For my friends and family that do not know - my foot is healed and I am off to hike the Camino de Santiago with my friend, Jennifer! Your response may be, "But, Kaylan! What about finishing the AT?" Don't worry, I will tackle that when I get back.
The following is a short breakdown of the Camino de Satiago's history, our hiking route, and my personal packing list:
A Brief History:
El Camino de Santiago - or, "The Way of Saint James" - is a pilgrimage ending in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. For over a thousand years Christians have made the trek to the Cathedral of Santiago, which is rumored to have the remains of Saint James, an apostle of Jesus Christ. Saint James spread the word of Christianity in Galicia. Saint James eventually returned to Jerusalem in 42 AD only to be beheaded by Herod, securing his spot in history as a religious martyr. His body was brought back to Spain by his disciples and buried in what is now Santiago. In medieval times walking the Camino was a great way to have your sins forgiven without penance. Today pilgrims hike the Camino for many reasons, both of religious and secular origins.
There are many paths you can choose to hike - the Camino Portugues, Camino del Norte, Camino del Salvador, and so on. We have chosen the "French Way", traveling through northern Spain to reach Santiago. This is considered a more traditional route. It is 776km (482.3 miles) long and starts in St. Jean Pied De Port, France, crossing into Spain on day one through the Pyrenees.
Packing/What to Bring:
So lets get one thing straight... I feel like I am glamping (glamorous camping), minus the camping! I will get to hike from town to town, with no tent, staying in hostels nightly. Compared to the AT this will be like a spa weekend that may or may not have (ahem) a few bed bugs (a growing problem on the Camino). That being said, this packing list includes way more luxury items than I would bring on any other long distance hike:
- Backpack (35L GoLite)
- Camino Guide Book and Spanish Language Book
- Phone, phone charger, and adapter
- Crappy $1 flip flops for showers or letting my feet rest
- Trail Runners (Brooks Cascadia 10)
- Sea to Summit Coolmax Adaptor Liner with Insect Shield
- Cocoon travel pillow (luxury)
- REI MultiTowel (Double luxury! I have a towel for showers which means I get regular showers!)
- Rain Jacket
- Down Jacket (just in case)
- Tank top and Short Sleeve Ibex Shirt
- Shorts and one long pair of pants that has the ability to become shorts
- Patagonia Hiking Dress/Town Dress (I know, I know - we will see how that goes)
- Bathing Suit (partay! and one hundred percent unnecessary)
- Sports Bra
- 2 Underwear
- 2 Socks
- 2 1L Platypus Bladders for water and hose
- Toiletries, small brush, sunscreen, Tylenol, birth control, tampons, and various other girly crap
- Zpack Dry Bags
- Cooking Pot and Fork (I have ditched these items which I may regret if wanting to cook on my own)
And that is about it!
Check back here or on Instagram for more updates on my Camino adventure!