- 1 pair of boots – well-broken-in — or minimalist footwear (FiveFingers brand, others)
- If wearing boots: 2 pairs of thin socks with wicking capability (to wear inside the medium-thickness socks).
- 2 pairs of medium-thickness wool socks with wicking capability (for minimalist footwear too). See IceBreaker and Smartwool brands.
- 1 pair light shoes – to give your feet a rest after walking and let your boots dry — such as shower sandals.
- 1 lightweight comfortable backpack that fits you and transfers weight from your back to your hips and legs.
- Easy-access waterproof container for paperwork – Passport, money, credit card, credential, maps
- 1 light short-sleeve shirt for the daytime or as bottom layer in cold, ideally wicking smart wool
- 1 heavier long-sleeved shirt for the evening or as another layer, ideally wicking smart wool
- 1 pair of flexible, comfortable pants
- with detachable (zip-off) legs to create shorts (especially June through September)
- consider one waterproof pair. No denim like in “The Way”!
- 1 toothbrush with cap or container to keep out dirt
- 1 air-travel-ready toothpaste (very small)
- 1 shampoo/body soap/clothes soap – shampoo may work for each of these functions, but outdoor stores sell concentrated multi-purpose bottles
- 1 disposable razor
- 1 shaving cream (or ultra-lightweight equivalent at outdoor store) or shampoo
- 1 well-fitting, molded or custom earplugs that stay in your ear and keep out sound – CRUCIAL weapon against the snoring epidemic
- 1 MP3 player with high-end and light earplugs to keep out snoring, and other uses
- 1 light, compressible sleeping bag (for use in most of the year) or light silk bag (warmest months; silk keeps out bed bugs too) or both
- 1 eye patch to keep out light (from open doors in albergue dorms, for afternoon naps)
- 1 thin pillowcase: some people may prefer to use their own pillowcase rather than worrying theirs is clean; when albergues don’t have pillows you can always stuff your own pillowcase with your clothes to make an adequate pillow.
- 1 headlamp (preferable) or flashlight
For COOL MONTHS (other than June-September) or ALTITUDE
- 1 wide-brimmed hat for the sun-sensitive
- 1 sunglasses for the sun-sensitive
- 1 sunscreen
- Toilet paper segments
- 1 waterproof container for toilet paper, matches
- 1 water bottle or bladder (goes inside the backpack frame) of 1 liter or more (only before Galicia are there frequent fountains, and sometimes even these fountains are far apart)
- Wet weather gear: poncho, waterproof trousers, footwear that’s waterproof (boots) or waterproofed with chemicals (other shoes)
- 1 windbreaker (may be waterproof)
- 1 rain cover for backpack
- 1 camera/video (lightest weight: MP3 players, smartphones)
- 1 container for camera/video, especially if using a large camera; ideally waterproof
- Guidebook(s) — ebooks are preferable
- Walking path, albergues, food
- Culture, art, history, religion
REST AND RECOVERY
- Light gloves
- Thicker long-sleeved top (again, I used smart wool in a sporty zip-up)
- Muscle rub
- Vaseline and Compeed for blisters
- Voltaren Emulgel for tendonitis
- Needle and stout thread (to gently drain blisters if nothing else)
- Electrical plug-in adaptors
- Small ball of natural sheep’s wool (for footcare)
- Notebook and pen