In a previous post I discussed the things that you should pack in your mochila or backpack (you can read it here). On that occasion I only mentioned a few general items like ropa (clothes), calzado (shoes) or toiletries and promised to elaborate on the topic. So, this week it’s the turn of la ropa (clothes).
So, what ropa should you take? As I said before, you shouldn’t pack too many items, unless you are planning to have your bag transported from one place to the next one: you will have to carry the weight, remember? And you can always do a bit of washing at the end of your walking day.
Again, what ropa you take will differ slightly depending on the route you have chosen and the time of the year when you are doing the Camino de Santiago, but there are still some general recommendations you should follow!
Two outfits are enough: The one you are wearing and another one for when you wash the first one. It might be a good idea to get technical clothing, made of improved fabrics that stay warmer, dry quicker, block the sun…
- Camisetas (T-shirts). Dos (2) or tres (3) camisetas is enough, both short and long sleeve (this will also depend on what time of the year you are doing your Camino).
- Pantalones (trousers). A couple of them. It might be a good idea to get one of those with a zip, that will convert into shorts when needed. Make sure they are comfortable and not itchy.
- Calcetines (socks). Probably one of the most important clothes decision you will take: just think that you are going to walk for many hours every day, so you need to take good care of your feet. Some people like to wear two pairs, some others wear one pair and change it half way through their daily walk… you should do what works for you. Just remember how important your feet are and make sure they stay dry.
- Ropa interior (underwear). Again, two or three pairs is OK.
- Chubasquero (rain jacket). Some people prefer to take a poncho that will cover themselves and their bag, some others prefer a waterproof jacket… there are many options, but some sort of raingear is advisable, especially if you are not doing the Camino in the summer (and even in the summer you can get wet days in the north of Spain).
- Calzado (shoes): again, your choice will depend your route and the time of the year, but whether you choose trekking boots or shoes, make sure they are not new! If you need to buy a new pair of shoes, you should start wearing them at least three months before you start your Camino.
- Apart from your walking shoes, you should also pack a pair of sandalias or chanclas (sandals, flip flops) to give your feet a rest after the walk. Chanclas are also very important to get into la ducha in albergues.
If you already have experience doing the Camino de Santiago, I would love to hear your advice on things to pack, clothes and otherwise. What were the most useful things you took along? Did you get rid of anything along the way because it was not necessary and it only added weight to your backpack? I’d love to hear your stories! You can comment here or go to our Facebook group and leave a comment there.
Today’s Spanish words
For the pronunciation of ducha, check albergues.
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One of the most useful things I took was a light cotton sarong – I used it as a skirt at the end of the day, wore it in bed as a ‘nightie’ when it was really hot, used it to wear after I got out of the shower before putting fresh clothes on for the evening, used it as a shawl to cover my arms in the early evening after walking to protect from the sun, and even used it as an ’emergency towel’ when I discovered I’d left mine in an albergue the night before.
Thanks for your suggestion! I think a sarong is the most popular item that people have recommended and I’m not surprised, as it can serve multiple purposes.