Long Trails

Getting geared up for the Via de la Plata

I am in Barcelona now. I had to leave Valencia due to the cost of being there during the Fallas festival. The guesthouses and hotels increase their prices by 3 or 4 times during this period and that would totally blow a hole in my living budget. I am also not a big fan of crowds or loud noises, probably why I like hiking so much! I posted a video on my instagram of the noise. You will probably see why I am happy not to be there!

Beautiful Barcelona

Barcelona is as busy as usual but seems peaceful after Valencia. I am here for just over one week before I head down to Seville. I’ll probably spend a few days in Seville before walking north on the VDLP. The weather down there is warming up nicely and spring has been sprung in Spain.

I now carry pretty much everything I need to exist. The issue of carrying extra non hiking gear e.g. laptop, city clothes etc is a real headache for a nomad like me. Finding storage and then retracing my steps to pick up non hiking gear is costly, both in terms of time and money.

Therefore I now carry everything I need. Any city clothes that are too heavy will be given to charity. I tend to buy cheaper city clothes these days because I cannot justify spending a lot shirts etc. I spend a lot more on outdoor clothes and where I can, will buy good quality that will operate well while hiking and will look smart in the city. For instance, I have a new merino wool tshirt that looks very smart, but will also be excellent while hiking.

In terms of electronics and gadgets, I have left my laptop in the UK and have converted my working gadgets into smaller items that all run from USB. I do not need to carry extra chargers now.

ultralight mobile office

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I think my entire backpack weight is around 13kg at the moment. Carrying 2 litres of water would put that up to 15kg which is probably going to be too heavy.

My backpack itself is quite old but only weighs 1.7kg. Not super lightweight, but similar to some of the Osprey packs that I have been looking at.

I really need to get myself over to the USA where lightweight hiking gear is much easier to find. Even in a city like Barcelona, the outdoor shops are not great and I can only find mainstream gear, not specialised ultra-lightweight stuff.

So I am actively looking at shaving away more grams by replacing my current gear with lighter versions. As is the case always, I am carrying full camping gear. My tent is 1200 grams, my sleeping matress is 450 grams and my sleeping bag is 600 grams. I don’t consider any of these items to be too heavy, after all, my tent is actually quite big and sleeps two! I will replace all this camping gear within in a year or so, but it’s coming with me on the VDLP.

I am going to shoot some video of all my gear just before I start hiking and give a proper run down of why I am carrying certain items. Like I said before, I carry way more than the usual pilgrim would, but then again, I am not your average peregrino.

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