All my honeymoon camino gear is now gathered on a two seater settee – one side for my Scouse Spouse, one for me. There’s not that much there, to be honest, but I have to admit there is a fraction more on Hers than His … can’t for the life of me think why. I thought I’d present them and their many combinations here, to see if there is anything missing, superfluous,
frivolous or not fit for purpose. Here goes:
These are Craghoppers Kiwi Pros, with a clean and in my eyes quite elegant style for travel and hiking while also being supremely comfortable and splash proof, so light rain and spilled drinks will just roll off them. I use them a lot at home too, not just for walking. I love these and have them in black, darkish grey, beige and purple (of course).
Same again, only shorter (and lighter). I know. I probably don’t really need them but I prefer to have two pairs of legwear, especially when walking in Galicia, and this time in March: clothes don’t necessarily dry overnight. And damp trousers chafe. I hate chafing! The long Kiwis can be folded up to capris so that means I have, in reality, one pair of long and two pairs of short trousers. If the long term weather forecast says it will rain or be cold for most of the time, these will be exchanged for another pair of full length ones.
In case it gets really cold, either during the day or night, or we have the possibility of washing all our trousers *and* drying them in one evening, I am taking merino long tights. In fact I wouldn’t go anywhere on the camino without merino tights and a top as base layer, sleep wear etc. I can also wear them as tights under my merino dress for evening wear.
Base layer cami:
Merino again, this time a very light and versatile black strappy Icebreaker top which comes in handy as an extra layer to keep my core warm while walking, for sleeping in, for hot days and for wearing when the bigger, thicker tops are drying.
So far everything is black. Don’t judge me – black is readily available, hides stuff that didn’t come out in the wash and goes with everything. Fret not: from here on in it all gets ridiculously colour co-ordinated.
I am taking two Icebreaker merino T-shirts, one black (surprise!) and one magenta (actual surprise!), both the same style. Non-itchy, non-stinky, wicking and quick drying. I wear these all the time at home too and know they wear and wash well and dry quickly.
Long sleeve top:
Icebreaker merino again (I don’t actually own shares in the company, I just really like their stuff), but a long sleeve top in a slightly thicker material this time. It is lovely and cozy and warm and I like the look of it too. Another one that doubles as everyday wear.
Back to Craghoppers, a lovely, lightweight black fleece jacket with a good fit and long sleeves – I often have problems with sleeves that are too short for my long arms. An absolute favourite (though the pic is not actually the right model). There is a very handy pocket on the upper arm for an iPod, room key, a few euro notes etc when wearing dress and tights.
… and that should really do, shouldn’t it? It’s just that this is our honeymoon too, and after two weeks of walking we are flying to Portugal for a week of sun, sand and sardines, vinho verde, frango piri-piri and blister care. So far the most elegant outfit I can muster is long or capri trousers with a strappy top, T-shirt or long sleeve stripy top, with optional added fleece. Not good enough!
Yes, I am taking a dress, an Icebreaker Cruise racerback. It weighs 135 grams and has multiple uses – sleepwear, partywear, extra base layer if other tops are wet, cover-up after shower etc – but most importantly it looks like non-hiking gear and can be worn on its own on the beach part of the holiday, with my cardi and the tights under for chilly evenings.
Yes, I know, totally unnecessary, but it weighs less than 200 grams and it’s my honeymoon and I am taking it! Besides, it is pink! I mean – it would surely be rude to subject others to seeing all dreary black all the time? Exactly. So there.
See, now I am totally covered! I have three short sleeve layers, three legwear, three long sleeve items and a dress. A lot of it is merino, meaning it weighs very little, washes well and dries quickly, and if I were to leave anything it would be the capris (the trousers can be folded up) and one T-shirt, but they weigh so little (230 and 130 grams respectively) that having that extra choice of clean/dry/weather appropriate clothing is worth it.
And if you think three of each is a bit of overkill:
1) I will be wearing at least one top and one bottom at any given time, so subtract one or two from what I have to carry on my back. This list is FSO, From Skin Out, counting everything I bring, not just everything that is in my pack.
2) We are going to Galicia, mother of all rainy places, in March, when you can always count on a lot of wind and rain. Wind and rain in March makes you not only wet, but cold. I will most likely be starting every walking day dressed in my cami, one short sleeve merino top, one long sleeve and the fleece. This means if I do get wet, from rain or condensation inside the rain gear, not one but potentially four of my top layers will be wet at once and will probably need a wash too. Which means I have only one T-shirt and one long sleeve top left to keep me warm after my shower, while I wait for the rest to dry.
See? Not so overkill after all.
In order to fight the wind and rain I am bringing my trusty Rab Wisp pertex wind jacket with hood, weighs 200 grams and is worth my weight in gold!
And last, but by no means least, the Altus Atmospheric poncho, which is in fact a huge rain coat that comes down to just below my knees and has a hump on the back to accommodate and cover the pack. Last time I was in Sarria I went into the brilliant little shop called Peregrinoteca (shopping heaven for pilgrims) and decided to invest in a lightweight version (225 grams) in S/M, as my pack is so small the L/XL I had was huge on me. I love it!
With all my layers and wind and rain jacket on I should be snug as a bug – plus the pack will be substantially lighter. Win!
And how did it work out?
In actual fact I (we) were dry and warm for all of the three weeks, not only on the Camino but on our beach holiday afterwards as well. The coldest night was in Melide, when I wore everything that wasn’t in the wash! The warmest day was sitting by the beach in my capris and merino vest with the scarf over my shoulders to keep from getting a sun burn. The one item I used least was the long sleeve sweater, and Scouse Spouse never wore his lightweight, sun protective hot weather shirt, but that was solely because he bought two T-shirts in Santiago and preferred to wear them. He also bought a thick hoodie, and I carried Spanish Pimenton and a few other bits back – it all fit in our small packs and we are very happy with them – and our minimalist kit!