Jill’s Pilgrim Packing List for the Camino

Live and sculpture pilgrims by photographer Timothy Charles Geoffrion

In the months before we walked the Camino, I thought and planned a great deal about what I would bring. I was constantly aware of the rule: your backpack should weigh no more than one-tenth of your body weight. I chose to bring two items that weren’t necessary, but which did a great deal for my mental well-being: a tube of rose cream so that I wouldn’t always smell like a pilgrim, and a comfortable, attractive skirt to wear after I was done walking each day.

Here’s what I bought:


  • Underwear (2)
  • Socks, midweight (2)
  • Short sleeve shirts (2)
  • White long sleeve shirt (SPF 30 or more) (1)
  • Marino wool long sleeve shirt (1)
  • Good quality raincoat with hood (1)
  • Skirt (to wear after walking)
  • Wide-brimmed hat (covers both face and back of neck)
  • Lightweight all-purpose scarf
  • Midweight hiking boots (broken in)
  • Lightweight sandals for post daily walking wear- 1 pair

Feet Care:

  • Walking soles for shoes (superfeet from REI)
  • small bottle peppermint oil for soaking the feet (refreshing effect)
  • Needle and thread to treat blisters
  • Bandaids for blisters (various sizes)
  • Medical plastic glove to use when helping others with blisters

Personal Care

  • Water bladder to carry inside of backpack (with a tube for drinking)
  • A lightweight sleeping bag that can be squeezed into a small pouch
  • Sleep sack with a pillow cover. Good for placing over the bed for a sense of hygiene. Also good on nights when the sleeping bag was too hot
  • Camping style towel that dried quickly: large enough to cover me when using communal shower areas
  • Earplugs to block out the noise of other pilgrims when sleeping
  • Sunglasses
  • Suntan lotion, 35 SPF
  • Several large safety pins (used to hang wet clothes out to dry on clotheslines or my backpack)
  • Mini flashlight with a strong beam (could be worn on my forehead)
  • Nail clippers
  • Little nailbrush to use for nails and tough stains on clothes
  • Swiss Army knife with scissors
  • Soap (for showers & washing clothes)
  • Toothpaste, toothbrush, retainer
  • A small tube of cortisone cream for rashes
  • Essential oils for pain and disinfection
  • Arnica (homeopathic) for muscle trauma
  • Rescue remedy (homeopathic) for trauma of all sorts
  • Rose cream
  • Tampax


  • Very large plastic bag to line backpack to keep the rain out (Ziplock)
  • Passport
  • Bank card for cash withdrawals
  • Credit card
  • Insurance card
  • Shell for backpack to identify me as a pilgrim
  • Rock to leave at the Cruz de Fero
  • Small travel alarm clock
  • Digital camera and extra memory cards, charger
  • Journal and pen(s)
  • Earrings (one pair)
  • Small water bottle for use in afternoons and evenings
  • Tape (for adding things to my journal)
  • Reading glasses
  • New Testament & Psalms (lightweight)

Didn’t Bring: Wish I Had

  • Small binoculars for looking at the facades of churches