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Camino de Santiago light packing list 2024

Camino de Santiago is a life-changing experience. The success of the walk depends on several factors. One of them is choosing the right gear for your Camino packing list. We know many people who planned this pilgrimage for years, preparing, reading, and training. Packing light for the Camino is important. It’ll help to make your walk easier and more enjoyable. We’ve learned it the hard way after walking several Caminos de Santiago.

As of April 2024, we’ve completed many Caminos de Santiago routes. Altogether, we walked over 4500 km across Spain, Portugal, and a little bit of France following different Camino routes.

Campbell & Alya wearing Camino T-shirts at a distance pole marking the Camino de Santiago in Galicia
Stingy Nomads on the Camino de Santiago. Best Camino packing tips!

Camino packing list PDF

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Our YouTube video on what to pack for the Camino de Santiago

We have created the Camino de Santiago resource page where you can find all our Camino posts divided into different topic groups so you can easily find the information you’re looking for.

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8 Essential items to pack for the Camino

1. Backpack

It’s important to choose the right backpack for the Camino de Santiago. I walked with a 36-40L backpack it was more than enough especially if you’re not planning on carrying a laptop as I did. Remember, the bigger backpack you get the more unnecessary stuff you’ll fit in. If you walk in summer you can get away with a smaller 30-35L backpack.

For hiking in winter or late fall/early spring when you need warmer clothes a 40-45L backpack for men and women will be big enough. Make sure your backpack has a rain cover or buy a separate one it’s always great, especially if you walk in winter months.

If you use a backpack delivery service on the Camino you can bring a big backpack or even a suitcase and walk with a day pack carrying only valuables, water, and snacks. Make sure your daypack is comfortable for long walking and has padded straps, and pockets to fit a water bottle. Osprey Talon 22 Men’s Hiking Backpack or even smaller Osprey Daylite 13L Daypack are great options for a day pack.

Suggested Camino backpacks for women

Osprey Sirrus 36Deuter Futura PRO 40Osprey Tempest 30Osprey Daylite Daypack
Four backpacks for women to walk the Camino de Santiago. Two 40L backpacks, one 30L pack and one 13L daypack
Backpacks for women for walking the Camino.

Suggested Camino backpacks for men

Osprey Talon 36Osprey Kestrel 38Deuter Unisex 40Osprey Talon 22
Four backpacks for walking the Camino; A 50L Osprey, a 44L Osprey, a 30L Deuter and a 22L Osprey
Hiking backpacks for men for walking the Camino

2. Shoes

Don’t underestimate the importance of packing a good pair of shoes for the Camino. You’ll spend most of the time walking in them. We recommend walking the Camino, especially longer routes, in proper shoes and not sneakers. We tried on the Portuguese Camino to walk in our running shoes. At first, they were very comfortable but after a couple of days of walking on cobblestones and hard surfaces, our feet were destroyed.

For hot weather hiking sandals can be a good alternative to shoes. Modern hiking shoes usually have good ventilation but sometimes it gets too hot and it’s nice to put on sandals for a while.

If you buy a new pair wear them before you start the pilgrimage even good new shoes might cause blisters. If you’re planning to do some Camino training the best is to train in the same shoes you’re going to wear on the Camino.

Read our recommendation for the best shoes for the Camino de Santiago.

Three pairs of my shoes that I tested on the Camino at a metal  Camino sign
Three pairs of shoes I tested on the Camino de Santiago

Suggested walking shoes for women

I walked five Camino routes and a couple of treks in Nepal in Salomon Ellipse 2. They’re comfortable and light. My feet got wet a couple of times when we got pouring rain with strong wind on the Northern Camino and the Camino Finisterre. I didn’t get any blisters even though the shoes were new and I hadn’t worn them before. This model is a bit narrow if you have wide feet they might be too tight. 

For walking the Camino in the winter when it rains a lot and on some routes, you can even get snow I can recommend Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX boots. These shoes are amazing for more challenging hiking routes and walking in bad weather conditions. I’ve done Everest Base Camp Trek and Annapurna Base Camp trek in them and for hours walked in deep snow and my feet stayed warm and dry.

Salomon Ellipse 2KEEN Targhee IIMerrell Moab 2Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX
Suggested hiking shoes for women for walking the Camino
Women’s hiking shoes for walking the Camino

I did a comparison on the Central Route of the Portuguese Camino last year. I wore three different pairs of shoes: waterproof hiking boots, hiking shoes, and running shoes to see which pair was the most comfortable. My hiking shoes worked the best.

You can see my comparison and conclusion in our YouTube video.

Suggested Camino shoes for men

Campbell has walked several Camino and hiking routes in Canada in his Salomon X Ultra hiking shoes. These shoes are a great option; light, durable, relatively waterproof, comfortable, and have a good grip. For walking off-season when you can get a lot of rain and occasional snow a high-cut model might be a better option.

Campbell just like I bought a new pair of waterproof hiking boots Salomon Ultra 3 Mid GTX for trekking in the mountains. He hasn’t done any Camino in them yet but for hiking in heavy rain and snow and mud, these boots are amazing. They are very comfortable and light, stay dry for hours, and keep your feet warm especially if you wear merino wool socks.

KEEN Newport H2Salomon X UltraMerrel Moab 2Salomon X Ultra GTX
Recommended shoes for men for the Camino de Santiago. Keen hiking sandals, Salomon shoes, Merrel shoes and Salomon GTX hiking boots
Men’s hiking shoes for walking the Camino

3. Socks

We’re big fans of Merino wool socks. We wear them always when we walk the Camino. I did a test run last year on the Spiritual Camino. I walked one day in Merino wool socks and one in synthetic hiking socks. I didn’t get any blisters wearing the Merino socks and my feet didn’t sweat though it was a hot and long walking day. I changed my synthetic hiking socks after 2 hours because my feet started chafing. I have 3 pairs of Danish Endurance socks that I’ve been using for the last 2 years.

We like the Merino wool socks so much that we even wrote a separate article on them.

4 different pairs of hiking socks for the Camino
Our collection of hiking socks. In the last 2 years we’ve been packing Danish Endurance socks for the Camino (we have 3 pairs of them each)

4. Sleeping bag

In our experience, most albergues provide blankets but usually, without covers, I prefer to use my sleeping bag, and if it’s cold I use a blanket over it. A light sleeping bag with a comfort temperature limit of +12°C/55°F will be good enough.

If you walk the Camino in summer (July, August) when it gets hot, you can pack a silk liner instead. We walked a couple of Caminos in June and sometimes it was too hot at night to use a sleeping bag. If you get cold you can always use a blanket over your liner. 

If you’re staying at hotels (private rooms) instead of albergues you don’t need to carry a sleeping bag, all hotels and guesthouses provide blankets and bedding.

5. Trekking poles

We use trekking poles a lot when going trekking in the mountains. For walking the Camino we don’t take poles but I know many pilgrims use them. Trekking poles are great if you have knee or hip problems, shin splint, etc. They help a lot to reduce stress on joints. For some Caminos with many ascents and descents e.g. the Camino Primitivo or some parts of the French Camino (walking over the Pyrenees), the poles will be helpful.

6. Quick-dry towel

We always take it when we go traveling. A quick-dry towel is an item to add to your Camino packing list. They are very light, pack small, dry quickly (as you can guess from the name), durable, and come in many different colors. Try to choose one with a unique pattern to recognize easily on washing lines in albergues.

A collection of our quick-dry towels (purple, blue, black, and turquoise)
Quick-dry towels come in different colors and sizes. We always pack them for the Camino

7. Water bottle

We prefer carrying a water bottle over a hydration pack bladder. A bottle fits in a side pocket, so it’s easy to take it out and refill it, even if it leaks it won’t make everything inside your backpack wet. We like using water bladders on day hikes though. Tap water in Spain and Portugal is drinkable we usually don’t use filters. I didn’t drink tap water in the Meseta part of the Camino Frances as I’d heard from other pilgrims that they had stomach problems there from drinking tap water.

8. Headlamp

Having a headlamp on the Camino is quite useful. In albergues lights are usually turned off quite early if you want to read or find something in your backpack you can use a lamp. In the morning if you want to leave early while others are still asleep it is helpful.

8 essential items to pack for the Camino walk

BackpackHiking shoesMerino wool socksSleeping bag
Quick-dry towelHeadlampTrekking polesWater bottle
Eight essential gear items to pack for the Camino walk
Essential things to pack for the Camino de Santiago

Women’s clothing for the Camino packing list

Rain jacket 

We’d suggest having one. In northern Spain (especially in Galicia), it rains quite a lot throughout the year. If you walk in July or August the chances of rain are smaller you can get away with a rain poncho, it’s small, light, and will protect you and your backpack from any rain. For the rest of the year, a rain jacket is a useful thing to have.

We walked the Portuguese Camino in May and didn’t have a lot of rain but on the Coastal Route, it was quite windy we were glad we had our jackets. I used my rain jacket and a poncho a lot on the Camino Primitivo in June and on the Camino del Norte in October.  

Trekking pants

I prefer hiking in yoga pants, they are comfortable and light, stretch a lot, dry quickly, and pack small. I always pack two pairs of pants: one pair of stretchy pants and one pair of normal hiking pants. For summer you can pack one pair of long pants and a pair of hiking shorts or knee pants though I prefer walking in long pants even in summer for sun protection.

Hiking shirt

Depending on what you prefer to wear for hiking it can be a hiking shirt or a running T-shirt. I don’t like shirts for the Camino I usually pack two running T-shirts; one with long sleeves and one short-sleeve. For walking in summer you probably won’t need a long-sleeve one, rather pack two short-sleeve T-shirts. I wouldn’t recommend walking in a top even if it’s hot. Always make sure your shoulders and neck are covered or put sun cream otherwise you’ll get bad sunburns.

Stingy Nomads at Cape Muxia looking at the church and the sea
Stingy Nomads at Cape Muxia, the end of the Camino Finisterre-Fuxia early November. We got a lot of rain on this route and were very happy we packed our rain jackets.

Fleece

It’s always nice to have a soft and warm fleece. Even in summer if you start walking early in the morning it might be a bit chilly. We usually wear fleece after hiking when we go out for dinner or drinks in the evening.

Cap/hat

For the summer season, it’s a must-pack item. Most of the Camino routes go through open areas without any shade, so you will have to protect your head from the sun. I don’t like hats and prefer wearing a cap it’s more comfortable for me.

Sunglasses

For walking the Camino in summer you’ll definitely need sunglasses. You can wear your casual sunglasses or buy a pair of sunglasses for outdoor activities.

Women’s hiking clothes for the Camino

Rain jacketFleeceRunning T-shirtHiking pants
Hiking shortsHiking socksCapSunglasses
Recommended outfit for women for walking the Camino
Hiking outfit for women to pack for walking the Camino de Santiago

Underwear and changing clothing

I’d recommend sports bras over normal bras – they are more comfortable for hiking. I usually pack two pairs of running bras and three or four pairs of underwear. I wash my underwear and socks every day, it doesn’t take long and it dries quickly.

I always pack a cotton T-shirt and shorts for sleeping and changing after a shower. For summer shorts are one for sleeping but for the off-season, I’d recommend packing long sleeping pants.

Highly recommended to take a pair of flip-flops to wear in albergues, your feet have to rest from wearing hiking boots all day. In summer you can wear them outside as well it’s too hot to walk around in shoes.

Extra clothes for women to pack for the Camino

Casual T-shirtJean shortsSports brasUnderwear
Sleeping T-shirtSleeping shortsFlip flops
Extra clothes for women to pack for the Camino
Extra clothing items for women to add to your Camino packing list

Men’s clothing for the Camino de Santiago

Rain jacket

Campbell usually packs his rain jacket for the Camino. In the hot summer months, you can get away without it but I’d still recommend bringing a rain poncho and a rain cover for your backpack.

Trekking pants

I’d recommend packing trekking pants for the Camino. A pair of quick-dry light pants will work great. For summer you can bring a pair of long trekking pants and a pair of hiking shorts or as an option buy a pair of convertible pants with zip-off legs.

Hiking shirts

Campbell usually wears Columbia hiking shirts or running T-shirts on the Camino. hiking. They’re great; light, comfortable, breathing, dry very quickly, and easy to wash. Pack two shirts or you’ll have to do laundry every day.

Fleece jacket

It’s nice to have a soft fleece to wear in albergues or if you go out in the evening. We usually pack our fleece for the Camino. For summer, Campbell brings a fleece vest for off-season a long-sleeve one.

Hiking socks

Just like me, Campbell wears merino wool socks for long-distance walking and hiking. There are many great things about them; they last long, prevent blisters, keep your feet warm and dry, and don’t get smelly even after two full days of walking.

Headwear

For walking in summer a cap or a hat is a must-have item on the Camino. Wearing a hat works better for sun protection as it covers your neck as well. Sunglasses are another important thing to add to your Camino packing list.

Men’s clothes for the Camino

Rain jacketFleece jacketHiking shirtHat
Running shirtHiking pantsSunglassesHiking socks
A suggested hiking outfit for a man for walking the Camio
Hiking clothes for men to pack for the Camino de Santiago

Underwear

Pack 2-3 pairs of underwear for the Camino. Most albergues have washing basins and washing lines you can wash your underwear and socks every day if it’s necessary.

Clothes for sleeping

If you’re planning to stay in albergues with many other people I’d suggest bringing a comfortable sleeping outfit. A pair of light cotton shorts and a T-shirt will work just fine.

Flip-flops are a great thing to pack for the Camino. It’s an amazing feeling when after a long day of walking you take off your hiking shoes and put on flip-flops. They’re great to have for wearing in albergues, on the beach, and outside in summer.

Men’s clothing items for the Camino packing list

Board shortsT-shirtFlip flops
Sleeping shortsBoxer shorts
Men's extra clothes and underwear to pack for the Camino de Santiago
Men’s underwear and clothes for changing to pack for the Camino
Campbell & doña Rosa standing next to a small white house in rural Portugal
Campbell is his summer Camino outfit with our amazing Hospitalera on the Portuguese Camino in May

Our top extras to pack for the Camino

GPS watch

I got my first Garmin Fenix watch as a present from Campbell 5 years ago and since then I’ve been using them a lot when we go hiking, walking, running, or just training in the gym. It’s amazing how much information you can get from it: distances, speed, elevations, calories, heart rate, recovery time, maps, etc. They are great if you want to keep track of your Camino walk e.g. daily distance, heart rate, calories burned, etc. You can connect them to your phone or laptop and have easy access to information about your past walks and other activities.

Neck bag

We advise having a neck bag or a waterproof pouch where you can keep your documents, phone, money, and credit cards. Always take it with you when you leave an albergue, most albergues don’t have lockers. We have never had any issues but always try to look after our valuable items.

Kindle

Campbell always packs his Kindle when we go traveling or hiking. It’s a great thing to have on the Camino especially if you’re walking alone. In the evenings you’ll have plenty of time to read.

With the Kindle, you can download as many books as you want. I’d suggest buying a Kindle Paperwhite in this case you won’t need extra light for reading in the dark. If you read a lot it might be worth joining the Amazon Kindle unlimited program to get free access to hundreds of thousands of e-books and audiobooks.

Travel lock

Some albergues have lockers but don’t have locks if you want to store your valuables in there bring a travel lock with you.

Toiletries

Essentials
Deodorant
Body wash
Shampoo
Toothpaste
Toothbrush
Hand sanitizer
Sunscreen
Razor (men’s razor)
Hairbrush
Toiletries to pack for the Camino de Santiago

First aid kit

You walk past several pharmacies every day and can buy some medicine or plasters on the way. If you need to buy something with a prescription you can ask your doctor back home to send it to you via e-mail and print it somewhere.

First Aid kit – you can buy a ready-made kit, take out some unnecessary stuff, and add whatever extra you need. This kit has plasters, bandages, a safety pin, scissors, even a mini sewing kit, and many other useful items. 

Good plasters (toe plasters) are something you’ll need on the Camino. Tip! If you have spots on your feet where you usually get blisters, try to prevent them by putting in some Vaseline and a plaster. If you already have blisters you can use Compeed blister plasters, special plasters that you can put on your blisters. It reduces the pain and protects against rubbing. There are special blister prevention patches for shoes as well. We’ve never used them our merino wool socks work great for us but the reviews are quite good.

  • Alcohol pads for disinfection.
  • Imodium – in case you have some stomach problems.
  • Anti-inflammatory – to reduce muscular pain and swelling, e.g. Ibuprofen.
  • Aspirin – in case you get a cold or flu.
A Credential for the Camino
A Pilgrim’s Passport or Credential is a must-have item for the Camino

Documents to pack for the Camino de Santiago

A passport or an ID for European citizens – you’ll need it for traveling and checking in to albergues and hotels.

The Credential (Camino passport) is a small paper book with your name where you collect stamps from albergues, hotels, churches, restaurants, etc. along the way. You can get a Credential in one of the Camino associations in your country or on arrival in some albergues, information offices, or churches on the Camino. You need it to stay at public albergues (where only pilgrims are allowed to stay) and to get your Compostela certificate in Santiago.

The Compostela is a certificate that pilgrims get for completing any route of the Camino de Santiago. To get it, you have to walk at least the last 100 km to Santiago.

If you need practical information for planning the pilgrimage check out our post that contains useful tips for planning and walking the Camino.

Best Camino guidebooks

Here is a list of the best guidebooks (in my opinion) for different Camino de Santiago routes.

Camino de Santiago planning resources

Questions or Comments?

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Al

Thursday 4th of April 2024

Backpack? You ONLY need a backpack if YOU are going to put it on YOUR back. After 6 Caminos, my experience is that the lighter and the more expensive the pack, the more likelihood it will ride a taxi to Santiago!

As the monks on the Camino say, "Jesus carried a cross for you. You can carry a pack for HIM". it is a pilgrimage , not just another hike in spain!

Norman

Saturday 23rd of March 2024

Hello, Is it possible in the potuguese way to sleep in your own light sleeping bag in the albergues?

Stingy Nomads

Tuesday 26th of March 2024

Hello Norman. Yes, it's possible. We allays carry light sleeping bags and use them in public and private albergues. Buen Camino

Gert Marais

Saturday 2nd of March 2024

I would like info for elderly persons

Stingy Nomads

Sunday 3rd of March 2024

Hello Gert. What kind of info are you talking about? What to pack? How to walk? We don't do customized itineraries or planning for people we're not a tour company. Regards

Jane

Saturday 23rd of December 2023

Love your website and videos. Thanks for all the wonderful information. I am planning to walk the Portuguese Way, combining the coastal, central and spiritual variant beginning April 20,2024. I plan to stay in private albergues and/or hotels. Do you recommend a sleeping bag or liner this time of year?

Stingy Nomads

Friday 29th of December 2023

Hello Jane. Thank you for the comment. We always take a thin sleeping bag or a liner on the Camino but we usually use them in public albergues. As far as I remember most private albergues and all hotels have blankets and bedding. If you don't take a sleeping bag/liner bring long sleeve clothes for sleeping in case you get cold at night. You can always ask for an extra blanket as well. Buen Camino

Marcelle

Thursday 14th of December 2023

great info, I am planning early 2015 to walk the French way. I am so excited

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