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Soreness with backpack

Cristinaa

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2016
#1
Hi all

Ive begun training with my pack and so far i can walk just over an hour with my pack loaded up to almost 10kg with no drama at all. It feels really comfortable and i almost dont even notice my pack at all. After a good hour and a half i start to get sore upper back, like around my shoulders, just under my neck and then eventually into the tops of my arms. Today i walked 3 hours and my only complaint about it would be this achey pain i had in the top of my back and arms.
Any recomendations on what i may be doing wrong? Or what i can do to prevent this?

Thanks

Cristina
 

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LauraK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2004) Roncesvalles-Leon (2006) Camino Frances (2012) Kumano Kodo-Japan (2014) Camino Sanabres/Salamanca-Santiago (March 2015) Camino Del Salvador and Camino Primativo (Oct 2015)
#2
I would check with your local sporting goods store to make sure you have your pack adjusted correctly. It sounds like the upper adjustments may not be holding the pack close to your upper back and the weight is pulling backwards - against you (you should have two adjustments - top of pack to upper shoulders and lower down under your arms to side of pack). As you walk, the pack may be settling and pulling backwards. It could also be related to how you are distributing the weight within your pack (heavier items should be lower and close to your back). Another possibility is that you are walking "hunched over" at the shoulders and you are carrying a lot of the weight on the upper shoulders and over time you develop the pain. I have done this a few times when my trekking poles were adjusted too low and my posture was not upright. On my first Camino, I had problems in my upper back and realized I had never really adjusted the straps since the pack fit so well in the store and on my few training walks. Hope this helps.
 

Cristinaa

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2016
#3
Thanks @LauraK ! I know the straps you mean and ive been adjusting, loosening tightening both of those to see if it eases off the ache and nothing.

But i do think i just solved my own problem!

I found a "measure your torso" guide online. Then compared my meausrement to the torso length on my pack and adjusted it accordingly and my pack felt even more amazing than what it did this morning! So exicted, i think i may have just found the sweet spot! Cant wait for my next walk to see how it goes.

I had it "fitted" to me at the shop. Since then i adjusted/lengthened the torso on it and it felt more..correct. Now that i did this measuring thing, and lengthened it a touch more it feels even better.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#4
The back length is really critical. Because women are generally shorter than men, there is an assumption they have a short back length and packs get adjusted accordingly. Its not always the case - I have quite a long back, even though I'm just average height for a woman. Short stumpy legs!
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#5
Make sure the weight of your pack rests on your hips, not your shoulders. The shoulder straps should be so that you can put a couple of fingers between your shoulders and your straps. The pack should 'hover' above your shoulders. Also make sure it is evenly packed, when standing it on the floor it should stay upright without leaning to any side. Buen Camino! SY
 

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falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#6
The shoulder straps are for show (almost). The pack weight should be on your hips, which will cause some sore muscles around your waist and in hip flexors. My guess is that you are having normal back muscle pain from using new muscles in a different way. You have a lot of small connector muscles that probably get little exercise. No pain, no gain! ;) Keep up the exercise routine, and it all will become better. When I walk, I regularly adjust straps to move the pack into and away from my back. It spreads the load.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#7
Well worth reading is this thread, particularly the section on backpacks, written by two physiotherapists: www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/a-physiotherapists-guide-to-injury-prevention-and-management-on-the-camino.37142/

I think my most hated quote is 'no pain, no gain', this saying alone is the single cause of so many people pushing through serious issues thinking it will go away. You know your body better than anyone, and if something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't right.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
#8
What SY and falcon said, carry the weight on your hips. I saw several people walking with the waist strap open completely and say they had problems with the pack. We met three young girls from Ireland the morning we left Sarria doing this, they were talking about sending their packs ahead as they were hurting so much, we showed them how to adjust the packs we met them several times later and they told us it had made a huge difference. Only one of them sent the pack ahead after this.
 

Christian Hiriart

The Camino keeps calling.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances September (2016) St. Jean to Leon
Planning for the next...
#10
This is a great thread, I did not realize the importance of the waist strap and I did think some of the pack weight had to rest on the shoulders.

I have to tell you, I learn so much by reading this forum, thanks to all of your that give us great tips and also to those that ask questions as in many cases we don't know what we don't know.

Chris
 
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#12
This is a great thread, I did not realize the importance of the waist strap and I did think some of the pack weight had to rest on the shoulders.
It depends, and generally is is not possible to completely eliminate. If there is some weight on the shoulders, it should be a relatively small proportion of the overall weight with most of it being carried on the hip belt. I carry some things I want handy in pouches attached to the front of my harness. All of that weight gets carried on my shoulders, albeit that it isn't a very large percentage of the total in any case.
 

BrienC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, July 2015
Via de la Plata/Camino Sanabrés, Oct/Nov 2016
#13
Preparation leads to a happy pilgrim. During you training, pack and repack your backpack with all your gear. Distribute the weight best you can with heavier items low in the pack or close to your back, close to the pack’s frame. Also keep in mind how often you will need each item. Sleeping bag on the bottom, blister kit towards the top, guidebook and water bottles outside. But don’t over analyze and plan everything. You will probably continue to improve on pack functionality and comfort during your trip. I truly believe that my pack is set up perfectly—on the very last day of my journey
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#14
Hi all
Ive begun training with my pack and so far i can walk just over an hour with my pack loaded up to almost 10kg with no drama at all...
Cristina
Several posts have addressed the fit issue for your pack. One other thing you might want to take a look at is the overall weight -- you mention walking with 10 kg, which sounds heavy. If you search other threads for packing lists, I think you'll see that you can probably get by with 7 to 8 kg, especially since you'll be walking in May and not carrying some of the heavier clothing you'd need earlier in the spring.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese - April 2015
#15
Hi all

Ive begun training with my pack and so far i can walk just over an hour with my pack loaded up to almost 10kg with no drama at all. It feels really comfortable and i almost dont even notice my pack at all. After a good hour and a half i start to get sore upper back, like around my shoulders, just under my neck and then eventually into the tops of my arms. Today i walked 3 hours and my only complaint about it would be this achey pain i had in the top of my back and arms.
Any recomendations on what i may be doing wrong? Or what i can do to prevent this?

Thanks

Cristina
Hi Christina,

It seems you already found your answer but I want to share a photo an REI member snapped for me during my backpack search (attached). It helped me a lot in deciding where to pack all my stuff. Also, of course this is personal, but 10kg seems a bit heavy to me. I left home with 8kg and removed about a 1kg at the airport before my departure from the US. Lastly, I figured out that my backpack was perfectly fitted to my body when my hipbones started getting sore. Once my hipbones started getting sore (the soreness goes away pretty fast) the whole load was off my back and sitting nicely where it was supposed to be. Before that happened I was carrying the backpack too low on my hips and it was causing all kind of issues.

packing_order.jpg

Good luck!

Aida.
 

Bozzie

Continuing to walk my camino daily. Blessings!
Camino(s) past & future
2012/2016
#16
Make sure the weight of your pack rests on your hips, not your shoulders. The shoulder straps should be so that you can put a couple of fingers between your shoulders and your straps. The pack should 'hover' above your shoulders. Also make sure it is evenly packed, when standing it on the floor it should stay upright without leaning to any side. Buen Camino! SY
Was going to say the same!
 

MichaelSG

Retired member
Camino(s) past & future
Not enough
#18
As many have already said, it's the fit and proper adjustment that will ensure a comfortable walk. I'd try again and talk to your local REI or other outdoor shop and have your loaded backpack with you. They should be able to get the adjustments very close and you can tweet them further. Get the weight off your shoulders. Incidentally, my wife is what most would call petite and she easily carries 11-12kg each Camino. You might possibly be able to reduce your carrying weight but I would not worry much about that.
 

LauraK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2004) Roncesvalles-Leon (2006) Camino Frances (2012) Kumano Kodo-Japan (2014) Camino Sanabres/Salamanca-Santiago (March 2015) Camino Del Salvador and Camino Primativo (Oct 2015)
#19
The majority of the weight should be on your hips. And it is not meant to be pain free. You have to get used to being a little uncomfortable. That's just how it is.
I disagree...you shouldn't be uncomfortable. I had my pack fitted correctly, especially the torso length. People kept trying to put a woman's pack on me even though I am 5'10'' and have a very long torso. At my local REI sporting goods store they measured me and recommended a men's pack. Once I got the shoulder straps adjusted correctly, I never experienced any pain. My pack fit like a glove and sat on my hips with no weight on my shoulders. I keep the weight under 8 kilos and slightly higher for winter caminos. Even on my first Camino, having not worn a pack for twenty years, I had no pain or discomfort. I love the feel of my pack and miss it when I get home. The only time I had pain was when I packed unevenly or adjusted the shoulder straps too tight so the pack straps were riding on my shoulders...a quick fix.
 

LauraK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2004) Roncesvalles-Leon (2006) Camino Frances (2012) Kumano Kodo-Japan (2014) Camino Sanabres/Salamanca-Santiago (March 2015) Camino Del Salvador and Camino Primativo (Oct 2015)
#20
What SY and falcon said, carry the weight on your hips. I saw several people walking with the waist strap open completely and say they had problems with the pack. We met three young girls from Ireland the morning we left Sarria doing this, they were talking about sending their packs ahead as they were hurting so much, we showed them how to adjust the packs we met them several times later and they told us it had made a huge difference. Only one of them sent the pack ahead after this.
Wayfarer: I saw the same thing. I just returned from my Camino and was surprised at how many people I saw (especially once I joined the CF) with their waist straps undone or the pack riding tightly on their shoulders...you can see them from quite a distance as they pull and yank at their packs and shoulder straps...
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#21
Sounds like everyone has mentioned the pack factors but there is no harm in adding exercises such as pushups and pullups to your regime to strengthen your core, build up those shoulder muscles etc. Some days your pack just refuses to sit right even though it was perfect the day before and you pack it the same way each day. If your body is reasonably fit, including the top half, it will forgive a lot of packing sins.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#22
I noticed that when my pack was uncomfortable, I was tightening the waist belt and shoulder straps together. I quickly learnt to loosen the shoulder straps, get the waist belt sitting properly on my hips, and then re-adjusting the shoulder straps. This made a world of difference to how comfortable I was.

My other observation here is that while 10kg might sound high to some people, provided the pack is built to be comfortable at that weight, the weight itself shouldn't be the issue. Suggesting that they should be able to achieve a specific lower weight without any information on when they are walking, how much they weigh, etc, is just fantasizing. There are better ways of helping than that, but they require better information about some basics than has been provided here.
 

Cristinaa

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2016
#23
Thanks for all the info and tips people!

Im hoping to carry approx 7-8kg on my Camino. Im training with 10kg. When i carry the 10kg it feels surprisingly light actually. And yep am very conscious of the weight sitting on my hips also and proper positioning of my hip belt.

As well as walking i am going to the gym and working on legs and core, might add in some more upper work i think as mentioned by someone.

I emailed Osprey and they sent me a few videos to have a look at and said if i was still having issues to contact them again so that they could work it out, which i thought was awesome.

I really think its the tweaking of the length of the torso on my pack.
Might sound like im being a padantic but my theory is, the more ready i am physically the more enjoyable El Camino will be. Less worrying and stressing that anything is uncomfortable or sore!
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#24
By the time you finish you will be really fit. I found using poles helped maintain the upper body. I got off the plane at home and it was a nice day so I actually walked the 5 km home. And my pack weighed 14 kg with all the extra presents for the kids etc. But I felt that even though it was on the heavy side that I could easily walk 20 km with it.
 

LauraK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2004) Roncesvalles-Leon (2006) Camino Frances (2012) Kumano Kodo-Japan (2014) Camino Sanabres/Salamanca-Santiago (March 2015) Camino Del Salvador and Camino Primativo (Oct 2015)
#25
Thanks for all the info and tips people!

Im hoping to carry approx 7-8kg on my Camino. Im training with 10kg. When i carry the 10kg it feels surprisingly light actually. And yep am very conscious of the weight sitting on my hips also and proper positioning of my hip belt.

As well as walking i am going to the gym and working on legs and core, might add in some more upper work i think as mentioned by someone.

I emailed Osprey and they sent me a few videos to have a look at and said if i was still having issues to contact them again so that they could work it out, which i thought was awesome.

I really think its the tweaking of the length of the torso on my pack.
Might sound like im being a padantic but my theory is, the more ready i am physically the more enjoyable El Camino will be. Less worrying and stressing that anything is uncomfortable or sore!
You are doing way more than most people. You will definitely be ready for your Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, (2013)
Camino Frances, (2014)
Camino Frances, (2015)
#26
This is a great thread, I did not realize the importance of the waist strap and I did think some of the pack weight had to rest on the shoulders
This thread is living proof of why none of us should answer the "what kind of pack should I buy for my Camino?" question with anything other than, "the backpack that a professional recommends for you after you've been measured and properly fitted." I want to scream when that question is answered with, "Well I used an Osprey 45 liter and absolutely loved it" or something similar.

Picking a backpack based upon a stranger's recommendation is literally dangerous. And we should stop answering these questions.
 

zzotte

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
#27
It could be the wrong pack for you, does it have a stay? Or is a soft pack? (No frame) a no frame pack it's not everyone the weight of your pack should be 80/20 meaning 80 on the hips and 20 on the shoulders, make sure that the center of waist belt sits firmly on hips and your shoulders straps should wrap your shoulders down about one inch towards the back and then you can pull on the load lifters to pull close to your body, do some searching on YouTube you find some great videos.

Zzotte
 
#28
This thread is living proof of why none of us should answer the "what kind of pack should I buy for my Camino?" question with anything other than, "the backpack that a professional recommends for you after you've been measured and properly fitted." I want to scream when that question is answered with, "Well I used an Osprey 45 liter and absolutely loved it" or something similar.

Picking a backpack based upon a stranger's recommendation is literally dangerous. And we should stop answering these questions.
I think that we should continue to answer such questions - the main point of such testimonials is the volume of the pack suggested - then pilgrims can narrow down their choice to a particular brand of pack

And, in my view, the lighter the weight you are carrying the less need there is to fret over measuring and fitting too much beyond what you can do yourself either in the shop or the internet
 
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#29
I think that we should continue to answer such questions - the main point of such testimonials is the volume of the pack suggested - then pilgrims can narrow down their choice to a particular brand of pack

And, in my view, the lighter the weight you are carrying the less need there is to fret over measuring and fitting too much beyond what you can do yourself either in the shop or the internet
I agree that we should continue to both provide advice and share our experiences. However, most 'testimonials' about packs that I see are virtually worthless. They invariably fail to establish the essential elements of the context that are needed for someone to understand how to use the information in the circumstances they face. As an example, a common pack volume calculation has six variables - body weight, days out, resilience and complexities, season, gear type and party size. If you are 70kg and used a 35li pack in summer because you were able to afford the best and lightest gear available, suggesting that a 35li pack is the right size and not explaining those other thing just isn't helpful.

Worse, without the context, such advice risks being misleading, not helpful. Clearly that is not the intent of those sharing their experiences, but certainly a possible outcome.
 

Christian Hiriart

The Camino keeps calling.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances September (2016) St. Jean to Leon
Planning for the next...
#30
I agree that giving a definite response as "you should use this or that" is wrong, is just too many variables. On the other hand, the person asking should look for information out of different sources, is what most of us do. I had very little understanding regarding the pack and how it should fit, this thread gave me much better understanding. now I now what questions I should be asking when getting my pack. This is a good conversation in my view.

Chris
 
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#31
Let me restate my objection to answering the "what backpack should I buy" this way. If someone said, "what size boot should I wear?" everyone would answer "get your feet measured and buy a pair that fits." Purchasing a backpack should be the same answer.
I agree with your general proposition that when it comes to fitting a pack, that is best done by visiting a number of retailers and trying out a number of packs in the right size range. I suggest that we can offer a range of useful advice about different approaches to pack design, volume, options for water carriage, etc. It is possible to prepare forum members who are still to purchase their pack for some of the questions they might expect from a salesperson when they are at a retailers. Inasmuch as it is useful, we shouldn't be limiting our response to 'visit a retailer'. That would be just as wrong as being overly prescriptive about weight, design or manufacturer.
 
Camino(s) past & future
See signature. Too many to list here.
#32
Training beforehand is the second best part of the camino. Remember to do hills too. No matter which camino you are planning, hills beforehand will be your friend. The only advice I have about backpacks is try to be sure it is loaded as lightly as possible when you head out.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#33
In my neck of the woods shops only carry a limited range of brands. Generally the sales assistants only know the brands they sell and obviously will recommend one of those. Many don't know how to fit a pack. Before I became a convert to my Aarn pack I can't tell you the number of packs I tried, and in so many cases the sales assistant automatically reached for the short back length, just because I'm a woman.

In my experience the most assistance one gets is "here, try this on, we will load it up with some weight. Right, now, walk around the shop and see how it feels".

My pack is a rare breed. I doubt any would know about it unless told by someone like me. Yet it may be the answer for some people, particularly those with back problems.

I think it is helpful for us all to provide feedback.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April/May (2016), starting in St. Palais, France
#34
Just thought I'd add a link to an REI video showing how to adjust your pack. I had a hard time choosing between two packs. I loaded them both up and would walk all around the house and outside. They felt somewhat the same. ..... until I watched this video. Once I understood how to properly adjust the straps, especially what they call the "magic straps," I knew right away that one of the packs was much better for me.

Good luck!

http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/backpacks-adjusting-fit.html
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (April/May 2015)
Chemin du Puy (April/May 2016)
North Wales Pilgrim (October 2017)
#35
Most packs these days are highly adjustable, so at least try different settings. I find that if it hurts, just change something. A change is as good as a rest. Learn how to adjust the straps as you're going along, without taking the pack off. They say you need different settings up and down hills.

Shoulders may hurt a bit to start with. Hopefully, after a week or two you'll be used to it and the pain will just stop. You may get so used to it you fill strange when you take it off, like you might float away.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's 2012
Camino de Santiago and camino Finesterre 2013
Camino Frances and camino Portuguese 2014
(2016 Camino de Santiago and camino Ingles and Camino Primitivo.)
#36
Hi everyone. I'm an Australian Physiotherapist.
It is also important to ensure you can move as normally as you usually do without a pack. With your pack loaded, ensure you can 'armswing' as you normally do. This may mean not using sticks. I dont. Watch your reflection in a window side-on and walking towards it and try to straighten up head,neck and spine as well as armswinging. Practice this a lot. All of the above hints in this thread are absolutely correct,so now add this functional training to your existing training.
Trying to replicate your normal walking motion will also help with shin pain,shinsplints,back of heel pain and achilles tendon pain behind the ankle.
Good walking everyone.
Wendy busch.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept23-Oct25, 2015
STJPdP- SdC
#37
Hi all

Ive begun training with my pack and so far i can walk just over an hour with my pack loaded up to almost 10kg with no drama at all. It feels really comfortable and i almost dont even notice my pack at all. After a good hour and a half i start to get sore upper back, like around my shoulders, just under my neck and then eventually into the tops of my arms. Today i walked 3 hours and my only complaint about it would be this achey pain i had in the top of my back and arms.
Any recomendations on what i may be doing wrong? Or what i can do to prevent this?

Thanks

Cristina
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept23-Oct25, 2015
STJPdP- SdC
#38
Hello Kristina,
I recently returned from walking the Camino Frences. I was ten days into the walk when a fellow pilgrim walking behind me said something.
"Thomas, your pack is crooked and so are you."
She looked at my Osprey and said the shoulder straps were wrong - one closed and the other wide open. I never knew about these straps. There are four critical adjustments on your pack - I only knew three of them.
I suffered a trap injury that persisted for the duration of the Camino despite a couple of rest days!
Long and short of this missive is "know all your pack adjustments."
Buen Camino
 

Wokabaut_Meri

merely labeled
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPdP - Santiago (April/May 2015)
#39
...I emailed Osprey and they sent me a few videos to have a look at and said if i was still having issues to contact them again so that they could work it out, which i thought was awesome.

I really think its the tweaking of the length of the torso on my pack.
Might sound like im being a padantic but my theory is, the more ready i am physically the more enjoyable El Camino will be. Less worrying and stressing that anything is uncomfortable or sore!
Awesome indeed and who better than the company itself in knowing all the variables for any of their designs. Your dedication to preparation will certainly pay off once you are on the Camino.

In my neck of the woods shops only carry a limited range of brands. Generally the sales assistants only know the brands they sell and obviously will recommend one of those. Many don't know how to fit a pack. Before I became a convert to my Aarn pack I can't tell you the number of packs I tried, and in so many cases the sales assistant automatically reached for the short back length, just because I'm a woman.

In my experience the most assistance one gets is "here, try this on, we will load it up with some weight. Right, now, walk around the shop and see how it feels".

My pack is a rare breed. I doubt any would know about it unless told by someone like me. Yet it may be the answer for some people, particularly those with back problems.

I think it is helpful for us all to provide feedback.
Looks like we have experienced a similar journey. I actually travelled 700kms to Melbourne to buy my Aarn backpack for the Camino as there were no suppliers here and you really do need to get a proper fitting. (my hubby now regrets asking 'what do you want for Christmas?')

I agree that feedback on different packs is very useful in providing information for making your own decision.
 

BrienC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, July 2015
Via de la Plata/Camino Sanabrés, Oct/Nov 2016
#40
Hi everyone. I'm an Australian Physiotherapist.
It is also important to ensure you can move as normally as you usually do without a pack. With your pack loaded, ensure you can 'armswing' as you normally do. This may mean not using sticks. I dont. Watch your reflection in a window side-on and walking towards it and try to straighten up head,neck and spine as well as armswinging. Practice this a lot. All of the above hints in this thread are absolutely correct,so now add this functional training to your existing training.
Trying to replicate your normal walking motion will also help with shin pain,shinsplints,back of heel pain and achilles tendon pain behind the ankle.
Good walking everyone.
Wendy busch.
I wholeheartedly agree with Wendy. Mechanics are hugely important, and the last thing we (at least I) focus on. I do normally use poles and they do cause me to change my mechanics, in a bad way. When I do, I feel it in my shoulders and think it's the fault of the pack. Only to remember to straighten up and walk right.
Also, flexibility is key. I tend to simply focus on training, getting in the miles--until I start feeling that muscle pain of poor mechanics. Then it's back to yoga class and remembering to stretch out the shoulder muscles.
A routine I use in training and on the trail to loosen my shoulder muscles and relieve pain I s:
Raise the hand of one arm up to that shoulder,
Then grasp that elbow with your other hand and pull it across your chest.
Repeat for other arm/shoulder.
Then, vary the elevation of the elbow as you pull, raise it up to chin height or lower it down to near waist height before pulling.
As with any stretch, pull until there is a good stretch, but not too much. You don't need any muscle tears, before or during hitting the trail.
Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#41
Wendy's comments are exactly why I loved my combination of an Aarn backpack and Pacerpoles. Both kept me upright and stopped me slouching. What I found interesting was when I hit the weighing machines at the farmacias, my HEIGHT increased. All those lovely upright hours walking and being away from my sedentary office job meant that I straightened out and my hip flexors were not as tight.
I realised the Aarn was for me when I realised I could actually do judo moves while wearing the damn thing fully loaded. The balance was that good. And I could squat easily wearing the thing without tipping over. and I love having useful things in the front pockets. I probably wore the pockets lower than some but that worked for me.
 
#42
In my neck of the woods shops only carry a limited range of brands. Generally the sales assistants only know the brands they sell and obviously will recommend one of those. Many don't know how to fit a pack. Before I became a convert to my Aarn pack I can't tell you the number of packs I tried, and in so many cases the sales assistant automatically reached for the short back length, just because I'm a woman.

In my experience the most assistance one gets is "here, try this on, we will load it up with some weight. Right, now, walk around the shop and see how it feels".

My pack is a rare breed. I doubt any would know about it unless told by someone like me. Yet it may be the answer for some people, particularly those with back problems.

I think it is helpful for us all to provide feedback.
Hi Kanga
I am looking at buying an Aarn pack ,which model do you have ,not sure how small I can get away with ,have had a rough go at packing and its 5 kg with room and nothing in front packs ,have got 33 litre Natural Exhilaration and thinking of going down to marathon magic
Cheers
 

Wokabaut_Meri

merely labeled
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPdP - Santiago (April/May 2015)
#43
Hi Kanga
I am looking at buying an Aarn pack ,which model do you have ,not sure how small I can get away with ,have had a rough go at packing and its 5 kg with room and nothing in front packs ,have got 33 litre Natural Exhilaration and thinking of going down to marathon magic
Cheers
Hi 2kiwis
I'm sure that Kanga will provide you with some expert advice. Just thought that I'd add my own experience on the Camino with an Aarn. I have 4 Aarn packs - they also breed beside my Buffs! I was almost going to take the Marathon Magic for our Camino Frances but decided on the Natural Exhilaration as it suits my longer back and was glad that I did. I think that there is only about 300/400gms weight difference between the two. Carried my maps, credential, water, snacks and sunglasses in the front balance pockets. If you already own the Natural Exhilaration and are used to it and weight is not an issue, I would stay with that. Trying on a new Aarn is only one step away from buying it ;)

Lucky you living in the home country of Aarns.
 
#44
Hi 2kiwis
I'm sure that Kanga will provide you with some expert advice. Just thought that I'd add my own experience on the Camino with an Aarn. I have 4 Aarn packs - they also breed beside my Buffs! I was almost going to take the Marathon Magic for our Camino Frances but decided on the Natural Exhilaration as it suits my longer back and was glad that I did. I think that there is only about 300/400gms weight difference between the two. Carried my maps, credential, water, snacks and sunglasses in the front balance pockets. If you already own the Natural Exhilaration and are used to it and weight is not an issue, I would stay with that. Trying on a new Aarn is only one step away from buying it ;)

Lucky you living in the home country of Aarns.
Hi there thanks for that ,it arrived yesterday in mail ,unfortunately there isn't a shop near here that stocks them ,so not sure if I ordered the right size yet ,can ask how tall are you and which pack do you have on in your profile photo ?
Had another look at specs for marathon magic and is quite narrow my thought now is do I need the smaller Natural Exhilaration
I do like the way the harness fits on it ,just felt quite big ,maybe is because is different shape to others ,my torso length is 40cm.
Need to put it on and go for a walk now it has stopped raining ,summer has failed to arrive here yet
 
Last edited:

Wokabaut_Meri

merely labeled
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPdP - Santiago (April/May 2015)
#45
Hi there thanks for that ,it arrived yesterday in mail ,unfortunately there isn't a shop near here that stocks them ,so not sure if I ordered the right size yet ,can ask how tall are you and which pack do you have on in your profile photo ?
Had another look at specs for marathon magic and is quite narrow my thought now is do I need the smaller Natural Exhilaration
I do like the way the harness fits on it ,just felt quite big ,maybe is because is different shape to others ,my torso length is 40cm.
Need to put it on and go for a walk now it has stopped raining ,summer has failed to arrive here yet
I'm 162cms and the pack in my profile photo is the Natural Exhilaration. It does feel big on compared to other packs but as soon as you're walking, that's forgotton. I would have gone for the longer back length but with the shop fitting ended up with the 30L short back length and this was perfect.

A test walk will be good - could use some of your rain. Today we are the hottest city (aiming for 44℃ ) in the world on our 4th day over 40℃
 
#46
Th
I'm 162cms and the pack in my profile photo is the Natural Exhilaration. It does feel big on compared to other packs but as soon as you're walking, that's forgotton. I would have gone for the longer back length but with the shop fitting ended up with the 30L short back length and this was perfect.

A test walk will be good - could use some of your rain. Today we are the hottest city (aiming for 44℃ ) in the world on our 4th day over 40℃
Thank you, that is far to hot ,experienced it in southern Spain last year. I am only a little taller 167 cm so think shorter pack would be better ,not going for ages but have been weighing clothes today seeing how little I can get away with and then also smaller pack
 

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