I have not written a blog on my latest purchases for a while, so I thought I would give you an update. It has become a little bit of an obsession to find the lightest sleeping bags and the easiest way to transport trekking poles on an airplane, but I think I have found the best solutions. I have also been awarded the “Mayor” of Go Outdoors in Milton Keynes on Foursquare… a bit worrying!
So here is an updated list of the gadgets and gizmo's that I have purchased in the last few weeks.
Craghoppers Packaway Hooded Insulated Jacket – £35 (Go OutDoors)
This is by far the best purchase that I have made for the Camino. It is really light (403g), but you feel like you are wearing a sleeping bag. It is totally waterproof (see video below as I tried it out in a downpour) and also windproof. The best thing about this jacket was the price. A bargain at just £35. I am not sure if I will use it much on the Camino, but if it rains, or for those chilly evenings and early mornings, I think it will be a godsend. I am not taking any other jacket with me. View on Go Outdoors website here.
Pole Bag for Nordic Poles – £12.90 – Amazon
I have been fretting about my Nordic poles and how I am going to get them on the airplane. I have read the terms and Ryan Air will not allow walking poles as carry on, therefore they need to go in the hold. I do not have telescopic poles, and the Nordic poles that do fit in my rucksack were £125 a pair, which seems a bit silly to buy another pair of poles when I have perfectly good ones already. Then I stumbled upon this neat little Nordic pole back that changes into a bum bag when not in use. We can fit all of our poles inside (Mine, Julie's and Rachel's) and the cost to put these in the airplane hold is just £30 – so that is our plan.
Underwater camera and video recorder. This was a little bit extravagant, but I have always wanted a GoPro and I can also use it for work. I am a bit worried as you can buy so many gadgets and accessories for it that it may become a bit of an obsession! I have ordered the Back Pack mount so that it will strap to my rucksack and I can record some great footage whilst traveling the Camino. I can't wait to use it!
Naturehike Envelope Outdoor Sleeping Bag Camping Sleeping Bag – £19.75 – Amazon
I have so many sleeping bags, but none of them are light weight, so I found myself watching YouTube video after YouTube video to source my ideal bag. I had a criteria in my head as to what I wanted:-
- No more than 1llb in weight
- I did not want a mummy style bag as I like to move around in my sleep.
- I wanted something that you could open up and use as a blanket/quilt if needed.
- I did not want to spend a fortune.
I saw reviews for the Naturehike Envelope Sleeping bag and as it was only £19.75 I thought I would purchase one and see what it was like. The bag is brilliant and I was that impressed by its size and weight that I have now ordered another one for Rachel. My only feedback was that delivery took around 3 weeks, so if you are considering getting one then make sure you order it in good time before your trip.
Andes Black Waterproof Kayak Dry Bag Sack – 13.5l – £3.95 – Amazon
Everyone on the forums and also friends have mentioned about dry sacks. It is important to make sure that you keep your clothes and electronics dry. I have purchased one 13.5l drybag from Amazon and the quality of this one is excellent (as are the reviews). It fits nicely in my rucksack and I can clip a little handle to it and take it to the shower with me if needed. I did try some other bags, but one leaked and another one split on the side. This one has been perfect and I would highly recommend it.
2L Hiking Hydration Bladder Bag Backpack System Pack Water Reservoir – £8.99 – Amazon
I was a little bit against buying a hydration pack as I had used them before and they always taste a bit rubbery to me. I thought I would be quite happy with my water bottles, however, I found that I was struggling to get the bottles out of my rucksack whilst walking. I kept having to ask my daughter to grab my bottle for me as my shoulder simply would not reach that far around (I have had shoulder operations on both shoulders in the last few years). The hydration pack was the answer and I have now used it on my training days and it works fine. I must admit, I do need to get a cap to go on the end and I have actually tasted mud where I have put the pack on the floor and the end of the nozzle has been on the ground – not good!
In addition to the above, I have also purchased a small pocket knife, a spork, and travel mugs for Rachel and I.
So that is my updated gadget list. I think I have everything that I need now and hopefully we are all set for the Camino. I will be interested to see if there is anything that I do not use whilst on our adventure.
Have you walked the Camino? If so, what items would you recommend to take that came in really useful? I'd love to hear from you.
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