As soon as you, pilgrim, decide to embark on the Camino de Santiago, questions about what clothes to take will arise.
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In this article we will try to solve all your questions about this topic and, in addition, we will highlight what to take in your backpack depending on what time of the yearyou undertake the Jacobean route.
WHAT CLOTHES TO TAKE TO THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO IN SUMMER
When choosing the clothes you are going to take to the Camino, you should take the weather conditions into consideration, as these can vary a lot depending on the time of the year.
If you are doing the Camino in summer, these are just some of the possible items you may want to pack:
- A couple of breathable T-shirts: they are comfortable and dry quickly.
- A shirt: you can wear it after the walk to explore the town you are in.
- Two trousers: ideally shorts and/or detachable.
- Three sets of underwear: this should be enough, as you will find laundry facilities at almost every hostel and town. This way, you will not carry unnecessary weight.
- Three pairs of socks: look for seamless and anti-friction fabrics.
- A pullover or sweatshirt: a thin one should be fine, just in case it gets chilly in the evening.
- Light waterproof jacket and trousers: even though it is summer, rain is not so rare in Galiciaat this time of the year, so you will be thankful for carrying at least a light waterproof jacket if you get caught in the rain.
- A pair of flip-flops: very handy for showering and airing your feet after the walks.
- Swimming suit: essential at this time of the year, since you will come across lots of swimming areas, whether it is the sea, a river or a swimming pool.
The most highly recommended type of footwear for this time of the year are trekking shoes, instead of boots, as they are a bit lighter and comfortable as well as equally protective.
During the hottest months of the year we also recommend to use trekking sandals, which are very useful in certain parts of the Camino, keeping your feet properly ventilated.
In summer, your backpack should weight less than 10% of your body weight, for summer clothes are usually lighter and take less space Besides, as we always tell you, forget about the ones in case you need them, they have no place in the Camino the Santiago.
WHAT CLOTHES TO TAKE TO THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO IN WINTER
If you are going to do the Camino de Santiago in winter, you need to know that wearing layers over layers of clothes does not always mean you are going to be warmer. The smart choice is to wear technical clothes (thermal pants and tops, a windbreaker, etc.) so that you do not carry so much weightin your backpack. Even if you think you are not dressed accordingly to the weather, as soon as you start walking you will see that these clothes help you keep warm with your body temperature at the same time that they are comfy.
You backpack will be heavier in winter than in summer, as you still need to carry more and heavier clothes.
However, to avoid carrying unnecessary weight, see below our recommendations for packing for the Camino de Santiago in winter:
- Two thermal T-shirts and another two cotton ones: you will find thermal T-shirts very useful to keep body warmth when walking, but take also a couple of cotton ones in case you want to get changed or for after the walk
- Thermal pants/leggings: either short ones to wear underneath your trousers or long ones to use as trousers.
- A couple of shirts: handy to wear after the walks, while you explore the town or go out for dinner. The thicker, the better.
- A couple of trousers: ideally, at least one of them should be waterproof.
- A fleece lining: make sure it is breathable and thick enough to walk the hundreds of kilometres of the Camino de Santiago.
- A jumper or sweatshirt: one should be enough, better if it is thick, to wear after your walk. Very useful especially for visiting the monumental areas of the villages along the Camino.
- Three sets of underwear: remember that you can wash clothes along the way.
- Three pairs of socks: look for seamless and anti-friction fabrics. In this season you might want them to be thick so as to avoid having your feet cold. At this time we also recommend wearing thick socks to avoid having cold feet.
- A rain poncho: it should be big enough to protect you and your backpack from getting wet.
- Hat, gloves and neck warmer: it is very important to keep you head, hands and neck warm.
- Flip-flops: we thoroughly recommend to use them when showering in hostels.
The footwear during the Camino de Santiago in winter is quite clear.
We strongly recommend to wear trekking boots with Gore-Tex technology. They must be waterproof, breathable and, ideally, with ankle support. It is important that they are not brand new, so make sure you have already walked a few kilometres with them and that they are adapted to your feet.
WHAT CLOTHES TO TAKE TO THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO IN SPRING AND AUTUMN
In either of these two seasons you will have to pack a mix of the two previously mentioned clothes lists.You will not need as many clothes as in winter but definitely more than in summer. In any case, remember that the weight of your backpack should never exceed the 10% of your body weight.
We recommend to pack the same technical clothes than in winter, butleaving the thicker items behind, replacing them for thinner ones.
In these seasons, you will need to protect more from the rain and wind than from the cold itself, so make sure you pack a good breathable rain jacket as well as a rain poncho that covers your backpack too.
In spring, you can wear trekking shoes, which are a little lighter than boots but still protect your feet from the rain.
In autumn, trekking shoes or boots. Either of them will cover your needs.
Now that you know everything you need to pack wisely for the Camino de Santiago, you have no excuse not to start planning your adventure in any of the magical and historical jacobean routes.
It will be a life-changing experience.
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