As the temperature fluctuates from freezing to balmy here in Toronto (today was 7°C, and just 5 days ago it was -27°C with the wind chill!), I’m relying more and more on my merino tops, both long- and short-sleeve. They’ve become a multi-seasonal staple. And if there’s one thing I regretted about the Camino, it’s that I didn’t have more merino wool clothes with me.
Not that I wish I’d packed more clothes. Gosh, no. The trick to walking the Camino is to bring as little as possible – one set of clothes to wear and one set to change into when you get to the hostel – and do laundry daily.
Witness what’s in the photo above – that’s all I packed! Literally, one set of clothes, my sleeping bag, a teeny quick-dry towel minimal toiletries, sandals and my water bottle!!! Lesson: The best gear will multitask, performing well in different weather conditions.
And that’s why I wish I’d bought more merino before going (instead of buying along the way). Merino wool would have kept me warm and cool. Since it’s odour repellant, it doesn’t need to be washed often; and when you do wash it, it air-dries in a couple of hours. That would have saved me the hassle of trying (unsuccessfully) to dry clothes overnight or on my pack while walking.
So I present to you my list of clothes that I brought, what I could have done without, and what I wish I’d had instead (mainly, merino). It’s my go-to packing list, whether I’m on a weekend ski trip or backpacking through Europe. I switch things out based on the activity, but they’re my travel basics for a reason: they wear well and dry fast. And they’re perfect for the Camino. Continue reading