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Gear on the Camino

Most of my backpacking gear worked well on this trip.

I did say farewell to some old friends: My pack will be lighter on the way home. My boots are done. After a season in the Sierra and 200 miles here, much of it on rock or pavement, they're showing their age, and letting me feel rocks through the soles. I'll leave them here. Same with my lovely and treasured US Navy hiking shirt that I've used for at least ten years. I've resewn most of the seams, but now the material itself on the shoulders is simply disappearing. Time to say goodbye. And one pair of my HappYaks hiking socks have finally developed holes and issues. These were a gift from Estelle a couple of years ago and I've used them brutally. Time to get more.

I also bid adieu to my hiking pole at the airport on the way home. Apparently TSA doesn't think they're a problem, but Spain does. It was $10 well spent.

Things I brought but didn't need: I used everything I brought except the bug dope and headnet. But I could have done without the down vest--I only wore it a handful of times in the evening, and could have just layered on another shirt. Same with the light wool underlayer. I used it once over a shirt in the evening. Rain gear? It was so humid we were soaked either way. But I did wear it in the storm on the top of Hospitales, and was happy I did. Not the rain pants--they just made me sweat in the humidity. And I brought us both a very light sleeping bag for the hostels, but that turned out to be unnecessary. We stayed in private rooms all nights but one, and those had sheets--as did the one night in Roca Madre in the dormitory. Same with the towel and washcloth I brought.

What gear did I treasure? My HappYaks hiking socks, which absorbed a brutal beating in tough conditions and got me to the end with limited washing. My waterproof phone bag, bought to go kayaking in Florida, and used extensively to protect phone, passport, and Camino docs in the rain and humidity. The stringbag daypacks that allowed us to leave packs behind and still go shopping, wandering, etc. The platypus bottles that were used every single day All the rest of my usual Sierra hiking gear did just fine for the Camino.

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