We have been spending the last several days making preparations for our trip to Europe and the Camino de Santiago. We start by heading to Italy and France for just over a month before beginning our trek in Spain – which we have allotted 45 days. Our plans involve shipping our backpacks and Camino related gear to our relatives in Italy. We will travel to the first half of our vacation with traditional “Rick Steves” style travel bags with our regular, try not to look like a tourist, clothes. Once we arrive in Genova, we will transition to our Camino backpacks and hiking gear and will ship our travel bags and clothes back to Colorado.
Today, we organized all of our Camino clothing and gear into our backpacks for our final weight check. It is recommended that you keep your packs at or less than 10% of your body weight. We have read Camino related books and blogs to obtain as much information as possible on what to bring, what not to bring and how to keep pack weight down. One book that was especially helpful was, “To Walk Far, Carry Less” authored by Jean Christie-Ashmore. While we did not go to her suggested extremes (cutting off backpack loops, cutting cords, etc.) we did weigh everything and made lightweight related choices.
We started out by sorting all clothing and personal items we needed. Here is what that process looked like with Sandy’s gear:
We then weighed our backpacks to determine the total carrying weight. Both packs were a bit over the 10% rule, so we trimmed down our apparel and other items. Our final Camino weight for our packs is 16 pounds for Sandy’s and mine is 19 pounds. This is not counting water, which weighs about 2 pounds per liter. On an average day we will carry 2 liters, but we both have the capacity for 3 liters in our Camelbacks. So, our actual daily start weight will be 20# for Sandy and 23# for me. Good news however…As the day goes on and water is consumed your backpack becomes lighter.
Here is what my backpack looks like. After hiking with it for more than a month I am sure I will grow to dislike it quite a bit. Ha
Finally, we will conclude this post with an amazing photo of our destination: