Hello everyone! The next series of posts will be based on my journey on El Camino de Santiago! To give a time frame of my expedition on the Camino began in May and ended in August of 2016.  It began as a study abroad program with Missouri State University, and ended as so much more.

For the first installment of the series, I thought I’d talk about the equipment I used.  After months of planning and gathering equipment I couldn’t wait to embark on this incredible journey. Up to this point packing had been the most challenging aspect. However, nothing dampened my excitement to live out of the pack for five weeks! Pictured above are the materials I took with me. Aside from the clothing, here is a list of products I highly recommend.

  • Deuter ACT Lite 45+ 10 Women’s pack
  • Osprey UltraLight Pack Raincover (large)
  • Ahnu Montara waterproof hiking boots
  • Chacos
  • Hydro Flask wide mouth 40 oz. water bottle (not pictured)
  • Two backpacking quick-dry towels (recommend REI)
  • MountainSmith Kit Cube camera carrier

I found majority of my equipment at REI.  If there is an REI near you I highly suggest you take a trip to the store.  Leading up to this particular trip, I had no experience with long distance hiking and the employees were nothing short of spectacular. On two separate occasions an employee dedicated about an hour to helping me find the ideal backpack and boots for my trip.

Your pack is entirely up to your preferences.  Other than the suggestion for size, the decision on which pack was left up to me.  There is a vast array of packs to choose from so I suggest you browse online to narrow it down, and then try them out at the nearest REI or local outdoors retailer.

Your feet will be your best friend and at times your only friend.  Favor them, pamper them, and listen to them. Backpacking the Camino, or any other long distance trek will put your feet to the ultimate test.  If your shoes do not provide proper support, traction, and comfort you will undoubtedly feel the pain.  Once again an REI employee guided my search to the Ahnu brand. I can confidently say that I have never owned a more comfortable pair of shoes.  Not only do these boots support my poor ankles (one too many sports injuries), but they are waterproof, and provide excellent arch support.  I will always praise this brand and these particular boots for all those in the market for hiking boots.

As a freelance photographer, I needed a compact yet durable camera carrier that would fit in my pack along with everything else.  After researching what other adventure photographers use, I finally landed on the Mountainsmith brand. The Kit Cube is ideal for photographers going on similar long distance backpacking trips.  I was able to fit my camera body, 3 lenses, and a charger comfortably.

I highly recommend all of these brands and specific products. However, the decision is ultimately up to you and what you find most comfortable and user friendly.  If you have any questions about any of these products please comment below!