If you have a significant pilgrim in your life, and want to contribute to their preparations with some practical, inexpensive and most importantly lightweight presents, here are some things I am sure they will be delighted to get (I know I would) in no particular order:
Casa Ivar, on the Camino forum, sells some lovely and useful camino themed masks and neck warmers, plus T-shirts, jewellery, credencials and guidebooks, all with speedy world wide delivery. Or how about a stylised shell patch to sew on their backpacks, wishing their fellow pilgrims a Buen camino?
Every traveller needs a small first aid kit, this one comes with contents as well, and the bag in itself is very compact and easy to find in your pack. If there isn’t enough space on the drying line in the albergue gardens, a lightweight clothes line comes in handy – no pegs needed! And if your pilgrim enjoys an early start, keep them safe and visible to passing cars with some adjustable reflective bands which slap on their wrist, ankle, arm, or pack and curl up very small when not in use.
If your favourite pilgrim tends to leave things behind, why not treat them to a pair of fun brightly coloured Goodr sunglasses – lightweight, stay on when you sweat, and you will see them on the table and not leave them! (Though if you do, someone is bound to remember who they belong to.) Or if they are cold of hands, these Alpkit running gloves have a thin wind stopping, rain repelling mitt cover built in. And if they enjoy a tipple along the way, or just need a bowl for olives or peanuts in the evening, a small folding cup could be just the thing.
Pilgrims like to go out and explore after they have settled into their albergue, so this foldable ultralight backpack is perfect for a water bottle, fleece, guidebook and maybe a good Moleskine notebook to write down their thoughts and impressions along the way. And for camino dreaming, this Big Camino Map from Wise Pilgrim showing all the caminos in Spain and Portugal makes a lovely gift to enjoy at home.
And last, but by no means least: After finding and wrapping one of these small, inexpensive and yet thoughtful gifts for your favourite pilgrim(s), please consider putting some money towards something they really wouldn’t be without – the camino itself. So many albergues and businesses along the way are suffering this year from the lack of pilgrims and the expense of covid securing their premises. What better present for a pilgrim than a donation in their name! You can find a list of some struggling well known and loved establishments here, please give what you can – think of it as an investment in future caminos.
Buen camino and Merry Christmas to all future pilgrims!