Paris – the final pack for the Camino

Arriving back in Paris after a two-day visit to Northern France to see some friends, it is time to get serious for the final pack. We will be sending a bag on to Santiago de Compostela with our smart clothes, so we will only have the bare essentials for the backpacks we’ll take on the Camino de Santiago (French route).

Camino pack

We repacked several times, weighing the packs each time, only to find them still too heavy, so we repacked again.

See here for my packing videoΒ made before we departed from Australia.

With the third re-pack it is uncomfortably apparent that my DSLR camera is just too heavy – it weighs almost 1.5kg in its bag. So it’s hard decision time. Reluctantly, I have to admit that my 10kg backpack is right on the limit – and that is without water – or the camera! So, with the decision made, I packed the camera in the send-on bag and resolved to work on my iPhone camera skills.

With that decision made, and the packs as light as we could manage, it was time to get some sleep – to be ready for an early check-out and a short walk to the Montparnasse railway station.

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INDEX – If you wish to follow our journey from the beginning, or jump in to any of the Camino posts,
here is a link to the index page – which can also be found in the navigation bar at the top of this blog

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Packing for the Camino de santiago

The Camino de Santiago (French way/Camino Frances) is an 800km/500 mile trek. It is a traditional Christian pilgrimage route from southern France, over the Pyrenees, and across northern Spain. The route is open for anyone to walk, whether for fitness, tourism, spiritual or religious reasons.

The distance is not to be undertaken lightly and it is important to keep your backpack as light as possible – after all, you will be carrying it for around one million steps over a wide variety of terrain and weather conditions.

Walking in solitude

Accommodation is typically in municipal or private albergues, or hostels. So at least you don’t need to carry a tent or your own cooking utensils, but by all accounts, it is a not insignificant trek.

I made a video showing what I have chosen to pack – your mileage may differ (see below) πŸ™‚

Some people view the Camino as an opportunity to unplug from the world and escape the frenetic pace of contemporary society. Indeed some are critical of those who stay in touch through social media. For me, social media provides a means for my family and friends to follow our progress; and a chance for me to share with others this great experience – and perhaps inspire others to consider walking their own Camino.

One of my passions is photography. Most people take a phone/camera or small point-and-shoot camera. These can produce great images, especially in good light. But for me, they are not great in low light, and many interiors such as churches or museums challenge those cameras. So my one concession to weight is that I will be taking my DSLR camera, albeit with just one lens.

Pilgrims in past ages would travel from place to place and keep journals, write letters and maintain such communication as they could with those back home. So I see no contradiction in taking some light technology to help deepen the experience through providing access to information, translation of menus, or simple navigation, as well as to communicate with those close to me but distant geographically. For me, there is no distinction between a modern pilgrim asking for wifi and the medieval pilgrims who asked for paper and ink.

I hope this video helps others considering a long trek, such as the Camino – and I welcome comments here or below the video on YouTube πŸ™‚

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INDEX – If you wish to follow our journey from the beginning, or jump in to any of the Camino posts,
here is a link to the index page – which can also be found in the navigation bar at the top of this blog

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