“I heard your pack is so small you can carry it on the plane. Is that an urban legend?” As a matter of fact, it’s the truth. Actually for this Camino I packed all my gear minus my spare shoes into my youngest son’s 18l pack…..but in the end decided to go with my twice as large but half empty one because it is very comfortable and full of memories.
Apart from a small sunscreen lotion, toothbrush and toothpaste which live permanently in a side pocket, a tiny towel-in-a-bag which hangs on the side of the pack, and the half roll of toilet paper I forgot to include, everything I take/wear is recorded below: Clothing – one set to wear while walking and one for after, plus wet/cold/hot weather gear and an extra set of underwear. No thermals this time.
Non-clothing items including luxuries like journal and muscle cream, and non-necessary items like emergency blanket which might yet be left behind. Hiking poles are already wrapped in protective cardboard, ready to slip into Rob’s too-big-to-carry-on pack with my pocketknife and razor, all of which are classed as dangerous weapons (thankfully little old grannies have been behaving in the past few years and so now knitting needles and crochet hooks are allowed on board).
On previous travels I have had to carry 5-10 passports and so got used to wearing a bumbag At All Times. Some people claim a bumbag makes you look like a tourist but if I *am* a tourist, then I figure it’s not unreasonable to look like one. Some people say it is silly to have all your precious things together, but I figure if they are all in this one bag which is never out of my sight or even off my person (except when showering – and then it is given to another family member to hold), then I know everything is safe.This bumbag has just the right pockets for lip balm and mini keyboard and phone and reusable cloth shopping bag and stationery and sewing kit and Opinel knife….plus a custom made camera case……and because I’m only taking one passport and won’t be spending any time managing children, there’s room for a ball of sock wool and needles!
Finally, dangling on the outside of the pack is an embroidered shell from our first Camino, a plastic water container in memory of last year’s walk for water and a green bell-ball made by a teacher we walked with last year, and a new tiny metal shell for this walk – there’s an identical one on this year’s journal too.
All set now and waiting to go.