Camino de Santiago

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Camino de Santiago

Post by Freedom_2018 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:06 pm

Doing the French route (Camino de Frances) this September and October. Same path as in Martin Sheen movie 'The Way'.

Male (44), Female (61)
Neither has any backpacking or long distance hiking experience.
Distance 550 miles
Time alloted 45 days or so including break days
Will be mostly staying in Albergues and occasional motel
Trying to do it without over indulging in carbs and wine and without major injuries

Curious if anyone here has done a long walk carrying their backpack and has any suggestions/cautions about walking across Spain.


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Re: Camino de Santiago

Post by BRUTE » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:13 pm

no skimping on the boots and pack. backpack needs to have a good hip strap. the less to carry the better.

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Re: Camino de Santiago

Post by Dragline » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:47 pm

Yeah, I agree with those points.

You need to go on some practice hikes with exactly the same gear/weight you plan to carry. You will discover maybe you can do without a few things. But if you are not carrying a tent or a lot of cooking gear and food, that will help. You are planning on averaging over 12 miles a day, which can be a lot with a pack depending on the terrain. So your practice hikes should be that long, too.

In planning, make sure you know where you are getting your water along the way and have 3-4 liters carrying capacity -- usually a bladder like a "platypus" and a separate bottle or bottles is good. Water is heavy. Practice carrying it, too.

All or almost of your clothes should be man-made materials that are quick-drying. Get good hiking socks and make sure you have enough. Get antimicrobial undergarments. Plan to get blisters on your feet. You'll need moleskin and other first-aid items for feet.

If you are going with an experienced group or guide, ask advice and follow instructions. If you are going alone, plan carefully.

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Re: Camino de Santiago

Post by johnbroker » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:32 am

I have done it. The "camino" is a great experience, although some parts could be boring (especially from Burgos to Leon). The season you have chosen is great to do it because the weather should be nice and the crowd doing it in summer is gone.

Just pack lightly (very), leave the "just-in-case"-s at home. A piece of warm clothing and and a raincoat should do for possible bad weather and wandering around the villages at night. Apart from your hiking boots, pack some flip-flops or tennis shoes to relax your feet after the hikes. As mentioned, the main problem people face is blisters, so make sure you carry tested footwear.

With 2 liters of water per person you should have more than enough. You will find water all the time. People usually start early in the morning and are done with the hike at 2 or so. Buy food at the minimarkets for the day. Do not carry a lot of it, it doesn't make sense, you are not in the wild. You can find good day menus at around 8-10€ and taste the spanish cousine. At the end of the camino you will have had the opportunity to taste it all.

Good luck.

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Re: Camino de Santiago

Post by simplex » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:20 am

shoes: buy them now, wear them regularly, especially in the summer. Sweat and heat will show you if you get blisters easily. I often also wear Teva sandals for hiking with gear (and carry shoes for bad weather / wet terrain).

backpack: just try. As you carry no tent etc., I think hip strap may not be a priority. Especially older adults can (not must) get problems with hip straps and mobility. But you need to test it. Most important: get a small pack, so you can't carry to much :D

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Re: Camino de Santiago

Post by jacob » Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:44 am

If you aren't already, get used to being on your feet for a few hours (walking 3-6M) on an every day basis (including pack weight).
Bring extra socks and a blister kit (lighter, needle, and sports tape). ... prevention

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Re: Camino de Santiago

Post by Campitor » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:29 am

I highly recommend wearing 2 pair of socks while walking/hiking - this will go a long way toward preventing blisters. Your feet will swell after spending so much time walking all day so your selection of shoe/boot size should keep that in mind. Be prepared to get toenails blackened or fall off if they keep bumping the front of your boot - this is by far the most painful part of not having an appropriately sized boot for high mileage walking. Bring a nice light pair of running shoes to switch into when you've stopped hiking for the day - your feet will thank you.

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Re: Camino de Santiago

Post by JamesR » Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:15 pm

I used to a solid 1 week to 2 week backpacking trip almost every summer between the ages of 10 to 25 (some 10 years ago). That's the sort of hiking where you have a typical huge backpack, sleeping bag, tent, rain gear, etc. The weight of the backpack is fairly substantial, which creates the requirement for proper hiking boots with ankle support.

For something like the Camino de Santiago, you won't be carrying your food or a tent. You can take more of an ultra light backpacking approach. This means you don't need hiking boots with ankle support. You can even wear runners. If you plan it well, you should be able to keep your backpacks less than 30lbs/14kg.

I've lately been thinking of doing a serious hiking trip this summer, even considered Camino de Santiago precisely because of the movie as well haha. Hope you have a great trip.

In terms of blisters and socks, a wearing a pair of business socks and then a pair of thick wool socks over top seems to help. It's always a good idea to pay attention to the feet and if you notice any 'heat' or rubbing for more than an hour, it's always a good idea to stop and take off everything and check your feet, it's ideal to catch blisters early and tape them up.

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Re: Camino de Santiago

Post by johnbroker » Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:43 am

JamesR wrote: If you plan it well, you should be able to keep your backpacks less than 30lbs/14kg.
If you plan it well, you should be able to keep your backpacks below 8 kgs. If you plan to stay longer in Spain/Europe than your time in the camino. Get a locker somewhere for the stuff you will not need during the hike or use something like this: ... ahead.html

My girlfriend's parents were around your age when they did it, and again, their backpacks weighted no more than 8 kgs.

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