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Does my plan for mailing some supplies ahead to myself make sense?

hawkeyepierce

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances July 22
Hello all,

I'm setting off on the CF from SJPDP on July 27. I'm concerned my shoes won't survive the entire camino given how much training I've been doing so I bought a second pair of the same shoe which I have been breaking in. I'd like to mail it ahead to myself and I'm getting confused by all the options.

My goal is to mail it about a week ahead at a time.

This is my current plan and I'd like to understand if it works or can be improved or simplified:

1) Mail shoes from Paris or SJPDP via UPS to a UPS access point in Pamplona.
2) From Pamplona, send to Burgos via Correos poste restante.
3) Repeat with Correos until I reach SdC or use the shoes.

Questions:
1) Is UPS (or DHL or other private shipper) the most reliable way to send an item ahead from France? I'm not concerned about cost.
2) I'm assuming that sending items to Correos locations in big cities is more reliable than small towns. Correct or no?

Thank you all so much for your help!
 
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irishrock

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (1st three stages in 2016 and finished in 2017)
Hello all,

I'm setting off on the CF from SJPDP on July 27. I'm concerned my shoes won't survive the entire camino given how much training I've been doing so I bought a second pair of the same shoe which I have been breaking in. I'd like to mail it ahead to myself and I'm getting confused by all the options.

My goal is to mail it about a week ahead at a time.

This is my current plan and I'd like to understand if it works or can be improved or simplified:

1) Mail shoes from Paris or SJPDP via UPS to a UPS access point in Pamplona.
2) From Pamplona, send to Burgos via Correos poste restante.
3) Repeat with Correos until I reach SdC or use the shoes.

Questions:
1) Is UPS (or DHL or other private shipper) the most reliable way to send an item ahead from France? I'm not concerned about cost.
2) I'm assuming that sending items to Correos locations in big cities is more reliable than small towns. Correct or no?

Thank you all so much for your help!
No, it does not make sense

Take a broken in pair of shoes (not broken down)...they'll last the 25-30 days you'll hike. Trust your Camino and "hike your own hike", but this feels an awful lot like you're overthinking this. If your shoes are in good shape, they'll be okay (and the broken down part...I went over in a pair of these and, while not optimal, it wasn't terminal either...you're going to do great)

If you find yourself having issues, there is a service where you can transport your pack each day which would take some weight off your back (and ideally your feet).
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
I'm assuming that sending items to Correos locations in big cities is more reliable than small towns. Correct or no?
Yes, this will certainly work and they offer special postal rates for pilgrims. Watch what day of the week you will arrive as Correos is only week days in some places and you probably don't want to hang around waiting for them to open.

I can't help with SJPdP.
 

PNeer

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019, Portuguese 2022
No, it does not make sense

Take a broken in pair of shoes (not broken down)...they'll last the 25-30 days you'll hike. Trust your Camino and "hike your own hike", but this feels an awful lot like you're overthinking this. If your shoes are in good shape, they'll be okay (and the broken down part...I went over in a pair of these and, while not optimal, it wasn't terminal either...you're going to do great)

If you find yourself having issues, there is a service where you can transport your pack each day which would take some weight off your back (and ideally your feet).
Exactly - don't over complicate your life. You will arrive at your hostel tired, dirty and hungry - that's enough to have to deal with. Have a cervesa, stroll around town, visit the cathedral...
 
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Suzanne H

Camino Junkie
Time of past OR future Camino
CF'17; LePuy'18; Porto/Coastal'19; Portugal? '22
I agree with all the responses above but would like to add the following key point to your specific questions.

I have done this ‘mailing ahead’ trick with extra supplies that were weighing me down. I only did it once, sending my supplies from Najera. It was generally easy with Correos. My only experience is mailing within Spain. I would do it again if I found it absolutely necessary, but I definitely wouldn’t plan it as part of my Camino.

Your new pair of shoes should become your primary before you leave. If they cause you pain these few walks before you fly, just imagine the pain they’ll give you at the given point on the Camino once you begin using them. Best to figure these issues out before you go.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Yes, this will certainly work and they offer special postal rates for pilgrims. Watch what day of the week you will arrive as Correos is only week days in some places and you probably don't want to hang around waiting for them to open.

I can't help with SJPdP.

Correos hours can be (to foreigners) inexplicably eccentric, and will often vary from place to place. They tend to be open in the mornings. Google for each location's hours with placename correos horarios and this may save you a half-day of sitting around. As well, ensure that the name on the parcel is the same as in your passport as in Firstname Middlename FAMILYNAME.
 

Suzanne H

Camino Junkie
Time of past OR future Camino
CF'17; LePuy'18; Porto/Coastal'19; Portugal? '22
Addendum: google maps will show you the locations of the Correos in the towns and cities so you can assess the distances from the route fairly easily.

Simplification and minimalisation is a point learned by many along the Way.
I think your Camino has started. ;)
~ Buen Camino
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
If you are starting in SJPdP I would want to be wearing shoes with lots of tread as you will be facing some potentially slippery downhill spots. So start by wearing the new shoes. Normally, most pilgrims can get a camIno out of a pair new shoes? But only you know how much wear and tear your shoes can handle.
 

OTH86

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 x 2, 2017, 2021
In Spain, I've always used Correos - multiple times from 2013-2021, and found them very helpful and efficient - IF this is what you want to do.

As @oursonpolaire mentions, pay attention to the open days & hours of Correos in the town you're sending to. Some are only open a couple of hours a day... once or twice a week...

I was advised by Correos to use my name as the sender AND recipient, and exactly as on your passport, and always indicate 'peregrino/a'.

In France, I would use the French postal service to send from Paris to SJPP.

IF you decided to wait to purchase new footwear, the larger towns and cities have Decathlon stores which are frequently a bit out of the city center with buses - sometimes free - ask at any tourist office or wherever you're staying. There are also many other equipment and gear shops that carry quality merchandise and are centrally located.

¡Buen Camino!
 

linkster

¡Nunca dejes de creer!
Time of past OR future Camino
2022

hawkeyepierce

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances July 22
Thank you all!

For context, my shoes are Hoka Speedgoat 5s. I started training with them about three months ago and realized I've put enough mileage on the first pair that the camino would put me beyond their 600 mile rating.

I started breaking in the second pair two weeks ago so I think I'll just take only those rather than mailing a backup pair ahead.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Thank you all!

For context, my shoes are Hoka Speedgoat 5s. I started training with them about three months ago and realized I've put enough mileage on the first pair that the camino would put me beyond their 600 mile rating.

I started breaking in the second pair two weeks ago so I think I'll just take only those rather than mailing a backup pair ahead.
If the new ones feel good now, I would stop wearing them now and not wear down the tread/cushioning any more pre-Camino. They aren't going to get any more "broken in."

For my first Camino I brought a brand new pair of shoes of the same model that I had trained in that I had only worn twice, just to make sure that there wasn't any manufacturing defects in them. It worked out perfectly.
 
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natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
2009, 2014, 2017
I started breaking in the second pair two weeks ago so I think I'll just take only those rather than mailing a backup pair ahead.

Sounds like a wise decision. Mailing something ahead of yourself, that you must plan for in various cities and grab before you can move on, would probably end up being no fun after a while.

Buen Camino!
 

Priscilla NC

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
April 2019: Frances, Salvador, Primitivo
Wise decision -- and a good thing is, when you get back home, you will have 2 pairs to finish off!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
I'm concerned my shoes won't survive the entire camino given how much training I've been doing so I bought a second pair of the same shoe which I have been breaking in

I would wear the new pair on a couple of long walks at home to make sure that there are no issues with them and take only the new pair with you. Unless they are leather boots, modern shoes really don't require a long break in period.
I agree completely especially if they are trail runners. You are way overthinking this and probably other things too. It is normal for a first time pilgrim. Remember you are in Spain not Siberia. You will go through endless towns and villages and small and large cities. Everything you need will be there for you or a day or two away. Remember your feet will expand especially in the heat of summer. Your training at home for almost all of us cannot duplicate your camino. If they just fit now they will be tight on the camino. Others may disagree but I think this holds true for most all people.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
I started breaking in the second pair two weeks ago so I think I'll just take only those rather than mailing a backup pair ahead.

If the new ones feel good now, I would stop wearing them now and not wear down the tread/cushioning any more pre-Camino. They aren't going to get any more "broken in."

For my first Camino I brought a brand new pair of shoes of the same model that I had trained in that I had only worn twice, just to make sure that there wasn't any manufacturing defects in them. It worked out perfectly.
I have worn the same brand of Cascadias made by Brooks for all my caminos. The style and look change but I still get the same results every time.
1,000% agree with trecile. Put the new ones in the closet now. Use the old ones until you go.
 
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Gobsmacked by the World

Are we there yet?
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Just check for the Decathlons along the way. I had a glance at their website, they’re all along the CF. I’m sure there are other outfitters. If you know what you want, just email the store and ask them to hold a pair for X date, I’m sure they’ll be flexible.
I’m not taking my trekking poles, so that my bag can be a carry on and not risk losing my bag (I’m in Canada and the government seems to be doing everything to discourage travel…they’ve brought cv testing at the airport even though the health authorities didn’t want it) and our airports are chaotic.
I’ll just buy a pair in SJPDP. There must be a mountain of poles at the end of the walk…
On the subject of lost bags, consider throwing an Apple airtag in your bag.
 

hawkeyepierce

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances July 22
I agree completely especially if they are trail runners. You are way overthinking this and probably other things too. It is normal for a first time pilgrim. Remember you are in Spain not Siberia. You will go through endless towns and villages and small and large cities. Everything you need will be there for you or a day or two away. Remember your feet will expand especially in the heat of summer. Your training at home for almost all of us cannot duplicate your camino. If they just fit now they will be tight on the camino. Others may disagree but I think this holds true for most all people.

I went up a full 1.5 sizes from my regular size to account for foot swelling. I've been doing 10+ mile walks in the heat. I live in the foothills of Colorado with dry, arid plains on one side of town and 2000ft peaks on the other side, and it gets plenty hot so I hope my training conditions have been reasonably similar to the Camino.
Just check for the Decathlons along the way. I had a glance at their website, they’re all along the CF. I’m sure there are other outfitters. If you know what you want, just email the store and ask them to hold a pair for X date, I’m sure they’ll be flexible.
I’m not taking my trekking poles, so that my bag can be a carry on and not risk losing my bag (I’m in Canada and the government seems to be doing everything to discourage travel…they’ve brought cv testing at the airport even though the health authorities didn’t want it) and our airports are chaotic.
I’ll just buy a pair in SJPDP. There must be a mountain of poles at the end of the walk…
On the subject of lost bags, consider throwing an Apple airtag in your bag.
An airtag is a good idea, I'll pick one of those up before I leave.
 
Last edited:

howardd5

Active Member
Hello all,

I'm setting off on the CF from SJPDP on July 27. I'm concerned my shoes won't survive the entire camino given how much training I've been doing so I bought a second pair of the same shoe which I have been breaking in. I'd like to mail it ahead to myself and I'm getting confused by all the options.

My goal is to mail it about a week ahead at a time.

This is my current plan and I'd like to understand if it works or can be improved or simplified:

1) Mail shoes from Paris or SJPDP via UPS to a UPS access point in Pamplona.
2) From Pamplona, send to Burgos via Correos poste restante.
3) Repeat with Correos until I reach SdC or use the shoes.

Questions:
1) Is UPS (or DHL or other private shipper) the most reliable way to send an item ahead from France? I'm not concerned about cost.
2) I'm assuming that sending items to Correos locations in big cities is more reliable than small towns. Correct or no?

Thank you all so much for your help!
I wouldn’t bother , anything you will need you can get along the way
 

taigirl

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Hello all,

I'm setting off on the CF from SJPDP on July 27. I'm concerned my shoes won't survive the entire camino given how much training I've been doing so I bought a second pair of the same shoe which I have been breaking in. I'd like to mail it ahead to myself and I'm getting confused by all the options.

My goal is to mail it about a week ahead at a time.

This is my current plan and I'd like to understand if it works or can be improved or simplified:

1) Mail shoes from Paris or SJPDP via UPS to a UPS access point in Pamplona.
2) From Pamplona, send to Burgos via Correos poste restante.
3) Repeat with Correos until I reach SdC or use the shoes.

Questions:
1) Is UPS (or DHL or other private shipper) the most reliable way to send an item ahead from France? I'm not concerned about cost.
2) I'm assuming that sending items to Correos locations in big cities is more reliable than small towns. Correct or no?

Thank you all so much for your help!
I wore my shoes exactly once before I started my Camino. I didn't get a blister . I don't believe you need to "walk-in" your shoes. If they aren't comfortable when you buy them - don't. At the worst, there are hiking shoe shops in Spain.
 

Kimtom

Walking
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances on foot (2019)
Frances on foot (2020)
Hello all,

I'm setting off on the CF from SJPDP on July 27. I'm concerned my shoes won't survive the entire camino given how much training I've been doing so I bought a second pair of the same shoe which I have been breaking in. I'd like to mail it ahead to myself and I'm getting confused by all the options.

My goal is to mail it about a week ahead at a time.

This is my current plan and I'd like to understand if it works or can be improved or simplified:

1) Mail shoes from Paris or SJPDP via UPS to a UPS access point in Pamplona.
2) From Pamplona, send to Burgos via Correos poste restante.
3) Repeat with Correos until I reach SdC or use the shoes.

Questions:
1) Is UPS (or DHL or other private shipper) the most reliable way to send an item ahead from France? I'm not concerned about cost.
2) I'm assuming that sending items to Correos locations in big cities is more reliable than small towns. Correct or no?

Thank you all so much for your help!
I agree with the others about not complicating your time on the Camino by over planning. I also want to comment on the reliability of Correos in smaller towns. I sent a package from Carrion de los Condes to Santiago and the Correos workers were very helpful. The package arrived with no problem. Then I sent a box from Santiago to Madrid. I would describe the worker as not helpful and the box never arrived. I had also sent something from Burgos to Madrid. Again the person was not helpful and the package arrived but the cost was over twice as much as other similar packages. At the end of the trip I sent my collapsible hiking poles to the US from El Escorial, a ways outside of Madrid where I was visiting friends. Again a smaller place with a very helpful person at the counter. The poles arrived with no problem and the cost was significantly cheaper than the cost for the checked bag that they would require for poles when flying out of Madrid. In short, over the three months I spent walking in Spain and Portugal I found using Correos in smaller places to be a better experience than sending things from bigger cities.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
You are way overthinking this and probably other things too... Everything you need will be there for you or a day or two away.
I wouldn’t bother , anything you will need you can get along the way
The OP seems to have taken the advice of many, and in post #14 says that he'll wear the new shoes and avoid the complication of forwarding them. I think that's a good decision for the situation described.

However, I would like to point out that shoes are the most important item that a pilgrim has, so it is not "over thinking" to consider how to ensure that you have the shoes you need for the entire Camino.

My cushioned shoes deteriorate after about 500 km, causing very sore feet which could potentially end a Camino. Many or most people are able to buy suitable shoes in any sports shoe store. I usually cannot, but will not bore you with the details. I am currently waiting for the manufacturer to make some more of the model and size that I need, so I can stock up on a few pairs.

Most people will do fine with a single pair of newish shoes for the Camino Frances - even if they are light weight running shoes. However, as my feet get older, they are more difficult to satisfy. Nowadays, if I were planning to walk a Camino much longer than 500 km, I would definitely arrange a backup pair of shoes. This is not because I am a novice pilgrim or a worrier or an over thinker. It is because I am an experienced pilgrim, I know my feet, and I am an appropriate planner for my needs!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances/SJPP '15,'16,'18,'19,('20)
Way of St. Francis, Italy 2017
Portuguese/Finisterre 2018, 2019
The OP seems to have taken the advice of many, and in post #14 says that he'll wear the new shoes and avoid the complication of forwarding them. I think that's a good decision for the situation described.

However, I would like to point out that shoes are the most important item that a pilgrim has, so it is not "over thinking" to consider how to ensure that you have the shoes you need for the entire Camino.

My cushioned shoes deteriorate after about 500 km, causing very sore feet which could potentially end a Camino. Many or most people are able to buy suitable shoes in any sports shoe store. I usually cannot, but will not bore you with the details. I am currently waiting for the manufacturer to make some more of the model and size that I need, so I can stock up on a few pairs.

Most people will do fine with a single pair of newish shoes for the Camino Frances - even if they are light weight running shoes. However, as my feet get older, they are more difficult to satisfy. Nowadays, if I were planning to walk a Camino much longer than 500 km, I would definitely arrange a backup pair of shoes. This is not because I am a novice pilgrim or a worrier or an over thinker. It is because I am an experienced pilgrim, I know my feet, and I am an appropriate planner for my needs!
Yes, 9 Camino's and had never thought or needed another pair of shoes. This summer, they got very wet, the foam in the heel deteriorated and caused a massive heel blister (first one ever.) We duck taped and tried everything, but it was impossible to fix. The women in Spain evidently have small feet and it is difficult to get a comparable to size 10. Saying all that, I doubt I will take a second pair next spring, but now I have a better understanding of those that struggle with their boots/shoes on the trail. Just a reminder that everyones experience (on every Camino) is different and our advice is shaped by our experience.
 

Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
What you’re suggesting seems to be more complicated that what it has to be. If you are traveling light, a pack weighing between 12-14 pounds, adding a second pair of shoes won’t be a hardship to carry. I walk with a 36L pack in which I have plenty of room if I were to want to add more to it. When I walked the CF, I did not wear out my shoes which were well broken in Merrill Moabs. On subsequent Caminos, I have worn trail running shoes which did not need breaking in. It seems that if you can carry everything with you life will be simplier. You may not really need a second pair of shoes, other than sandals for post walking in the afternoons and evenings.
 

hawkeyepierce

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances July 22
I've decided to just bring my newer pair. I have a lightweight pair of Oofos recovery sandals for evening.

I did a trial packing run yesterday and my gear came to exactly 5kg, leaving 2kg for water.
 

Katherine Radeka

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2022 after failed attempt in 2018)
That makes sense. And despite our own obsessive planning that led to sending two (!!) boxes ahead to Ivar in Santiago along the way, my husband ended up buying new hiking sandals in Burgos that he alternated with his boots.
 
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