What to take in your day pack when you main bag is being transferred ahead?

It’s likely that if you’ve booked your Kumano Kodo walking adventure with Hiking Trails, that we’ve included the daily baggage transfer service for you. If that’s the case then your daily hiking backpack can be smaller and lighter, making it easier and more comfortable to carry, as your spare clothes, toiletries and other travel luggage will be conveniently transferred between your daily lodging for you.

So assuming that’s the case, the below is a starter of what we’d suggest you consider packing to take with you in your daily Kumano Kodo hiking backpack.

  • Your Kumano Kodo map book (this is the DLE sizes multi page book of maps and you’ll use this regularly throughout each day walking. You won’t need to take the little Kumano Kodo guide book that we include, it’s more a prior to travel intro to the area, cultural significance and history).
  • Your Hiking Trails Booking Itinerary and a plastic satchel to keep it dry
  • A mobile phone capable of Global Roaming in case you need it
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat, plus some hand sanitiser
  • Basic first aid kit just in case you or someone along the track needs it
  • A wet weather jacket, and if you’re setting out in a light shirt a warmer top as well in case you need it
  • A waterproof cover for your daypack might be a good idea
  • Water for the days walk, either a bladder in your backpack of some bottles
  • Lunch, plus snacks for the day, include some high energy foods to keep you going
  • A head torch is a good idea in case you’re delayed on the track
  • Passport, wallet, ID, and any valuables
  • Local currency for local buses, vending machines, and snacks at the couple (there’s not many) stores along the walk.
  • Your Kumano Kodo ‘credentials’ for collecting stamps along the way
  • Details of your Travel Insurance (just in case you need it)
  • A camera unless you’re going to use your phone

“Many hikers also swear by walking poles to help with stability and balance. Both my brother and mother use these and love them. For the Kumano Kodo I purchased a bamboo pole at the start of the walk which also worked well.”

This list is a guide only as individual needs vary between hikers, seasons etc. Similarly, if you’ve chosen to carry your full luggage you’ll obviously need a little more.

Finally, whilst good quality hiking gear is more expensive, you do often get what you pay for, so if yo can afford it, or if you plan on doing more hiking, we suggest you consider looking beyond the budget range for a couple of key items, including; shoes and socks, hiking pants and tops, and the small hiking backpack. For some items such as t-shirts most good, comfortable fitting cotton or merino shirts will suffice, however in the above shoes, socks etc, the right moisture wicking, light, fabrics and design do make a difference to your comfort as you proceed along your hike.

We also suggest that given we’ve arranged baggage transfer for you, and that you don’t need to carry your main bag, that you consider taking a travel pillow. The Japanese ones provided with your futon in most Minshuku are small and hard by western standards, so trust us, a comfy small travel pillow is a great idea.

Happy packing!