This is what many pilgrims say when they realize that something has been wrong on their first Camino. Maybe this is going to be your first Camino and you are planning lots of things, maybe you are packing lots of items you think that they are indispensable but perhaps they are not.
Here a list of things that some pilgrims had desired to know before their first Camino, they are not in any particular or relevant order.
- Packing a very calculated backpack with only the essential items. This is no need to pack heavy or bulky things as a book guide, several changes of clothes, a pillow and so on. Don´t have too much in the pack, the lighter the better. However, you are likely to need some of the following: clean socks and underwear, tissues, blister treatment and prevention stuff, walking poles, a warm jacket, a raincoat and a smartphone, of course. Remember that there are plenty of stores where to buy most stuff on any town of the Camino.
- A smartphone provides you with kindle app, flashlight, camera and music so you don´t need any other flashlight but for walking outside in the dark a headlamp is probably more useful if you walk with poles.
- Liners and sleeping bags are not required if using pensions. And if you are walking the Camino in a high season you may prefer staying in private accommodation than sleeping in albergues.
- Getting a credential and having it stamped is not difficult at all.
- Getting dry plastic bags to keep into important documents such as your passport, credential, insurance… The reason of dry plastic bags: the rain, mostly in Galicia and the Pyrenees.
- Carrying a snack and enough water, at least the first days, since after that, you will be able to know how your body and your mind work and the bare necessities you will need for your future walking.
- There are agencies, cabs and public transport on the Camino that can help you with your pack or accommodation if you need it.
- A buff, which seems not so useful, can become one of the most versatile items in a pack. A buff can be a scarf, a watch cap, a dust mask, a head warmer… love it!
- Make sure you have your shoes worn in or capable of lasting, and hope they are the right type.
In short, there are lots of things that pilgrims wished they had known before their fist Camino, but one of them is how not to get hooked longingly on the Camino.
Buen Camino, amigos!