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What are you taking?

Because this is a pilgrimage route, we'll be staying in hotels and hostels, rather than camping out. For an experienced backpacker, that makes a big difference--no tent or ground cloth to lug along. And we'll be eating in cafes and buying food along the way, so we won't need the stove or the cook kit, either, although I will take along a simple set of bamboo silverware in case we want to buy food and eat it along the way. And no water filter

Of course I'm taking rain gear, and a down vest, along with a couple of shirts and two pairs of hiking pants. Add in some socks, undies, and pjs, and that pretty much summarizes the clothing end of things. We're each taking a very light (40 degree F.) sleeping bag, just in case we need it in one of the hostels. Some toiletries and a very basic first aid kit are in my pack, along with a couple of headlamps. mosquito headnets, buffs, bandanas, platyupus bottles, sewing kit, extra shoelaces, and other accoutrements of the backpacking life--I would just hate it if we needed one of these and I'd left it at home. They weigh about a pound, total.

I'm taking a pair of camp shoes (Crocs) to give my feet a rest in the evenings, and my phone and charger so I can post these updates. And please don't mention this to the TSA, but I'm going to take along a folding hiking pole to take some of the strain off my knee on the downhills. If the nice people at the airport do confiscate this (I paid $10 online) I will just buy one in Santiago, where thousands of pilgrims leave their hiking poles every year. --update-- the poles and I made it all the way to Oviedo.

The whole pack weighs in under fifteen pounds at home, and I'll offload one of the sleeping bags and other goodies to my daughter in Spain. For a more than two week backpacking trip, something under 13 pounds seems like luxury.

And apparently, for image's sake, we'll need to hang a scallop shell on our packs, to correctly identify ourselves as pilgrims. As a backpacker, I'm hoping that I can find multiple uses for it!

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