My name is Yuya Komori.
I'm 28 year-old Japanese. I started to walk Camino de Santiago with 3 kg backpack 30days ago.
In this entry I'll introduce my belongings in the tiny backpack which many peregrinos friends are interested in.
As you know we peregrinos need to walk more than 20km everyday. So it's very important to slim up your backpack to complete Camino. It is said that 10kg is good, but I've reduced the weight up to 3kg.
Because of the light weight, I've never had any blisters and I am still energetic after arriving albergues to go around the town. With a light backpack you can enjoy to walk, run and dance!
I hope you find some hint to reduce weights.
***** Belongs *****
This is a 10litters backpack. Though you may think bigger one is better, you need to be brave to choice smaller one. When you have bigger one, you wanted to fulfill it up to the capacity. Having small bag is the best way to reduce the weight.
• Down jacket
This is Uniqlo's ultra light down jacket. You can fold it and put it into the small bag.
• Wind breaker jacket
I ware it not only when I feel cool, but also when it rains. It's water proof, sport shop staff said. But i sometimes get wet...anyway I don't take care of tiny things. You can put it in to tiny bag.
• T-shirts * 2
It's quick dry. Only 2 shirt is enough for me because I wash my clothes everyday.
• Panties * 2
It's also quick dry.
• Half Pants
I have only one half pants. During I wash it, I ware the swimming pants below.
• Swimming pants
It's very useful, because Camino del Norte has a lot of beautiful beach.
• Compression tights
When it cold and when the way is mountainous, the tights works well. Moreover it support muscles to protect knees.
• Socks * 2
They are not anti-blisters. I just selected them because the lightest weight. But I think it's good idea that you can buy anti-blisters's ones. To protect blisters is very important on Camino.
I have only one towel. When the sunshine is strong on Camino, I put it on my head instead of a hat.
• Laundry items
Ropes, clips, carabiners. They works a lot when albergue doesn't have enough space for drying laundry and when you want to hang your wet clothes on your backpack. I think it's ok to use safety pins instead of clips. I bring powder laundry soup in a plastic bag. It's lighter than solid one.
• Medicine and others
Because in Spain there are a lot of farmacia and I can get any medicine there, I have minimum ones. Band aid, pills for headache and pills for stomachache. And I have one pocket tissue and one plastic bag. I use a small mesh bag for putting them in below.
I use it at albergues and beaches. Though it needs space in my backpack, I think it's a must item.
• Shopping bag
I use it when I buy much foods and I go to swim.
• Backpack cover
Actually it's not a backpack cover but cover for seat of motorbike, because I couldn't find any cover for 10 litter backpack.
• Pet bottles and bottle holder
Its capacity is just 330ml. It's no problem because there are a lot of water supply place on Camino. Every time I find a water supply, I change water. I usually put the bottle inside my backpack, and when the backpack is full, I hang it on backpack with the holder.
• Amenity goods
I selected the smallest and lightest ones. For example, the toothbrush is for children. The knife is very simple and isn't folded so that I put the cap made of paper on it. And I just bind them. No bag. Even small bag needs some space in backpack.
• Passport, credential and flight receipt
I put it in the plastic bag. Special bags are smart but need more space.
• Card case
In the card case I put some money, a credit card and, receipts and small pen. I usually use the credit card for shopping not to bring much money. And I withdraw some money when I need it. Receipt is for memo paper. I bring them in my pocket, not in backpack.
I put all above in the 10 litter backpack like this. As you see, there is some space. Actually is weight is 2.5 kg now.
The space is for food. I usually bring a half of baguette, a piece of cheese, a tomato and some fruits. I think some food is essential, because hunger spoils the beautiful sceneries on Camino. Then my backpack become 3 kg.
***** Not Belongings *****
This list is very important! When you slim up your luggage, you need consider what to not-bring instead of what to bring. Of course anything makes your travel much convenient, but please compare taking the convenience and bring it everyday. Think flex and find new possibility!
• Sleeping bag
Yes, it's possible not to use a sleeping bag. Many albergues have blankets. When you don't find it, you can ask the hospitaleo of the albergue. I can get a blanket 26 nights of my 30 days Camino. When I couldn't get blanket, I ware many clothes to avoid chilling. For example, two T-shirts, down jacket, compression pants, half pants and two pairs of socks. Of course I sometimes feel cool, but it's better than carrying a heavy sleeping bag everyday.
Don't wary. There is enough albergues. If one is full, you can walk to the next one with your small bag.
• Kitchen stuffs
Though I love cooking, I have no kitchen materials. I always choice albergues with kitchen. So my walking range is flexible from 10km to 50km a day. The tiny bag makes it possible.
• Shampoo, body soup and toothpaste
It is said you don't need use them, because you originally have self cleaning systems. Of cause I didn't believe it as well as you. After I tested it for one month, I found it that I don't need any soup. Experiment is the great tool for breaking through!
• Sun protection and sunglasses
Fortunately our Asian skins and eyes are stronger for sunshine relatively. Of course my skins gets tanned, but I don't care of it. And if I use sun protection cream, I have to use body soup to remove it. I think it's nonsense. That's why I don't use any chemical creams.
I put towel on my head. It's enough for me.
• Deodorant goods
If you sweat everyday, your sweat doesn't smell bad. I know you don't believe it. Then, just test it or smell me!
• Anti-blisters goods
You can get them at farmacia. They became a just burden when you don't get blisters luckily.
• Walking sticks
I agree with the idea of having sticks. Especially if you have some knee problems, sticks are very helpful for your knee. But I started Camino without sticks. According to m experience, it's ok without sticks on streets. I need sticks on terrible mountainous roads. So I pick up a tree branch at the beginning of mountainous roads and throw it away just after the roads.
Water proof jacket and backpack cover are enough.
• Mobile battery of smartphone
Charge your phone everyday and you don't need it. If the battery get off, what's problem? You can enjoy Camino as well.
I know taking pictures of the fantastic sceneries is one of the most interesting thing on Camino. And smartphone camera cannot capture the beauty. But luckily you can download "just beautiful pictures " from the Internet. Then what kind of pictures are worth taking? I think they are lively moments and memorial scenes with your friends. Smartphone camera is useful to take them. But if your hobby is taking pictures, I think it's ok to bring your favorite cameras.
• Diary It is true that we peregrinos think a lot of things during walking and daily is useful for reflections of it. But I don't use paper daily. I take daily on my online-blog with iPhone.
Fortunately there is no guidebook of Camino in Japan. So I didn't have any option to bring it. Now I use the iPhone application called "Camino." It's very clever! It has map, all albergues' information and so on. Though I can't understand the details because it is written in Spanish, there is no problem for me. The peregrinos friend and people on Camino are very kind and give me much useful information than any guidebooks, website and applications. And I believe these communications are the best thing of Camino.
On my Camino I have been given many things, helped many times, navigated and treated a lot glasses of beer. So I've enjoyed Camino. I thank them very much. This article is a just return gift for Camino and next peregrinos.