Preparing your backpack

Preparing your rucksack is the first big challenge for anyone preparing for the walk (especially if you are a first-time walker!). First of all you need a large backpack (about 65 litres). Only what is indispensable goes in the backpack, because “everything weighs!” and you will feel that weight with every kilometre of your walk. Indicatively, the pilgrim’s backpack should not exceed 10 kg.

What to put in your backpack

1. Mantle or poncho: indispensable in every season.

2. Sleeping bag: light and not bulky if possible.

3. Pyjamas and/or tracksuit: you can wear both, or you can also use the tracksuit as pyjamas.

4. Toiletry bag: Marseille soap is needed for washing and laundry.

5. Pharmacy: scissors, needle and thread (also for treating blisters), plasters, bandages, disinfectant, tick pliers, disinfectant wipes, anti-inflammatory cream, aspirin or paracetamol, and some antacid for the stomach.

6. Sun cream: indispensable in any season.

7. Windbreaker jacket: light and possibly in Goretex.

8. Large and small microfibre towel: large for the shower, small for drying your face while walking.

9. Trousers: 2 pairs, light, preferably in materials that weigh little, wash easily and dry quickly.

10. T-shirts: 2-3 at all times, preferably those made of breathable technical material that always keep the body dry and dry quickly.

11. Golf fleece: a lightweight one for cooler evenings.

12. Underwear: 2-3 changes. At the end of the stage, pilgrims always wash what they have used.

13. Footwear: the choice of suitable footwear is essential. Both hiking boots and walking shoes are fine for this route. Do not set out with new shoes: use them at least a few weeks before starting the walk. When choosing your size, it is better to be a little snug rather than tight. Visit the in-depth articles on shoe choice and foot care.

14. Slippers: plastic, light, for showering and for airing your feet when you have arrived. They can also be useful for crossing the small rivers you come across, thus avoiding getting your shoes and socks wet.

15. Hat: indispensable in all seasons.

16. Water bottle: water should be well calculated according to the season, the length of the route and the presence of springs along the way. Before setting off, always consult the descriptions of each stage to check the presence of water sources along the way.

17. Poles: they help both uphill and downhill, taking the weight off your back and knees.

18. Pocket knife and lighter: always useful for a thousand eventualities.

19. Compass and altimeter: useful in many cases and weigh almost nothing.

20. Torch: nowadays you can generally use the one on your mobile phone.

21. Mobile phone battery: A back-up battery or an external auxiliary battery, in case the mobile phone runs out of charge on the way.

22. Sunglasses: Can be helpful in some cases.

23. Clothes pegs and rubber bands: useful for drying clothes on your rucksack or once you have reached your destination and also for closing open food packages (or, as an alternative to the latter, you can use rubber bands).

24. Hair dryer: also useful for

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