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’t send your pack ahead in most instances, so 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.
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.