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Overthinking this thing.

falconbrother

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
June - July 2024
My wife and I are on the Frances. We’re taking a rest day in Sarria. Before we left the US we read and watched videos, etc.. It occurs to me that a lot of us overthink this thing.

On the night before we walked out of St Jean PDP we stopped in the church there to light a candle and pray. There’s was an older man in there doing the same. I don’t know his story but, the non-verbals led me to think that he had suffered a great loss. Anyway, he was walking the Camino with a cheap book bag-ish backpack that had a black garbage bag tied to it. He had no equipment that I’d consider suitable.

I’ve seen people out here with every description of gear. One guy we met walks 30-40kms a day in flip flops. Some people are carrying 70 liter packs and others have just a fanny pack.

Heck, you could literally just get on a plane and buy your stuff when you get here. SJPDP has a great sporting goods store plus a few little places that cater to pilgrims.

I’ve come to the conclusion that one ought to train to walk long distances and get some good shoes. Bring your prescription drugs and whatever you think you need. Then you’ll absolutely have to figure it out when you get here.

I suppose the research part was fun but not especially helpful. I still packed too much. Had to figure that out. Looking back we walked a whole lot. Still didn’t prepare us for walking 25km a day with about 25-30 pounds of pack and water. We did it but figured out in time that we carried too much of everything.

Wool socks don’t work for me. My cotton toe socks are doing great. I bought Patagonia underwear but, brought fruit of the loom boxer briefs. That was a good decision. Marino wool tee shirts were a good decision as was the fleece zip up hoodie from Costco.

The trick is to know what works for you. I’ve become an expert in washing clothes in the shower or sink.

Point is, I (we) overthink the equipment. If I ever get to do this again I’ll not fret over the equipment part. Good shoes, decent pack, plan to be flexible. I thought I was packing the bare minimum. Turns out I don’t need that much.

Most important thing to bring? A good and friendly attitude.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
The only thing I should have done more of before I walked, was walked more with my pack.

Especially uphills.

Thanks for the post!

Kate
Absolutely!! We were walking 7.5 miles with packs around Salem lake once a week and 5 miles without packs every evening. The Pyrenees still kicked our tails. We made it but by the day after Pamplona we decided we needed to recalculate. The fun had run out. So we bough a duffel bag and put much of the non critical stuff in there and had it forwarded. We still carry packs but with just the stuff we have to have for that days hike. I’m 60 with a rebuilt knee and my love is 57 with a rebuilt foot.
 
This comes at a time when I m thinking on a whim to do this walk. I have old running shoes (under armed, a bit hot really on the foot). Was going to purchase one suitable- any recommendations? 🙈
 
Well you could write a list so long.Too much weight ,extra days training,book 20 days ahead.So my first suggestion is an extra day at St jean.Take a short walk maybe 5 KLM up the Camino and back to St jean. Secondly light weight waterproof and early spring thermal vest.After that just enjoy.
 
Train for your next Camino (or keep the Camino spirit alive) on Santa Catalina Island
Before we left the US we read and watched videos, etc.. It occurs to me that a lot of us overthink this thing.
I agree. Before my first Camino I had some conversations with my mother-in-law about her own Camino and read a book by Laurie Dennett which she recommended and lent me. Along with borrowing Barbara's Camino guide book and buying the Confraternity of St James's updated small supplement that was the sum total of my research. No movies or videos and no internet forums or other social media. Walking a Camino is a series of day walks - not a major technical expedition. I think we should keep things in proportion.
 
'Great post Falconbrother. I agree 100%. I'm an over-thinker, and being so excited to be a pilgrim I had a long list of stuff to bring. I paired it down to fit in my pack, but still brought too much stuff, esp. socks and first aid. It took me until Burgos to lighten the load.
 
My wife and I are on the Frances. We’re taking a rest day in Sarria. Before we left the US we read and watched videos, etc.. It occurs to me that a lot of us overthink this thing.

On the night before we walked out of St Jean PDP we stopped in the church there to light a candle and pray. There’s was an older man in there doing the same. I don’t know his story but, the non-verbals led me to think that he had suffered a great loss. Anyway, he was walking the Camino with a cheap book bag-ish backpack that had a black garbage bag tied to it. He had no equipment that I’d consider suitable.

I’ve seen people out here with every description of gear. One guy we met walks 30-40kms a day in flip flops. Some people are carrying 70 liter packs and others have just a fanny pack.

Heck, you could literally just get on a plane and buy your stuff when you get here. SJPDP has a great sporting goods store plus a few little places that cater to pilgrims.

I’ve come to the conclusion that one ought to train to walk long distances and get some good shoes. Bring your prescription drugs and whatever you think you need. Then you’ll absolutely have to figure it out when you get here.

I suppose the research part was fun but not especially helpful. I still packed too much. Had to figure that out. Looking back we walked a whole lot. Still didn’t prepare us for walking 25km a day with about 25-30 pounds of pack and water. We did it but figured out in time that we carried too much of everything.

Wool socks don’t work for me. My cotton toe socks are doing great. I bought Patagonia underwear but, brought fruit of the loom boxer briefs. That was a good decision. Marino wool tee shirts were a good decision as was the fleece zip up hoodie from Costco.

The trick is to know what works for you. I’ve become an expert in washing clothes in the shower or sink.

Point is, I (we) overthink the equipment. If I ever get to do this again I’ll not fret over the equipment part. Good shoes, decent pack, plan to be flexible. I thought I was packing the bare minimum. Turns out I don’t need that much.

Most important thing to bring? A good and friendly attitude.
I agree wholeheartedly, my first Camino I poured over everything, thought and over-thought about this and that. Fast forward to my recently completed third Camino, I was packed in 20 minutes and we walked for 45 days with no problems.
 
Train for your next Camino (or keep the Camino spirit alive) on Santa Catalina Island
I did SO MUCH research prior to my Camino, counting grams etc... And yet I had way to much of the unnecessary, and still had to buy different boots 3 times because my shoe size changed. Even with a 6 KG pack the Pyrenees trashed me. And yet, it was one of my favorite experiences. Everyone lives their own Camino.
 
This comes at a time when I m thinking on a whim to do this walk. I have old running shoes (under armed, a bit hot really on the foot). Was going to purchase one suitable- any recommendations? 🙈
Go to a good running/ hiking store that lets you return lightly used shoes.

Go at the end of the day, with the socks you think you will wear.

Have them analyze your gait and your arches, and properly size you.

Try on several different pairs. Walk around the store or on their treadmill. Make sure your toes never contact the front of your shoe.

It goes with minimal saying that you should not care about color or size, only about how they feel.

Buy one pair, take it on a 15-20 km walk, return if necessary.

This is the primary activity that only you can determine.

Buen Camino.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
This comes at a time when I m thinking on a whim to do this walk. I have old running shoes (under armed, a bit hot really on the foot). Was going to purchase one suitable- any recommendations? 🙈
We walked the Camino Francis 2018 in trail runners. But 6 years later I think they do not have enough cushioning. The majority of the surfaces are paved or packed dirt so any comfortable lightweight padded sneaker/shoe should work. Suggest you bring lightweight sandals or crocs because it's good to have a plan b and just get out of the shoes. Be advised running shoes and trail runners last maybe 400 miles before they loose their padding and support. So if you train by walking at home you may need new shoes for the pilgrimage.
 
My wife and I are on the Frances. We’re taking a rest day in Sarria. Before we left the US we read and watched videos, etc.. It occurs to me that a lot of us overthink this thing.

On the night before we walked out of St Jean PDP we stopped in the church there to light a candle and pray. There’s was an older man in there doing the same. I don’t know his story but, the non-verbals led me to think that he had suffered a great loss. Anyway, he was walking the Camino with a cheap book bag-ish backpack that had a black garbage bag tied to it. He had no equipment that I’d consider suitable.

I’ve seen people out here with every description of gear. One guy we met walks 30-40kms a day in flip flops. Some people are carrying 70 liter packs and others have just a fanny pack.

Heck, you could literally just get on a plane and buy your stuff when you get here. SJPDP has a great sporting goods store plus a few little places that cater to pilgrims.

I’ve come to the conclusion that one ought to train to walk long distances and get some good shoes. Bring your prescription drugs and whatever you think you need. Then you’ll absolutely have to figure it out when you get here.

I suppose the research part was fun but not especially helpful. I still packed too much. Had to figure that out. Looking back we walked a whole lot. Still didn’t prepare us for walking 25km a day with about 25-30 pounds of pack and water. We did it but figured out in time that we carried too much of everything.

Wool socks don’t work for me. My cotton toe socks are doing great. I bought Patagonia underwear but, brought fruit of the loom boxer briefs. That was a good decision. Marino wool tee shirts were a good decision as was the fleece zip up hoodie from Costco.

The trick is to know what works for you. I’ve become an expert in washing clothes in the shower or sink.

Point is, I (we) overthink the equipment. If I ever get to do this again I’ll not fret over the equipment part. Good shoes, decent pack, plan to be flexible. I thought I was packing the bare minimum. Turns out I don’t need that much.

Most important thing to bring? A good and friendly attitude.
Re: watching videos, on the other hand, I watched several YouTube videos in English and Spanish of the Camino Inglés and when I walked it in May it gave me quite a buzz when I came to places I recognised from the videos - it wasn’t so much over-thinking as just getting in the mood. And now when I watch them again it’s a lovely reminder!
 
Go to a good running/ hiking store that lets you return lightly used shoes.

Go at the end of the day, with the socks you think you will wear.

Have them analyze your gait and your arches, and properly size you.

Try on several different pairs. Walk around the store or on their treadmill. Make sure your toes never contact the front of your shoe.

It goes with minimal saying that you should not care about color or size, only about how they feel.

Buy one pair, take it on a 15-20 km walk, return if necessary.

This is the primary activity that only you can determine.

Buen Camino.
Many thanks for the tip!
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Re: watching videos, on the other hand, I watched several YouTube videos in English and Spanish of the Camino Inglés and when I walked it in May it gave me quite a buzz when I came to places I recognised from the videos - it wasn’t so much over-thinking as just getting in the mood. And now when I watch them again it’s a lovely reminder!
Yes! I think all the planning, podcasts, YouTube videos and multiple forums get me excited and pumped up to do it. It's like my brain is already on the camino. My body just isn't there yet. (18 more days!)
 
This comes at a time when I m thinking on a whim to do this walk. I have old running shoes (under armed, a bit hot really on the foot). Was going to purchase one suitable- any recommendations? 🙈
HOKA Speedgoats is what we trained in and are wearing. My wife’s will be worn completely out when we get to Santiago. Mine were brand new when we arrived and are holding up well. They definitely show wear though.
 
Your mother-in-law walked the camino before 1990? That’s fantastic. Is there anything you can you tell us about it?
Barbara walked the Camino Frances from SJPDP in summer 1985. She walked as part of an international group organised and led by a Dutch-Australian called Kosti Simons. Kosti had a religious experience at Lourdes a couple of years before which had inspired him to walk barefoot from Paris to Santiago. He then thought it would be a good idea to gather together groups of pilgrims and lead them on a guided Camino pausing each day for prayers and meditations. They were allowed footwear though :) The idea somehow found its way into The Guardian newspaper and BBC radio in the UK where Barbara heard about it. They stayed in very basic shelters along the way - a covered cattle market in SJPDP I believe and the abandoned school house in Rabanal amongst them. When they arrived in Santiago they were met by Don Elias Valiña. Kosti led several groups but the project folded quite quickly and Kosti returned to Australia where he spends his time as a writer and has produced Oberammergau-style passion plays in rural Queensland. In Edward Stanton's book Road of Stars to Santiago Stanton mentions meeting Kosti and some of his group in Rabanal.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
If I am out backpacking in wilderness or wild areas for a few weeks- - or even a few days - - there are no nearby facilities, taxis, lodgings, medical help, stores, etc. The planning must take into account complete self sufficiency and self care to survive until (or even IF ) help arrives or until I can manage to self-rescue.

As Bradypus pointed out above ⬆️, between the frequency of being around other pilgrims plus the reality of being within a bubble of civilization and its amenities, very little is terribly essential beyond making sure stuff fits well and feels good when worn or carried. Beyond that, it does not require much 'planning' or agonizing over having a means to stay hydrated, protected from sun or rain or chilliness, and minor first aid and foot care while walking for a 4 to 10 hour period of time between towns.

One is not at extreme risk of losing life or limb if a critical item is not with you. But a camino cannot be enjoyed if your feet are hurting, or a backpack is too heavy and uncomfortable, and clothing is chafing and rubbing you the wrong way......your mind will be focused on the aches and pains of your body instead of on your surroundings and the marvelous experiences which exist outside of yourself.

That is also why having a reasonable amount of fitness and being used to the stresses on your body from carrying a light load while walking for hours at a stretch is preferable prior to camino. To do so while on a Camino means that your body will spend days acclimating to the new realities of walking and carrying your stuff for hours per day, day after day. How much better is it to spend the first steps and days at the beginning of your journey with senses fully engaged on your surroundings, rather than enduring your body's negative nagging for attention?



Oh, and for me, having a good snack to munch on is a good thing. . . Snickers and Cheese for Camino!!!
 
Barbara walked the Camino Frances from SJPDP in summer 1985. She walked as part of an international group organised and led by a Dutch-Australian called Kosti Simons. Kosti had a religious experience at Lourdes a couple of years before which had inspired him to walk barefoot from Paris to Santiago. He then thought it would be a good idea to gather together groups of pilgrims and lead them on a guided Camino pausing each day for prayers and meditations. They were allowed footwear though :) The idea somehow found its way into The Guardian newspaper and BBC radio in the UK where Barbara heard about it. They stayed in very basic shelters along the way - a covered cattle market in SJPDP I believe and the abandoned school house in Rabanal amongst them. When they arrived in Santiago they were met by Don Elias Valiña. Kosti led several groups but the project folded quite quickly and Kosti returned to Australia where he spends his time as a writer and has produced Oberammergau-style passion plays in rural Queensland. In Edward Stanton's book Road of Stars to Santiago Stanton mentions meeting Kosti and some of his group in Rabanal.
Amazing story, thank you!
 
My wife and I are on the Frances. We’re taking a rest day in Sarria. Before we left the US we read and watched videos, etc.. It occurs to me that a lot of us overthink this thing.

On the night before we walked out of St Jean PDP we stopped in the church there to light a candle and pray. There’s was an older man in there doing the same. I don’t know his story but, the non-verbals led me to think that he had suffered a great loss. Anyway, he was walking the Camino with a cheap book bag-ish backpack that had a black garbage bag tied to it. He had no equipment that I’d consider suitable.

I’ve seen people out here with every description of gear. One guy we met walks 30-40kms a day in flip flops. Some people are carrying 70 liter packs and others have just a fanny pack.

Heck, you could literally just get on a plane and buy your stuff when you get here. SJPDP has a great sporting goods store plus a few little places that cater to pilgrims.

I’ve come to the conclusion that one ought to train to walk long distances and get some good shoes. Bring your prescription drugs and whatever you think you need. Then you’ll absolutely have to figure it out when you get here.

I suppose the research part was fun but not especially helpful. I still packed too much. Had to figure that out. Looking back we walked a whole lot. Still didn’t prepare us for walking 25km a day with about 25-30 pounds of pack and water. We did it but figured out in time that we carried too much of everything.

Wool socks don’t work for me. My cotton toe socks are doing great. I bought Patagonia underwear but, brought fruit of the loom boxer briefs. That was a good decision. Marino wool tee shirts were a good decision as was the fleece zip up hoodie from Costco.

The trick is to know what works for you. I’ve become an expert in washing clothes in the shower or sink.

Point is, I (we) overthink the equipment. If I ever get to do this again I’ll not fret over the equipment part. Good shoes, decent pack, plan to be flexible. I thought I was packing the bare minimum. Turns out I don’t need that much.

Most important thing to bring? A good and friendly attitude.
You're right about the tendency to overthink things. It's something that many of us are probably guilty of at some point or other.
But the number of times that an experienced forum member has said 'stop thinking: just go and walk' or words to that effect is beyond count.

Edited to add: personally I'm a great believer in some basic planning, as very clearly outlined by @davebugg above (posted while I was writing). And for basically the same reasons

Research is great but it depends on what you look for, where you look for it, and how much notice you take of it.

I note you've been a member of the forum since July last year. One of the most reoccurring themes is of course overpacking. Goodness knows how many packing lists (and excellent advice on the same) I've seen in just the last year and a half alone. So it's surprises me that you still managed to end up with 12 - 14kgs in your pack (even if it does inc. food and water).

And as to Gear: that's yet another common theme. So many buy special clothing for the Camino; even some of the regular forum members have clothing that they only wear on Camino (which I both understand, but also find bizarre). Personally as I sit here writing I'm wearing one of my old pairs of Columbia zip-off pants, earlier this week when it was cool I was wearing my Merino t-shirt, and I wear my darn tough socks and my Altras practically daily. My poncho lives in my day pack, which comes with me nearly every time I walk out the door. Even my underwear and the cap on my head are the same, on or off Camino. Yes I have other clothing, but I wouldn't call the rest of it my 'daily attire'. (Work clothing aside).

We have an extremely experienced Pilgrim on the forum who is known for walking in Jeans and a T-shirt.

There is no right and wrong -there is just comfortable.

One final note: I 100% agree with you as regards to training (although I will amend that to add: with a well fitting, fully loaded pack), good shoes, and walking with a good, friendly attitude!
 
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Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
I think that when faced with a big excursion into the unknown, as for many of us the Camino is, the tendency is to try and control what we can. We can't understand and control the most important elements of the Camino (like whom we will meet) so we try and research and control what we can: the equipment. As with so much of our planning, we won't really find out what is best until we get there. But, as you say, the planning can be fun. Just don't stress too much over it.
 
I came to the conclusion that it was a day walk, stretched out into more day walks. Walk, eat sleep and repeat. Over thinking ? absolutely for a lot of folks but then we don't really know if they can walk a day and sort other stuff out by themselves either.

Most of us packed too much first time, some are daunted by the walk, going on their own, worrying about details ... but we are all different. There is no ideal perregrino for them to compare themselves with

Lots of would be pilgrims come here for advice but not judgement. Time and a good attitude will often be enough to get you to Santiago
 
If I am out backpacking in wilderness or wild areas for a few weeks- - or even a few days - - there are no nearby facilities, taxis, lodgings, medical help, stores, etc. The planning must take into account complete self sufficiency and self care to survive until (or even IF ) help arrives or until I can manage to self-rescue.

As Bradypus pointed out above ⬆️, between the frequency of being around other pilgrims plus the reality of being within a bubble of civilization and its amenities, very little is terribly essential beyond making sure stuff fits well and feels good when worn or carried. Beyond that, it does not require much 'planning' or agonizing over having a means to stay hydrated, protected from sun or rain or chilliness, and minor first aid and foot care while walking for a 4 to 10 hour period of time between towns.

One is not at extreme risk of losing life or limb if a critical item is not with you. But a camino cannot be enjoyed if your feet are hurting, or a backpack is too heavy and uncomfortable, and clothing is chafing and rubbing you the wrong way......your mind will be focused on the aches and pains of your body instead of on your surroundings and the marvelous experiences which exist outside of yourself.

That is also why having a reasonable amount of fitness and being used to the stresses on your body from carrying a light load while walking for hours at a stretch is preferable prior to camino. To do so while on a Camino means that your body will spend days acclimating to the new realities of walking and carrying your stuff for hours per day, day after day. How much better is it to spend the first steps and days at the beginning of your journey with senses fully engaged on your surroundings, rather than enduring your body's negative nagging for attention?



Oh, and for me, having a good snack to munch on is a good thing. . . Snickers and Cheese for Camino!!!
Exactly, Dave. You nailed it!😎🇳🇿🇪🇸
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I am a backpacker over many years. All I did was plan where I flew into and out of and would buy a Lonely planet book and work it out when I got there. Six years ago I completed the CF after travelling in Europe. I just used a simple Black Wolf day pack, limited research, no training, running shoes and winged it. I do keep active however.
 
I am a backpacker over many years. All I did was plan where I flew into and out of and would buy a Lonely planet book and work it out when I got there. Six years ago I completed the CF after travelling in Europe. I just used a simple Black Wolf day pack, limited research, no training, running shoes and winged it. I do keep active however.
I’m gonna do the same. Just booking flights. Starting in 5 days 😇😅
 
I am a backpacker over many years. All I did was plan where I flew into and out of and would buy a Lonely planet book and work it out when I got there. Six years ago I completed the CF after travelling in Europe. I just used a simple Black Wolf day pack, limited research, no training, running shoes and winged it. I do keep active however.
Experience helps. These days it takes me at most a couple of hours to select and pack my gear and to arrange transport, insurance and so on once I have decided on my route and departure day. I wear the same clothing and footwear on Camino and at home so no special shopping required. The toiletries, first aid items and things like two-pin phone chargers are more or less the same each trip. I could spend months mentally debating the pros and cons of every item and asking for a hundred conflicting recommendations. Or I could just go with what I know works for me every day. As a bear of very little brain I usually prefer the simpler option.
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
On my first Camino in 2014 - as a very experienced walker (even mountaineer), with all the lightweight kit I could possibly need - I was matched day for day by a Spanish Peregrino whose luggage consisted of a ‘dia’ plastic carrier bag which contained all he needed and which obviously didn’t include soap.

i was about to relate the frog story, but Mrs HtD has advised against it.
 
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In my first albergue stay in Oloron-Sainte-Marie on this year's Camino the night before I began I met a Korean woman who had no backpack or bag of any kind. I believe that she had just the clothes that she was wearing plus a silk liner and some sleeping clothes that she kept in her coat pocket. She had been walking a couple of days from Lourdes on the Piamonte route. We went in different directions - she continued on the Piamonte to SJPdP and I on the Arles route to the Aragonés.

We kept in contact, and I know that she managed with this minimal gear for a few days, but did buy "some clothes and stuff" soon afterwards.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
My wife and I are on the Frances. We’re taking a rest day in Sarria. Before we left the US we read and watched videos, etc.. It occurs to me that a lot of us overthink this thing.

On the night before we walked out of St Jean PDP we stopped in the church there to light a candle and pray. There’s was an older man in there doing the same. I don’t know his story but, the non-verbals led me to think that he had suffered a great loss. Anyway, he was walking the Camino with a cheap book bag-ish backpack that had a black garbage bag tied to it. He had no equipment that I’d consider suitable.

I’ve seen people out here with every description of gear. One guy we met walks 30-40kms a day in flip flops. Some people are carrying 70 liter packs and others have just a fanny pack.

Heck, you could literally just get on a plane and buy your stuff when you get here. SJPDP has a great sporting goods store plus a few little places that cater to pilgrims.

I’ve come to the conclusion that one ought to train to walk long distances and get some good shoes. Bring your prescription drugs and whatever you think you need. Then you’ll absolutely have to figure it out when you get here.

I suppose the research part was fun but not especially helpful. I still packed too much. Had to figure that out. Looking back we walked a whole lot. Still didn’t prepare us for walking 25km a day with about 25-30 pounds of pack and water. We did it but figured out in time that we carried too much of everything.

Wool socks don’t work for me. My cotton toe socks are doing great. I bought Patagonia underwear but, brought fruit of the loom boxer briefs. That was a good decision. Marino wool tee shirts were a good decision as was the fleece zip up hoodie from Costco.

The trick is to know what works for you. I’ve become an expert in washing clothes in the shower or sink.

Point is, I (we) overthink the equipment. If I ever get to do this again I’ll not fret over the equipment part. Good shoes, decent pack, plan to be flexible. I thought I was packing the bare minimum. Turns out I don’t need that much.

Most important thing to bring? A good and friendly attitude.
Exactly - start with empty pack and pick up what you really do need (waist pack the essentials)
 
My wife and I are on the Frances. We’re taking a rest day in Sarria. Before we left the US we read and watched videos, etc.. It occurs to me that a lot of us overthink this thing.

On the night before we walked out of St Jean PDP we stopped in the church there to light a candle and pray. There’s was an older man in there doing the same. I don’t know his story but, the non-verbals led me to think that he had suffered a great loss. Anyway, he was walking the Camino with a cheap book bag-ish backpack that had a black garbage bag tied to it. He had no equipment that I’d consider suitable.

I’ve seen people out here with every description of gear. One guy we met walks 30-40kms a day in flip flops. Some people are carrying 70 liter packs and others have just a fanny pack.

Heck, you could literally just get on a plane and buy your stuff when you get here. SJPDP has a great sporting goods store plus a few little places that cater to pilgrims.

I’ve come to the conclusion that one ought to train to walk long distances and get some good shoes. Bring your prescription drugs and whatever you think you need. Then you’ll absolutely have to figure it out when you get here.

I suppose the research part was fun but not especially helpful. I still packed too much. Had to figure that out. Looking back we walked a whole lot. Still didn’t prepare us for walking 25km a day with about 25-30 pounds of pack and water. We did it but figured out in time that we carried too much of everything.

Wool socks don’t work for me. My cotton toe socks are doing great. I bought Patagonia underwear but, brought fruit of the loom boxer briefs. That was a good decision. Marino wool tee shirts were a good decision as was the fleece zip up hoodie from Costco.

The trick is to know what works for you. I’ve become an expert in washing clothes in the shower or sink.

Point is, I (we) overthink the equipment. If I ever get to do this again I’ll not fret over the equipment part. Good shoes, decent pack, plan to be flexible. I thought I was packing the bare minimum. Turns out I don’t need that much.

Most important thing to bring? A good and friendly attitude.
Right on. Yes. The Camino provides. Thanks for sharing.
 
This comes at a time when I m thinking on a whim to do this walk. I have old running shoes (under armed, a bit hot really on the foot). Was going to purchase one suitable- any recommendations? 🙈
Def get the running shoe type (with ankle support) that breathe.
The waterproof boots just make yr feet hot and cause blisters.
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
Absolutely!! We were walking 7.5 miles with packs around Salem lake once a week and 5 miles without packs every evening. The Pyrenees still kicked our tails. We made it but by the day after Pamplona we decided we needed to recalculate. The fun had run out. So we bough a duffel bag and put much of the non critical stuff in there and had it forwarded. We still carry packs but with just the stuff we have to have for that days hike. I’m 60 with a rebuilt knee and my love is 57 with a rebuilt foot.
That you made it to pamplona with 25-30lbs packs is amazing. Those were heavy packs and wow that first day must of been hard!
Yourcomments about over thinking for are spot on. In Oct we will go from SJPDP to Burgos. It’s a continuation from the Le Puy Podiensis and will be our forth section. Sadly I never learn, I’m STILL over thinking what to pack. lol. I struggle trying to keep the pack light enough to carry everyday.
 

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