In the Middle Ages, walkers started out with little more than a bag, a staff or crook on which to lean, a cape for protecting themselves and a scallop shell on their chest as an identifying sign. Today, however, clothing and luggage should be carefully prepared according to the time of the year, the chosen category and the planned duration of the trip.
The choice of backpack is one of the key points: it should be anatomical, with straps at the thighs, a capacity of around 40 litres and numerous compartments so that you do not have to unpack it every time you want to find something. The heaviest items should be placed closest to your back; your sleeping bag, mat and rain cape, in an outside compartment at the bottom, and your documentation close at hand.
The normal weight limit for backpacks is 10% of our body weight: in any case, not more than 8 kilos for women and 10 for men. Many pilgrims bring more luggage in a support car or send, from their home, different parcels of luggage to prearranged places.
Footwear is another important choice. While in spring and summer you can walk with thick-soled training shoes, half a size bigger than normal (in case of swollen feet), in autumn and winter you need calf-length hiking boots to support your ankles. It is important to break them in at home and not wear them for the first time on the pilgrimage.
In addition to suitable clothing for the time of year, your equipment should include a basic first-aid kit, especially for treating your feet.
A bike enables you to add panniers but also involves carrying spanners, a pump and cleaning items, among other things. Horse riders will also have to take into account implements for their horse, as well as a kit for taking care of its health and hygiene.