5 Packing Tips for a Winter Camino

We all realize you need bulkier clothes if you are planning to walk in the winter. Warmer socks, long pants, sweaters, parkas – they all weigh more. So how do you economize on the weight of your pack when you start planning your winter walk?

  • Black pants are a must. You can wear the same pair many days running, unless you get caught in the mud. And a long-sleeved t-shirt will suffice in most cases. There’s your outfit. Keep one pair clean, wear the other and keep switching between the two.
  • Long Johns are a must. I love to sleep in mine and then use them as a base layer walking the next day. If you get opaque ones, black again, you can wear them to dinner too.
  • Lighten up other items – don’t pack plastic bottles of things. And don’t pack packing cubes. The mantra is just carry the thing. Don’t feel obligated to put the thing in another thing. Bring a Buff instead of scarves.
  • Keep in mind that Spain and indoor heating have a tenuous relationship. Lots of places are not heated and you still need to be able to relax and feel warm indoors. Make sure you have a warm fleece jacket or one of the super lightweight down jackets – to wear indoors. They act a s great extra layer too if you find yourself up in the mountains and it starts to snow.
  • Sleeping bags are a must. More than once I have gotten into my sleeping bag fully clothed just to take the chill off, coming in from the outdoors. Look for something in the under 2-pound overall weight range. And don’t pack it into its little sleeve. Leave it open and stuff it around your pack to fill out the space.

Remember – you can send your pack ahead in most instances, if you do some planning and know what is open ahead of you. If you do that, be sure to use a real backpack and not one of the flimsy drawstring bags or the ones that boast of weighing only 5 oz. You will still be carrying 3-4 pounds weight and the flimsy ones can bother your shoulders, over time.

Buen Camino! Enjoy your winter walk! And look for me.IMG_8539

For more tips, get my “Buen Camino! Tips from an American Pilgrim.” Available on Amazon, Kindle, or by special order at your favorite independent bookseller.

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