If you don’t need a corkscrew and bottle opener (or the thing for getting stones out of horses’ hooves), then a miniature Swiss Army knife is well adequate.
Sleeping bags are essential. Many refuges don’t keep blankets and insist that pilgrims have their own ‘sacks’.
A lightweight, powerful headtorch is very useful
Take a toilet roll: remove the cardboard roll and flatten it. Some albergues run out so be prepared!
A bandanna can serve as a headscarf, hat, eyeshade, tablecloth, washcloth and a cleaning cloth for grubby washbasins. A lightweight sarong serves as a dressing gown, bathrobe, makeshift pillowcase, lightweight sleeping sheet and a sunshade.
Dental floss is useful as heavy duty sewing thread. Similarly, a small quantity of Sellotape and string, plus a few safety pins and cable ties also come in useful for improvisation and repairs.
When choosing your clothing, consider how easily you can handwash it and how quickly it will dry – important in Galicia where the atmosphere is wetter.
Don’t overstock on toiletries and pharmacy items – they can all be obtained in most villages along the route.
Plastic bags are useful for protecting your belongings from rain and can double as a ‘handbag’ for your valuables when you have finished walking for the day.
Consider carefully whether you need to take a map – especially if you have a guidebook with sketch maps.
When pruning your packing list, concentrate on containers and papers / books.
Be absolutely ruthless about cutting down on the weight you carry. Don’t forget that you might need to add two or three kilograms of water plus an allowance for picnic food to the weight of your pack.
‘If you haven’t got it, you will have to make do without it.’