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 Sirrus—for she’s a real beauty with a smart design.
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
What the “Camino Provides” means to Mike Miller
At the October monthly Camino walk, I interviewed Knute Michael Miller, who I met at a previous walk around Lake Merritt. Mike shares his experience of walking the Camino de Santiago (Camino Portugues from Lisbon- April/May 2013 and Camino Frances from St Jean Pied de Port-April/May 2015), the importance of taking a rest day, and his take on what the Camino provides. He also talks about his blog and tells us how he got the nickname Fog City Boy. Watch video on YouTube, or play below.
If you were on the American Pilgrims on the Camino Facebook group in April – May 2015, chances are that you read news from Cathy Seitchik Diaz while she was on the Camino Francés. She shared nitty-gritty details like the costs of albergues vs. private rooms, daily walking distances, typical food and drink available, and other practical tips. After following her for a few weeks, I became hooked on her real-time adventure. She revealed some personal challenges about a knee injury for which she had to slow down, see a doctor, and even stop to rest for a week. Her family and growing number of Facebook fans pulled for her and we all cheered when she and David reached Santiago.