25 items to bring on your pilgrimage when you rent accomodation

On a pilgrimage, you spend most of your day in nature, often in changing weather. Here you’ll find expert advice on what to pack for a trip where you plan to sleep indoors.

Backpack and other hiking gear. Photo

Ria Warmerdam from the Netherlands has become a very experienced pilgrim after walking more than 4000 km. In addition to this, she has written a Dutch guidebook about the Gudbrandsdalen path. She has provided us with several good ideas for what you need when you are staying in a guest house or a hostel. The most important advice is simple, bring as little as possible!

She weighs everything and packs her bag several times. Every item is carefully considered, and if she is in doubt about the necessity of the item, she chooses to leave it at home. Her backpack weighs around 10-11 kg and that, she thinks, is more than enough for her.

Foto: Eskil Roll

Test the bag in advance

Ria Warmerdam is an experienced pilgrim who has also written a Dutch guidebook about the Gudbrandsdalen pilgrim path. - It is a good idea to test how much you can carry before you start. Try to walk for a full day (8-9 hours) in your local area with the backpack on. If you feel tired, you might want to consider that you'll be walking a similar distance every day for the duration of the journey. Then you might realize that there are certain things you can easily do without, smiles Ria.

1. Backpack with rain cover
2. Waterproof, sturdy mountain shoes and a pair of slippers for evening wear
3. 2 t-shirts and 1 long sleeved thin woollen shirt (preferably merino wool)
4. 3 sets of underwear
5. 3 pairs of woollen socks (two pairs of thin ones, one pair of medium thickness)
6. Walking pants
7. Windproof fleece jacket
8. Waterproof jacket
9. Waterproof pants
10. Thin towel (for instance one that is worn thin)
11. Sleeping bag liner
12. Toiletries in travel containers (soap, toothbrush/toothpaste, foot/skin/sun cream, mosquito repellent etc.)
13. Notepad and pen
14. Map (in waterproof folder) and compass
15. Cash and ATM card
16. Water bottle and a small thermos with cup
17. Pocketknife and a spork (combined spoon and fork)
18. Compact camera with charger
19. Cell phone with charger
20. Walking sticks
21. Small first aid kit
22. Guidebook
23. Hatt/caps
24. Provisions for one day
25. Gaffer tape and strips (repairs anything)

A good tip is to lay out everything you are bringing on the trip and to trial-pack it several times, says the experienced pilgrim Ria Warmerdam. Photo: Eskil Roll, www.rollphoto.no


Make sure that the backpack fits you, sits well, and has padded shoulder straps and a waist belt. The shoes must be broken in; new shoes are a no-no! Opt for merino wool in your underwear, long johns, T-shirts and long-sleeved shirts. If you're crossing the mountains, you must bring waterproof mittens, a hat, a buff/scarf, and high-quality woolen long johns. Bringing a microfiber towel is excellent; it absorbs a lot of moisture and dries quickly.