Hiking the Camino de Santiago

Travel Forums Europe Hiking the Camino de Santiago

1. Posted by Meike Carter (Full Member 3 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Hey guys! I have been hiking for the past few months to prepare for the Camino de Santiago . How long did you prepare? What was your most essential item on the hike? What item was unnecessary? What would you do different next time? Thank you in advance! Happy travels!

2. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 184 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Although I have not hiked Camino de Santiago I've hiked similar (in a sense) long distance, long term routes. I debated whether or not to comment here, since you seem to be looking for advice from or contact with someone who has. Your questions are good ones, for the purpose of discussion, no matter what long distance route you plan.

Q: How long did you prepare?
A: The longest I prepared for a trek was 3 weeks, at an elevation similar to the elevation I would be hiking in. Elevation is not extreme along the Camino de Santiago, but depending on your level of fitness, training-up may be in order.

Q: What was you most essential item on the hike?
A: Overly-processed junk food! This goes against what I'd consider even marginally edible on a regular basis, but calorie-dense foods like candy bars and snack cakes are crucial! These take up little space in your bag but offer so much energy as you hike. Again, I believe the Camino de Santiago (towns/villages along "the way" seem not too far off and they cater to hikers in the form of real food and the like) is different to what I've experienced, but never underestimate what your body needs for fuel as you are getting form point A to B - doubly if your metabolism is ramped-up due to your training for this hike.

Q: What Item was unnecessary?
A: Trekking poles - I could never figure out their appeal, even though I tried... They work for so many, though.

This next one is important....

Q: What would you do different next time?
A: Give myself more time to "be" in the moment. Big hikes like this (in my prior experience) are often seen as a goal instead of something to truly savor. Slow down, often. In the past I've been determined to "push on" due to expectations and in my opinion that can eclipse the true beauty and significance of it all.

Have a great hike!

[ Edit: Edited on 14-Apr-2019, at 15:31 by road to roam ]

3. Posted by Meike Carter (Full Member 3 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Awesome! Thank you so much for your useful information. I really appreciate it. I bought some espresso candy the other day and really enjoyed that as a pick me up on my hike around Half Moon Bay in California. Can't beat a sweet treat!

4. Posted by wardog (Budding Member 5 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Meike Carter

Hey guys! I have been hiking for the past few months to prepare for the Camino de Santiago . How long did you prepare? What was your most essential item on the hike? What item was unnecessary? What would you do different next time? Thank you in advance! Happy travels!

Hi! Last year I walked Camino, French way. The hardest part was the first day from SJPDP to Roncesvalles. I got sunburnt, and I didn't had enough water with me, but luckily other piligrims helped me. So prepare water!!! The most unnecessary thing was - selfie stick (don't ask me why I took it :D ).

5. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1280 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting road to roam

Q: What Item was unnecessary?
A: Trekking poles - I could never figure out their appeal, even though I tried... They work for so many, though.

In a recent hike up to the Tiger's Nest and back, many people were "using" trekking poles but very few were using them properly. By wrapped your hands around the straps and leaning on them as you clamber down (always use two - one on it's own isn't as effective), you can save a great deal of strain on the knees (and it's possible to get up quite a head of steam). But, if they don't work for you, it's a waste of time carrying them, as you say. :):)

6. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 184 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Borisborough

In a recent hike up to the Tiger's Nest and back, many people were "using" trekking poles but very few were using them properly.

I think I am too much a skinflint, preferring to use sticks instead! I can "leave" the sticks behind and gather more as needed.

Still, I tend to use my high-tech sticks sparingly!

[ Edit: Edited on 15-May-2019, at 21:18 by road to roam ]