel
    - Flip-flops for your showers
  • Tools

    - Mobile phone and charger
    - Plastic bags: for dirty clothes, food storage or to use them as a raincoat
    - Clothespins: to hang your clothes at the hostel or in your backpack during the day
  • Safety

    - First aid kit: plasters, disinfectant and analgesics. It is also convenient that you bring vaseline for your feet, as well as a needle and thread for the blisters. If you need any other medication, add it here.
    - Sun screen: both in summer and winter, try to protect your skin, since it will be exposed under the sun for a long time.
    - Flashlight or reflectors: especially for those stages with fog, in the early morning, or walking down a road, to keep you visible at all times.
  • Food

    - Canteen or bottle: it will allow you to take water from sources and streams and stay hydrated at each stage.
    - Snacks: energy bars, cookies or nuts. Foods that take up little space on your backpack, that have good nutritional value and that do not spoil quickly.
  • Resting

    - Sleeping bag: depending on the season, you will need a heavier or a lighter one, although in most private hostels they have sheets and a blanket.
    - Ear plugs: if you are going to spend the night in shelters, put plugs in your ears so that the snoring of others does not prevent you from sleeping.

What other essentials do I need if I do the Camino de Santiago by bike?

If instead of doing the Camino on foot you choose to do it by bike, you must add other items to be able to complete the experience without incidents.

How to prepare the backpack for the Camino de Santiago?

There is also a method, a way to prepare your backpack so that it is more comfortable for you to carry everything, as things will fit easily.

For example, starting packing the sleeping bag is a good idea so it will serve as a cushion for the rest of things. It is also something that we will not need to use during our walk, so it is not necessary that it is accessible.

On top of our sleeping bag we will add the rest of things, trying that the weight is always balanced on both sides and placing those items that weigh more as close to our back as possible. The things that we will need most frequently during the Camino, we will place them in the most accessible pockets to have them at hand without having to remove the backpack. Our canteen or bottle of water would be placed here, as well as the Pilgrim’s credential so we can seal it twice a day at each stage. Also our documentation.

Do not forget to put all the items that you are going to take to the Camino before starting the experience in your backpack and weigh it. This way you can make sure you are carrying the recommended weight without exceeding yourself, and you can add or remove elements that you will not need to achieve the minimum possible weight.

Backpack type

To choose the type of backpack that you will take to do the Camino de Santiago, the first thing you have to take into account is the capacity, which is calculated in liters. Normally, pilgrims carry backpacks of about 35 or 40 liters of capacity, although they can prefer those of 45 or even 60 liters if the journey is made during winter, since warm and thermal clothing will always occupy more space.

A common mistake when choosing the backpack for the Camino is usually opting for one that is too large and filling it with a lot of things. And the fact that our backpack weighs too much can even prevent us from finishing our way as we had planned.

That is why it is so important to know which things are essential, so that the weight of our backpack is perfectly bearable throughout the Camino. In any case, make sure that the weight of your backpack does not exceed a 10% of your total body weight, without reaching 9 kgs either. This should be more than enough.

Some essential elements that your backpack must have for your experience to be as comfortable as possible are:

Backpack transport services

An alternative that more and more pilgrims are turning to is the backpack transport service, present in many agencies, and practically available on all the Caminos de Santiago and at any time of the year.

This service allows you to forget about your main backpack during the day, while you are walking your stage. So you can carry only a small backpack or light bag with the essentials for these hours of walking: water, food, plasters, sunscreen... Your luggage with your spare clothes, your flip-flops and towel, or your toiletry bag, will be waiting for you in your hostel upon arrival, so you can wash up, change clothes and get comfortable.

And so, every day of your Camino de Santiago. A delivery person collects your backpack in the morning and takes care of taking it to the accommodation you plan to arrive that afternoon, making sure it is at your disposal when you arrive.

To make use of this service it is essential to know in advance the accommodations in which you are going to rest, so if you organize the trip by booking each night according to your stages, you will be able to use this service without problems, turning your adventure into an experience a little more comfortable.

The easy way is to let an agency take care of organizing your experience on the Camino de Santiago, so that this way you will have everything you need, whether you use this backpack transport service or not. Nothing better than the advice of experts who can tell you which are the best accommodations in addition to the cheapest ones, and who can be at your disposal in case you need them at any time and in the event of any incident that may arise.

Contact us so we can help you prepare the Path of your life.