Packing List: Hiking Shoes, Sunscreen, Rocks?

Rocks are not the first things I’d think to bring on a 480-mile pilgrimage walk across northern Spain. Hiking shoes, dry-wicking shirts, sunscreen: yes. But rocks? Though not shown on any packing list, I would wager that many of my fellow pilgrims along the route to Santiago de Compostela (a journey popularly known as the Camino), are carrying their own rocks.

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Note: This post was written by Rebecca Gallo and originally posted at

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Patricia says:

    Rebecca, I look forward to following your journey on the Camino, I recently watched the “Way” and something about this pilgrimage has me intrigued. I have many questions but I have this feeling by following your blog on the way to Santiago de Compostela I will get answers to many of them “Bon Camino”.

    1. Thanks Patricia. If you have any questions you´d like me to answer specifically, feel free to write them here or e-mail me. My address is listed under the Frequently Answered Questions section.

  2. Pat says:

    You’re in my prayers Rebecca! Buon Camino

  3. Jamie Haslett says:

    Hi Rebecca! I always wondered what those rocks were about. I’ve noticed them throughout many of my journeys, most recently during my trip to Iceland. I wish you health and wellness on your pilgrimage!

    1. Thank you Jamie! I should look into what the rocks mean otherwise. I find there are many such rock cairns along the Camino now that I’m here…

  4. Andy Parker says:

    This is lovely, from beginning to end. For me, things like the camino, help pull us out of the routines of our day to day. They help us get closer, to what’s important. To pay attention, and be present. Or at least help us remember that it’s important to let go of the things that aren’t. We carry too much with us (much more than 22 pounds). The letting go of all that gets in our way, is vital.

    The rituals you shared before you left are of a similar kind. They are the camino before the camino. The efficacy of the stones as signs or symbols has little to do with where they will come to rest. It’s the journey, and the moments shared between friends and strangers that matters. That’s something, I think, you can find yourself saying a prayer with a stranger in a restaurant. That easily might have happened in any town along the way.


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