11 Gifts for the Camino de Santiago Pilgrim

Your gift list may include a friend or relative who is planning to walk the Camino de Santiago as a peregrino (pilgrim). This route through Spain and similar routes all over Europe have burgeoned in popularity in the past 10 years, especially among Americans who saw the Martin Sheen movie, "The Way." See what you can put on your wish list if you are the one who will be taking the pilgrimage, or what to give to the potential pilgrim.


John Brierley's guide to the Camino is regarded as the best for the Camino Frances (French Way) popular route. It will be the pilgrim's companion throughout her journey. He also has books for the other routes. The book includes details for every segment, including places to stay, eat, and get services. It is updated frequently, so be sure to search for the most recent edition.


A Buff is standard pilgrim's gear. You can wear it as a head scarf, neck scarf, balaclava, dust mask, sleep mask, etc. That is very handy when the backpacking pilgrim is trying to take along as little as possible. This Buff is special as it is printed with a map of the Camino de Santiago. It is UV-protecting to keep out the sun.


"Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago" is an inspiring movie that is a perfect viewing choice for those who first learned of the Camino from the movie "The Way." This award-winning documentary follows six different pilgrims as they walk the Camino. It gives a much more rounded vision of what the Camino entails, while fueling wanderlust. 


Most Camino walkers use trekking poles. It's wise to train with the poles before walking the Camino. These poles are inexpensive and they compact down to 24.5 inches for packing. They adjust up to 54 inches tall.


This lightweight pack is recommended by many veteran peregrinos. It comes in a couple of sizes and in several colors. It has a gender-specific hip belt to place the load at the right spot and zippered pockets for the things you want to keep handy. The Stow-and-Go trekking pole attachment loops are useful. There is a removable top pocket, handy for taking items with you to the shower.


You are almost guaranteed to have a rainy day (or several) walking through Galicia to Santiago de Compostela. This trekker rain poncho has many advantages. It has 3/4 length sleeves rather than simply having armholes like many ponchos.There is a built-in pack cover in back, essential for keeping your pack dry on the Camino while still covering your rear. The front zip with storm flap makes it easier to put on and take off than non-zippered designs. It is very lightweight at 9.8 ounces and stuffs down to a small size to be easily carried in your pack.


This ultralight rain cover cinches around the backpack to keep it dry. It's an essential for the Camino pilgrim who is carrying all of her clothes and gear as she treks from hostel to hostel on the Camino. You don't want all of your possessions getting wet.


Bed bugs are the scourge of the Camino, especially for those staying at the albergue hostels. This lightweight liner will keep away the bed bugs. The microfiber makes it very comfortable to sleep in and even use as an alternative to a sheet or blanket on warm nights.


Pilgrims typically carry only one change of clothes, so they are washing every night. This portable laundry system doubles as a dry bag to store items in your backpack. But it also is a handy hand-powered washing machine with built-in washboard for doing laundry at the hostel or your hotel room.


Blisters happen, especially on the Camino. Peregrinos need to use blister prep during their training at home, and take a full tube along on the trek. HikeGoo is formulated specifically for all-day, long distance walking.



It's a pain to try to blog or keep a diary using only your smartphone virtual keyboard. This 0.39-pound folding Bluetooth keyboard measures 6.5 by 4.5 by 0.3 inches and will easily fit into your Camino pack. Unfold it and you have a keyboard to use for recording your thoughts with ease during your Camino journey. Put this on your wish list.


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