Trying the Golite breeze backpack in May-June

Frank Metcalf redtailaINTERGATE.CA
Thu Apr 18 22:57:00 PDT 2002

Hi Gina, thanks for your good wishes.  It's funny having you ask for my
packing list, as I'm a chronic overpacker. My background is carrying canoes
and large food packs on my shoulders during about 5,000 K of Arctic canoeing
and archaeological surveys over 12 summers and 6 winters. Plus 22 years in a
gym. So I've never had to pack light--until now. I'm pretty nervous about
the Camino, so there's a big incentive to reform and go light.

I found some posts by Karen Swanson very useful: "re: Traveling ultralight"
and "Re: Shoes / refugios / just returned." They give the viewpoint of an
Appalachian Trail through-hiker who has had the equivalent of many Caminos
worth of hiking experience on a tougher track, to say the least. Then she
reports after finishing the Camino. I've taken note. Her load was 7 pounds
before water and guidebooks, and her packing list is included.

One of the fascinating bits of diversity is that others say just the
opposite--that you must wear boots, for example--yet they are clearly
experienced people who are very helpful. Karen herself could take zero
weight on her shoulders and used a Dana system that put all weight on her
hips--but she mentions the Golite pack for those without her neck problem.

About my pack list, the 3 big weight-savers are the 12 oz. pack (so you
start off 3-6 pounds lighter than most others), the 8 oz.(?) Equinox
Terrapin rain poncho (fantastic, and well-tested in rainy Vancouver; has
tarp loops too), and the 1.5 lb.(.67 Kg) one-sided sleeping bag which
Mountain Equipment Co-op here calls the Equinox. Other than those, just the
usual: 2 New Balance running T shirts, a MEC ss shirt, 2 briefs, a NB
pocketed running short with built-in brief, a pair of very light Sportif
zip-leg trouser/shorts from MEC, 2 bandanas, a pack towel, 3 pairs of
Wrightsock 2-layer running socks, 2 pairs of Ultramax sock liners to be used
as single socks on hot days, a fleece underwear top from MEC to be used as a
pullover, a running windbreaker jacket by Patagonia, a coolmesh running cap
by Nike, and a zippered pillowcase to hold it all and to sleep on. Then
there's the CSJ guide, personal/blister/medicine/washing/shaving kit, small
Spanish dictionary, eating, cutting, and illuminating stuff, diary, and
ultralight Olympus camera--but my wife and I will share all that. Oh, and my
Tevas. I'm taking extra socks because size 15 is hard to get anywhere, and
Wrightsock makes the largest XL there is. My running shoes are New Balance
"high-mileage" 1121s on the scarce SL-2 last, the only footgear I've found
to house roomily my huge feet and accommodate my graphite sports orthotics
as well.

Better not hog any more space. Hope this helps you or others, but do check
out Karen's posts and search the files.

--Frank Metcalf, Vancouver BC Canada

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