Planning

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Well, we are weighing in at about 45 pounds for Guy (Sully + carrier + baby gear = 30 + 9 + 6 = 45) and around 20 pounds for me (Dor’s + Guy’s + Sully’s clothes and toiletries + sleeping gear + 10 essentials + electronics + guide book). Not too bad considering all of the extras for a 22-month old (thermometer, baby meds, ointments, diapers, wipes, extra layers, blankie and back-up blankie, favorite sippy cup, bedtime stories and an emergency puppet.)

I won’t go over it all, but here are some of the major pieces of gear:

The Deuter Kid Comfort 3 is our choice of carrier. Some people do the Camino with rugged strollers, some use a bicycle trailer, some do the cloth carriers. We like the mobility of having Sully on our back.

Key features of this pack include the kickstand, the bombproof raincover, and the high back and chin pad for comfortable hiking naps. Three of my Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) friends got this for us when we were pregnant, and we’ve love it (despite it’s whopping 9 lbs)! Thanks to Kindergarten Cop, Wired, and Gumby for the gear foundation.

I shopped around for a backpack, but ultimately stuck with the women’s Osprey Tempest 40 that I already owned. It comes in right at about 2 lbs – so about as good as any ultralight pack.

The pack is not my favorite – the padding is sparse and the hip pockets are a little tight. But, 40 liters is the perfect size, the stretchy mesh is handy and it carries up to 25 lbs comfortably.

Guy and I both upgraded our trekking poles for the trip. Black Diamond Carbon Z Distance. Mine weigh in at 9 oz. They fold up small, the foam breaths well and the strap is comfortable. These are very light no-nonsense poles. I love them.

I will point out that Guy’s first pair were too tall. We compared the 130 cm settling on his adjustable poles to the 130 cm sized poles, and the Zs were a solid 5+ cm longer. So he returned them for the 120s and is happy. I have the 100s – same setting I always use, and they are perfect.

I am hesitant to post about shoes because it all depends so much on foot structure, but I am thrilled to say I have found shoes that do not bother my plantar faciitis. On a whim and a helluvan REI sale, I picked up the Vasque Trailbender 2. I have been training in them for months and can find nothing better.

I developed a debilitating case of plantar fasciitis on the PCT in 2012, and my feet have never been the same. This is the first shoe I have found that I can backpack in and not have foot pain afterward. They DO eat holes in the top of my big toes (poor design), but I’ll take a superficial wound over structural pain any day. I have just taken to taping my toes.

Guy settled on the La Sportiva Wildcat. This was the fourth pair of shoes he tried. He kept going for the low-top hiking shoes for the extra support, but they all hurt his feet. So trail runners it was. Fortunately, REI has a great return policy.

Sully opted for PediPeds velcro sneakers the same color as his dad’s. He wanted the squeeky tennies his grandma bought him, but no one could seem to find them before we left!

For sleeping, we opted for two Sea To Summit Traveller bags. At 13.7 oz, it is lighter than anything else we own. And it can be spread out into a quilt for a parent and toddler snuggle fest. We’ve also packed two silk sleeping liners for warmer nights in hostels.

We upgraded our headlamps to the Petzl e-LITE. Some people don’t use headlamps on the Camino, but with a little one and it being September, we see many dark mornings in our future!

We also upgraded our rain jackets to the OR Helium II. This no-frills jacket weighs in at 5.5 oz. And it is trail-tested by my friend Wired who, for the last few years, has spent the better part of her year backpacking. Check out her blog for more gear reviews.

We are also carrying a SPOT Gen2 GPS locating device. This technology has come a long way in the past few years, so our unit is a little our of date. But it still works well for our needs. We’ll check in daily with family and friends, and then there is always the big red button in case of emergency.

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