Last time I wrote about the relatively luxury position we as modern day pilgrims have compared to the ancient pilgrim. However it are not only the hostels that make it more convenient today. Also from a gear perspective we have an easier task. A few weeks ago I bought my backpack, which was quite an exercise.
There are at least three different sizes that adjust to ones back and then there are also the models for men and women. Now that was the easy choice: for me we focused on the backpacks for man. Then it was to determine the optimal size for my back: large, medium or small. Quickly the small ones disappeared and the choice was between large or medium.
Now it was getting more difficult. We also needed to make a choice for volume of the backpack, volume determines how much fits into it. In other words volume defines how much I can take with me. But a medium 48-liter backpack suddenly turns into a 52-liter when looking at the same model in a large back size. After trying many models and hour later we found my optimal backpack: a 52-liter large backpack that fits my body well and fitted still within the budget.
The breadth of choice we have in the modern day gear is overwhelming, but one certainly should try to define his budget and demands before shopping. Weight is everything; after all you need to carry it all around. But somehow there seems to be a correlation between weight and price: every time the weight comes down the price to go up.
My backpack, fully equipped with all clothing for the Camino and other gear I need along the road, now totals 10,5 kg. This already includes a 1,5 liter water supply. When just lifting it 10,5 kg seems a lot, however when carrying it in a well fitted, well packed, backpack the weight seems to disappear. The right gear is everything!