When you are getting ready to go on a pilgrimage it is a really exciting experience especially if it is your first. Trying to prepare for the unknown is difficult, so we thought we would put together a list to help you along what to take.
Some might think packing stationery with you to go on pilgrimage is rather bizarre, but this old fashioned way of writing on notecards when you are praying at a particular holy site is a great way of capturing the moment. And whoever you decide to send the card to will be really impressed as it is a whole lot more personal that a Facebook message.
Your footwear is a really important piece of kit for your pilgrimage. If you want pack an extra pair for dinners and so forth, but you must have a really good pair of comfortable but sturdy walking shoes that are fit for purpose. Getting blisters on day one will ruin the rest of your pilgrimage.
Pilgrimage can be thirsty work, especially if you are walking all day. It is highly important to stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids. That is why you must pack a water bottle that is suitable for carrying around, it will also save you buying expensive water from site vendors.
A small backpack is ideal for your daily walks, don’t be tempted to carry a rucksack as you will always fill it up with items you will probably not need and then end up having to carry it around all day. A small backpack is all you need to carry your water bottle, prayer book, a light rain coat and other essentials such as sun block.
When you begin packing bear in mind to pack light, you can always wash clothes at the end of the day when you arrive at the hotel. Socks are a different matter, you will want to change to a fresh pair every day, and a quick sink bath will not suffice for a proper clean. Your socks keep your feet dry and are essential to protect them from damage.
Going on a pilgrimage means plenty of time in the open air, even if you are not going to a particularly hot climate you will still need sunscreen to protect your skin from long periods outdoors. It is amazing just how much time you also spend waiting around in queues especially at the more popular religious sites. So, apply sunscreen regularly to the back of the neck and arms.
Pretty obvious, but often forgotten are sunglasses, so pack a couple of pairs. Don’t be tempted to buy cheap ones at the religious sites as they will offer little or no protection at all. You will need proper sunglasses that protect your eyes correctly from the bright rays of the sun. These items that we have selected to pack for your pilgrimage are pretty much obvious, but it is good to have a check list to ensure you do not forget anything.