So today I'm going to discuss kit. A number of people I've met on the trail have remarked on how small my kit bag is and this has only been possible as a result of taking a very limited number of items.
Definitely would take again
- Decathlon hiking top. Cheapie at £5. Doesn't wrinkle and warm as anything.
-Decathlon basic joking trousers. Super lightweight and cut off at knee to turn into shorts.
- 3 x Decathlon dry bags. Keep all my stuff dry on the worst of days.
-Decathlon Quechua 17l bag. Huge capacity for 17l. Has not rubbed badly once. Easily adjustable. Waterproof cover. Side pockets for quick access. Water bladder and holder.
- Decathlon Kalenji short tights and shorts. No chafing. No rubbing.
-Samsung S5 - waterproof and brilliant for photos. The combination of Google maps and a GPS track of the route has meant I've never been lost for more than a minute or so bar the approach to San Vicente.
-Garmin Fenix 3. Crazy battery and quick Strava uploads.
-Pearl Izumi running t-shirt. Super lightweight and drys quickly.
-Aussie Mist shampoo. Because my hair is important!
- Pilgrim's passport as a record of my journey.
-Decathlon quick dry large towel. Drys so quickly and takes up incredibly little space.
- Decathlon hat. I'd never used a hat whilst running before this week. This both helps keep the sweat out of my eyes and also the rain. The Saharan attachment covering the neck would be useful in hotter conditions.
-Skechers Go Ultra trainers - this will be a 150+ mile week over challenging terrain. I've no blisters, no dodgy toenails and have yet to fall. I can offer no higher praise.
- Toothbrush and paste.
Probably take again
-Decathlon Quechua hiking t-shirt. Does a fab job for the money and quite lightweight but double layer suffers in comparison to the Pearl Izumi top (which is probably 6 times the price).
- Cicerone guidebook covering the northern Caminos.
- iPod shuffle. this has not been used much over the week. I have however been glad to have it available if I wanted to use it.
- Decathlon technical underwear and socks. Done a good job but they have not been particularly quick drying which is the reason I got them. Despite that no chafing or blisters so they have done a good job.
-Camino buff. This would have been useful in cold conditions but the decent temperatures in the Asturias has meant that it has been of limited use and the cap has been more useful.
- Aussie Mist conditioner. It's fantastic but it was a last minute 3 for 2 purchase at the airport and probably a bit extravagant.
-Camelbak bladder. this would be useful but in reality I've used empty coke bottles more effectively and the chance to take the weight off my shoulders for a few minutes has been helpful.
- Decathlon waterproof jacket. Substantial so both keeps me warm and the wet off. I'm glad I brought it rather than going for the down jacket and poncho combination I was considering. Not great to run in so would look at a lightweight running version (for three times the price).
- Trigger point "Grid" mini foam roller. Tiny and a great option for massage but probably just as easy working with hands.
Guide book - I haven't used it for the maps or directions but the details of lodgings have been useful. Would probably just make notes on my phone next time.
-Glasses pouch I was intending to use for my underwear/socks but it got soaked in sweat on day 1. I ended up using it as a change purse to stop it jangling and it did the job
Things I would not bring again
-Sun cream. This was totally useless as I have not seen the Sun in 5 days. Could easily have bought it if necessary
- Trigger point massage ball. this is a great product but I brought it for one specific injury in my glute which has not flared up all week rendering it useless.
Things I wish I'd brought / have bought
-Clothes pegs. No weight and you're no longer fighting the other pilgrims for them.
- V. lightweight sleeping bag (sheet sleeping bag). Tbh most days there have been blankets or sheets but if you're going for the full on 5 Euro Albergues then you may not want to use their sheets. I've been fine in clothes if necessary or you could always be a frood and use your towel.
- Waterproof trousers. It rains a lot and it sucks if you're struggling to get out in the evening as you don't want to get your only pair of trousers soaked.
- Pair of soft water bottles - coke bottles have been fine but next time I won't carry the bladder and will bring soft bottles for no sloshing and easy to fill in sinks. (Where I can't get the coke bottle under I've had to fill into the bladder and then into the coke bottle!)
- Additional pair of underwear/socks.
- Expansion plug for European sockets. There are limited numbers of sockets compared to beds in each albergue. If you bring your own expansion socket you're guaranteed a charge.
- Extra long USB charging cable. So you can keep your phone with you even on a top bunk. I've not been too worried about crime but phones are expensive.
Think that's about it!