Pro tip: Don't pack for the apocalypse! You aren't going into the middle of nowhere. You will be walking through cities and towns all the time. Better to stock up when you need to than carry everything on your back.
Don't get stuck using a backpack without proper support. If you don't already own a hiking bag, go in-person to a sports store and have them fit you properly. It will make all the difference. An uneven hiking pack can wreck havoc on your posture.
Your Pilgrim Credential (or Pilgrim Passport) is essential to completing your Camino, even if you don't plan on walking all the way to Santiago. The Credential is a little booklet, much like a passport, where each hostel, church and tourism office you visit can place their stamp. Some restaurants will have stamps of their own too. It's necessary to have at least one stamp a day if you plan on getting the Compostela in Santiago (a beautiful proof of completion diploma) with the full distance you walked.
You can get a Credential shipped to you from your local Pilgrim association before you leave, or at most tourist offices along the route. Credentials purchased along the route will be much less expensive, about €3-€5.
Credentials from the Cathedral in Le Puy:
In Le Puy en Velay, you can get your Credential at the Cathedral shop after Mass and benediction. Go directly to the Remise de la Cathedrale, open everyday from April 1st to October 31st after 7am (closed on weekends between November 1st to March 31st).
Credentials from The Pilgrim's Association in Le Puy:
The association "Les Amis de Saint Jacques" provides assistance to pilgrims in Le Puy from April 1st to October 15th between 5:30pm to 7:30pm. They're located at Le Camino - 2 rue de la Manécanterie - 43 000 Puy-en-Velay.
Basic Packing List
-3 sport socks
-1 warm tights
-2 sports bras
-2 sport shirts
-1 rain jacket + plastic poncho
-1 brimmed sun hat
-1 sweater (hooded!)
-1 casual outfit (I brought a light sun dress)
-Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, face wipes, bar of soap, deodorant, 2in1 shampoo)
-Cellphone + local SIM card
-Standard outdoor first aid kit
-Backpack rain cover
-Swiss army knife
-Diva cup + pads (tampons are not wilderness conducive)
-4 ziplock freezer bags (I kept my electronics and journal in these at all times)
-1 small notepad
What I Wish I'd Brought
-Deodorizing spray for my shoes and bag
-Lightweight waterproof convertible pants
Things I Didn't Need
-Sleeping bag (I was provided warm blankets in every French hostel I stayed in)
Doing your own laundry is very easy. Every hostel will either have a basin and dry line for doing your own washing (you bring your own soap) and/or coin operated washer-dryer machines. Buying a small tube of hand-wash detergent is a good idea. Teaming up with other pilgrims to make the washing machines cheaper is very common.