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The pack you see here is a Mountainsmith Boundary. It holds 2,500 cubic inches (approximately 40 liters) and weighed 27 pounds fully loaded for the trip. Because I will be hiking from hostel to refugio and not wilderness camping, I am able to use a tiny backpack. It contains primarily a lightweight summer sleeping bag, clothes, and 8 pounds of reference books.

The weather was sometimes wet and sometimes cold. I carried a complete layer of fleece for the cold which I used often. For rain, I packed a nice pair of waterproof pants and a wind jacket which was only water resistant. That jacket replaced a fantastic REI light weatherproof jacket that I lost hiking somewhere in Colorado. I never used the rainpants. The new jacket was not very good at keeping me comfortable in an all day drizzle but it sufficed until I left it at a hotel in France. Days later, I realized my mistake under a tree surrounded by the scattered contents of my pack in the sodden grass. Fortunately, the language that followed the realization embarrassed the clouds into holding back the rain for several hours as I raced to the next town and bought a poncho. I have mixed feelings about poncho use but I liked it a LOT more than I thought I would. I even brought it back to the US and may use it again.

On my feet, I wore the Merrell M2 Blasts shown in the picture still covered with ash from climbing Mount Saint Helens in Washington. They were not in particularily good condition at the start and by the end they leaked terribly and cracks and bad tread wear. I happily discarded them along with my primary pair of socks in the last pilgrim refuge in Santiago. As backup, I brought a pair of Merrell light hiking shoes. These were also great for evenings once I had settled in but still wanted to walk around town.

I did not really bring too much else. There were small items such as sunglasses (until I lost them too), a minimag flashlight (until that was stolen at the airport), toiletries, a couple 1st aid items, extra batteries, my Zaurus palmtop computer, and digital camera. Sometimes I had a bottle of wine if I was not expecting any grocery stores near where I was planning on stopping for the night. I did not want to break with an age old tradition naturally.

I had one 16 ounce Nalgene bottle but had to augment that right away with another bottle for more water. Occasionally, I carried a little bit of food to eat along the way. Often this was some sort of baguette sandwich. I am quite tired of baguette sandwiches.

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camino_de_santiago_gear.php last modified on 25 January 2017 12:19:55 UTC