Recommended Kumano Kodo Packing List

Now that you've confirmed your Kumano Kodo self-guided Pilgrimage Walk, in addition to your walking training, it's time to start thinking about your packing list. All of our self-guided walking packages include daily baggage transfer of your main bag, so as you can travel light when on the trail, so we've focussed this packing list firstly on your day back pack, which you'll have with you when walking, and what you should consider wearing for your hike.  

What to wear when walking the Kumano Kodo

Depending on the season and weather on the day, we recommend that you either wear or have with you in your day backpack the following;

  • Hiking boots or hiking shoes - with good support, comfort and grip
  • Merino hiking socks - to keep your feet dry and comfortable
  • Hiking specific pants or comfortable lightweight shorts
  • Merino short or long sleeve t-shirt to keep you dry and comfortable
  • A lightweight, warm, mid layer jacket or hoody - fleece or merino 
  • A lightweight, breathable Gore-Tex wind proof and waterproof hiking jacket 
  • A cap or hat that you find comfortable 

What to pack in your day pack for the Kumano Kodo

In addition to any of the above apparel you're not wearing at the time, such as your Gore-Tex jacket if it's not raining, or your jacket or hoody if it's not cold, in your day pack you should also carry;

  • The backpack itself - either stand alone or with a built in Camelbak water bladder 
  • Personal documents such as your Passport and credit cards
  • Your phone and charger or battery pack
  • A printed  copy of your personalised itinerary 
  • Your Kumano Kodo self-guide map booklet
  • Water bottles or hydration backpack - at least a couple of litres per person 
  • Snacks such as muesli bars or energy lollies - for when you need a boost
  • Your packed lunch - included most days with most of our bookings 
  • Local currency in small denominations for snacks, local buses, and vending machines 
  • Insect repellant, bite cream, BandAids, blister treatment, a bandage, hand sanitizer
  • Any personal medication, strapping, products 
  • Your camera if you're using a camera instead of your phone for photos
  • Hiking poles - can assist with stability and comfort on the trail 
  • A head torch - just in case the day gets away from you 
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip balm
  • Light gloves - in the cooler months 
  • A change of socks - in case you need to swap into some dry ones

...and, personally I carry a small, light multi-tool - but that may be because I grew up on a farm. Granted, it's not always needed, but when it's useful, it's very useful. 

Additional gear you may want in your overnight bag

Most of our bookings include daily baggage transfer between lodging for your main bag. This is based on one medium to large size bag per paying guest. The bag should be labelled with your name, and where possible include the Hiking Trails baggage tags you will be, or have been, sent with your guidebook and maps. It is best that there's nothing strapped to the outside of your bag such as hats, umbrellas, or other items. A few things you may want to consider including in your overnight bag for the Kumano Kodo are;

  • A pillow or travel pillow - some guests find the Japanese pillows quite small and firm 
  • Spare under layers such as tees, underwear and socks
  • Toiletries and personal care products 
  • Any additional chargers
  • A book or Kindle for downtime in the evenings 

Most lodging that we book for you will have a kimono and slippers available for your use whilst at the minshuku, ryokan or guest house. Additionally most, but not all, lodging will have wifi available for your use. 


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