My Backpack – Via Coloniensis

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Last updated on 10/27/2020

Because of the current Corona situation, and the possibility of a new lockdown, and France and Spain closing there borders, I have decided to walk the Via Coloniensis. It is one of the german routes of the Camino de Santiago, which leads from Cologne to Schengen in Luxembourg and connects many of the german Ways of Saint James with the French routes.
I had originally put together this list based on many suggestions from people who walked the Camino Francés. Keeping in mind the extra challenges 2020 has in stock. Based on the rules and recommendations due to the COVID-19 situation layed out on I have added to that list. (A good summary of these can be found here.)

With its 280km this route is of course much shorter, and accommodation is a bit different as well. Thus I have modified the original packing list slightly…

Camino Frances Shopping ListThat said, I probably still have way too much stuff in my backpack. But since my backpack is around 10kg, it probably should not be that bad.

Maybe this list on amazon can be a starting point for your own search.
Though I am definitely not saying this is the best and/or cheapest equipment out there.

It is just what I chose to take with me…

Detailed pack list for the Camino Francés

After reading loads of different comparisons and tests, I chose the mapuera Camino Azul – 40l. Not only does it have the front openings and is very light weigth, but it also comes with a Backpack cover.(get it on amazon)
Hook for Backpack
I don’t know how important this will be in 2020, given that not all beds will be taken. But a hook to hang your backpack on, thus not having to put it on the oftentimes dirty floor, sound like a good idea…(get it on amazon)
Hook for backpack
With the new Corona restrictions, it is highly suggested to bring a ten. Since the hostel capacity has been reduced. I actually had first ordered another tent. It was a bit smaller and opened to the front. But since I do have a slight tendency to claustrophobia, I got this one. As this tent opens to the side and is a bit taller.(get it on amazon)
Because weight and size really matter, and I also did not want to spend a fortune, I went for the CRIVIT® Lightweight Sleeping bag. In fact, I got this one at LiDL for around 20€. But there are quite a few affordable ones with similar sizes out there.
I also got this Sleepingbag Liner. As a bed sheet or an additional cover. (get it on amazon)
The smallest and lightest I found was this inflatable camping mat. Nevertheless, it was quite affordable as well. (get it on amazon)
Camping Thermomat
First, it is small & light. Secondly, it can also be used for the one-man tent. (get it on amazon)
Some trekking pants. Not only are they water-resistant, but also you can easily take off the legs. Thus having a pair of shorts and long legs all in one. (get it on amazon)
Trekking pants
Underweare x3
This Merino wool underwear is supposed to have a climate-regulating and moisture-dissipating effect. It is also supposed to protect against cooling as well as overheating. So I gave it a shot. (get it on amazon)
Socks x3
I had never seen these before I started to research for this list. Though I was quite impressed by the idea of these double layered socks. Given that they are supposed to reduce the risk of blisters. Well, I guess better safe than sorry… (get it on amazon)
Shirts x2
The only sport I stuck with for the last years is running. Thus I have quite a few running shirts from different events. For this trip, I chose to bring a #zerohungerrun and a company swag one. (get it on amazon)
Longsleeved Shirt
Not only because my start date has been postponed into mid-October, but also earlier in the year the Pyrenees can be cold. Hence a long sleeve shirt and I also got some long undergarments. Don’t want to freeze to death on the first few kilometers. (get it on amazon)
Longsleeved shirt
Rain Poncho
To cover both backpack and me quickly, I chose a rain poncho. I do have the backpack cover as well, but if it starts pouring, this sounded like the easiest option. (get it on amazon)
Rain poncho
Fleece jacket
I have a few company swag fleece jackets. It is either this thinner fleece jacket or a really thick one, and therefore no sweater. (get it on amazon)
Fleece Jacket
Depending on the weather in October, I will go with both a fleece jacket and sweater or just get a thicker fleece jacket. (get it on amazon)
Walking shoes
Comfortable and worn in! As new shoes might become uncomfortable along the way. And you don’t want to find out that you have the wrong pair of shoes in the middle of nowhere. Another suggestion I have read quite frequently is to get them one size larger. Given that your feet will swell along the way. Mine are about half a size larger, but we will see 😉 I like Sekechers, like the Rolton -Elero, since I still have a few kilos to much, and the soft memory foam makes walking so much nicer. (get it on amazon)
Hiking boots
Alternative Shoes
Light and comfortable shoes for walking through town, or as an alternative if your feet are hurting all too bad. Also, it might be a good idea if you have some shoes you can wear in the shower rooms.
Alternative Shoes
I still have this one from a vacation a couple of years ago. So this should protect me from the sun.
For protection from wind and cold, such a multifunctional scarf is a good call. As it can easily be pulled up and used as a hat or face mask as well. (get it on amazon)
If you do not own one already, get a microfiber towel. They are small light, and also awesome for the beach. As they dry quickly and you can shake the sand off easily. (get it on amazon)
Water bladder
I have a 3l water bladder that I got for my hikes in Arizona. But most people suggest at least a 2l one. (get it on amazon)
Water bladder
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
A foldable camping toothbrush and travel sized toothpaste. (get it on amazon)
Furthermore a razor and some shaving creme. (get it on amazon)
Not to forget a deodorant. (get it on amazon)
Of course we need soap to shower and wash, I like the build in cord on this soap. Also I got this box for the soap. (get it on amazon)
Not only is this a sun lotion, but also it is supposed to be an insect repellant. We will see how well this performs in those disciplines. (get it on amazon)
Sun lotion
Hirschtalg Creme
Another suggestion to take care of your most important gear, your feet is Hirschtalg. To reduce the risk of blisters, this second skin Hirschtalg creme made of deer fat is supposed to be the best. (get it on amazon)
Hirschtalg Creme
Some tissues. As Spain is not the end of the world you will find shops along the way. Thus I am taking 2 packs with me from the start. (get it on amazon)
Travel Detergent
Travel detergent to clean your clothes. (get it on amazon)
Travel detergent
The headlamp is a very common suggestion. Even though I have read that quite a few pilgrims almost never used them. But maybe you will decide to become a night-shift pilgrim. I also got a small flashlight. (get it on amazon)
Mobile Phone
Mobile phone in case of emergency. As I really don’t have room to take my DSLR with me this will also be my camera. As a matter of fact, I actually am quite impressed with the picture the iPhone 11 pro produces. (get it on amazon)
iPhone 11 Pro
Even though I had a company swag charger, any charger with a Euro plug (Type C) should work in France and Spain. I also have a multi plug usb cable. (get it on amazon)
USB Charger
I thought due to the current situation, not knowing if I get a place in a hostel, an option for solar recharging could not harm. Hence I got this Solar Power Bank. (get it on amazon)
Solar Power Bank
Pocket knife
The classic Swiss Army Pocket knife. (get it on amazon)
Manicure Set
I needed a small travel set, so I got this one. Though just a nail clipper would probably have been enough. (get it on amazon)
Manicure Set
Diary & Pen
Since this trip is supposed to also be a journey to myself, a diary is key. I got this company swag notebook, and this pen I really love for its super soft writing. (get it on amazon)
Clothes line
Really any cord will do. I also got a handful of small clothes pegs. (get it on amazon)
Clothes Line
Some carabiners to hang wet shoes on the backpack, or whatever else needs hanging up. (get it on amazon)
Safety pins
Safteypins, for a quick fix… (get it on amazon)
Safety Pin
Sewing Set
Something is bound to rip on this 800km walk. Therefore a basic sewing kit can be really helpful. (get it on amazon)
Sewing set
Book or E-book
Even though my mom used to work in a book shop, and did make sure I do appreciate a real book, on a trip like this weight matters. So I am bringing along my Kindle. (get it on amazon)
Ear plugs
As you will share the room with a couple of people in the hostels. There is a good chance a few of them will snore…. Ear plugs! (get it on amazon)
Ear Plugs
First aid kit
Because most of the contents of one of these have an expiration date, make sure it is still good. Or get a new one like this. (get it on amazon)
Firstaid Kit
Credencial del Peregrino
The pilgrims passports, necessary to get into the hostels along the way, and to collect the stamps that will entitle you to your Compostela, the official certificate of your pilgrimage. You can get this either on the way, or from your local Saint James / Jakobus organization.
Credencial del Peregrino
Travel Pharmacy
Magnesium tablets
Immodium akut
Ibu profene
Voltaren pain gel
Blister patches
Travel Pharmacy
Protective gloves
Corona requirement.
Protective Gloves
Disinfectant Spray & Lotion
Corona requirement.
Desinfektion Spray, Lotion and Tssues
Face masks
Corona requirement.
Face masks
Not a lot but enough if a hostel or restaurant will not take a card. I will take not more then 50€
Giro Card / Credit Card
Health insurance card
If you have a health insurance card issued by an European insurance company, take a look at the back. You should already have full coverage in Europe: European Health Insurance Card.

Now that my start date has been postponed because of a stupid surgery, I am still waiting to begin this journey on the Camino Francés. When I return I will update this list and call out all the useless stuff 😉

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