Less is more
Less is more is definitely a rule when you choose clothes for your Camino 🙂
I definitely understand the struggle when on the last day before your take off to Camino that you may need 3 pairs of pants or maybe the 5th t-shirt is a good idea as well, so I will help you to arrange these things as much as I can.
I learned it the hard way as well.
On my first Camino I definitely took too much clothes and my back paid the price real bad 😉 The pain in your back can be killing you and on the 5th or even 2nd day you will begin to think what to throw away. Everyone starts to think about it 🙂
We won’t discuss things like taking a Bible, any other thick book or laptop to this trip, let’s just focus on clothes.
No one cares
Most of the people think that after a long daily hike, when you shower yourself and get ready for a dinner in some nice restaurant, you must have a clean and nice pair of jeans (or any other kind of pants), nice sweater, a jacket or some kind of any other accessory.
If saying the truth, no one does really cares if you come to that restaurant with tights, sport jacket or shorts. NO ONE REALLY CARES. When you do Camino de Santiago, comfort comes first, beauty comes last 🙂 You will see plenty of piligrims going to restaurants with their hiking shoes, running tights and old sport jackets. Do not over think that.
You do not need any extra clothes just for evenings and dinners in restaurants. Do not put too many clothes in your backpack, because that will hurt as hell. And then it hurts 10 days in a row, that drives you crazy and you will start to throw that stuff in the middle of Camino or even earlier 🙂
Comfort over beauty 🙂
What clothes to choose?
Mostly I suggest to choose sport clothes, nothing else. No jeans (they are heavy and dry very very slowly), no thick sweaters (same story here).
So why sport clothes?
Because they are made of fabric which dries very fast and most of the time do not irritate your skin, which is the opposite with jeans. Most of sport clothes breath very good and gets rid of the sweat very fast. You need that when you hike 20-30 or even 40km a day.
Sport clothes are as well very light, so during the Camino your back will thank you, believe me 🙂
Always look for opportunities to take sport clothes 🙂
So what exactly to take?
First of all, you are going to need pants. Many many people do critical mistake and take jeans. It may be good for some, but for some it can be very painful decision.
The best choice for me is running tights. They are very light and they dry very fast 🙂 If you do not fell very comfortable wearing just running tights, put on running shorts and you will still be very comfortable. Running tights are very good when you go up mountains as they give you a very good freedom of movement.
I would suggest to take 2 pairs of running tights, one for hiking, one for the evening, but you as well can take some light hiking pants as well (instead of the 2nd running tights). I will say one more time, I would strongly suggest not to take jeans 🙂
As well, if you have gore tex fabric pants – that’s wonderful, take those 🙂
Secondly, you are going to need some kind of sweater or jacket.
Again, I suggest to take some kind of sport jacket (North face, adidas, Solomon or any other brand) as it will be light and breathing 🙂 You can take two jackets as well: one for the hike, one for the evening. If you go on summer time, do not take two, because in day time it will be hot enough 🙂 And if you go on winter time or any other time when it’s raining quite often, take one which has gore tex or any other water resistant fabric, that will help to avoid being wet all day 🙂
T-shirts – as well, sport t-shirt. Do not take any other t-shirts as they absorb the sweat and keep it all day long. And as well, they dry pretty slow. So sport t-shirt is the best solution. I would suggest to take 2-3 pairs. They are pretty light, so to have more is not a bad thing here.
Socks – basically you will be good enough with 2 pairs of socks as you will wash one pair every day 🙂 But to be safe, 3 pairs is better 🙂 Some people take those compression sock for long hikes as they help to keep better blood flow in legs, but it really depends on you 🙂 If you know they are good for you, take it 🙂 If not, do not risk spending too much money just on socks 🙂
Underwear – same as for socks 😉 2 would be enough, but 3 just to be safe 🙂
A hat – in summer it’s a must, but even in spring or autumn it’s very good to have one 🙂 There’s nothing too specific about hats, but just maybe choose lighter color (white) of hat as it absorbs less sun heat 🙂 Sun can be pretty strong in summer time 🙂
A buff – it’s as well very nice option as you can cover your head and neck at the same time with a buff 😉 It can help to avoid sun burn on your neck. It helped me a lot.
Gloves – if you go to Camino de Santiago in winter, spring or autumn, it’s very useful thing to have. Days are pretty warm in Spain, but nights and mornings can get quite cold, and gloves can be your best friend for first two hours in the morning 🙂
A scarf – it can be as well very good option for ladies to avoid sun on different parts of body: head, neck, back, hands.
Shorts – if you go on summer or even in spring and autumn it can get pretty hot on day time. So short is definitely a good option here 😉 Preferably take sport shorts.
On winter time I would suggest to take additionally one thicker jacket as you can experience colder temperatures all day long, especially in the morning. As well, take one more thicker pants as just with running tights it can get cold as well 🙂 I usually put running tights and then thicker sport pants on top. During day, if it gets warmer I just take of those thicker pants and continue my trip just with running tights 🙂
If you follow these instructions (suggestions) all your clothes shouldn’t weight more than 3-4kg and that’s a very good result. If you put jeans, thick sweaters, too many socks or t-shirts, that could go up to 5-6kg… and remember you have to put additional stuff like sleeping bag, drinking water, lighter, ect 🙂 So that can get pretty big and pretty painful 🙂
If you do not have too much sport clothes, maybe try to borrow some stuff or buy not so expensive branded stuff 🙂 T-shirts can be as cheap as 10 dollars or less 🙂
I hope that my suggestions will help you to pack your bag and hopefully your back will thank me as well 🙂
Do not forget to follow me on Instagram: @golookexplore