The Camino Provides Patch for 2018

I’m super excited to announce the new patch for 2018.

The Camino Provides 2018 patch

The patch is similar to the 2017 design with the rainbow-banded Camino shell, but has the red color for 2018. The rainbow shell design was inspired by the concept of chakras, which was an important part of my journey with yoga and healing over the last year.  I am continuing with the chakras theme for 2018 by highlighting the root chakra color at the base of the shell.

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Injury Prevention Tips for the Camino

Injury Prevention Tips for the Camino 2017

Below is a presentation by Scott Williams on injury prevention that I recorded at our NorCal Chapter’s annual pilgrim blessing ceremony on March 18, 2017. Scott “Shroomer” Williams is active in the American Long Distance Hiker Association-West and has thru-hiked the Triple Crown (Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail).

Filming Scott Williams

Filming Scott Williams presentation on injury prevention tips for the Camino

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Leave No Trace: Ethics for the Camino

Valerie Hartmann’s Camino made a big impact on her, as did a Leave No Trace training that she attended a few years ago.  Both experiences instilled a “tread lightly” mentality of stewardship toward our world.  Valerie put her thoughts into action by writing the report, “Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics for Camino de Santiago.” She recently shared it with us NorCal Chapter coordinators, and I am happy to help spread the word.  I completely agree that some people can be more respectful to the environment and fellow pilgrims. Her report is full of common sense and good tips to be a mindful pilgrim and keep the Camino litter-free. Add this reading to your pre-Camino checklist and consider treading more lightly on your next Camino.

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My Camino Packing List, Part 1: Apparel

During my Camino planning, I heard a few wise pilgrims say, “The lighter the pack, the better your back.” I chose to pack light not only to spare my back but also to put as little strain on my knees and feet as possible. There’s a well-known rule of thumb for pilgrims according to which the weight of your backpack should not exceed ten percent of your body weight, which means that my pack shouldn’t be heavier than 14 lb (excluding water and snacks). I carefully selected and tested all gear to cull down the list of bare essentials. You can see the result of that selection along with apparel reviews below.
Camino Provides Packing List 2016
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Backpack Review After the Camino

On my first Camino, I carried an Osprey Sirrus 24 backpack, in which everything fit fine, and there was still a little room to spare. It was only at the end of my Camino that I wished it had more capacity. On my return trip to Lisbon, where I was to catch my flight home, I had to carry the souvenirs I bought in Santiago in a separate bag. Yes, I know. I’m eating my words! Read my previous review about the said backpack being large enough. For the most part, it was perfect for my one-week Camino, but it would have been nice to be able to fit those extra items in it.

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I offer different patches for Camino De Santiago pilgrims and collectors: the original (no date) and a current year with a rainbow shell. I have produced a limited quantity of patches each year since 2015 and mail them to anywhere in the world. Below are examples of designs.


The patches measure 2.5″ round and have an iron-on backing.

Cost is $4 + .55 cents shipping per patch – US.
International shipping is $2 + .55 cents each additional.
US Postal Service First Class. Expedited shipping available.

How to order

1. Go to

2.  Buy in person. If you’re in the Bay Area and attend our Camino events, let me know and I’ll deliver your patches in person so you’ll save on shipping.

Questions? Contact

Stickers are also available for $1. Click here to buy stickers or add to any patch order.

See photos on the Patch Gallery, and share a photo of how you use your patch for a chance to win in the monthly contest.

Below is a photo of three patches: The Camino Provides, APOC and Camigas.

Sizes: 2.5″ Camino Provides | 3″ APOC | 3.5″ Camigas

Sizes: 2.5″ Camino Provides | 3″ APOC | 3.5″ Camigas

Patch on a denim jacket

Patch on a denim jacket

Please note: it is not recommended to iron patches on nylon backpacks. Please sew or use an adhesive glue to place on backpacks. Iron-on patches work best with on cotton fabrics, such as denim, flannel,  t-shirts and hats.

Instructions for Iron-on patches

Step 1: Set your hand iron at the hottest temperature setting. DO NOT USE STEAM DURING APPLICATION!
Step 2: Place your embroidered patch in the desired position and place a pressing cloth (such as a handkerchief, sheet or pillowcase fabric) over top.
Step 3: Press the iron straight down for 35-45 seconds with as much constant pressure as possible. NO BACK AND FORTH.
Step 4: Turn the garment inside-out and repeat steps 2 & 3.
Step 5: Allow the embroidered patch to cool down.

Backpack Review: Osprey Sirrus Women’s 24

You may have seen my recent Camino Backpack Trail Test. I have tried many packs from REI over the last few months on my quest for a Camino backpack, but finally found one that is just right!

Update, July 2016: It was just right for my short Camino, but read my Backpack Review After the Camino for my thoughts about why I am sizing up for my longer Camino next year.

The Osprey Sirrus Women’s 24 Pack


Yes, this is half the size of the REI Traverse, but I won’t need 48 liter capacity on a short (10 day) Camino in late May.  I intend to pack extremely light because the Camino provides all the heavy stuff along the way, such as shelter, a bed, food, water, and plenty of pilgrim resources should I need something.  I am refining my packing list and will include that in a “Will it fit?” test later.  For now, I want to share what I like about the Osprey Sirrusfor she’s a real beauty with a smart design.

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Camino Backpack Trail Test: REI Traverse

This is a follow up review of the REI Traverse backpack I tried during my quest for a Camino backpack. I had ordered around ten different packs from REI and have taken full advantage of their return policy. I immediately returned the packs that didn’t fit, or those that had the top entry drawstring instead of a zip panel opening. The Traverse seemed like a potential keeper, especially when I compared  it to others, but I had to test it out to be sure.  I first tried this backpack on a 4-mile walk around Lake Merritt with 18 pounds of dumbbells and pillows packed inside.  I tested it again on a 5-mile trail hike on a hot day in the Oakland hills. Below is the video:
REI Traverse Backpack Trail Test

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A Buen Camino around Lake Merritt

On Saturday, September 5th, a small gathering of Northern California Peregrinos met at Oakland’s beautiful Lake Merritt for a stroll and Camino camaraderie. This was my fifth time on one these  walks that occur on the first Saturday of the month, rain or shine. I always enjoy seeing familiar faces and meeting new people who are as interested in the Camino de Santiago as I am.  Here’s an iMovie with photos and videos I took during the walk. More photos below.

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Camino Backpack Gear Review: REI Stoke vs. Traverse

In my quest for a Camino backpack, I recently tried nine different styles at the REI store in Berkeley, CA. In this video, I compare two styles: REI Stoke 29 and REI Traverse 48.

YouTube Video: REI Backpack Comparison: Stoke 29 vs. Traverse 48

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