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  1. Pepper_E

    Please Recommend Lightweight Backpack On Camino Frances

    The Tempest is a great choice. I’ve carried the Osprey Talon 33 on several Camino’s and love it. I’ve been selling and fitting backpacks in an outdoor shop for years and the Tempest/Talon are two of my favorites. The Talon 22 is my go to daypack for local hiking. Be sure to get the correct size...
  2. Pepper_E

    How to wash a back pack?

    Generally never wash my packs, but did hang a pack outside and hose it down inside and out after 1,000 mile section hike on the Appalachian Trail.
  3. Pepper_E

    Our encounter with dogs along the Invierno

    Walked the Invierno last year and met many friendly dogs. We joked of wild dogs on the Camino as we walked, but all dogs with an attitude all seemed to be behind a fence or were only interested in protecting their property lines. The Invierno was wonderful!!!
  4. Pepper_E

    Backpack - Petite person

    Take a look at Ospreys Tempest 30, Xs/Sm - this pack tends to fit short torso, petite figures well. For those with short torsos and a larger waist, they also make this model with an extended fit hip belt. The Tempest/Talon series are great lightweight Camino packs. See a good outfitter for help...
  5. Pepper_E

    A word of warning on trail runners or light weight shoes.

    Exactly why I leave my Lone Peaks at home and prefer the Altra Olympus for the Camino.
  6. Pepper_E

    I didn't double stamp!

    Starting in SHPdP, I didn’t get the two stamps per day in the last 100k either - wasn’t an issue or even discussed when I collected my Compostela.
  7. Pepper_E

    Is the Napoleon route typically open beginning of April?

    I walked the Napoleon Route last year on April 15 - no problems and beautiful. Both the week before and the week after the route was closed due to snow/weather. Throughout April it’s just a roll of the dice. I’ve been lucky, two April starts and beautiful weather each time.
  8. Pepper_E

    Altra trail shoes versus hiking shoes

    I’ve worn the Altra Olympus on several Caminos… Last year, my Olympus made it from SJPdP on the CF to Ponferrada where I walked the Camino Invierno into Santiago. Plus a nice trek along Costa Brava - from Cadaqués, Spain to Collipure, France - a beautiful hike along the Mediterranean Coast. All...
  9. Pepper_E

    Hiiker GPX maps are free

    If you have suddenly developed a passion for diving into the tech mapping world then follow some of the great advice already given… In the US, I frequently use Gaia for sharing and planning backpacking and overland adventures - I’ve also used this app for walks in France, Spain and Portugal...
  10. Pepper_E

    Dog problems on Invierno?

    I walked the Invierno last year and had seen a number of post about dogs… We ended up nicknaming all the friendly pups we met along the way “wild dogs on the Camino“ - a beautiful walk and not a single bad encounter with dogs.
  11. Pepper_E

    HOKA warning

    Take a look at Topo shoes. Comfort and cushion of a Hoka with the roomy toe box of a Altra Lone Peak. Also, it is not a zero drop shoe.
  12. Pepper_E

    Camino Congestion - Change routes?

    You should find a good bit of information here on this forum. The Invierno is a beautiful walk, but along with fewer pilgrims comes fewer services, so I it’s good that you’re doing a little research & planning before you start. Also, the route takes a few more days than just continuing on the...
  13. Pepper_E

    Camino Congestion - Change routes?

    You can start as planned on the Francés and if you want to avoid the masses coming out of Sarria, simply hang a left in Ponferrada and take the Camino Invierno into Santiago. Very well marked, very few Pilgrims and a beautiful route.
  14. Pepper_E

    How to get a Compostela without the crazy 100 k

    If you’re intent on starting in St. Jean again, but want to avoid the crowds of Sarria and beyond - simply, take a left turn when you get to Ponferrada and take the Camino Invierno into Santiago. Did this last year and didn’t see another Pilgrim for the first three days. The Invierno is well...
  15. Pepper_E

    Looking for a GPX editing app for iPhone

    I use the Gaia app (and website) for tracking routes, creating/editing routes, etc… Easy to import and export gpx files. A number of different map layers are available which has made this a great tool for planning backpacking and off road over landing adventures at home in the US. Downloaded gpx...
  16. Pepper_E

    Have you walked the Invierno to avoid the Sarria crowds?

    In 2022, I broke from the French Way and picked up Camino Invierno in Ponferrada. Although a huge departure from the CF, I was really happy with my choice. I was walking in May and did not see another Pilgrim for the first three days. The route is extremely well marked and beautiful. Yes...
  17. Pepper_E

    Another luggage transport query

    This year, my third Camino and first using luggage transfer. As others have suggested, I used Express Bourricot to get bag to Roncesvalles - they did pick my bag up from my hotel (or you drop at their office). From Roncescales, used JacoTrans to Ponferrad without issue. Then moved on to Camino...
  18. Pepper_E

    Stuck in Spain

    After walking the Francés to Ponferrada and Camino Invierno into Santiago, I took a train from Barcelona to Girona & then caught a ride to Cadaqués, Spain. Then walked Costa Brava (along the Mediterranean Coast) to Collioure, France. Coastline is spectacular and fun towns to stay in along the...
  19. Pepper_E

    Bus from Santiago to Tui

    You will probably get advice on a bus or train route here, but as an option you can also book with taxigalacia. Cost around 175€ - not terrible if you have several sharing the cost. https://www.taxigalicia.com/index.php/en/
  20. Pepper_E

    Ex Officio vs Smartwool underwear?

    Most ex officio on the market are synthetic - - they will wash and dry easily making them popular with travelers needing to hand wash. The smartwool merino underwear is super comfortable and will resist odor much longer than anything synthetic - thus everything merino is super popular with long...

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