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First time walker - poles needed on Portuguese Coastal from Porto?

2020 Camino Guides

Janesathome

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future: Portugal (fall 2019)
Hello and thanks to everyone who is providing great advice on this forum!
I will walk Porto to Santiago using the coastal route starting Sept 21. I haven’t used walking poles and as they can’t go in my carryon bag on my flights, am considering buying in Porto IF they are needed. I’ve read many posts about the advantages and disadvantages of poles. Not as much info on need for them on coastal route. I’d love to have your thoughts please!
Obrigada!
Jane
 

Theo59

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2022
Hello and thanks to everyone who is providing great advice on this forum!
I will walk Porto to Santiago using the coastal route starting Sept 21. I haven’t used walking poles and as they can’t go in my carryon bag on my flights, am considering buying in Porto IF they are needed. I’ve read many posts about the advantages and disadvantages of poles. Not as much info on need for them on coastal route. I’d love to have your thoughts please!
Obrigada!
Jane
Hi
Take a look on this. And have a wonderful coastal experience.
 

Janesathome

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future: Portugal (fall 2019)
Hi
Take a look on this. And have a wonderful coastal experience.
Thank you for sending me to the other thread!! I note most comments seem to reflect walking experiences on the hillier routes. And, I guess I should have expected differences of opinion.
I guess I will continue to research. I am not used to walking with poles so will likely do what has worked for me so far. Having said that, a very large dog ran into me on my walk this morning and I now have a strained foot and ankle from falling hard on the trail. I might need more than a couple poles to do this walk!
 

Theo59

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2022
I am sorry about your leg. I have often similar problems with dogs in fields but walking stick helps me. I do not try to hit them , just use it to keep the distance. Offcource it does not help much with a group of dogs or a very aggressive guard dog who thinks that he is doing his duty. Best option is avoiding them, change road, keep ennough distance.
 

auburnfive

Active Member
We walked that route last fall. The coastal route is not hilly compared to some, and very lovely to walk along the water. You may not need poles if you haven’t used before, I use them to prevent my hands from swelling, my companions used theirs occasionally. On a positive note, I don’t recall any dogs that weren’t in their owners secured backyard!
Buen Camino...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Hello and thanks to everyone who is providing great advice on this forum!
I will walk Porto to Santiago using the coastal route starting Sept 21. I haven’t used walking poles and as they can’t go in my carryon bag on my flights, am considering buying in Porto IF they are needed. I’ve read many posts about the advantages and disadvantages of poles. Not as much info on need for them on coastal route. I’d love to have your thoughts please!
Obrigada!
Jane
Do some research as to how you should use them. For what is basically ‘a stick’ it’s a little more complicated than that.

I am a confirmed pole-advocate. I would use poles, but many would not.

It’s not a life-changing financial decision - if you're ‘pole-curious’ have a go. If you cannot get on with them, donate them at an overnight stop.

The only way to know is to try. Or not.
 

KariC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho portugûes (2016)
Jane, I use them in the mountains for downhills in New Mexico, and did NOT need them on the Caminho Português! Unless they're a can't-do-without item for you, I would recommend against anything that falls into the "I'm going to carry this extra weight on the chance I might need it even tho I've never needed it before" category!
 

Janesathome

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future: Portugal (fall 2019)
Thank you all for your kind responses (and well wishes for my injured leg! To be clear, it was not an aggressive dog that ran me over, just an exuberant one whose owners did not have it under control.)
It’s not surprising that there are a variety of opinions on using walking poles. I have used them in the past but stopped as I prefer walking without them. With a recent injury, and not knowing what to expect regarding the Portuguese Coastal Camino trails, elevations, etc, I thought I would ask this community.
Given I can’t take poles in my carry on luggage, I think I will walk a few days and then see if I want to buy some inexpensive poles along the Camino. I am sure that will be possible. In the meantime I will start using my old (non-collapsible) poles again as I gear up for my last 10 days of practicing my walking!
Thank you all again!
 

surya8

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues Central and Coastal 2017 & 2019; Portugues Interior, Sanabres, Fisterra & Muxia 2018
On the coast there are 2 options: the Coastal one is marked and doesn't always follows the coast, so it goes slightly uphil and downhill. I'd take the poles for this one if you've had some injury previously or if you are in a bad physical shape, they would help to walk faster and take some pressure from your back. Another option is Camino Littoral, that goes along the beach, that's is flat, so no need for walking poles there. If you turn to Variante Espiritual after Pontevedra then there are some hills there for you. I usually take poles everywhere, am used to them and they help me to walk faster but on the coastal there not so many hill to bother. The dogs on this Camino behaved well :) Bom Caminho! :)
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Trekking poles are not a necessity on any of the Camino routes, but used properly can help you to walk more efficiently on any terrain. If in doubt whether they are for you simply purchase an inexpensive set while on the Camino and if need be get some coaching on their use from an experienced pilgrim and give them a go. If they are not your cup of tea, simply give them away. There's always a pilgrim who'll appreciate the generosity.
Perhaps just keep one to carry in your hand for the occasional over zealous protective dog. Farm/working dogs respect sticks.
 

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