We know everybody likes a good packing list, so who wouldn’t love my comprehensive and link-heavy un-packing list after the Camino Inglés in June/July?
- Osprey Tempest 30 pack (previous version), which I was determined to replace before something wears out on it. Very glad I took it – it stops me overpacking, carries well and has storage solutions that suit me. She has had a Nikwax wash already and is good as new.
- My Hoka Challengers! Very good, prevented the Plantar Fasciitis from flaring up apart from on the two longest days.
- New and untested pair of Teva Toachi sandals, lighter than Terra Fi 4s but as comfortable, and clip means no velcro needed to slip on to nip to the bathroom. Also kept me safe in slippy bathtub shower. Seems to dry quickly.
- One of my pairs of socks, Icebreaker Multisport, mostly merino and with good cushioning.
- The Gehwol Extra cream seems to have done the job as I only got ONE (pressure) blister!
- A pair of colourful and fun Dirty Girl gaiters kept sand, stones and debris out of my shoes and also covered the gap between the short socks and long tights.
- Simple knee supports, they really helped on the uphill stages.
- The black Skins compression tights were nice and cool even in 30+ C while walking, but very warm sitting in the sun! Will try to find lighter coloured ones.
- Merino mix walking dress worked as expected, but some signs of bobbling. Also, while it saved one layer in the waist compared to skirt and top, I couldn’t walk in only the dress because it is racerback and the straps would chafe.
- Very pleased with my two Craghoppers Adventure SPF shirts. No sunburn (or tan) at all, felt light and cool even when sweating uphill on a scorching day. Easy to wash, quick to dry. I had one for walking and one for evenings, interchangeable.
- My long Infinity Buff, which I always want to leave at home but always love when I have it with me. I use it as a scarf, spare towel, shawl, emergency pillowcase etc, plus it adds colour to my mostly white and grey outfit.
- Icebreaker merino fleece jacket instead of ‘plastic’ fleece, which always makes me clammy instead of warm. Pricey, but for next year’s 6 week walk I prefer layering things that actually make me warm.
- My last-minute purchase, a lovely light, stretchy and breathable Rab Spark rain jacket which was more of an investment for my long walk next year, but this was a good trial run. It is comfortable, doesn’t creep up and fits my shape well. Money well spent.
- My last-minute addition, the peaked cap. It has mesh panels and was more comfortable than the headband Buff.
- Last-minute change of sidebag, from my flat one to a deeper, but still very small bag. Both are the size of a credencial in a plastic cover, but this one had an outside zipped pocket for my phone, which is in and out of the bag constantly to take photos, and also extra space for small stuff like lip balm, pen, notebook, Buff, nut mix etc.
- My Brita Active filter bottle was brilliant! It made 0.6 litres of tap water a lot more palatable. I also brought a 1 litre water bag to top up along the way.
- Pacerpoles, naturally. Wouldn’t dream of going without them and was very happy to find them waiting for me at the hotel in Ferrol.
- Jagbag simple silk bag. Only used it once when the sheet/polyester blanket combo was too cold, and it warmed me right up. Much better than my ‘art’ silk one.
- Copying the five map pages out of my Brierley maps-only guide instead of taking the book! I made notes on our booked accommodation on them, folded them and had one at a time in the side pocket for quick reference. They quickly disintegrated in the rain, but they only needed to work for a day.
- My Ferrino Hiker poncho, which is lightweight, visible and easy to pull on and off, and even pretty well ventilated, but got saturated way too soon and doesn’t feel good enough for a longer walk with serious downpours. OK for walking village to village though.
- My Buff, which I had cut in half to make it less dense and tight. Pressed the glasses into my head and felt like it made my head more, not less, sweaty. Will take again as pillow case, washcloth etc.
- My USB charger cable! For some reason it wouldn’t charge my mobile, though the plug worked with the Fitbit charger cable. Must double check next time.
- I hate to say it, but my shampoo bar seemed to turn to goop a lot quicker than I remember from earlier trips. I will have to cut it into several small chunks and use one at a time. Positive side: I can take chunks of different ones, for beauty routine variety!
What I would add or change:
- Get more pairs of the good socks (already ordered online)
- Bring my lightweight Altus poncho instead of the Ferrino (already got)
- Possibly take my skirt again so I can vary tops more. In the dress I always had two layers on top, and couldn’t wear just the dress because it is a racerback and the pack straps and back system would chafe. Or take my wide strap dress instead.
- A tech towel. We left them this time as we were in private rooms, but it would have been good to dry hair etc between rain showers. Also for sitting down en route or even lying on the beach (if the sun had been shining on the day)
- A small pack of refreshing wet wipes, which I wished I had after a mad dash through Dublin airport to catch my connecting flight …
- Pstyle stand-and-wee device in a nylon bag. Longer stages and increased water intake = wilderness wees and my knees aren’t good for squatting. Another reason to take a small pack of wetwipes.
- Rehydration tablets to dissolve in water on hot days. They are lightweight and it is easier to find water than Aquarius type drinks or the right fruit/food when you start to feel drained.
- Also a small ziplock bag of mixed seeds to add to yogurts, as there is so much sugary stuff available for breakfast.
- Since I prefer savoury breakfasts I will keep an eye out for small portion pots of tomato pulp (some with garlic and oil) to put on tostadas instead of mermelada!
- Always carry a small tube of superglue! The self-adhesive velcro I had stuck on my shoes to fasten the gaiters came away as soon as the Galician damp hit it, but I got some superglue and it is now permanently and securely stuck. Very practical for roadside repairs!
- Small notebook. If only for making lists of what works and what doesn’t …
What I didn’t use:
- First aid – Long may it last.
- Suncream – didn’t pack any. I trusted my SPF shirts and long tights and had no sunburn without feeling like I was overheating.
- Spanish phrase book. Very small and light, but it is time to leave it at home.
- Small flashlight. Will keep taking it though.
- Bikini bottoms … it was raining every time we walked past a beach so no swimming.
- Thin merino long sleeve top. I think I put it on for five minutes one morning but decided against it. Will bring it again though.
- My Spanish fan! I forgot I had it, and it really would have been useful on our breaks and in the evening. Have put it in more accessible place in the pack for next walk.
- Brilliant AerLingus knife/tea spoon combo, perfect for yogurts and spreading. Will bring again.
There you go, my packing/un-packing list in its full and final glory. Comments appreciated!