I have been packing for this trip for several months, but now it is crunch time. I have been hiking with my backpack with about 15 lbs of weight since the first of the year. Several days ago I started packing my backpack with what I would be taking on the Camino and have been walking ten miles or more for the last three days with this weight. So . . . what am I taking on this pilgrimage for six weeks?


Fleece jacket


My hat


My rain gear – a poncho and waterproof hat.



Two short sleeve shirts, two long sleeve shirts, two pair of hiking pants. (Only one set is shown, the other I will be wearing).


My pj’s


My first aid kit, knee brace, ankle brace. (I need to get a smaller bag for this)


Biodegradable toilet paper. (I am not sure if I need this)


4 pair of socks, 4 pair of sock liners, ski mask


Lightweight raincoat/wind breaker



Two pair of under garments (not shown) and a long scarf that can be used as a skirt (from Bali).


Beanie for cold mornings, extra pair of reading glasses, gloves and two scarfs.


Misc bag of tools, clips, ear plugs, safety pins, extra caps for my tubing system that can be used on coke bottles. (Safety pins are my clothes pins.)


Bath towel and toiletries: Tooth brush, tooth paste, deodorant (out of container to save weight and is in saran wrap), Wilderness Wash (to be used for body, face, clothes) body lotion, sunscreen x 2.


Head lamp flash light and tiny flashlight to be used in the hostels. (so I don’t disturb others)


Electronics: Ipad, portable charger, two converters, fitbit and charger cords for Ipad, keyboard, fitbit, transfer cord-camera to Ipad. These are probably the heaviest things I will carry. “Something” might have to be eliminated.


Camera, camera strap, charger cord.


Will wear this around my waist.


My backpack with the water bottles and tubing system (Smart Tube). At the present time two 1 liter bottles.

This is what I have today , less than a week before my departure. Not shown are my hiking sticks, sunglasses, a small cloth bag to stuff my fleece jacket in to make it my pillow, hiking boots and hiking sandals.  What I have shown and listed above weighs 16 lbs.; that does not include water. I am four lbs. overweight. Perhaps my next blog will list what will have to be eliminated.

Today I was going to put a large sheet in my back yard and open up my sleeping bag and all of my clothes and spray them with Permethrin (an insect repellent highly recommended), but it is raining! Southern California needs the rain, so I can’t complain; it just means I can’t cross it off on my “to do list” yet.

If any of you have previous experience in backpacking in general or on the Camino specifically and have any suggestions or if anyone has any questions about this packing list, I would like to hear from you. I have never backpacked before, only day hikes.

On Monday, April 11 I will begin my pilgrimage by walking out my front door with my backpack, leaving the comfort and safety of my home, to a hotel near the San Diego Airport. On Tuesday, April 12 at 7:30 a.m. my flight is scheduled to leave for Spain.

Let it rain today! I am sure I will be walking in rain soon enough.


23 comments on “Packing

  1. Kathy Stern says:

    What about a small shovel to bury your toilet paper? Maybe eliminate the pajamas. You can sleep in long underwear. Did you pack “Wet Ones?”

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Geri Wilson says:

      Kathy: Good reminders! I totally forgot to pack my long underwear and I might need it for walking over the Pyrennes. I will put in some wet ones, a small amount, and see if I can purchase them along the way.

  2. Vicky says:

    I am wondering if there is a combo that included everything you mentioned for washing to includ shampoo and conditioner too! I am so excited for you and happy that I will get to see you before you go.💖

    • Geri Wilson says:

      The Wilderness Wash can be used for shampoo. I washed my hair with it the other day, and it worked okay but left my hair a little dry. It will be under a hat most of the time any way.

  3. Virginia says:

    Hi Geri!!! It’s almost time! I am so excited for you!! Are you taking your cell phone?? If yes, do you still need your camera?

    • Geri Wilson says:

      Hi Vrginia – I’m not taking my cell phone. I am going to buy a Spanish go-phone for local calls. I will be using my Ipad to blog – that is unless I change my mind. The Ipad is so much heavier than the Iphone but cheaper to replace if lost.

  4. Marsha says:

    Does your first aide kit include pain medicine

    Sent from my iPhone


  5. helenylca says:

    Be safe and enjoy your new adventure!!!!!

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

  6. Jan Maynard says:

    You are so organized. Is there a limit on your backpack? What is wrong with 16 pounds? Great planning!

    • Geri Wilson says:

      In research I keep,reading that the backpack should only be 10% of your weight. I suppose it is because of the length of the walk because I know normally backpackers carry much more weight than that. I also know even with months of training my body does not do well with a heavy backpack.

  7. lynnsandy says:

    didn’t see any first aid stuff, from my experience in Europe, it was hard to find stuff I was familiar with, aspirin, ibuprofen, band-aids, etc. light weight. maybe some anti diarrhea med.

  8. Susan Pease says:

    Do you need both a poncho & raincoat? Also, I sleep in silk thermal underwear. Sport bras? I usually have 2 – one to wear and 1 to wash. I carry a more extensive first aid kit – antibiotics, anti-diarrhea medicine, benadryl, pepto bismol, triple antibiotic ointment, medical tweezers, something to clean cuts & scrapes (iodine wipes), stuff for blisters (moleskin, blister bandaids). I also carry a small sewing kit. Sunscreen and lip protection. Insect repellant. Do you have a small swiss army knife with scissors?

    Good luck. I’m looking forward to reading about your trip.

    • Geri Wilson says:

      Susan: You have given me some really good ideas. I am not checking my backpack but carrying it on the plane so I took my Swiss army knife out. Thank you so much for your comment.

    • Geri Wilson says:

      Susan: I forgot to answer you about the raincoat and the poncho. I think both are necessary – the raincoat can also be used as a windbreaker, it is very light. It can be used for fog, drizzle and wind. The poncho will cover me and the pack from my neck to below my knees and will be for heavy rains and storms. The poncho is heavy and I wish I “could” leave it behind. A couple of weeks ago while I was hiking we had a downpour, hard, hard rain. I had my poncho with me and I was very protected with it. I have a new respect for it now.

  9. says:

    Ware did you get the knee brace? It is elastic, gives your knee support, and how much did it cost? If you would let me know before you go, I would appreciate it.

  10. Vicky says:

    May God Bless you and keep you, may He bless your comings and goings Geri. You will be solely missed by many. I pray that I may encourage you in this pilgrimage as you have me over these last two years. Via con Dios friend💕✈️🏃🙏🙏🙏

  11. Laurel Nielsen says:

    I really admire the way you’ve gone about this! Can’t wait to read your posts once you start your pilgrimage.

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