Online: Northern California Chapter, Camino 101: Packing

Apr 22, 2022 4:00PM—5:30PM


Northern California Chapter's Zoom Room

Event Contact Laurie Ferris | Email


Wondering what to put in your backpack on your first, or next, Camino walk? If you are new to the Camino de Santiago this is a perplexing problem. If you have already walked several Caminos you may still be refining your packing list. This presentation includes a panel of four veteran pilgrims who have many ideas – some the same and some different – about what is best to pack. You will go away with invaluable information, tips, and tricks for your first or next Camino.

Register in advance for this Zoom meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Pro Tip: After registering, we recommend clicking the “Add to calendar” link in the confirmation screen so you will receive a meeting reminder via your calendar with the Zoom link.


Rob Nickerson has walked parts of the Camino Francés, the Camino Portugués, and the Camino Inglés eight times between 2013 and 2019. On each successive walk he has lightened the load in his backpack while improving the utility of its contents. He has given a number of presentations locally, nationally, and internationally about different aspects of the Camino. Rob is a retired professor of information systems at San Francisco State University.


Susan Alcorn hiked the Camino Francés in 2001. Since then, she has returned sixteen times to walk other routes in Spain as well as ones in France, Switzerland, and Portugal–covering more than 3,000 miles in the process. She has refined her gear list over the years as she has learned what works for her and what doesn’t. She prefers to carry her own pack and likes the sense of having everything she needs in it—especially when on more remote trails. Susan is the author of Walk, Hike, Saunter: Seasoned Women Share Tales and Trails, Healing Miles: Gifts from the Caminos Norte and Primitivo, and Camino Chronicle: Walking to Santiago.

Laurie Ferris is co-coordinator of the Northern CA chapter of American Pilgrims and has hiked the Caminos Portugués, Inglés, Primitivo, and Invierno. Laurie likes to make a few improvements and lighten her load for each Camino. She has presented about Camino packing at REI stores with Susan Alcorn, but the two are not in total agreement on what items are best to bring. They hope that new hikers will find it reassuring that there is no ONE right way to pack. Laurie enjoys cultivating the spirit of the Camino in the Bay Area through the chapter and on her blog, The Camino Provides.

Scott “Shroomer” Williams is a long distance hiker, who has through hiked the Pacific Crest, Continental Divide, and Appalachian Trails, America’s Triple Crown of hiking, as well as trekked in Madagascar, and the Te Araroa in New Zealand. Last year he completed the Israel National Trail, half of Canada’s Great Divide Trail, and sections of the Alta Vias in Italy’s Dolomites. In 2015, he and his wife Katie, completed the Camino Francés, and discovered a walk in which the wilderness experience of America’s great trails became the daily wonder of Medieval villages, cathedrals, art and architecture. The solitude of our trails was exchanged for the joy of hiking with some of the most fascinating people on the planet.