Our plan is to acquire all the necessary equipment and clothing to make our journey as successful as possible. So far we have picked up some great deals on weatherproof outerwear on our local Craigslist. The clothing we purchased was like new at about 25% of the original cost.
We have decided that since we have such a long time to plan, we would only purchase retail items which were on sale for 20% or greater. Our local Denver REI superstore has been our retail outdoors store of choice for the past 15 years. Thus far we have acquired our packs (Deuter); poles (Komperdell); outerwear (Nike and Outdoor Research); UV protected hats (OR); and clothing from REI. So far Mark has his mid ankle hiking boots selected (Vasque) and is the process of breaking them in. Sandy is still in the selection phase for her shoes as we really want to be sure they fit perfectly for her. REI is a great store for hiking shoe purchases. They will let you test hike shoes on the trail and return them at no cost if they don’t fit your individual needs.
Recently, we made the purchase for our method of carrying water on the Camino. Most blogs suggest the Camelbak style systems versus water bottles. So, we jumped on an REI 20% off sale and bought a couple of three liter reservoirs. Most of the guides recommend the two liter systems, but Mark drinks a lot on the trail plus we figure it is always better to have too much and not use it than too little and need it. We will fill them up to 3 liters at first and see what we consume and adjust downward from there.