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Guide App vs Guide Books

Camino Ben

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walked part of the Camino Frances in '14 and volunteered at an Albergue
Hello Fellow Pilgrims:

I'm planning on waking the Camino Frances in July-August. And I was wondering if I might save some weight using one of the MANY apps in the Google Play store instead of carrying a physical guide book. Has anyone just used an app?

If so, which one and how was it?

Ben
 
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scruffy1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Buen Camino! You drop your phone on the sidewalk, forget to recharge, lose the miserable thing...then what? Take both, Brierley's book weighs all of 300 grams - you won't notice the difference.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I only used apps, websites and a Kindle guide on my phone. I didn't find one app that does it all, so I had three on my phone: Editorial Buen Camino, Wise Pligrim, and TrekRight. The websites that I used are http://santiago.forwalk.org/en/, https://godesalco.com/plan/frances, and https://www.gronze.com/.
If you want to look at a book there will be plenty of pilgrims around with either the Brierly guide, or another guidebook that you can look at. Or, if you decide to buy a book there are lots of stores along the Camino selling them.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances May / Jun 2015
Camino Frances Oct / Nov 2016
Camino Frances May-Jun 2018
CF 2020?
I took only the phone and apps on my first two CF, and never missed having the Brierley at home. Found all the info I needed, and more, on the apps. Heading out the door in three hours for my third CF and again, Brierley will be left on the shelf. All in all, it is a matter of personal choice.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
I just used apps, websites, and e-books. My son, who was walking with me, brought the Brierley book (I had the maps only for my Kindle app). He lost it part way along and I can't say we missed it all that much.
 
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Camino Ben

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walked part of the Camino Frances in '14 and volunteered at an Albergue
Thanks all for your replies! Any more app recommendations?
 

K3EL

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2018)
TrailSmart (www.trekopedia.com) - has good offline maps as well as database of points of interest, accommodation, trail info. This is my go-to app.

GaiaGPS - download the Camino trail and import it. Detailed maps are good for alternative routes when you don’t want to follow the yellow arrows...

“The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago “ available on Kindle books is great to read in the evening or as you visit a town or walk the Way to get a more in-depth appreciation of the history and art that you are seeing.

I still carry Brierley :)

Dave
 

Yoyo

✿ Se hace el camino al andar. ✿
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I used the TrailSmart app for the Camino Francés and found its features (info on albergues and points of interest, trail descriptions etc.) quite useful.
Nevertheless, a few stages into my camino, I also bought Brierley's very lightweight maps-only guidebook and carried it in my pants for quick and hassle-free route reference on the go.
For a future camino, I would probably take a small printed guidebook (not just a maps version) and complement it with the TrailSmart app which has the advantage of being continuously updated.
 
D

Deleted member 43985

Guest
I’ve tried both, with book only and with app only while walking the CF. Both were fine in the sense that it is close to impossible to get lost anyway! One of the realities I haven’t seen written of is the size... my eyes have to work pretty hard to see map details and phone number on my iPhone unless I zoom way in, which is then a hassle to move around the screen. Saving the weight was good when I went ‘app only’ but there is just something about holding a book in your hands and sharing it with others over a meal or afternoon beverage that is satisfying to me so back to the book it will be for me next go round.
 
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Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
For practical information such as distances between albergues, elevation profiles and accommodation I found the A4 print-outs given out free by the pilgrim office in SJPDP were all I needed the last time I walked the Camino Frances. Information on bars and albergues quickly goes out of date and printed guide books can be unreliable on that. I personally dislike the Brierley guides and would not carry one myself. The only real use that I have for a guidebook on the Frances is for background historical and cultural information. The best sources I have seen for that are the Gitlitz book and the route descriptions given in the Eroski website which are both available in electronic forms and so effectively weightless. Since I would not expect to be constantly referring to them during my walking day battery life is not really an issue. I do find the Gronze website is far better than Eroski in presenting accommodation choices though.
 

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