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St Jean Pied de Port - walking stick required?

gordo_88

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago de Compostela (2017)
Hi!

My girlfriend and I are walking 5 days of the Camino Frances starting in Saint Jean Pied de Port next week - we are very excited! Just wondering would it be advisable to source a walking stick in Saint Jean Pied de Port for the first day of walking to Roncesvalle? Ideally we would prefer to do it without a stick but are happy to follow advice on this topic.

Any other tips are welcome also for this section of the Camino!

I walked Sarria to Santiago de Compostela 2 years ago and enjoyed it so looking forward to more good experiences on the Camino!

Thanks everyone!
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Burgos, Camino Frances (2012 - 2018)
As always, a matter of personal choice. I use a trekking pole when walking in the UK, and was very glad of its support on the steeper sections of the road to Orisson (and beyond.) Apart from being useful to lean on to catch my breath, it has saved me from falling more times than I care to think. If you don't want to take one, you can buy a walking stick in SJPdP.

As for other advice, the main bit I would give is to take the road down to Roncesvalles, when you reach it, and not the (steep and slippery) track through the forest.

Have a great time!
 

Rako

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018
I appreciated my trekking poles on the uphill portion, but they would not have been totally necessary. On the way down, I REALLY appreciated my trekking poles. They absorbed shock that otherwise would have to be absorbed by my ankles and knees. I could have managed without them, but would have probably had to slow down / take more rest days later. Do your ankles and knees a favor - use trekking poles. If you’re super-fit you would not need them (and you would probably not be asking your question). My ankles and knees were “trained” by keeping them safely under a desk in my office throughout my career. I’m VERY glad I was not “too tough”, and that I used trekking poles. FWIW.
 

Casserole

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 - Solo, SJPdP to Finisterre
2018 - Daughter (2) and Hubby, Sarria to SdC
I did the first few days out of SJPdP without a stick or poles. It was do able, but it was game changing when I got a stick, and then later on, a pole.
 

gordo_88

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago de Compostela (2017)
Lots of food for thought there! Thanks everyone for your responses!
 

Sho

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, 2019
Good store(s) for reasonably priced trekking poles in SJPP?
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
Hi!

My girlfriend and I are walking 5 days of the Camino Frances starting in Saint Jean Pied de Port next week - we are very excited! Just wondering would it be advisable to source a walking stick in Saint Jean Pied de Port for the first day of walking to Roncesvalle? Ideally we would prefer to do it without a stick but are happy to follow advice on this topic.

Any other tips are welcome also for this section of the Camino!

I walked Sarria to Santiago de Compostela 2 years ago and enjoyed it so looking forward to more good experiences on the Camino!

Thanks everyone!
Unless you have gotten used to them ahead of time, I would skip trying to use them as there is a learning curve for many folks. They are worth using, but I would invest the time now to practice with them and THEN decide whether or not to use them on Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
Unless you have gotten used to them ahead of time, I would skip trying to use them as there is a learning curve for many folks. They are worth using, but I would invest the time now to practice with them and THEN decide whether or not to use them on Camino.
I agree, I brought poles with me from the UK but did not use them for the first 8 days because I could not get the rhythm or the length right. I only started using them seriously when my feet were so sore I could hardly put my feet on the ground. After 2 days of rest in Burgos I started using them on the flat, what a difference they make I feel like my arms are helping me walk. I can't wait for a hill so I can try them out.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I bought a walking stick (wooden) in St Jean pied de Port and found it useful for the climb over the Pyrenees and onward, especially for steep climbs, up or down. A wooden stick may be easier for some to get accustomed to. I had used one previously, in the mountains of Canada, so was already used to them.
 

josephmcclain

Active Member
Would highly recommend two. Take a look at a UTube tutorial. I also posted here under miscellaneous a guide to using poles. If you use them correctly they are amazing. Give it try!
 

Rover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, Fall 2016
Hi!

My girlfriend and I are walking 5 days of the Camino Frances starting in Saint Jean Pied de Port next week - we are very excited! Just wondering would it be advisable to source a walking stick in Saint Jean Pied de Port for the first day of walking to Roncesvalle? Ideally we would prefer to do it without a stick but are happy to follow advice on this topic.

Any other tips are welcome also for this section of the Camino!

I walked Sarria to Santiago de Compostela 2 years ago and enjoyed it so looking forward to more good experiences on the Camino!

Thanks everyone!
I generally walk/hike with trekking poles however when I did the Camino 3 years ago I opted to walk without them and GLAD I did . . . still, that said, there were downslopes I wish I had them. Go figure! For only 5 days I say pass and free yourself of carrying them.
 

kdespot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés SJPP-SdC Sept-Oct 2016
Just echoing the other pilgrim wisdom here... poles are nice for the long uphill climb through the pass, but you'll really appreciate them when you're very tired and you hit the downhill coming into Roncesvalles. Overall, poles are handy in several rocky spots coming out of the Pyrenees. Even on the flats, they take some of the burden off your legs which is nice when you walk 20-30km/day. I never used them before walking the Camino but now I'm a true believer.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
I bought a pair of Leki Vario´s, totally collapsible, just in case for my first camino.
Turned out that they are indispensable in any respect,
If in doubt, SJPdP is awash with eqipment, top quality and cheap, so if in doubt, buy some cheap sets and donate them to the last albergue before heading home...
As I recall there might even be some wooden ones on sale...
I personally think they are a great help over the Pyrenees, especially going down !
My knees approve of this message !!
 
Last edited:

longwalker60

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
09/2018
Hi!

My girlfriend and I are walking 5 days of the Camino Frances starting in Saint Jean Pied de Port next week - we are very excited! Just wondering would it be advisable to source a walking stick in Saint Jean Pied de Port for the first day of walking to Roncesvalle? Ideally we would prefer to do it without a stick but are happy to follow advice on this topic.

Any other tips are welcome also for this section of the Camino!

I walked Sarria to Santiago de Compostela 2 years ago and enjoyed it so looking forward to more good experiences on the Camino!

Thanks everyone!
Hell yes...you better have something. I had treking poles, and thank God I did. The first day, from SJPP is one of the most difficult, as hard as the walk was uphill, it was just as difficult downhill. There are portions on the downhill side-old roman rds, that if you fall, a good possibility if the weather is bad, or you slip, you camino adventure is done. Have poles or a staff, like insurance, you might not need it, but if you have it, you will be glad you did. Buen Camino!
 

Roni

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2017
Hi!

My girlfriend and I are walking 5 days of the Camino Frances starting in Saint Jean Pied de Port next week - we are very excited! Just wondering would it be advisable to source a walking stick in Saint Jean Pied de Port for the first day of walking to Roncesvalle? Ideally we would prefer to do it without a stick but are happy to follow advice on this topic.

Any other tips are welcome also for this section of the Camino!

I walked Sarria to Santiago de Compostela 2 years ago and enjoyed it so looking forward to more good experiences on the Camino!

Thanks everyone!
My husband and I walked the Camino Francis last year all the way to Finesterra, so glad that we had walking poles ! A must for the up and down hills
 

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