GENERAL PACKING TIPS

Clothing
Sweater or Sweatshirt
Light Jacket
Light raincoat or umbrella (very optional)
Hat
Pants (Slacks, pants, modest shorts, capris, jeans)
Shirts
Skirt if you prefer
Socks
Underwear
PJs
Swimming Suit
Comfortable walking shoes
Sunglasses
Toiletries
Small First Aid Kit - Band-Aids
Dramamine or Conine – if subject to motion sickness
Sominex or preferred sleeping aid
Hand carry on Medications in original container. (Make sure you have enough for the whole trip. It is very difficult to get a US prescription filled over there.)
Sunscreen
Hand Sanitizer & handy wipes for freshening up during the day
2 cheap washcloths
Large bags for dirty clothes
Zip Lock Bags – various sizes
Travel
Bag to take on bus for daily travels
Inflatable head and neck rest, eye mask, foam earplugs (for flight)
Flashlight w/extra batteries – put batteries in carry on luggage while traveling
Camera, film/memory cards + charger
Notebook with pen for journaling
Electric adapter and converter
Rosary
Headphones / earbuds
Documents
Valid passport (must be valid 6 months from the date of return) take original +1 copy
Credit Card, ATM, or Debit Card (call ahead to give them travel dates and countries)
Travel Insurance Information (if purchased)
Airline Ticket / e-ticket information
Cash

ADDITIONAL PACKING TIPS FOR WALKING DAYS

  • Dress comfortably – it is okay to visit churches and shrines along the way in your hiking clothes
  • Dress in lightweight layers – it can be chilly in the mornings, but you will get rather warm while walking
  • Wear a small daypack – large enough for your daily needs, small enough to be lightweight and manageable
    • Refillable water bottle/bladder
    • Snacks
    • Pilgrim passport (credential)
    • Extra socks (better to change in the middle of the day if your feet get wet than to chance getting blisters)
    • Bandana
    • Poncho
  • Carry and use your walking sticks, especially over rough terrain and when walking downhill. Walking sticks can help reduce impact on your knees by up to 25%, provide more stability, and help increase speed and reduce fatigue.
  • Make sure someone in your group is carrying a small firstaid kit
    • Ibuprofen or other pain medicine
    • Band-aids, moleskin, or other product for already formed blisters
    • Paper tape or other lightweight tape to prevent blisters

Walk Your Own Camino

This is a common phrase uttered amongst and between pilgrims on the Camino. The Camino is walked for many different reasons by many different people. You might meet someone who has walked all the way from Prague, Budapest, Berlin, or Paris, or some who walk a much shorter route. You could meet someone who walks one week each summer in the hopes of completing the route from St. Jean Pied du Port to Santiago in 5 or more years, while others have taken months off work in search of something beyond themselves. Some pilgrims camp, others only stay in municipal albergues, while still others stay in the finest accommodations. There are those who carry everything, all the time, while others will take advantage of baggage transport, or mail things forward to themselves. And there are those for whom it is only a true Camino if one walks every step of every day, while some will choose to skip sections for various reasons and rely on motorized transportation such as buses, taxis, or trains, to get them closer to their goal.

Sometimes there is a temptation to think and express that one’s choices are better than others. Conversely, one might feel judged for how they have chosen to camino. Neither is the right side to be on.

During times of temptation, it is good to be reminded that the Camino is for everyone, because one translation of “el Camino” is “the Way”, and Jesus, who is The Way, came into this world for everyone.

Likewise, if on the receiving end of negativity or judgment, there is the opportunity to “offer it up” and unite in the suffering of Jesus, knowing that His Way is the best Way and it is He for Whom we are walking.

Recognizing these aspects of pilgrimage, the Cathedral in Santiago has created some considerations for pilgrims who wish to use a Credencial during their pilgrimage to present to the Pilgrim’s Office when applying for the Compostela (completion certificate). The Compostela is only granted to those who make the pilgrimage with “Christian sentiment” (motivated by devotion, vote, or mercy) and only for those who have fully walked the last 100 kms or biked the last 200 kms. This Christian sentiment might only be with an attitude of search, but we place our hope in the Lord that those who search for Him will find Him. As the Lord says to the prophet Jeremiah: “You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.” Jer. 29:13

Therefore, everyone is on their own journey, even if they walk the same roads, and thus it is good to remember to walk your own Camino and focus on the beauty of the journey with the Lord. Rejoice and take delight in your fellow pilgrims, knowing that the ultimate destination of this earthly pilgrimage is union with Christ Himself, and there is room for everyone at His Heavenly banquet.