You are beginning the discovery phase and getting motivated to begin your journey walking the 500 miles across Spain all the way to Santiago. As you start you planning, it is a good idea to find resources about the trek including books about the Camino de Santiago and backpacking gear endorsed specifically for this journey.
If you are new to backpacking, you need to keep in mind some general guidelines with regards to pack weight. This refers to everything you carry and you should be mindful of every ounce you decide to carry. You need to take care of your feet and your gear weight plays a big part to how bruised your feet will become after walking on compact services for hours and hours every day. If you are training for the Camino, you won’t likely duplicate the effect on your feet because you would need to walk 4 days straight, 10 miles per day, and on a solid surface to really understand the effect. The pack weight directly impacts bruising because the more weight on your back, the more pressure your feet feel as a result.
So how should you determine what is a good pack weight. In general, experienced backpackers suggest that you should keep your backpack weight below 20 pounds (excluding food and water). Since you do not need to carry food and water or one of the BIG 3 weight items, you should have a goal of a backpack weight of less than 17 pounds (excluding food and water). The big 3 weight items include a tent, sleeping bag, and backpack. You won’t need a tent so that typically accounts for 3 pounds in your backpack. Your backpack doesn’t need to carry a heavy load which means you should not need a backpack that weighs more than 3 pounds. Don’t go over this weight by even an ounce. There are plenty of really good backpacks that weigh about 2.5 pounds and have the ideal weight capacity. That half pound difference means you can fit an extra t-shirt for the trip.
Now that you understand a common weight, how many pairs of clothing should you have? This can vary as long as you keep you entire pack under 17 pounds, but most people can get around 4 pairs of lightweight outfits while maintaining the pack weight. There really isn’t much you need besides clothing, backpack, blister kit, sandals, and a bathroom hygiene kit. Because of this, you can get more pairs of clothes. Consider using a laundry machine every 3 days. There are often a washing machine every couple days in one of the Albergues for an affordable price. Usually not more than a few dollars to both wash and dry. This method will save you time and effort at the end of each day.
You can find books about the Camino de Santiago and the ideal backpacking gear for the trip at different blogs that are specialized in the Camino journey. There are a good amount of books that are written by other pilgrims who share details about their trip so that others can experience it with them. These books will prepare you to listen to others along the way as you form your own Camino. Listening and sharing your Camino with others along the Way of Saint James will be a large part of your journey. Even if you are hesitant at first, you will inspire others and other pilgrims will inspire you.