Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The things they carry

As one prepares for any Camino the question of what to bring and what to leave behind looms very large. It is all about the weight of your pack and the effects of that weight on your body as you continually walk  15-20 miles per day. Recommendations suggest limiting your pack weight to no more than 10 percent of your body weight. In the end my pack weighed in at just about that but Robin's was a bit more. This included allowances for food and water. I have linked our pack lists to this post. Robin and I managed to keep to the bare essentials. Mine included two sets of long johns (one capilene 3 and one power stretch fleece), two capilene T shirts, two pairs of underwear (ex officio), three pairs of Smartwool hiking socks with three pairs of liners (Injinji), one pair mid weight softshell pants (Marmot Scree), one pair waterproof softshell pants (REI Taku), and a waterproof shell jacket (Marmot Genesis). What we aren't wearing along with the usual other odds and ends are going into Aarn (NZ company) Peak Aspiration backpacks with the sport balance pockets. These packs have been on our backs for many months loaded with training weight and fit and carry beautifully. Our sleeping system is a down quilt made by Nunatak called the Back Country Blanket. This has a full length velcro closure instead of a zipper (lighter). It has drawcords that gather the bottom together and the top around your shoulders to form a sleeping bag tube out of the flat quilt. Weighs 1.5 pounds and is good to 20F (so advertised). We will use a Sea to Summit premium silk liner (4.5 ounces) with it for extra warmth and to keep the quilt cleaner. We will also carry the altus rain poncho which seems to be a staple on the Camino. We both will be using Pacer poles. One tip of the hat to technology is my Kindle which has my reading material as well as guide book information on it and weighs less than the print guidebook. Robin will carry her iPhone. On our hands we will wear waterproof Marmot Precip gloves with optional liners. I should also mention we will be using Hikers Wool (an NZ product) as a blister prevention product instead of the frequently recommended vaseline under the liner socks. We have been using the wool for months and love it. But in the end, as with all this gear, the Camino will tell us whether we have made the right choices.

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