Picking what clothes to bring on the Camino involves some trade-offs:
- I hate washing clothes! So if I take extra clothes it means fewer times I have to wash. BUT that means extra weight to carry for 500 miles 😦 Since I will be doing a daily blog, I need time for blogging/editing photos… not washing clothes every day.
- Lightweight hiking clothes usually means big dollars. I don’t want to spend a fortune just to save a few ounces. OR do I?
- Rain gear is heavy. So do I pack rain gear OR leave it home and get wet?
In the end, I decided on packing enough clothes so I could go 3 days without washing.
Here is what I settled on:
I’m bringing 5 shirts (actually 4 in my backpack & one to wear). I figure I will only get 1 day out of each. I decided on the following:
- 2 long sleeve technical shirts (Mountain Hardware Photon Zip T). These are made from a perforated fabric that lets air in to keep you cool, and has excellent moisture-wicking abilities along with great stretch. Plus I won’t have to use sunscreen on my arms when I wearing these shirts (6 oz each).
- 2 short sleeve technical shirts (Terramar Helix T-Shirt – Lightweight, UPF 25+). Like the shirts above, these are made from a perforated fabric that lets air in to keep you cool and has excellent moisture-wicking abilities along with great stretch. I plan on using these shirts toward the end of my trip when it gets really hot (4.5 oz each).
- 1 Hawaiian Shirt. Yes, I know this is a luxury item. But I plan on wearing this in the evenings. Nothing feels better than wearing a nice Hawaiian shirt 🙂 (6 oz… but soooo worth it)
I decided to bring a pair of convertible pants for cold and/or rainy days (or in the evenings). These are the type of pants where the bottoms can be zipped-off to become a pair of shorts. I settled on the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants. (11 oz)
I’m bringing 3 pairs of shorts (actually 2 in my backpack & one to wear). I figure I will get 1 (maybe 2 ) days out of each. I looked at several different high-end brands, but they were stupidly expensive and were only 1-2 ounces lighter than what I bought. I ended up finding some really nice Coleman Belted Cargo Shorts at Sam’s Club for $16 each! They are made from a nice wicking material and are fast drying (9.6 oz each including the belt)
Everybody raves about ExOfficio underwear so I bought a pair for $25! to test on my training hikes. Yes, they work well, but not any better than my $8 pair of Terramar Pro Mesh Boxer Briefs from Sierra Trading Post. I’m bringing 3 pairs of underwear (actually 2 in my backpack & one to wear). I figure I will only get 1 day out of each. (2.5 oz each)
I’m bringing 3 pairs of socks (actually 2 in my backpack & one to wear). I figure I will only get 1 day out of each pair. I decided on the Terramar Midweight Cool-Dri Pro Hiker Socks. I used them last year in the blazing heat (like 118° F) hiking around Sedona, AZ last summer and was pleased with their performance. (3oz per pair)
I decided to just go with a lightweight rain jacket (and leave the rain pants home) I ended up buying a discontinued Mountain Hardwear Alchemy Hooded Rain Jacket for cheap. This has their best waterproof/breathable technology and I have tested it and I’m very satisfied with it. (14 oz)
Since the Camino starts in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains it will be cool in the mornings and in the evenings. So I will bring a lightweight fleece jacket which I will donate to a thrift shop when I no longer need it. I bought a cheap jacket (Peak Performance Midlayer Fleece Jacket) from Sierra Trading Post and it weighs just 7 oz. If it gets really cold, I can layer this with the above rain jacket for extra warmth.
As mentioned before, it can get cold in the beginning stages of the Camino, so I bought a cheap pair ($8) of lightweight gloves from Amazon. I will donate to a thrift shop when I no longer need them. (4oz for the pair)
They say you need a good hat for the Camino since you be walking for 500 miles and most it will be in direct sunlight. So I ended up buying the RedHead No Fly Zone Big Brim Safari Hat from Bass Pro Shops. Many of the hats I looked at had too wide of a brim that would hit against my backpack. The brim on this hat was just right. It is lightweight and has excellent ventilation. (4oz)