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El Camino Adventures in April...

Hello Folks,

I'm flying into Pau on 25th April and turning my feet to the West for a Camino adventure. Can't wait. Having looked through the entries here, I've got a few questions that I haven't been able to rummage out answers for. If anyone can help with any of them (not necessary all of them), then it would be much appreciated...

Footwear: Seems to be fairly subjective. I'm edging towards getting a good pair of trainer-style solid soled shoes, as opposed to boots with ankle support. I was thinking of combining them with some SealSkinz socks. Anyone had any experience with these? Are they better than a pair of good old-fashioned hiking socks? They feel a bit wierd :)

Backpack: I'm thinking 45 litres and try to carry as little as possible. Too small?

Sleeping bag: I've got a tiny weeny little one that barely weighs anything. It's too old for me to track down its specification (Blacks Dupont Microloft 1000), but it probably won't cope with much cold. How good does the bag need to be? 2 season or 3? Haven't found anything relating to this.

And... what are prices like if I decide to pick up equipment in Pau or St Jean-Pied-de-Port? I presume there's good, reliable shops there with the Camino passing through, but is equipment much cheaper than in England?

That's quite a few questions. If anyone can chip in anything in response to any of them, I'd be grateful.

Cheers muchly,

Davey G


Active Member
I stopped at Burgos last year and will resume there around mid May this year; we might meet. I will try to give you the benefit of my humble experience in replying to some of your questions.

Footwear : I have a pair of North Face ankle boots and I reallyappreciated them. When walking on flat surfaces there are no problems with any shoes I suppose; however, at least up to Burgos, the roads are quite tough, rocky and with a continuous "up and down" motion. I was quite surprised by the steepness of some down hill portions, amid rocks and boulders, I REALLY appreciated a good support around the ankles. You might carry a pair of good sneakers to walk gentle parts of the Camino or to help heal an injury.
As to socks take them with quick dry qualities as drying them overnight is sometimes difficult because of rain or air dampness.

Backpack : 45 l is perfect. Remember to practise loading and unloading your pack at home; this will assist you in refining its content and in eliminating unnecessary stuff.

Sleeping bag : Once again I have a North Face (0°C); it is extremely light and in October last year I was never never cold. Weight is of the utmost importance as you may wear more clothing as it gets colder, as opposed to bringing a woolen blanket of several kilos.

As to prices in Pau or St JPdeP I cannot assist you. Pau is a large city and you might find sports equipments shops. In St JPdeP, it is a beautiful but very small town. I am not convinced you will find the equipment you may be looking for. You will have more luck in Bayonne which is a large city.

Buen Camino. You will love it, I am anxious to return to Burgos.
cheers matey. much to think about. i'm getting a bit annoyed at myself - i can't choose shoes til i choose socks as i need to be wearing the socks i intend to use when i'm trying on the shoes. can't decide on the socks tho. it's all a bit silly, and meanwhile the 'breaking in' time is getting shorter. i'm going to head into town and try some more stuff on now. marvellous. (and daft) can't wait tho.
Camino(s) past & future
Cycled from Scotland,walked Francias, walked V.D.L.P, winter on Francais, stroll on Englaise
Socks and things

I come down very firmly in the boots camp. With them I wear
a thin skin of Vaseline, cotton lining socks and Bridgedale socks. Nae bother.

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