Just a quick update on the Shop Stop situation! I am going to Spain again in April with my lovely friend S, who has never been before (or done that kind of travel, I think) so honestly I have been worrying as much – or more – about her packing as I have about my own. I just want to make sure it becomes the best possible first Camino experience for her. Also this has allowed me to pack and plan kit vicariously, which always helps. At the moment we are planning on bringing 30 and 32 litre packs respectively, saving money on luggage fees, and they are both precariously balanced on the 5kg knife edge. So far, so good, well done us!
What have I bought this week?
- OK, a couple of new filters for my Water to go water filter bottle, but that is hardly splurging, that is maintenance if anything. I like to take the filter bottle to Spain and top it up at any tap or fountain with potable water instead of buying lots of bottles and creating lots of plastic waste. I use it a lot at home as well so I consider it an investment, and the filter needs replacing every two months or so. I have no problem with that.
- Also a Flipbelt type belt which I am hoping to use for an upcoming challenge … more of which later. But I might also use it for the Camino as a change from the sidebag which sometimes grates on my shoulder. This is after all just a one week walk and perfect for trying out new tweaks.
- I have lost my S clip/carabiner type things so will be getting another one or two of them.
And what have I not bought?
- A new skirt! I like to keep my black Discovery one for normal use, especially now the price has gone up, so I got a cheap white one ages ago and did some DIY dieing. Unfortunately I didn’t do a very good job and the material seems inferior to the black one, possibly due to the boiling and dye? But I have looked at a few great skirts and skorts and not bought them all.
- I have also not bought a new (second hand) merino cardigan in a more muted colour. See below.
- Or that new loose fit Icebreaker top which looks like it would be lovely and cool for sitting around after a hot day’s walk.
- Or the new season Icebreaker dress which looks sooo gorgeous and versatile and practical! I am most pleased with self for not buying that. Watch this space when they end up in the sale though …
- Or taken advantage of the Icebreaker merino sale at Cotswolds!
- Most importantly I didn’t buy new shoes, because there was a fault in the lining on my last ones, so the shop replaced them after I came home and they are still there, brand new and with tags. Perfect. (Though I might take the older pair for a one week walk to wear them out rather than start on a brand new pair.)
- Oh but I kind of bought an Osprey Kestrel 38, in green. Or well, I bought it, but it’s not for me, it’s for my friend who is coming over to the Lake District in May. I will bring it with me when I meet her there and hand it over without making a scene. So that’s well within the rules of the Shop Stop.
So what changes and kit replacements have I done?
- I have dug out the old forum Buff which I cut in half at one stage to use it for a headband rather than a neck thing, and tidied up the edges so I can wear it again. New but not new, just what we are aiming for! The print is based on this graffiti on the Camino, but with added pinks, so I will still be colour co-ordinated:
- I have also got last year’s running tights out, one long and one capri, and they will do nicely for another couple of walks.
- Since I didn’t get a new skirt I have decided I will try walking in my black merino tunic. It was last seen in action on my Honeymoon Camino, where it sustained some holes from little sparks flying out of the lovely log fire at Venta Celta in O Cebreiro on a cold night, which was definitely worth it. I have made do and mended it and think it will work fine with added layers – I will be trying this combo out this weekend, hopefully the tunic won’t ride up or bunch under the backpack. I have two of these very fine merino tunics and they weigh no more than a T-shirt, so I can swap between them like everyone else swaps between their two sets of walking clothes. But: The other tunic is turquoise, not pink! It will be like camouflage, no one will recognise me!
- I have tried to make changes to my evening/travel/posh outfit but can’t find anything better or more versatile (other than the before mentioned lovely new season dress which I didn’t and won’t buy!) than my trusty Icebreaker dress, even if it is a bit warm on a sunny day. The two tunics are very light though, so I reckon I will have it covered. The thicker dress can be used to walk or sleep in too if needed. And I have decided to stick with my pink cardi, it is like my trademark.
- I have added a Boil Coil and mug, plus teabags and instant soup sachets, to my kit. The Boil Coil was bought in 2000, the mug for St Olav’s Way, so they were both in the kit box already. OK, so the soup sachets are new but that’s groceries and not a kit purchase, surely …
All in all I think I have done well and I am confident I will get through another week.