Campbell & Alya wearing Camino T-shirts at a distance pole marking the Camino de Santiago in Galicia
Camino de Santiago Packing

Camino de Santiago light packing list 2020 – all seasons

The Camino de Santiago is a life-changing experience for most, we know many people that were planning this pilgrimage for years, preparing, reading, training. To make sure you enjoy it, take the right gear, don’t overload your backpack, have comfortable shoes that you can walk in for days, etc. We learned this during our own painful experience. We’ve completed several different Caminos de Santiago routes. In total, in the 2018/2019 Camino season, we walked over 3500 km across Spain and Portugal following the Camino routes. We’re planning to continue our Camino saga in the nearest future.

Our completed Camino de Santiago routes

  • Portuguese Camino from Lisbon – May 2018
  • Camino Primitivo – June 2018
  • Camino del Norte – October 2018
  • Camino Finisterre & Muxía – November 2018
  • Via de la Plata (214 km from Seville to Mérida) – April 2019
  • Camino Inglés – May 2019
  • Camino Francés – September 2019

Watch our detailed Camino packing video!!!

Our detailed Camino packing list for men and women

We’re experienced hikers and walk a lot in the mountains with much heavier backpacks, before our first Camino we thought it was super easy to walk from albergue to albergue with a light backpack, carrying only clothes, restaurants, and coffee shops on the way. After a first week on the Portuguese Camino our feet were destroyed, we both had huge blisters, basically, our feet were just one big blister! All because we didn’t have proper hiking shoes and decided to walk long distances. In the first four days, we walked more than 140km here after we decided to slow down and even had a day off in Fatima. Don’t make the same mistake, take your time especially in the beginning, let your body to get used to it, and don’t follow somebody’s itinerary if it’s too tough for you, walk shorter days, rest, stay longer and you’ll enjoy the Camino de Santiago much more.

We walked the Caminos in different seasons throughout one year (we on purpose skipped the high season – July and August, as we don’t like crowds), in this post you’ll find packing tips for different weather and seasons.

The Camino de Santiago is not your normal hike in the wild where you have to carry camping gear and food which is a good thing as it’s possible to pack light. Every night pilgrims stay at albergues, no tent and camping mat is needed, all you need or we’d recommend bringing with is a sleeping bag. In our experience the two most important things to have on the Camino are a comfortable backpack and a pair of good hiking shoes – these two you’ll use every day and if even one of them doesn’t fit good or uncomfortable it can completely spoil your Camino.

Documents to take with on the Camino

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

The Credential (Camino passport), 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 at a Camino de Santiago office in your country or at albergues/cathedrals or churches on the Camino. You need the Credential to stay at public albergues (where only pilgrims are allowed to stay) and to get your Compostela in Santiago.

The Compostela is a certificate that pilgrims get for completing any route of the Camino de Santiago. In order 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.

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.

Camino de Santiago essential gear

Backpack

I walked with a 40L backpack it was more than enough especially if you’re not planning on carrying a laptop as I did. Campbell walked with a 50L backpack but would be totally fine with a 40L pack. 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 to have it especially if you walk off-season.

On the Camino routes, there are several companies that offer door to door luggage delivery service. Correos, Camino Facil, and Pilbeo are three main companies that offer luggage transfer on different Camino de Santiago routes. It works very easy; you leave your backpack in the morning at the reception of your albergue/hotel they pick it up and drive to your next accommodation place. The service costs 5-6 Euro per backpack per stage. If you’re planning to use this 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 pickets 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 backpacks for women

Osprey Tempest 40Deuter 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 backpacks for men

Osprey Atmos AG 50Osprey Talon 44Deuter Futura 30Osprey 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

Hiking shoes

Don’t underestimate the importance of hiking shoes, in the end, you’ll spend most of the time walking in them. We’d recommend walking the Camino, especially if you’re planning to walk a long distance, in proper boots not in running shoes or sneakers – they (or your feet) just won’t make it. We tried on the Portuguese Camino to walk in our running shoes. They were very comfortable in the beginning but after a couple of days of walking on cobblestones and asphalt, our feet were destroyed.

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

If you buy a new pair wear them before you go on a hike even super quality new shoes might cause blisters.

Suggested hiking shoes for women

The last five Camino routes and a couple of hiking routes in Nepal I walked in Salomon Ellipse 2. They’re comfortable and light. Exactly what I wanted a pair of shoes that can be worn for both walking the Camino and hiking in the mountains. My feet got wet a couple of times when we got a pouring rain with strong wind on the Northern Camino and the Camino Finisterre.  It happened partly because I wasn’t wearing gaiters the water from my pants ran down into the shoes. 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 off-season 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 hiking shoes for walking the Camino
Alya's hiking shoes covered in mud
My Salomon Ellipse hiking shoes covered in thick mud on the Via de la Plata in April

Suggested hiking shoes for men

Campbell’s walked four Camin routes and several hiking routes in Canada in his Salomon X Ultra hiking shoes. These shoes are a great option; light, durable, relatively waterproof, comfortable, 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 me 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 through 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 hiking shoes for walking the Camino

Sleeping bag

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

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

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

Trekking poles

We usually use trekking poles when we go trekking in the Andes or in the Himalayas. 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 very helpful.

Quick-dry towel

This item we always take when we go traveling. Quick-dry towels are very light, pack small, dry quick (as you can guess from the name), durable, and come in many different colors. We’d suggest marking your towel with initials or a picture at some albergues with many people I spent some time trying to figure out which towel on the washing line was mine.

Water bottle

We definitely prefer carrying a water bottle over a water bladder. A bottle fits in a side pocket, it’s easy to take it out and refill, 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 any filters but 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. If you have a sensitive stomach, pack a water filter for the Camino.

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 quite helpful as well. You can use your phone as well but it’s more comfortable to wear a lamp than to walk or pack holding a phone in your hand.

Neck back

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 when you leave an albergue, most albergues don’t have lockers. Don’t be too careless we’ve heard some stories from other pilgrims whose money or even Credentials left unattended disappeared. We have never had any issues but always try to be careful with valuable items.

8 essential items to pack for the Camino walk

BackpackHiking shoesTrekking polesSleeping bag
Quick-dry towelHeadlampNeck bagWater bottle
Eight essential gear items to pack for the Camino walk
Essential things to pack for the Camino de Santiago

Miscellaneous items to pack for the Camino

You’ll be fine if you don’t pack any of these things but they will make your journey easier and more comfortable. If you’re like me and rather under pack than overpack, don’t worry if you need any of these on the Camino it’s very likely you’ll be able to buy it along the way.

Swiss knife

We always take our Swiss knife when we go hiking, road tripping, or just traveling. Usually, it’s difficult to find a sharp knife in albergues we always used our knife for cutting, opening cans as well as for opening packs slicing when having lunch on the way. Remember if you use a budget airline and your ticket includes only hand luggage you can’t pack a knife.

Power adapter

In Spain and Portugal like in most European countries, power sockets are Type C. If you’re coming from the US, UK, Australia, Canada, or some other countries outside Europe you’ll probably need an adapter that can be used as a multi-plug as well.

Earplugs

You’ll very likely to get at least on snoring person every night staying at albergues so earplugs will be quite useful.  

Stuff sack

You can use a stuff sack for better organizing your backpack especially if it has only one compartment and is top loaded – it’s easy to take a stuff sack out and put it back. You can use it as well to separate your dirty and clean clothes.

Small padlock

Some albergues have lockers but don’t have locks if you want to store your valuables in there bring your own padlock.

Washing pegs

Some albergues have washing machines (sometimes even have dryers), some only basins and washing lines. There are never enough washing pegs. You can use pegs to hang some wet stuff from your backpack as well. They are quite useful if you carry a pack of coffee, oats, etc. for keeping it to closed.

Travel clothesline

You can bring your own travel clothesline from a twisted cord that doesn’t need pegs. You can be put it up anywhere – it has suction cups on both ends. Many places have washing lines but there are never enough washing pegs instead

Sewing kit

We didn’t have one and never really needed it but if you like to be ready for “just in case” take a small travel sewing kit, it’s small and light, in a small plastic shell.

Bed bug spray

We were quite lucky and had bed bugs only at 3 albergues out of hundreds we’ve stayed. If you walk a busy Camino route in the peak season and stay at albergues you might get bed bugs. We haven’t used bed bug spray ourselves but saw people using it. It’s not a 100% guarantee but it will help to keep them away.

Eye mask for sleeping

In case you want to go to bed while lights are still on or want to sleep in the afternoon an eye mask will be useful.

Clothes to pack for the Camino de Santiago

Camino outfit for women

Hiking clothes

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 quick 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 suncream otherwise you’ll get bad sunburns.

Fleece

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

Hiking socks

For a long walk like the Camino, it’s very important to have good durable socks that protect feet and prevent blisters. Our first Camino we walked in normal socks and got bad blisters. From many experienced hikers we heard about merino wool socks that are great for walking; comfortable, soft, help to prevent blisters, dry quick, don’t absorb odors, and easy to wash. We decided to give it a try and since then we’ve been walking and hiking only in merino wool socks – no blisters, no sticky socks, no itching. 

Cap/hat

For the summer season, it’s a must-pack item. Most of the Camino routes go through open areas without any shade, 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.

Headwear or buff

For some extra sun protection for your neck pack a buff. It’s a multi-use item you can use it to cover your neck, face, head, to put your hair up, etc.

Sunglasses

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

Women’s hiking clothes for the Camino packing list

Rain jacketFleeceRunning T-shirtsHiking 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 clothes for changing

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

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.

In case you go out for dinner or a drink. You can do without it but I’ personally like wearing a different outfit every now and then. I usually pack a funky T-shirt and a pair of shorts or a simple summer dress. If we walk in colder months I don’t bring any extra clothes it takes too much space.

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.

Clothes for women to pack for the Camino

Casual T-shirtJean shortsSports brasPanties
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

Camino outfit for men

Hiking clothes

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 definitely recommend packing trekking pants for the Camino. A pair of quick-dry light pants will work great. For summer you can bring a pair or long trekking pants and a pair of hiking shorts or as an option to 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 quick, 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. He bought his first pair just before we walked the Camino del Norte and since then has been walking only in merino wool socks. He usually packs two pairs of socks. There are many great things about them; last long, prevent blisters, keep your feet warm and dry, 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. Campbell prefers wearing a cap over a hat, to protect his neck he wears a buff. Sunglasses is another important thing to add to your Camino packing list.

Men’s hiking 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 and clothes for changing

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 vest will work just fine.

Extra clothes for changing

If you’re planning to walk one of the coastal routes in summer, definitely pack a pair of boardshorts. On the Camino del Norte and on the Portuguese Coastal Route there were many nice beaches great for swimming and chilling.

Campbell usually packs one casual T-shirt that he wears when we go out or after the shower. It’s optional, if you want to carry as little stuff as possible you can get away without an extra T-shirt.

Flip flops is 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 vestSleeping 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

Warm clothes to pack for walking the Camino off-season 

If you venture to walk the Camino in winter you’ll definitely need some extra warm clothes which means your backpack being fuller and heavier.

Fleece hiking pants

For walking in colder months or in winter it’s nice to have a pair of thicker hiking pants with fleece inner (men’s option). For extra warmth, you can always put thermal pants underneath.

Smart wool shirt

If walking in cold months a merino wool hiking shirt (men’s model) will be a great item to pack for the Camino. It’s light and thin can be worn under a fleece if it’s really cold. It keeps your body warm, doesn’t absorb odors, and easy to wash and dry.

Thermals

Very handy to have a thermal shirt and pants (men’s model) for the cold season you can use it for both, sleeping and, if it gets really cold, for wearing it under your hiking clothes. In winter you can wear them for sleeping. We never pack it for summer and there was no need even on dull and rainy days it wasn’t that cold.

A great item to have for sleeping and wearing after the shower is one toe socks that you can wear with flip flops. It’s not necessary for summer but nice to have for colder months. 

Gaiters

We didn’t pack gaiters and did regret it on the Camino Finisterre in November. It rained very strong and a lot, we didn’t have waterproof hiking pants, and once our pants got wet water ran down into the shoes. For walking the Camino the off-season, gaiters will be very useful. If you walk in winter and get caught in the snow, gaiters will work as well.

Gloves

Don’t pack thick gloves, a pair of thin fleece gloves will be fine even if it gets cold it’s unlikely it’ll go far below 0°C/32°F during the day.

Beanie

In fall/winter you’ll definitely need a beanie, mornings and evenings are quite chilly.

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

Electronics to take on the Camino

It’s all up to you to decide whether to make your backpack heavier by packing a big camera with lenses or keep it light and take photos with a phone or a GoPro. In the end, the Camino is about personal experience and it’s your choice of what kind of experience you want to have. 

Smartphone

Probably the most useful device you can pack for the Camino. You can use it for navigation, using Camino apps, taking photos and videos, using social media, listening to music or audiobooks, alarm, etc. Whichever to buy Samsung or iPhone is up to you, I, personally prefer Android.

GoPro

We used to walk carrying our big mirror camera but the quality of the footage with it wasn’t good enough for making YouTube videos. We decided to buy a new GoPro HERO8. Since then we’ve been using it for taking videos and even photos. It’s very small, light, waterproof, and easy to use. On the last couple of Caminos, we had our GoPro and phones no camera at all. and are happy with Another cool and small thing that will help to capture your Camino. It’s very easy to do editing with the free GoPro Quik app just connect your GoPro to your phone and in 10 minutes you’ll get an awesome video with music.

GPS watch

I got my first Garmin Fenix watch as a present from Campbell 2 years ago and since then I’ve been using it 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. The watch works great for any activity; hiking, running, cycling, swimming, surfing, etc. We loved my watch so much that decided to buy one for Campbell as well. Now we both have it.

Camera

If you like photography and aren’t satisfied with the quality of the phone and GoPro photos then a small digital camera like Olympus OM-D is a great option. It takes really good photos, ok videos, and it is small and light.

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. It’s not always easy to find a book in your language (unless it’s Spanish). 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 Amazon Kindle unlimited program to get free access to hundreds of thousands of Ebooks and audiobooks.

Power bank

We packed a power bank for the first two Caminos but never used it. Unless you have a drone or take a lot of photos and videos it’s not necessary to carry it. There are electricity and power outlets in all albergues, restaurants or cafes along the way.

Toiletries

EssentialsExtras
DeodorantLip balm
Body washTravel hand soap
ShampooToiletry bag
Tooth pasteTravel manicure set
Tooth brushMosquito repellent
Hand sanitizerHumid tissues
SunscreenHand/body cream
Razor (men’s razor)Silicone travel bottles
HairbrushSilicone cream jars
Toiletries to pack for the Camino de Santiago

First aid kit & medicine

You walk past several pharmacies every day we were always able to 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. We’ve never had problems buying medicine this way in Spain or Portugal. Sometimes if we didn’t have a printed prescription we could send it to the pharmacy’s e-mail.

  • 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) is something you’ll definitely need on the Camino. Tip! If you have spots on your feet where you usually get blisters, try to prevent them by putting some vaseline and a plaster. If you already have blister 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 (as I mentioned above 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, swelling, e.g. Ibuprofen.
  • Aspirin – in case you get cold or flu.

Books and guide books for the Camino

Here you can find guide books for different Camino routes as well as some Camino related books that you might enjoy reading before or during the walk.

Recommended Camino apps

  • Camino Pilgrim – Frances. A personal scheduler for the Camino Frances. Free. Available for Android
  • Camino de Santiago companion (Camino Frances). Free. Available for Android and iPhone.
  • Free Camino de Santiago Guide (Camino Frances). Free. Available for Android & iPhone
  • Camino de Santiago Guide (Camino Frances & Camino Finisterre-Muxia). US$3. Available for Android and iPhone.
  • Way of St.James (Buen Camino), includes Camino Frances, Camino del Norte, Camino Primitivo, Camino Portuguese from Porto, Camino Ingles, Camino de Invierno, Camino Sanabres, Camino Finisterre-Muxia. Free. Available for Android and iPhone.
  • Maps.me an offline navigation map that has many hiking and walking routes all over the world. Free. Available for Android and iPhone.

Camino de Santiago planning resources

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62 Comments

  1. Terence Gaw

    Hey Guys
    I am planning to start my Camino in Lisbon and following your advice to a a T… This is my first Camino and I’ll be starting on the 13th of September. Do you think the weather will still be nice to do it?
    I’m travelling alone and also just wondering about mobile phone reception on the route incase there is an emergency etc.
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us as I am finding it so informative… Go Bokke 😉

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Terence! Thank you for the comment! In September it’s usually still quite hot in the south of Portugal, in Galicia it’ll be warm but might start raining the end of September. We usually buy a local SIM card and get reception and the Internet pretty much everywhere. The part of the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon to Porto is more challenging than the Porto to Santiago part. There are fewer albergues, not many pilgrims and towns are quite far apart we had to walk longer days there. From Porto the Camino is easier; more albergues and hotels, more people, and no need to walk long days.
      Buen Camino!

  2. Maurice Heneghan

    Good list except I would add a tarp or light tent and sleep pad. Some ponchos can be used as tarps. Post covid you might want to wild camp occasional nights.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Maurice! Thank you for the comment! The problem with carrying a tent is that there are not many campsites along the route and wild camping in most places in Spain is not allowed. We met people walking with camping gear but most of them ended up staying at public albergues because it’s cheap and much more comfortable than wild camping. I understand your concern about the current situation albergues are usually very crowded. We’ll see how albergues and hostels on the Camino will adjust to the new reality maybe they’ll limit the number of people that can stay at once.
      Keep well!

  3. Dear Stingy Nomads,
    I want to do the Camino Light with friends in the summer. Because I suffer of scoliosis I need to find a backpack that is the lightest of the lightest. Can you please give me some advice on this. I have allready spend so much time on the internet looking for one but I find over 1 kilo to heavy for a backpack! Thank you, love and greetings.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Sireen! Thank you for the comment! Have you considered using a backpack delivery service? It’s quite popular on the Camino, they deliver your backpack from albergue to albergue every day and you walk with a small day pack. If you don’t want to use it I can recommend checking Quechua backpacks, I have a 40l Quechua backpack, it’s light and comfortable, I saw a lot of people walking the Camino with this backpack last year.
      Buen Camino!

  4. Hello both, thanks for the excellent website. I am walking the Camino France finally in March 2020. My first Camino and my first ever hike anyway. Would this be a good time to walk?

    I expect a lot of rain and cold mornings but hopefully my gear is in top shape. Thank you for all the tips you provided here, it really came in handy when I planned for my own Camino.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Andreas! Thank you for the comment! March might be a bit cold and wet especially the parts over the mountains there might be still snow in some places. We’ve never walked the Camino in March I can’t tell you for sure about the weather but I believe it’ll be better than in November.
      Buen Camino!

  5. TAMIKA MATHEWS

    Hi! I am doing the Portugal Camino trail in April. Could you recommend any backpack or luggage services?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Tamika! We’ve never used luggage transfer service we can’t recommend which one is the best, there are several you’ll find them if you google.
      Cheers!

  6. Nazar Leshchuk

    Hello.
    Thanks a lot for such a detailed info)
    Just one more question – do you know where I can get Credential in Ukraine?

    Thanks in advance)

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Nazar! Thank you for the comment! Unfortunately, we don’t know where to get the Credential in Ukraine. I’m not sure which Camino route you’re planning to walk and from where but at all main starting points you can get the Credential. Usually, pilgrim’s offices, private albergues, and churches at the beginning of the Camino have Credentials.
      Buen Camino!

  7. HI guys brilliant website. I have done the Littorale Porto to A Guarda/Baiona/ Vigo/Redondela/Pontevedra /CdR/Padron/Sdc (Setp/Oct 2016) and also Camino Ingles to Sdc then Finisterres /Muxia. (first1/2 Oct 2018).

    Travelling with mates and stuck to arriving Spain about11/12 October..we can only do 2 weeks.. ww were thinking CdNorte but my only concern is weather.. sounds tougher but amazing. is another possibility Portugal again..inland from Porto to Tui etc and then the Spiritual route so we can get some coastal time? or weather wise is it all a gamble then.. I am not silly I am expecting some rain having been to Galicia twice 🙂
    thanks a lot Shane

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Shane! Thank you for the comment! We walked the Camino del Norte in October, the first half was very nice, great weather, no rain but somewhere Mid-October it started raining and got cold, at the end of the month we even had snow in Galicia. I guess in October you might be lucky and had great weather or very unlucky and walk under pouring rain every day. I’m not sure if you’re open to other walking routes that are not part of the Camino de Santiago network. If so I can recommend the Rota Vicentina, it’s a great coastal route in the south of Portugal, weatherwise it’ll be much better than the north of Spain and the scenery there is stunning. You’ll need 9 days to walk the route from Porto Covo to Cabo de S.Vicente, the entire trail goes along the coast. The only thing it’s more expensive than the Camino there are no albergues along the route only hostels and hotels. We walked the Rota in May and absolutely loved it! You can check our detailed guide here https://stingynomads.com/rota-vicentina-trail-portugal/
      Cheers!

  8. how is it to begin in April starting weather wise ?

    • Hi, Arun! What route do you mean? There are many different Caminos it depends on which one you want to walk in April e.g. for the Via de la Plata April is the best time for walking, for the Camino Primitivo it’s too early there might be still snow in the mountains. And when in April, beginning or end?

  9. Christine Torrance

    Hi Alya & Campbell….. what a wonderful blog, you have certainly covered everything one needs to know. However I do have one question – which route has been your most favourite and why. I just don’t know which one to do, and I will be going solo. I’m 55 yrs old.
    Thank you kindly
    Chrissie

    • Hello, Christine! Thank you for the comment! We liked every Camino route for different reasons but for as a combination of weather, sea scenery, prices and distance I think the Portuguese Camino Coastal route is the best option for a first-timer. It’s not very long, there are many albergues along the route, in the season there are many people you won’t be lonely, you walk next to the ocean and get to see two countries Sain and Portugal. We really liked the Camino Primitivo and the Camino del Norte but these two are a bit tougher than the Portuguese Camino.
      Buen Camino!

  10. Sosthenes Behn

    I am planning on the Portuguese Camino beginning in Lisbon in September 2021.
    Any suggestions would be welcome and appreciated.

    • Hello! If you click on Camino de Santiago menu you’ll find three blog posts on the Portuguese Camino including one on walking the Camino from Lisbon. There you can find all our suggestions and tips.
      Cheers!

  11. Samantha Steele

    Greetings Campbell and Alya! You both are such an inspiration! y name is Samantha and my husband is Mike. We both would like to spend much more of our time travelling and blogging about our experiences. Mike and I are planning to leave at the end of September to hike the Portuguese Camino. Last year I hiked part of it with my daughter and then the Finisterre/Muxia Way by myself. We planning to start in Santiago and head south to at least to Porto, then rent a car and visit the Picos de Europa to hike there. We have a total of 5 weeks. It seems as if very few people hike away from Santiago southward towards Porto. Everything I’ve seen so far is in the opposite direction, northward. Do you know of a reason why we should not travel southbound? Are the arrows another color instead of yellow heading north? Thanks for your help!

    • Hello, Samantha! Thank you for the comment! The main reason people walk the Camino to Santiago to Santiago and not the other way around is that it’s a pilgrimage route people are heading from whatever they are towards the sacred place. You can walk it from north to south we saw some people doing, I’m not sure about the route marking but I guess there will be some arrows they might be blue, not yellow color, blue arrows are used to mark the Camino de Fatima some people walk from Santiago de Compostela to Fatima a small town in Portugal. I’d recommend checking the weather forecast before going to the Picos de Europa it might rain quite a lot in October.
      Buen Camino!

  12. Hi Campbell and Alya. Thanks for the wonderful blog – it’s truly a marvellous resource in an age of endless cat videos and where the US President seeks advice from Kanye West.

    I’m flying from Australia to do the Portuguese Coastal way in October 2019 and am seeking your views on whether you think it would be difficult to do it with a 30L backpack, noting that I will bring a sleeping bag.

    Many thanks in advance for your help, cheers, Chris

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hi, Chris! Thank you for the comment! We’re glad you’ve found it helpful! Your backpack might be quite packed but I believe it’s possible if you don’t take extra stuff. I’m currently walking with a 40l pack carrying a sleeping bag and a laptop and there is still quite a lot of space, I guess if it wasn’t for the laptop I would be able to pack everything into a 30l backpack. If your sleeping bag doesn’t fit in you can always attach it from the outside you’ll just need a bigger rain cover to keep it dry in case of rain.
      Enjoy the Camino!

  13. Hi I am planning to do the Portuguese Coastal , starting early June 2020. Could you please let me know where you got your credential in south Africa. (I live in Johannesburg.
    Many thanks
    Lexie

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello Lexie, you can contact Andrée Lombard, chairperson of Confraternity St James of South Africa (CSJofSA). Telephone and email on their website https://www.csjofsa.za.org/ Andrée has been so helpful, they also supply members walking the Camino with the appropriate letter required for visa application.

  14. Hi. Thanks for all the details. Amazing post.
    I am doing the Camino Primitivo at the beginning of April. Any special recommendation, based on your previous experience?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Almir! Thank you for the comment! For the Primitivo, I’d definitely recommend having a rain poncho, good waterproof shoes and a backpack cover, in the mountains in Asturias it might rain quite a bit in April, there might be even snow on some parts of the Camino. We walked it in June and at least half of the time it rained but you might be lucky and got no rain at all just be prepared in case you do.
      Buen Camino!

  15. Hey, there!
    Great info!
    I’m planning on hiking the Camino Del Norte Sept-Oct. What city do you recommend flying into(coming from United States) to begin the hike?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Michael! Thank you for the comment! You can fly either to Barcelona or Madrid there are direct buses from both cities. We flew to Barcelona and from there took a bus to Irun (the starting point of the Camino del Norte).
      Cheers!

  16. Hello,
    I am planning on walking the Camino Portugues from Porto (probably on the coast to Caminha, then on the central route) and I am wondering if I should bother with trekking poles. I live in the Alps and use them here but there is so little evelation there that I am wondering if I should. What do you think? Thank you.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Valerie! If you use hiking poles only for ascends and descends you will be fine without them on the Portuguese Camino as you said the inclination on the route is close to 0, plus most of the time you walk on asphalt or boardwalks it won’t be slippery if it rains. Still, many people use them for different reasons (extra stability, to improve the posture when walking with a backpack, etc.). We didn’t have poles on the Portuguese Camino and didn’t feel like we needed them but t’s a personal choice, we use them exclusively in the mountains.
      Buen Camino!

  17. Jacqui Stearn

    What a great blog. I am planning to complete one of the routes late September/October, so weighing up my options. One factor that I can’t seem to find you covering is where there is availability of portage/backpack transfer as I am no longer able to carry the weight due to loss of cartilage in my inner knee joints. Any tips?

    Best wishes,

    Jacqui

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Jacqui! Thank you very much for the comment! We cover backpack transfer service in all the posts about specific Camino routes not in this post. You can arrange backpack delivery on any Camin route, it usually costs 5-6 Euro per backpack per day. From what we’ve seen many pilgrims use Correos service (Spanish post). Once you decide on the route you can enquire on their site the estimated cost for the whole route or per stage. We’ve never used it but know many people who did.
      Buen Camino!

  18. Robert Tanzie

    Much enjoy your helpful site. Will be going on Portuguese Camino del Mar ! August.
    Roberto de Madrid

  19. A good, well put together blog. A comment on Travel Insurance with World Nomads – I just found out that it is only available to those under 65 years of age. I was 66 a few weeks ago! C’est la vie as they say in St Jean PdP.

  20. cinzia garoglio

    Ciao ti scrivo dall’Italia e partirò per il cammino da Porto, mi piacerebbe fare la via costiera ma ho solo 8 giorni di cammino.
    Posso farcela? O mi conviene fare la via centrale?
    Grazie del blog…mi consigli una buona app con mappe.
    Grazie!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Cinzia! Thank you for the comment! Whichever route you choose 8 days it’s not much time to complete the route. The Central route is shorter, about 260 km, if you want to walk the whole route you’ll have to walk more than 30 km a day. If you walk the Coastal Route your daily distance will be about 35 km. I don’t know if you personally can walk that far every day or not. As an option, you can start in Porto walk either route and somewhere in the middle take a bus to skip a couple of stages and then continue walking. Just remember to get the Compostela you have to walk at least the last 100 km to Santiago de Compostela.
      Buen Camino!

  21. Hi I’m preparing to walk the Coastal route on 19 June aiming to do 20/25kms a day. Where do I find lists of Albergues en route so I can book ahead somewhat.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Perry! If you open our post “Portuguese Camino Coastal Route” at the end of each day you’ll find a list of suggested accommodation options for that day. Keep n mind that you can book only private albergues, hostels and hotels, public albergues (the most budget accommodation on the Camino) can’t be booked in advance, they work on the principle “first come first served”.
      Buen Camino!

  22. Hi, thank you for a very detailed article! I am doing a small part of this hike in September this year as i am not able to start with my friends from Porto. Do you know if it is possible to start walking this route from Tai, ending in Santiago de Compostelo? If so do i purchase the Camino passport in Tai or do my friends get it for me in Porto? And if not, can i still do the hike without this just for the fun of it? Hope to hear from you soon.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Chantelle! Many people start walking the Portuguese Camino from Tui based on this I guess you’ll be able to get a Credential (Camino passport) there, at the cathedral or in one of the albergues. You can walk the Camino without it but you won’t be able to stay in public albergues though private albergues and hotels on the way don’t require it, and you won’t get the Compostela (Certificate confirming you walked the Camino) in Santiago without it. By the way, we got both our Credentials in South Africa beforehand.
      Buen Camino!

  23. You anwsered to all I wanted to know! 🙂 You are great, thank you!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Iva! Thank you very much for the feedback! We’re glad the post was helpful!
      Buen Camino!

  24. Hi there

    Thank you so much for such a lovely site.
    I am hoping to do 3 weeks of Camino solo as a thirty year old woman.

    Which route and Stratton point has the nicest views, atmosphere and warmest weather for the month of June? How many km a day did you walk? If I have three weeks should where should I start?

    Thank you very much

    Stephanie

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Stephanie! Thank you for the comment! Based on what you say I think The Coastal Route of the Portuguese Camino might be the best option for you. If you start in Porto it’ll take between 12 and 14 days to walk to Santiago. In June it’s nice and warm in Portugal, we walked this route in May and it was very warm. From Santiago you can continue and walk to Finisterre and Muxia, it’s a short extension of the Camino that takes you to what was considered “the end of the world” in old time. It’ll take you about 4-5 days. In total you’ll be walking for about 3 weeks. On the Coastal route we walked 20-25 km a day, not very long stage. Hopefully it’ll help you to decide!
      Buen Camino!

  25. Jaime Hidalgo

    Thanks for the info… My 17 yr old son will be going this July with a small group of kids from his HS… he is looking forward to the journey but your blog helps with providing some of the details he needs to have a successful trip…. thanks

  26. Hi Stingy Nomads
    I loved your blog and I am literally using it as my main guide to plan my camino de santiago that I am planning to start in about 10 days! It was in my traveling pipeline for a long time and finally, I reelly feel it’s a good time for me to do it now.
    I choose the litoral portuguese camino because I love the view of the sea and don’t want a crowded route even tough I am a woman and traveling alone.
    I have several questions for you and thank you in advance fo replies:
    1- I thought I would do only 7 days; in this case, which step would you recommend me to skip (doing it by bus or train)?
    2- I thought using the backpack transfer as I am not sure I can walk with heavy bag but do I need to reserve the transfer ahead of time or can I do it while on the camino (as I have not yet reserved any albergues)?
    3- What do you think of the availability of public albergues during this period; May 25- June 8? 4- You probably know of “couchsurfing”, do you think I can use it on the camino?
    Thank you so much for your blog and for helping…
    All the best,
    Aliya
    (You are Alya and I am Aliya!)

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hi, again! What a coincidence with our names! My name is actually spelled with “i” sometimes). I guess I answered your first question in reply for your comment on the Packing list for the Camino.
      Regarding backpack transfer I’m sure you can arrange it on the way I would just recommend to contact one of the companies beforehand to find out some details. As I know the delivery can be arranged only between private albergues/hotstels/hotels not between public albergues. I guess the main reason is because you can’t book public albergues in advanced they work on principle first come first serve, plus I guess they don’t want to take responsibility for somebody’s luggage as most of the times public albergues are run by volunteers. I would recommend to pack really light you don’t need much stuff for a 7-day walk just a couple of clothing items and toiletries, I’m sure you can fit it into a 30l backpack.
      As for availability of public albergues we walked this route about the same time the end of May and never had a problem with finding beds in public albergues. We do know couchsurfing but never used it for the Camino logistically it’s quite difficult to find a host exactly on the route as most of the time you stay in small towns I’m not sure how many people who live in those place are in couchsurfing.
      Enjoy the Camino!

  27. Serkan Altay

    What an awesome website. I look forward to learning more about your travels. I think I’ve been bitten by the adventure bug so this website will no doubt give me some great tips! thanks

  28. I’m leaving early May walking the Portugues Way from Lisbon. I’m time poor and will bus to Fatima then bus to Coimbra, walking then to Porto where I’ll meet with my daughter and together continue onto Santiago de Compostela. I’m very excited! Thank you very much indeed for your comprehensive advice; I’ve been paining over clothes and reading where less is better. Great to learn from someone who’s walked the trail!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Jen! Thank you for the comment! Hope you’ll enjoy the Portuguese Camino! We walked it in May as well and it was beautiful, many flowers and trees in blossom.
      Buen Camino!

  29. Ivan Valio

    Hello! Thank you for detailed description! I found this text very useful! I’m going in two weks on Camino. My wife and me will start in Pamplona. Could you please write me where in Pamplona can I get first credential for Camino.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Ivan! We have never been to Pamplona (we walked other Camino routes not the French one) but I know that many people start walking the Camino Frances there from our experience I can say that you should be able to get your Credential at one of the albergues (public or private) or at the cathedral in Pamplona, sometimes Tourism information offices sell Credentials as well.
      Buen Camino!

  30. Thank you for writing this blog, it is really insightful and inspiring! I do have a question though: My sister and I are planning to walk the Camino Coastal Route from Porto Portugal to Santiago. Where in Porto would we get the Credential? Am I understanding correctly it has the different alburgues listed to stop at?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Robin! Thank you for the comment! You must be able to get the Credential at Se cathedral (where the walk starts) or at one of the listed albergues in Porto, many albergues on the way sell it as well so if you don’t get it before the walk you can still get it on the first day. I remember on the way out of Porto (if following the Senda Litoral) there wad an information center where you can get a stamp I think they might sell Credentials as well. You won’t miss it it says “Get stamps here” or something like this.
      Buen Camino!

  31. Marieta Randall

    Thank you so much. First time I found all the info in one place

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