Necessary things for the Camino de Santiago
We would like to dedicate this blog post to help you prepare the necessary things to do the Camino de Santiago and to recommend some essential utensils that will make your pilgrimage easier and more enjoyable. In other posts of our blog, we have already told you about which backpack to take to the Camino de Santiago and the most suitable footwear you need for the Camino de Santiago.
So these are two topics that we won’t delve into in this post. You can access the links if you want to check the appropriate features that your backpack and shoes must have. Remember that they are the two most important items and that your comfort on the Camino de Santiago depends a lot on them.
But before you go on, if you feel like doing a pilgrimage to Compostela and do not know which route to start, we recommend the Camino de Santiago from Sarria. If you need help with your trip plan, leave us your details and we will contact you to organize it to your requirements.
The clothes you wear on the Camino de Santiago must be breathable. Depending on the time of year you choose to do the Camino de Santiago you will need different types of clothing.
We recommend that you check out the article that we dedicate to tips and recommendations for clothing on the Camino de Santiago that you must wear depending on the season. Having the right clothes is one of the most necessary things to make your stay during the Camino de Santiago enjoyable.
You should also keep in mind that it is not the same to prepare a backpack that you will carry throughout the tour, than to prepare a luggage to use a baggage transport service between stages. The latter option is increasingly used by pilgrims to protect their joints from the over-effort of carrying the backpack.
However, this is not the only reason why pilgrims resort to this type of service. You can check some of the advantages of doing the Camino de Santiago without a backpack and see how the backpack transport service works on the Camino de Santiago.
If you are carrying your backpack, you should limit the number of changes of clothes to 3. Think you can’t carry more than 10% of your body weight during the route. If, on the other hand, you plan to hire the baggage transport service, you can bring a lot more clothes with you.
Other essential things to take to travel on the pilgrim route is sun protection. We refer to both sun creams and a cap that protects the head during intense hours of sunshine and your sunglasses. It doesn’t matter what season of the year you go to the Camino de Santiago. Even on cloudy days it is important to protect yourself from the sun.
Toiletries are also essential on the Camino de Santiago, especially if you plan to stay in the network of public or private hostels. In high-class accommodation, you’ll likely be provided with shampoo, gel and a clean towel every day.
If you carry your own toiletries, we recommend that you purchase them in travel format or distribute them in small containers. Especially if you’ll carry them all the way.
The Pilgrim’s Credential
The pilgrim’s credential is another of the necessary and essential things on the Camino de Santiago, if you wish to apply for the Compostela.
Cash: one of the most necessary things on the Camino de Santiago
Always carry some cash with you. We do not recommend that you carry a lot of money, but just enough to spend a day or two on the Camino.
There are many shops on pilgrim routes that do not accept payment by credit cards and sometimes during the stage you will not find any cash machines. So always carry some money in your wallet, to avoid uncomfortable situations.
Essential utensils to do the Camino de Santiago
Below we provide you with a list of utensils that, according to us, are essential to make your day to day on the Camino de Santiago easier. Take note!
Belt bag or small backpack
On the Camino de Santiago, it is common for pilgrims to leave their luggage at the property in the evenings and go for a walk. We recommend that you carry a small bag or backpack with you to store your valuables when you leave your accommodation.
Thefts on the Camino de Santiago are not usual, but they are not inexistent either. Therefore, if you stay in a shared room, it is best to keep your valuables with you at all times.
Pins and pegs
To us, pins and pegs seem to us to be two essential utensils in any backpack on the Camino de Santiago. If you have to wash your clothes, you can use them to hang them up, if the next day if they are not dry, you can use them to attach them to the outside of your backpack, if you buy something that you want to have nearby, you can hold it with a pin or a peg to a strap on your backpack, they are very practical and do not take up space!
Another utensil is a torch, especially if you are staying in dormitories. However, even if you enjoy the pleasure of sleeping in a private room, we also recommend carrying a flashlight with you, in case you ever go out when it hasn’t dawned or, for whatever reason, it gets dark when you’re still on the road.
We recommend using a torch, because this leaves your hands free. There’s not much difference between a handheld or mobile torch, except for battery usage.
Reusable bottle or water bottle
Another of the essential utensils, which in Santiago Ways we always recommend to pilgrims, is a reusable water bottle or a camelbak bag. It is true that you can buy plastic water bottles during the tour, but with this simple gesture you will contribute to keep the pilgrim routes clean and free.
In addition, you will save money, since in most sections you will find free fountains where you can fill your reusable bottle. Added that both camelback bags and reusable bottles are easier to carry than conventional plastic bottles.
Medicines and first-aid: one of the most necessary things for pilgrims of the Camino de Santiago
It’s also important to take your medications, as well as some Band-Aids, needle and thread, with you to treat uncomfortable blisters. The rest of the medicine cabinet’s stuff is not so essential, as you can buy them as you need them.
We also dedicate an entire post to trekking poles in our blog. In it, we talk about whether or not poles on the Camino de Santiago are essential and whether it is better to carry one or two. The truth is that trekking poles are essential things on routes with steep slopes, as you can read in our guide to the Camino Primitivo, but not so much on flat routes, such as the Camino Portugues.
Other utensils that are not essential but that you will be happy to have with you on the Camino de Santiago
Here are some things that, while not entirely necessary, you will be glad to have them with you:
- Diary. We always recommend taking a notebook on the Camino de Santiago. There are many emotions that are lived on the pilgrim route and many of their learnings.
- Camera. Carrying a camera is not an essential thing nowadays, as most mobiles take very good quality photos. However, if you are a lover of photography, you will be glad to have it with you, despite the extra weight that it entails. The landscapes of the Camino de Santiago are wonderful!
- Sketchbook. If you’re the one who expresses yourself better by drawing than writing, you’ll also like having your sketchbook with you. There are many paintings inspired by scenes on the Camino de Santiago.
- Music. If you like music, be sure to bring headphones with you. Sometimes walking and listening to music is one of life’s greatest pleasures.
- A book. Lovers of reading will also enjoy themselves if they bring with them a book to enjoy during the quiet afternoons on the Camino de Santiago or while enjoying a coffee in some small village of the tour. If you want, you can take one set in the Camino, in this article we recommend some books based on the pilgrim route.
Now that you know what things are necessary and what utensils are essential to do the pilgrim routes, you just need to start training. Check out our training routine for the Camino de Santiago to get down to business.
With this last recommendation, we say goodbye. Not without first reminding you that if you want to have the support of an agency specialized on the Camino de Santiago, do not hesitate to contact us.
We are the agency that has the highest quality guarantee: its customers. Call us or write to us on our Facebook page and meet the wonderful team that works with us. True lovers of the Camino de Santiago!