The List.

I officially have all of the stuff. The clothes, toiletries and other gear below will be my only possessions for six weeks starting Sunday. While it’s probably actually more than I’ll need, these are the items I feel like I have to have to be prepared for my trip.


A few of the items are extra special to me. I nearly started crying the moment when I saw my backpack on the hanging on the wall in the Arcteryx outlet a few months ago. Not only was the pack a smaller version of my favorite backpacking pack that I took up Mt. Rainier, but the name on the pack is Kea. This is the same name, same spelling, as one of my family’s beloved border collies. Last Fall I had probably the worst experience of my life – an experience that still haunts me today. Going for a typical ATV ride through the family woods in Idaho, just as I do every time I go home, our three dogs followed me running through the woods just as they always do. Before I knew it, I was watching our neighbor dogs viciously attack my “Little Miss” aka Kea on our property. Though we tried to get her help, her wounds were too deep and my parents and I could only watch her suffer and pass away. They say the Camino takes care of you. I know on this trip, my Kea will be taking care of me.

I also have the scallop shell that my friend and coworker Jenn brought back from her own Camino last year. The knowledge of her experience she’s shared with me has helped me to be better prepared and that much much excited for my journey.

While I was home this past weekend, my mom packed up some ginger leaves and a photo of my “puppies” for me to take along. I also picked up a rock from Idaho to leave at Cruz de Ferro. My friend Melinda sent me a wonderful Pilgrim’s journal so I can write down thoughts along the way.

Now for the list:

  • Arcteryx 37 liter backpack
  • Backpack rain cover
  • Brooks Ghost 8 trail runner shoes – goretex
  • Flip flops
  • Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Camelbak water bottle
  • Platypus foldable water bottle
  • Cocoon sleeping bag liner
  • Expander sleeping bag liner
  • Lightweight blow up pillow
  • REI rain jacket
  • Quick dry hoodie
  • Fleece vest
  • 2 pairs of exercise pants
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 skirt
  • 3 pairs of Darn Tough wool socks
  • 1 pair of liner socks
  • 2 quick dry shirts
  • 1 quick dry long sleeve shirt
  • 1 tank top
  • Ball cap
  • Lightweight poncho
  • 3-4 pairs of undies
  • Backpacking towel
  • Toiletries including mini shampoo, toothpaste, etc.
  • Fingernail clippers
  • First aid kit including band-aids, moleskin and compeed
  • Advil, Advil PM, Vitamins
  • Mini toilet paper roll
  • Two needles with thread
  • Two safety pins
  • Extra chapstick
  • Mini sunscreen
  • Headlamp
  • IPhone
  • Fitbit
  • Battery charger for iPhone
  • Charging cables for iPhone, Fitbit and battery charger
  • International plug-ins
  • Camino guidebook
  • Pilgrim’s Journal
  • Dry bag for valuables in the shower
  • Carabiners to hang things from backpack
  • Lightweight purse with passport, cards and euros
  • Mini roll of duct tape
  • Clothes pins for drying clothes
  • Two packages of Jelly Belly Sport Beans
  • Scallop shell

I’m guessing some of these items may go before I leave and others will get ditched along the way. But the nice thing is my backpack didn’t feel unbearable when I tried it on with everything in it. However, I’m sure on day one when I’m walking the 24km with 3900+ elevation gain, I may feel like my pack is a dead weight. 🙂


A week and a half away

It’s crazy to think I’m only a week and a half away from leaving on my big adventure. I’m stressed – not about starting the Camino, but about preparing everything for being gone. Training coworkers to cover for me, making sure all the bills are paid, getting mail stopped, etc. I know everything will come together, but I can’t help but stress about it anyway. 🙂

What I’m not stressed about is being prepared for the walk. I’ve been training with long urban walks (10+ miles), hiking every weekend including a 13 mile hike with friends this past weekend. My body feels ready. I’m guessing this based on the fact that I can feel great while walking 25 miles in a weekend and still get out of bed on Monday. 🙂


I also feel prepared gear wise. I’ll add my packing list in another post, but I feel like I have the things I need for five weeks of walking – and they all fit in one 37 liter backpack. In fact, I’m actually trying to take things out of that pack now to keep the overall weight down.

Probably the best part of my preparation is all the support I’ve received from family and friends. It’s hard not to be excited about a big journey when people all around are cheering you on, sharing good resources or simply excited to hear about your upcoming adventure.


I know I will endure pain on my walk. I know I will get annoyed by having to listen to other people snore in the alburgues. I know I will have moments where I wonder why I’m there. But as one friend told me recently “Amazing thing to do that relatively few amongst humanity get to do….savor every minute of it.” And that I will.