Search 62305 Camino Questions

Too late to start preparing & weather in May?

Hurrying

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Camino (Planned)
I am in my late 30's and about 30kg overweight. I have managed to walk 10-12km at a fast pace (in about 2:15 hours) during our hot summer, without a backpack. But, not two days in a row.

In March 2020 I did the first stage of the French Camino from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles, via the Valcarlos way. It was cold and wet, but with a nice break in Valcarlos for a coffee I did manage to make it to Roncesvalles. Covid-19 forced me to hurry back to Australia after the first stage before Australia's borders were closed (locking me out), so I only did the first day. My feet were in a lot of pain on the morning after my arrival in Roncesvalles.

I want to attempt the French Camino from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in May, but that leaves me only 2 months to get some training in. Am I leaving it too late to get physically ready to handle the French Camino? I will have about 40 days to get to Santiago (and hopefully Finisterre).

Also, what will the weather be like in May? I will have a woolen fleece for cold days and night times. But I would prefer to walk in shorts and a t-shirt if possible.
 
Camino Cleanup Program & Retreat
Help keep the Camino clean. Join us May 2023.

pasiño a pasiño

sin dolor no hay gloria
Time of past OR future Camino
2018 Via de la Plata | next Francés again....
Hey Hurrying!
once I started my first Camino (3100km) without much training, 60 pounds overweight plus 30 pounds backpack.
I walked the first weeks not more than 25km and had a rest day. I had much pain all over the place but I arrived at the ocean and lost my 60 pounds overweight!

Just take it easy, walk in your pace, find your rhythm and LISTEN to your body. Also you will lose weight and your body grows with every step! 40 days is plenty of time to walk the Francés!

Enjoy your walk

edit: sometimes it feels that you can't walk at all but after the first 3km you will start enjoying again :) be positive!
 

pasiño a pasiño

sin dolor no hay gloria
Time of past OR future Camino
2018 Via de la Plata | next Francés again....
Thanks for your positive words. Did you watch what you ate during your Camino? I imagine if I drank beer every night and had coffee with ham baguettes every day I might not lose much weight. :D
good question!
I ate and drank everything I wanted :)
Your body burns a lot of calories! I was 30 years old....
 
2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
First, it’s never too late to start your training. Every bit of training you put in prior to your Camino will pay dividends on your walk. You already know that you can cross the Pyrenees in a day. A certain level of fatigue does set in the following couple of days which is why I like to take a rest day in Pamplona. But, you said you have 40 days to complete the CF. You can either take a number of rest days or walk shorter days with that much time to complete the trek. I’d encourage you to improve your level of fitness from where it is now over the next two months. As walking 500 miles to Santiago is physically demanding, it’ll be more enjoyable if you’ve done some amount of fitness preparation before setting off from SJPP. Second, as I well learned from my first Camino, keep your pack light. To walk far, carry less. As you don’t really need much on the Camino, don’t overpack. There are also luggage transfer services that can take your pack on to your next stop. Being two months out, you still have plenty of time to prepare
 

Jeff B

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Primitivo, Fisterre and Ingles
I think that you have plenty of time for training. Think kilometers of training instead of just in terms of time left to train. I'd suggest trying for 300 km. of training. Build up your mileage and towards the end of training start doing back to back days - there's no magic formula.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
Do both your training and Camino walking slowly. Don't try and extend yourself too quickly as that is the quickest way to injure yourself and ruin your Camino.

Gradually increase your daily distance and try to do your training walks with your backpack.

On the Camino walk short distances at the beginning until you feel your body get into its groove.
 

Hurrying

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Camino (Planned)
On the Camino walk short distances at the beginning until you feel your body get into its groove.
First day SJPdP to Orisson, then Orisson to Roncesvalles on day two? But is there an itinerary out there for someone trying to build up to full distance?
 
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
First day SJPdP to Orisson, then Orisson to Roncesvalles on day two? But is there an itinerary out there for someone trying to build up to full distance?
Don't worry about someone else's itinerary, just walk your own Camino. Walk until you feel tired and then start looking for a bed.

Www.gronze.com is one of the best places to look for a bed close to where you are.

This is what I did and it worked well. You will find that there are heaps of albergues along the Camino Frances.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
.
Hey Hurrying, most pilgrims do their training between St Jean and Logrono...
It sounds like your feet are the critical aspect here. Without knowing anything about how you've thought out your footwear to date, you've still time to try other options and wear-in a new system if you want.
Are you using poles? they can really make a difference. If not, try them. They can seem a fuss to start with, until your mind has accommodated the extra co-ordination necessary. After a while you almost forget they are there - and they can really save on foot and knee joint stress.
Then I'd just keep doing some miles each day, preferably carrying a load when you can. Doesn't have to be the full weight or the full distance at all.
Psychologically, try not to put pressure on yourself with that 40-day limit that you have: if you can't add any more days to your trip then just be philisophical, and enjoy each day on the camino for its own merits. And if you have to get a bus at some point to Sarria, so be it. Have seen some people consumed by their timeline and trying to stay up with it.
 

Mark McCarthy

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2014 2015
Lourdes 2 SdC 2016
Sarria 2 SdC April&Oct 2016 & (April 2018)
Camino Baztan June 2017
If you managed to walk to Roncesvalles via Valcarlos in one day, you are probably fitter than you think. Splitting the first day at Orisson or Borda is always a wise choice. The second day can also be split by staying at Viscarret/Biskarreta in www.laposadanueva.net . From Zubiri to Pamplona can be split by staying in La Parada de Zuriain or in Zabaldika but it is a relatively easy day (21.2km). After Pamplona, I would also shorten the day by staying in Uterga. After that you can gradually build up your distances as your body allows.
 
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

David with new Kit!

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019, 2021, 2022
I agree with @perigrino_tom about the 40 days. If you are of average fitness then 40 days to SdC is good.

But, trying to also fit in Finstere, in my opinion is pushing it, if you are unsure of your fitness.

Better to allow time to decide once you get closer to SdC.
 

Hurrying

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Camino (Planned)
It sounds like your feet are the critical aspect here.
Yes, my feet were very sore after the one stage I did 2 years ago. I couldn't put any pressure on them the next day and hobbled to the bus stop for Pamplona.

I have a new pair of Merrell Moab 2 Ventilated, which are a new pair of the same type of shoes I used whilst hiking in Nepal 3 years ago. I will start wearing them every day to wear them in.

But, trying to also fit in Finstere, in my opinion is pushing it, if you are unsure of your fitness.
Yes, I might just catch a bus to Finisterre after arriving in SdC, for a day trip. That is, if I do not have much time left.

Are you using poles? they can really make a difference.
I have never used poles but my knees and feet do hurt on downhill sections. Should I get 2 poles or is 1 often enough?

From Zubiri to Pamplona can be split by staying in La Parada de Zuriain or in Zabaldika but it is a relatively easy day (21.2km). After Pamplona, I would also shorten the day by staying in Uterga.
I've been to Pamplona before and I would like to walk through it this time.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
.
H, I've been converted to 2 poles in the last few years. But it took a while for it to feel natural.
You see lots of people using them awkwardly and apparently not getting much benefit. Pacer poles (not sure if you can get them in Oz and they are pricey) are great because the handles kind of force you to use them in a productive way. But I could drone on for hours about pole technique...
Suggest you look at a few videos on youtube on pole technique and Nordic Walking too. Then try out on a cheap pair - there's marginal difference between cheap and expensive ones IMO, unless they're Pacers of course!
Cheers, tom
Edit: I quite like how this guy is doing it, but you don't always have to push so hard, just take it easy
 
Last edited:

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
I use a single pole but I think that the purists prefer two
I used to prefer a single wooden staff too. I really disliked the idea of twin poles and felt like an idiot trying to use them. That was until both knees gave up working on the Via de la Plata several years ago. I had to return home to the UK barely able to walk for several weeks. Diagnosed as osteoarthritis in both knees. For a while I thought that was the end of my long distance walking. Instead I learned to use twin poles effectively and have walked several thousand km since without any serious knee problems. Including walking the entire VdlP in a little over a month recently. I wouldn't attempt a long distance walk without twin poles now.

PS. When walking the Shikoku temple circuit it is traditional to carry a wooden staff which represents Kōbō Daishi - the founder of the pilgrimage - walking beside you. An object of some reverence then. I walked that route with a staff in one hand and a pole set to the same length in the other!
 
Last edited:
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.

Hurrying

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Camino (Planned)
Are these poles good enough? I need something that will fit in my 30L backpack for the flight from Australia to Europe and they seem pretty compact and light.
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
I will repeat again the well worn phrase.
"Start like an old man and you will finish like a young man".
Walk carefully.
Pause regularly and consider carefully what your feet and legs are telling you.
Use two poles which will give stability as well as forward propulsion when used correctly.
(Poles transfer up to 20 percent of the energy required for forward motion from your legs to your shoulder muscles. Who wouldn't want that?)
Short stages are important initially. Aim initially for a regular total of between 15 and 20ks each day. Even less is quite ok if that's is occasionally more suitable.
I have a mantra I repeat on starting, then again after a 1/2 hr stop for a meal or rest break.
It goes like this.
"Head up!
Shoulders back!
Slow down....This is not a race!"
I'll pause mentally, after 5 or 10 minutes, to check if I have become over eager and am perhaps walking too fast.
I repeat the phrase, then set off again, mindful once again of regulating my pace.
A habit develops.
As Aristotle is reported to have said...
"We are what we continually do. Excellence then, is a habit."
Regards, good travelling, and buen Camino.
Gerard
 
Last edited:

koknesis

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2014
CA&CS 2015
VdlP 2017
CP 2018
CM 2019
Even though there was an optimistic advice “train while you walk” I do not think it is good idea. So, you aim to 20km daily for 40 days, and right now 30kg + 10kg backpack excess weight will be on your joints. The chances that they will be unhappy and fail are pretty high. I would suggest a realistic goal to get rid of some weight and put your body in the right mode. This would just require at least 5km walking daily and switch to at least 10/14 diet (let say food consumption only during 6am-4pm). No exceptions, and you will be able enjoy the Camino! I know people for whom the desire to walk the Camino radically changed their lifestyle and physical appearance :)
 
Time of past OR future Camino
.
Ah, poles on a plane, prepare for a much longer thread.
He's not joking... this could be a long detour. Once you get into threads about carrying poles on planes you might get lost forever.
If you are not in the middle of the outback, I'd suggest going in to a store and trying some out. Have a look at the screw-tightening poles as well, which don't fold as small but are an older simpler design and often cheaper. I prefer them myself.
If you buy a cheap pair and like them, you might want to do as others have suggested elsewhere - leave them at home and pick up another cheap pair in St Jean which you 'donate' back once you arrive in Santiago.
 
Pocket guides that pack a punch
1.4 oz (40g) pocket guides with gems of wisdom to ponder during and after your Camino

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
Under 40 years old? Of course you can walk the Camino all the way to Santiago.
Starting now go on walks everyday to train as well as stretching and if you have poor nutritional choices that cause you to be overweight change them today. Now. Don't depend on walking the Camino to do that for you. It won't pound you into shape if you cannot walk it in the first place.
 

Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
Are these poles good enough? I need something that will fit in my 30L backpack for the flight from Australia to Europe and they seem pretty compact and light.
From my experience, poles are a must! Just bought a couple new sets of poles, very similar to those you linked, for my wife and me from Amazon. I like how they break down into three pieces for fitting into a pack. However, and as has been mentioned, I’m not sure what the airline rules are from Australia for bringing poles in your pack into the cabin. As I would encourage you NOT to check your pack, and unless you know for sure that you can bring them on board, buy your poles in SJPP. There are several outfitters there that have what you’ll need.

Regarding shoes, I, too, wear the Merrell Moabs. They’re a great shoe for “my” feet. How do they fit you and how much walking have you done in them? What I also do is put inserts into both my hiking shoes and my running shoes. I like Superfeet.

Your 30L pack sounds perfect. I carry a 36L one and always have extra room. To give you some idea of weight, I keep my load around 12-13 pounds or 5.5 - 6 kg. Not a bad load at all to carry.

Finally, although you can walk shorter stages at the beginning of the Camino, I’d encourage you not to think of this as your Camino training. Take these two months now and physically prepare. Your training doesn’t only have to be walking. Any type of conditioning will help you along The Way. For example, I spend much more time doing hill climbs on my Peloton and working out at the gym than I spend walking. Condition your entire body and it will pay big dividends. When I do walk, usually in the woods with my dog, I find that a wearing a weighted vest gives me all the conditioning that I need for carrying a pretty light pack.
 

Anhalter

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019 CF, 2022 CF
Many good points have already been made. I'll compress some of what i find helpful:
- Training. Every bit of preparation does help. You won't lose (all) your excess weight, but you will get more comfortable moving it around. It does not need to be much however, even a 45min walk after work is better than nothing.
- Take your time. 40 days is plenty. You don't have much else to do besides getting to the next albergue. No point in arriving at 11:00 when you could just as well be there at 14:00...
- Don't be afraid to take rest days. There are many beautiful places that one can spend an extra day.
- You can always save on the weight in your pack
- Poles might take time getting used to, but can be a real relief for your legs and joints.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
One of my favorite walks that I do without Peg is 11 km in 2 hours. On hiking trails I often hike ahead of Peg for awhile and then wait (and sometimes time us). I've always noticed when timing that I am twice as fast as her. In 2015 we started our CF in mid-May but we had little training time in due to late snow. Still old, short, overweight Peg put in 25 km days (Peg lets me get away with that description as long as it is supplemented with admiration for being a trooper).

So, you are in better shape than you think and you still have time to improve.

As for what to wear, I was fine for the first two weeks walking in a tee-shirt (I really dislike shorts). I switched to a long sleeved shirt after that for sun protection.

Buen camino.

P.S., my last camino was done in Merrell Moab vents. I like them.
 
Pocket guides that pack a punch
1.4 oz (40g) pocket guides with gems of wisdom to ponder during and after your Camino

Hurrying

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Camino (Planned)
Thanks for all the great info. Regarding sleeping in albergues, should I bring a sleeping bag liner or can I get by with the blankets and sheet provided at the albergues? I am looking at the Sea to Summit Expander Travel Liner on Amazon.
 

Ptermini

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
(10/2018)
If you managed to walk to Roncesvalles via Valcarlos in one day, you are probably fitter than you think. Splitting the first day at Orisson or Borda is always a wise choice. The second day can also be split by staying at Viscarret/Biskarreta in www.laposadanueva.net . From Zubiri to Pamplona can be split by staying in La Parada de Zuriain or in Zabaldika but it is a relatively easy day (21.2km). After Pamplona, I would also shorten the day by staying in Uterga. After that you can gradually build up your distances as your body allows.
This sounds like really good advice. Take care of yourself EARLY in your walk to prevent/lessen injury or blisters. You have lots of time!
 

Ptermini

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
(10/2018)
Thanks for all the great info. Regarding sleeping in albergues, should I bring a sleeping bag liner or can I get by with the blankets and sheet provided at the albergues? I am looking at the Sea to Summit Expander Travel Liner on Amazon.
I LOVE my liner! Even in beds with sheets and blankets. I feel at home in the liner!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
I have a new pair of Merrell Moab 2 Ventilated, which are a new pair of the same type of shoes I used whilst hiking in Nepal 3 years ago. I will start wearing them every day to wear them in.
I am the least qualified to comment on this, but the Camino is much more like a long walk than a hike. How heavy are these? Have you tried lighter trail runners? My husband loved his.
 
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

Leandra

Leandra
Time of past OR future Camino
French Way, starting on may 21st 2019
I am in my late 30's and about 30kg overweight. I have managed to walk 10-12km at a fast pace (in about 2:15 hours) during our hot summer, without a backpack. But, not two days in a row.

In March 2020 I did the first stage of the French Camino from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles, via the Valcarlos way. It was cold and wet, but with a nice break in Valcarlos for a coffee I did manage to make it to Roncesvalles. Covid-19 forced me to hurry back to Australia after the first stage before Australia's borders were closed (locking me out), so I only did the first day. My feet were in a lot of pain on the morning after my arrival in Roncesvalles.

I want to attempt the French Camino from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in May, but that leaves me only 2 months to get some training in. Am I leaving it too late to get physically ready to handle the French Camino? I will have about 40 days to get to Santiago (and hopefully Finisterre).

Also, what will the weather be like in May? I will have a woolen fleece for cold days and night times. But I would prefer to walk in shorts and a t-shirt if possible.
Hi!

I was 55 when I walked the Camino, in 2019! I have fibromyalgia and two other diseases! I decided to do the Camino in April and started it in may!
I did in in 47 days in a total, taking 7 days to rest! I had absolutely no problem, besides the ones I have daily!
Don’t worry! Everything will work out just fine for you!
Buen Camino!
🌺
 

LpDenver

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
Hey Hurrying!
once I started my first Camino (3100km) without much training, 60 pounds overweight plus 30 pounds backpack.
I walked the first weeks not more than 25km and had a rest day. I had much pain all over the place but I arrived at the ocean and lost my 60 pounds overweight!

Just take it easy, walk in your pace, find your rhythm and LISTEN to your body. Also you will lose weight and your body grows with every step! 40 days is plenty of time to walk the Francés!

Enjoy your walk

edit: sometimes it feels that you can't walk at all but after the first 3km you will start enjoying again :) be positive!
I totally agree! It’s the getting up and starting each day that is difficult when you are tired and in pain but once you start you fill with a new energy! Walk at your own pace and believe in your heart it’s not a race, it’s your journey!
 

Pilgrim Patricia

Want to do the VdlP again!
Time of past OR future Camino
Via de la Plata; Hospitalera Miraz 2011
Yes, my feet were very sore after the one stage I did 2 years ago. I couldn't put any pressure on them the next day and hobbled to the bus stop for Pamplona.

I have a new pair of Merrell Moab 2 Ventilated, which are a new pair of the same type of shoes I used whilst hiking in Nepal 3 years ago. I will start wearing them every day to wear them in.


Yes, I might just catch a bus to Finisterre after arriving in SdC, for a day trip. That is, if I do not have much time left.


I have never used poles but my knees and feet do hurt on downhill sections. Should I get 2 poles or is 1 often enough?


I've been to Pamplona before and I would like to walk through it this time.
If you haven't already done so, I'd suggest that you visit a podiatrist/foot doctor to have your gait analysed. I had knee problems for a while years ago, and my GP sent me to a podiatrist who provided custom orthotics. My knee problem disappeared and I no longer have any plantar fasciitis. Worth checking into, as how our feet fall affect everything up to and including our shoulders and neck.

Have a fantastic Camino!
 

Ivan Shannon

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
"2016"
Hi,
I am starting from St. Jean on 26th May. I am 54, overweight, twice my right knee has been operated upon.
It's your Camino so the pace you walk and the distance you travel is your decision alone.
Pack as light as possible. Hiking poles are a benefit for most pilgrims and can like most items be purchased on the Camino.
Plenty of time to get your footwear dialed in.
Look forward and enjoy.

Ivan
 
2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

Harland2019

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF April/May 2019, CF May 2022
I have a new pair of Merrell Moab 2 Ventilated, which are a new pair of the same type of shoes I used whilst hiking in Nepal 3 years ago. I will start wearing them every day to wear them in.
I bought a pair of these after a few comments on here. As a seasoned long-distance walker over many years they are the best shoes I have ever worn. It may be because I bought a pair 2 sizes larger than my normal shoes. That gave me extra room for my toes that frequently suffer, especially when going downhill. My only decision now is to whether to buy a new pair before my walk in May and wear them in although nowadays I am not sure that they need it.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Hello there J , for a newbie for the Camino, wish I know what the abbreviations are for A, G, R, H, J,… I’m guessing, . A. Albergues , H, hotels, G,R,and J, not sure, confusing. Sorry 😞 Cheers !
It's from the planning site that I linked to above.
Here's the key.
Screenshot_20220307-082809_Firefox.jpg
 

Kitkat1066

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future May 2022
Hey Hurrying!
once I started my first Camino (3100km) without much training, 60 pounds overweight plus 30 pounds backpack.
I walked the first weeks not more than 25km and had a rest day. I had much pain all over the place but I arrived at the ocean and lost my 60 pounds overweight!

Just take it easy, walk in your pace, find your rhythm and LISTEN to your body. Also you will lose weight and your body grows with every step! 40 days is plenty of time to walk the Francés!

Enjoy your walk

edit: sometimes it feels that you can't walk at all but after the first 3km you will start enjoying again :) be positive!
I am overweight but fit if you can say that in the same sentence? I am able to walk about 25km with a full pack in a day but I have built that up. 2 months is still time to train, include hills and vary the terrain. What Pasino says about the first 1km to 3km in the morning is true but you soon get into the rythmn for the day.
 

txpeah

Ultreia!
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2015, CF 2018, Primitivo 2019, CF 2022
I read an adage on the forum before my fist Camino in 2015 that I wish I had listen to more - start as old woman, finish as a young one.

Go extra slow in the beginning (meaning shorter distances) and as your body conditions, you will naturally pick up the pace after the first 5-6 days. Days 1-4 are hard, 3 or 4 is usually the worst then hopefully you move though. So go easy on your self. Take those rest days and perhaps consider starting in Roncesvalles.

Yes on the poles for down hill - I am a single pole fan - and I usually check a small bag with my pole and a few things that can’t make it on the plane. Like a Swiss Army knife.

That said shops in SJPP are great, there also used to be a shop in Pamplona - CaminoTeca - but I am unclear if it is still open.

I say go for it. It’s your Camino, but the biggest lessons for me were don’t pack your fears and be open - adapt as you go.

Buen Camino.
 
2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
I am the least qualified to comment on this, but the Camino is much more like a long walk than a hike. How heavy are these? Have you tried lighter trail runners? My husband loved his.
I've walked the Frances from SJPdP to SDC three times in Merrell Moab Ventilator's, low style. They worked like a champ for me, and I love their stability and the shank for support. I find they're a compromise between trail runners and actual hiking boots/shoes. I've since switched to Oboz Sawtooth low's for two other Caminos and prefer their wider toe box.
Based on what I've observed on the Frances the Merrell's are very popular. You see so many pilgrims wearing them and see them on the shoe racks in the albergues and for sale in the outdoor shoppes.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Camino Portuguese and Primitivo
I am in my late 30's and about 30kg overweight. I have managed to walk 10-12km at a fast pace (in about 2:15 hours) during our hot summer, without a backpack. But, not two days in a row.

In March 2020 I did the first stage of the French Camino from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles, via the Valcarlos way. It was cold and wet, but with a nice break in Valcarlos for a coffee I did manage to make it to Roncesvalles. Covid-19 forced me to hurry back to Australia after the first stage before Australia's borders were closed (locking me out), so I only did the first day. My feet were in a lot of pain on the morning after my arrival in Roncesvalles.

I want to attempt the French Camino from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in May, but that leaves me only 2 months to get some training in. Am I leaving it too late to get physically ready to handle the French Camino? I will have about 40 days to get to Santiago (and hopefully Finisterre).

Also, what will the weather be like in May? I will have a woolen fleece for cold days and night times. But I would prefer to walk in shorts and a t-shirt if possible.
Weather varies from year to year.
Walked my first Camino in 2006 from Roncesvalles, starting 8th May. Shorts all the way, in spite of the odd am frost.
Windstopper fleece was brilliant. Hardly any drops of rain.
A year or two later pilgrims trudged through snow and mud for weeks on the same dates.
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
Whether or not you are fit, whether or not you are "thin", and whether or not you physically trained for the Camino - none of that truly matters as long as you walk your own comfortable pace and distances and listen to your body along the way. If you are unsure whether or not you can cross the Pyrenees in one day, you may wish to book Orisson or Borda to break the day in two. After that - there are plenty of places to stop along the way. You walked 20km and feel great and want to walk further? Go for it. You have walked only 12km and are exhausted and your whole body already aches? You can stop at the first albergue you come across. When I did my Camino last summer, I had lost a ton of weight, but my heart was still weak. I stopped at Orisson and am glad I did. Getting to Roncesvalles was tough, but I made it. After that? I had very little problems walking the same stages as everyone else. Some days I even walked further. By the end? My body and my heart were much stronger. What IS important? Wearing the right shoe/sock combination for your feet. That is the MOST important factor in a successful trek like the one we are taking across Spain. And then listening to your body is next. It will tell you when it needs to rest. If you listen, you will be fine!
 

Yoyo

Ambulo, ergo sum. 🥾
Time of past OR future Camino
2023, hopefully.
In March 2020 I did the first stage of the French Camino from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles, via the Valcarlos way.
...
My feet were in a lot of pain on the morning after my arrival in Roncesvalles.
@Hurrying, instead of starting out from SJPdP again, have you considered just continuing your walk from Roncesvalles this year? This would give you a chance to avoid that especially challenging stage which puts a lot of strain on joints and heart, and allow you to ease into your camino.
You could just get another stamp at Roncesvalles with this year's starting date and walk a more comfortable first day. Your distance certificate will still state SJPdP as your starting point.
Buen camino!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
Thanks for all the great info. Regarding sleeping in albergues, should I bring a sleeping bag liner or can I get by with the blankets and sheet provided at the albergues? I am looking at the Sea to Summit Expander Travel Liner on Amazon.
Yes, get a liner but more importantly, don't forget your emergency supply of Vegemite. It is a little hard to get on the Camino.
 
2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
Hello there J , for a newbie for the Camino, wish I know what the abbreviations are for A, G, R, H, J,… I’m guessing, . A. Albergues , H, hotels, G,R,and J, not sure, confusing. Sorry 😞 Cheers !
SJPdP - Saint Jean Pied de Port
SdC - Santiago de Compostela

Edit: Of course I should have read on further and then I would have seen that @trecile answered this post much more correctly.
 
Last edited:

larry2022

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2014,2016,2018,2022
I am in my late 30's and about 30kg overweight. I have managed to walk 10-12km at a fast pace (in about 2:15 hours) during our hot summer, without a backpack. But, not two days in a row.

In March 2020 I did the first stage of the French Camino from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles, via the Valcarlos way. It was cold and wet, but with a nice break in Valcarlos for a coffee I did manage to make it to Roncesvalles. Covid-19 forced me to hurry back to Australia after the first stage before Australia's borders were closed (locking me out), so I only did the first day. My feet were in a lot of pain on the morning after my arrival in Roncesvalles.

I want to attempt the French Camino from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in May, but that leaves me only 2 months to get some training in. Am I leaving it too late to get physically ready to handle the French Camino? I will have about 40 days to get to Santiago (and hopefully Finisterre).

Also, what will the weather be like in May? I will have a woolen fleece for cold days and night times. But I would prefer to walk in shorts and a t-shirt if possible.
Just a thought if you find you need a rest day you can always send your bag forward to your next albergue - so you walk with just a daypack

I have walked 3 times SJPDP TO SDC starting in May - you will get some rain but in the main it’s good weather for walking

Eating - just enjoy as it’s all part of the experience
 

FeatherG

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Route (last 100+kms) (2011)
Finisterre Route (2012)
French Way (first 100+ kms) (2014)
Northern Coastal Route (first 100+kms) (2015)
French Way (last 100+kms) (2017)
You must go back ... everyone goes back! As already stated by another pilgrim, this is YOUR Camino ... so you start whenever & whatever time you like (tho I would recommend earlyish... before 8). I think the Camino is as much a mental as physical journey, so focus on your mind, emotions ... & listen to your body ... constantly. Footwear is important & good socks too. By all means wear your shorts & tee-shirt, but definitely bring a rain jacket & hat ... that fold small. Weather is unpredictable in May ... so expect the unexpected! Being Irish, I was well prepared for this & enjoyed sunny days but also strong winds & hailstones! I love my poles & wouldn't manage the downhills w/o them. On solo trips their rhythm kept me going on tougher days. Pack as light as you can. You can always buy extra if you're stuck (I found really cheap/cosy leggings in a little village that kept me 'alive' after a heavy downpour!) Little things like a mini torch, small purse for change, neck bandana (that can also be used for your hair!), small packs of jellies (for the last 5km of the day!) can be invaluable. Walk at your own pace. Stop for breaks where you hear laughter & music. Chat as you journey, but have time on your own too. Eat as much as you like ... you'll lose it! The Peregrino meals are usually quite healthy & fluids are a must ... water in the day & a rewarding vino tinto or beer in the evening. I usually hit the sack around 10ish so I'm on the road before 8. I discovered having breakfast en route worked better & got me movin' earlier. The best part of the day is when the birds are singing & you watch the sunrise as you trek ... glorious! Don't sweat the small stuff. Get out there & meet all those lovely people heading on a similar adventure. Take it one day at a time, listen to your body, & don't be hard on yourself. You will find your own rhythm & routine & do what works for you. 40 days is plenty ... it's not a race! Hope you get to Finisterre, but Muxia is my final stop. That little village has beckoned 3 times already & it never fails to disappoint. Enjoy your wonderful journey & 'stop & smell the roses'! Buen Camino! 😇
 

Richard Smith

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2016
Kumano Kodo 2014
Did you watch what you ate during your Camino? I imagine if I drank beer every night and had coffee with ham baguettes every day I might not lose much weight. :D
Have the big breakfast, drink beer at lunch time and wine at night without a concern. Desert. and those chocolate pastries are good too.
You will use it up with the energy for walking, does your body good.
 
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Finisterra 2022
I agree with some suggestions above to stop at Orrison. That climb out of SJPDP is steep, plus dinner at Orrison is an experience. So much fun that first dinner with lots of other pilgrims at the long tables. And, they have good beer. You'll probably find your a"family", if not there, then somewhere between there and Pamplona as well.
Take it slow at first, as the others have suggested. 40 days is plenty. I did my first at age 73 in 35 days. Jose (on the forum) encouraged me to go and he was 75 when he walked. You can do it.
 

makingtrax

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
El norte2010
Portuguese 2014
Primativo 2016
Frances sept 2017!
Thanks for your positive words. Did you watch what you ate during your Camino? I imagine if I drank beer every night and had coffee with ham baguettes every day I might not lose much weight. :D
But if u only drink 1 beer and 1 cheece and ham sandwich a day u will definitely lose weight!
 

Harland2019

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF April/May 2019, CF May 2022
I found that drinking at least a couple of beers and some wine a day (walked by myself so frequently had a bottle to myself with the Pilgrim's menu) coupled with at least one portion of Potato de Patas during the day helped me lose circa 9 pounds in weight. Must try more Potato de Patas this year!
 

koknesis

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2014
CA&CS 2015
VdlP 2017
CP 2018
CM 2019
Have the big breakfast, drink beer at lunch time and wine at night without a concern. Desert. and those chocolate pastries are good too.
You will use it up with the energy for walking, does your body good.
Beer, or any alcohol containing drink is a big NO while walking. Especially for a person struggling with mileage, especially in hot weather. The best would be to start the day with a porridge, not so easy in Spain though. Hydration and electrolyte balance is of utmost importance. The party may start after laundry and showering done.
The Camino may be a great first step for a lifelong transition to “mens sana in corpore sano”.
 

Galuh

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
mei 2016
The problem is 73 years old, 15 kiloś overweight, not vaccinated. Thatś why I walk in the Netherlands.

Buen camino Hurrying and others!
 
How to avoid failure "be prepared"
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc

Hurrying

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Camino (Planned)
I've decided to walk from SJPdP to Roncesvalles on Day 1, but I think I will send my backpack ahead to the Roncesvalles albergue. Which company should I use and do I need to arrange the baggage transfer the day before or can I do it in the morning before I set off? Do they have insurance to cover theft and damage of iPad etc, whilst they have my bag?
 

koknesis

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2014
CA&CS 2015
VdlP 2017
CP 2018
CM 2019
You may check Jacotrans.es
Anyway, the valuable items can be carried in a small and light daypack, like
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
(Poles transfer up to 20 percent of the energy required for forward motion from your legs to your shoulder muscles. Who wouldn't want that?)
Me. My shoulders are a mess. I am taking physiotherapy for them. My legs are fine. Listen to your own body and try to get as fit as you can, gradually.
 

koknesis

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2014
CA&CS 2015
VdlP 2017
CP 2018
CM 2019
Apparently I may need to use www.expressbourricot.com for the SJPdP to Roncesvalles section, because I am starting in France?
From their website:
At JACOTRANS baggage transfer we offer the transport of pilgrim’s suitcase, backpack or any piece of luggage over the Camino de Santiago along the French Way From San Jean Pied de Port or Roncesvalles to Santiago de Compostela or Finisterre.

Apparently 1€ cheaper than www.expressbourricot.com

OT:
Once you consider to send the pack, that means you will restrict your freedom a little because of need to get to the point where your pack will go, and loose that wonderful feeling of being virtually autonomous :)
Another option would be to have a plan B. Begin with a really slow start and listen to your body very very carefully, as suggested above. If by reaching Pamplona/Logrono you feel for sure that you cannot make CF within the time limit, just take a buss to Burgos/Leon/Ponferrada and continue strolling to SdC.
But then again, you still have time to get fit for 20 or so km daily, IMHO.
 
The Way: Through a Field of Stars (audiobook)
A great book to listen to while training for the Camino or to relive the experience!

Hurrying

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Camino (Planned)
Thanks for all the replies so far.

What time do people typically leave SJPdP for Roncesvalles via the Napoleon route? Is 6am too early? Can I get my Pilgrim Passport the day before?
 

Harland2019

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF April/May 2019, CF May 2022
I guess it may depend on whether pilgrims have accommodation booked, if not then I presume they may leave earlier than I did. I left SJPdP at 07.50 after a minimal breakfast, stopped at Orisson for a rest, drink & food, and arrived at Roncesvalles at 14.45.
 

Hurrying

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Camino (Planned)
I left SJPdP at 07.50 after a minimal breakfast, stopped at Orisson for a rest, drink & food, and arrived at Roncesvalles at 14.45.
25km's in 7 hours, including a lunch break? That is about 4km per hour (after subtracting some time for the lunch break), mostly uphill... I have accommodation booked and paid for already, but I am doubting I can go up that steep ascent at 4km per hour, including rest and meal breaks!
 

Harland2019

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF April/May 2019, CF May 2022
I was 71 at the time, I only stopped at Orisson for 15/20 minutes and a short while to get a photo of me in the snow a bit later. Head down, one step at a time, walking at a speed that didn't push me over the limit, in shorts and shirt. It wasn't that bad especially after Orisson, took the route down through the forest. Historically I have always been active in rugby, football, rowing, offshore sailing, athletics, running - well jogging actually - marathons so I had been reasonably fit all my life but in the years prior to the pilgrimage I was only swimming, walking, and gardening.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
.
Hi Hurrying
I'd suggest that Harland's time is untypically quick. I think you can start later than 6 (I do anyway) but I'd wait until you are there and judge the conditions on the ground - if there's a heatwave you might want to go early to minimise exposure to heat etc.
If you have accommodation booked in Roncesvalles, then you can take it nice 'n' easy. Just make sure that your place knows to expect you if you are arriving after 5pm as sometimes beds in some places get reallocated after then (others may be able to say more about whether this is likely/true).
Unless things have changed in the last couple of years, the pilgrim's office, staffed by volunteers, is open pretty late (it always used to be until the last train of the day had deposited its pilgrim load). You can pick up the pilgrim passport there and they'll give you a weather forecast for the next day and say whether it is sufficiently good for undertaking the Napoleon route.
In terms of the actual climb itself, the first hour or so is the steepest part. After that you can pick up speed as it is quite gentle for the majority of the km. Then you have the steep descent. The longer winding road route is the prudent option.
 
2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

koknesis

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2014
CA&CS 2015
VdlP 2017
CP 2018
CM 2019
One can turn to the right on NA-2033.
If you choose the straight and steep descent to Roncesvalles, take care of proper shoe lacing and socks. Some people lose toenails there…

F62DE8AD-A7B0-4012-8265-A6D33E328826.png
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
On Napoleon? As opposed to "the route down through the forest"? I didn't realise Napoleon route had 2 paths into Roncesvalles. :confused:

There is a choice at Col de Lepoeder, a fairly direct but steep route down through the forest, or a less steep but slightly longer one that leads to Roncesvalles.


You can see it on this map from Gronze.

20220312_072439.jpg
 

Hurrying

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Camino (Planned)
Should I book accommodation for the second night in Zubiri? Looks like there are quite a few options there.
 
Camino Cleanup Program & Retreat
Help keep the Camino clean. Join us May 2023.

simongx

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Oct-Nov 2021 (Camino Francés)
On Napoleon? As opposed to "the route down through the forest"? I didn't realise Napoleon route had 2 paths into Roncesvalles. :confused:
Only at the end, after the Lepoeder Pass. Both options are clearly marked at the split. The Pilgrim's Office will also tell you about this. I took the steeper route and would advise you to take the less steep one, unless you have solid hiking experience.
Should I book accommodation for the second night in Zubiri? Looks like there are quite a few options there.
I would say yes. I think you should start by doing the three standard stages to Pamplona. Sleeping in Zubiri is therefore a decision you can already make...
 

Harland2019

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF April/May 2019, CF May 2022
When I was there in April 2019, when I suggest that there were fewer pilgrims than expected this year, there was a lack of available accommodation with pilgrims walking on to try and find somewhere else. I met 2 ladies that could only eventually manage to find a couch to sleep on via Airbnb. So I know that some will comment that the Camino will provide and I am sure it will, however, I would worry if I hadn't booked!
 

Hurrying

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Camino (Planned)
In 2020 I vaguely remember getting the Pilgrim Passport in STPdP. Do I need to give them passport photos, or am I getting confused?
 
Last edited:

simongx

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Oct-Nov 2021 (Camino Francés)
In 2020 I vaguely remember getting the Pilgrim Passport in STPdP. Do I need to give them passport photos, or am I getting confused?
You do not need passport photos. And yes, you can easily get the credencial from the very friendly and helpful Pilgrims Office in SJPP, even in the morning before setting out if you don't arrive in time the day before.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Time of past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
Are these poles good enough? I need something that will fit in my 30L backpack for the flight from Australia to Europe and they seem pretty compact and light.
- or Leki Vario Micro, or Black Diamond ZZ poles.
My Leki Varios fit in the side pockets of my Osprey Kestrel 48l and were originally just brought along just to be safe, but was indispensable... as in : walk 14 km without and then hip pain, or walk up to 45 with poles , but that is just me...

They pace the rythm, they straighthen my back (posture and breathing) and they help me to put my feet properly when negotiating bad patches with rocks, up and down, and then again through puddles and running streams....

Leave behind you what you think you look like if you were seen back home, here nobody knows you.
Make sure you use the sticks vigerously and do dig in with the tips and you will do a fair speed...

AND, please put on rubber tips when in the city or on concrete/ tarmac surface ( clicket noise galore when in herd), and do make sure they are OFF on gravel and rocks, because it is here that the steel tips will get a firm hold and secure your balance...
(my original Leki tips are still holding up after four Camino trips)
I cannot count the times they have saved me from falling flat on my face...and I did seen someone who did just that... horrific!

Solvitur Ambulando
 
Last edited:
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Time of past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
Also, what will the weather be like in May? I will have a woolen fleece for cold days and night times. But I would prefer to walk in shorts and a t-shirt if possible.
Woollen fleece is a must..
I use Woolpower woolen Merino fleece, 200 gr quality(from Sweden), starting from morning in 0 to 2 dgr C , yes in May...

I don a bycycle safety high viz vest, light and breathable againt the morning breeze, and by 10 oclock, I turn the woolen fleece inside out and sit in the sun. The moisture build up will evaporate, it looks like I am steaming and it will cool.
Shorts is a must as I work up so much heat while hiking.
So do not leave at home...
- in ´14 I walked the CF, at home I chucked the woolen Merino to my wife and asked her to have a sniff. She could not detect any BO , so Merinos, for Pete´s sake..
(I use merino socks, underwear, neck gaiters, btw)

When you get to the Meseta, you will have your time of short sleeves, and your calves will get the full impact of the sun as you are now heading almost due west...

Come prepared and do have fun,
your new life has just begun

Solvitur Ambulando
 

Consey78

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances
Norte
Primitivo
I am in my late 30's and about 30kg overweight. I have managed to walk 10-12km at a fast pace (in about 2:15 hours) during our hot summer, without a backpack. But, not two days in a row.

In March 2020 I did the first stage of the French Camino from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles, via the Valcarlos way. It was cold and wet, but with a nice break in Valcarlos for a coffee I did manage to make it to Roncesvalles. Covid-19 forced me to hurry back to Australia after the first stage before Australia's borders were closed (locking me out), so I only did the first day. My feet were in a lot of pain on the morning after my arrival in Roncesvalles.

I want to attempt the French Camino from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in May, but that leaves me only 2 months to get some training in. Am I leaving it too late to get physically ready to handle the French Camino? I will have about 40 days to get to Santiago (and hopefully Finisterre).

Also, what will the weather be like in May? I will have a woolen fleece for cold days and night times. But I would prefer to walk in shorts and a t-shirt if possible.
The camino, especially the Frances is very versatile. If you feel out of shape or overweight just walk accordingly.
Walk the amount per day you feel you can safely manage, slowly upping the amount and making sure to factor in rest days. there are so many accommodation options this is easy on the Frances.
Keep your pack weight as low as possible, this is important as the weight is added on to your own and effects your joints.
Good, well fitting, well worn in cushioning shoes are important. I recommend shoes designed for road running, but breathable.
Take plenty of breaks, with plenty of water throughout your walking day.
Be careful of what you eat, if you spend your day eating chocolate and feasting on 5 course peregrino meals then this of course will affect your weight loss. Drinking Wine and Beer doubly so.
Try getting a activity tracker and measuring how many calories a day you burned, minus how much you ate. This can be fun and helps you achieve goals.
If your worried about heat, get up nice and early and walk in the cool of the morning, then rest during the heat of midday and continue in the afternoon.
I try to have "10 before 10", that is 10 km done before 10 O'Clock. Push on a bit after this and find somewhere nice to rest, then finish off in the afternoon.
Just take your time, listen to your body and take care of it. And of course enjoy yourself.
Buen camino
 

Consey78

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances
Norte
Primitivo
Woollen fleece is a must..
I use Woolpower woolen Merino fleece, 200 gr quality(from Sweden), starting from morning in 0 to 2 dgr C , yes in May...

I don a bycycle safety high viz vest, light and breathable againt the morning breeze, and by 10 oclock, I turn the woolen fleece inside out and sit in the sun. The moisture build up will evaporate, it looks like I am steaming and it will cool.
Shorts is a must as I work up so much heat while hiking.
So do not leave at home...
- in ´14 I walked the CF, at home I chucked the woolen Merino to my wife and asked her to have a sniff. She could not detect any BO , so Merinos, for Pete´s sake..
(I use merino socks, underwear, neck gaiters, btw)

When you get to the Meseta, you will have your time of short sleeves, and your calves will get the full impact of the sun as you are now heading almost due west...

Come prepared and do have fun,
your new life has just begun

Solvitur Ambulando
" I turn the woolen fleece inside out and sit in the sun. The moisture build up will evaporate, it looks like I am steaming and it will cool."
Nice hack.
 

peregrin peregrina

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
april 2022
I read an adage on the forum before my fist Camino in 2015 that I wish I had listen to more - start as old woman, finish as a young one.

Go extra slow in the beginning (meaning shorter distances) and as your body conditions, you will naturally pick up the pace after the first 5-6 days. Days 1-4 are hard, 3 or 4 is usually the worst then hopefully you move though. So go easy on your self. Take those rest days and perhaps consider starting in Roncesvalles.

Yes on the poles for down hill - I am a single pole fan - and I usually check a small bag with my pole and a few things that can’t make it on the plane. Like a Swiss Army knife.

That said shops in SJPP are great, there also used to be a shop in Pamplona - CaminoTeca - but I am unclear if it is still open.

I say go for it. It’s your Camino, but the biggest lessons for me were don’t pack your fears and be open - adapt as you go.

Buen Camino.
caminoteca is open :)
 
Pocket guides that pack a punch
1.4 oz (40g) pocket guides with gems of wisdom to ponder during and after your Camino

Harland2019

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF April/May 2019, CF May 2022
There was a shop across the street about 30 yards down the hill from the Pilgrims Office that seemed to sell a lot of "essentials". Can't recall everything they sold but e.g. ponchos were definitely on sale.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese

Hurrying

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Camino (Planned)
With 40 days until I set off for Europe to start my Camino, I am going to walk 10km's per day (on average), so 400km in total. That's half the distance of the French Camino. I will try to walk at least 3 days in a row of 15km+, as suggested above. The minimum I will walk on any given day is 7km. I will also do planks, squats, lunges and pushups to get my core ready to carry the backpack and walk for 6+ hours per day during my Camino.
 
Last edited:

Hurrying

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Camino (Planned)
I recommend shoes designed for road running, but breathable.
I am thinking of buying the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 because they seem to be more breathable and have more padding on the bottom for road surfaces. I already have some Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator but when I used the same type of shoe in Nepal a few years ago I remember they got tight during the day when my feet swell. Plus, May onwards might get a bit warm so having more breathable shoes would be nice. I can save my Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator for day to day use or proper hiking in future and get these Nikes.
Walk the amount per day you feel you can safely manage, slowly upping the amount and making sure to factor in rest days. there are so many accommodation options this is easy on the Frances.
Keep your pack weight as low as possible, this is important as the weight is added on to your own and effects your joints.
I am going to get my backpack sent ahead on the first stage from SJPdP to Roncesvalles and walk with a foldable small daypack with just my valuables and a packable rain coat (similar to a poncho), and a bottle of water. I have 39 days to get to Santiago so I should be ok, hopefully I can walk on to Finisterre in that time, but no pressure.
 

koknesis

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2014
CA&CS 2015
VdlP 2017
CP 2018
CM 2019
Great plan indeed! It will pay off on the Camino and not only.
 
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Time of past OR future Camino
.
In 2020 I vaguely remember getting the Pilgrim Passport in STPdP. Do I need to give them passport photos, or am I getting confused?
No photo required. BTW check the shop on this forum: Ivar has a few standard passports left for sale as well as the more colourful Holy Year 2021 version (The Pope extended Holy Year 2021 to cover 2022 too)
Is there a store like that in SJPdP? I probably need to get some hiking poles and maybe some last minute stuff before the first stage.
Quite a lot of the SJPdP economy is based on selling pilgrim kit. The challenge is to refrain from grabbing lots of extra kit off the shelves in a last minute rush of anxiety!
I will also do planks, squats, lunges and pushups to get my core ready to carry the backpack and walk for 6+ hours per day during my Camino.
If you do all of that you're going to be one of the fittest people starting the camino! 😊
 

koknesis

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2014
CA&CS 2015
VdlP 2017
CP 2018
CM 2019
I am thinking of buying the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 because they seem to be more breathable and have more padding on the bottom for road surfaces
Road runners may be fine, but I would check how much support they provide in real life with a backpack on. Another matter is that sole cushioning may not surrvive all 800km. The only time I wore road runners (Asics Pulse) was on VdlP and they lasted roughly for 600km to Zamora. 83kg own weight + about 10kg backpack.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I am going to get my backpack sent ahead on the first stage from SJPdP to Roncesvalles and walk with a foldable small daypack with just my valuables and a packable rain coat (similar to a poncho), and a bottle of water.
The weather on the Napoleon route is unpredictable. It may be cold and rainy (and often snowy) any time of the year. There is no way that I would walk it, even in May, without a layer for warmth and some food and adequate water.
 

Hurrying

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Camino (Planned)
The weather on the Napoleon route is unpredictable. It may be cold and rainy (and often snowy) any time of the year. There is no way that I would walk it, even in May, without a layer for warmth and some food and adequate water.
I will ask about the weather at the Pilgrim's office the day before. I can include a fleece (if I am not already wearing it) in the daypack. Why would I need food though? Doesn't Orisson have food and isn't there a food truck on the mountain somewhere?
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I will ask about the weather at the Pilgrim's office the day before. I can include a fleece (if I am not already wearing it) in the daypack. Why would I need food though? Doesn't Orisson have food and isn't there a food truck on the mountain somewhere?
I walked the Napoleon route beginning on Sept. 30, 2015. The weather was fine all the way through. You can certainly get food at Orisson. But a fellow pilgrim whom I met the night before at Corazon Puro (this albergue no longer exists), where we were spending our first night in Spain, went to SJpdP with me the same morning, then stayed over one night while I began my walk. I met her by chance again in Pamplona and she told me of the cold, rainy, really miserable weather which she met walking from Orisson a day after myself. I don't know whether she met a food truck at the top of the trail, but there was none there when I went through. She and others sheltered in the hut near the top of the pass. In such a situation, I would want food, adequate water, and warm clothes. I would certainly carry them with me (I did not send my pack ahead). Mountain weather can be miserable at any time of year and is always unpredictable.
 
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I am going to get my backpack sent ahead on the first stage from SJPdP to Roncesvalles and walk with a foldable small daypack with just my valuables and a packable rain coat (similar to a poncho), and a bottle of water
I would recommend offloading your heavier items into the small folding backpack and carrying your well fitted regular pack which has a good suspension system.

And whether you choose to carry the folding pack or your regular pack I think that you need something larger than that 10 liter Decathlon pack. I have a couple of those and they are very tiny. I can recommend this pack from Decathlon which is 20 liters, and has the extra benefits of being waterproof and having two stretchy side pockets for water bottles or quick access to small items, plus a chest strap which makes it more comfortable. I have one which I use on my daily walks. It easily holds my raincoat and a small puffy jacket along with a few groceries when I take it shopping.
 

Hurrying

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Camino (Planned)
Thanks for all the great answers so far! One more questions: how many pairs of underwear and socks should I bring? I am thinking 4 pairs of each? My plan is to bring 3 t-shirts, 2 pairs of trousers that convert into shorts, and a pair of shorts. Then I will bring a woollen fleece and a convertible rain jacket (that packs into a tiny bag for storage). I plan to do laundry every 2 days or so. Wear one set whilst walking, then shower and change into the next days set and sleep in those clothes, then walk in them. Rinse repeat.

For socks I am thinking of buying 4 pairs of injinji socks. Will they last 800km?
 
Last edited:

Harland2019

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF April/May 2019, CF May 2022
I guess that you will get a variety of responses to your question but most with a view of reducing the weight you carry. I would cut back on your list to a maximum of 3 pairs of underwear and socks (although I would go for 3 pairs of socks and 3 pairs of liner socks), 2 shirts, 1 pair of trousers, and a pair of shorts. Laundry every day so that will cut back on the number of items you need. Not tried Injini socks.

I'll never forget talking to a lady who was planning her 1st walk in the UK. She was going for 2 weeks and intending to take 28 sets of underwear, one per day to walk in and one set for the evening! I don't know how many she took in the end but I know that after 2 days she had her pack transported.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Thanks for all the great answers so far! One more questions: how many pairs of underwear and socks should I bring? I am thinking 4 pairs of each? My plan is to bring 3 t-shirts, 2 pairs of trousers that convert into shorts, and a pair of shorts. Then I will bring a woollen fleece and a convertible rain jacket (that packs into a tiny bag for storage). I plan to do laundry every 2 days or so. Wear one set whilst walking, then shower and change into the next days set and sleep in those clothes, then walk in them. Rinse repeat.

For socks I am thinking of buying 4 pairs of injinji socks. Will they last 800km?

I agree with @Harland2019 below. You don't need more than 3 pairs of socks, and certainly not 2 pair of zip off trousers and a pair of shorts. Choose either one pair of zip offs and the shorts or two pair of identical zip offs, and leave the bottom part of one pair behind, and use the bottom half for both pairs - you can only wear one pair of trousers at a time!

If you get into the habit of doing your laundry every day it becomes part of the pilgrim routine and second nature.
I guess that you will get a variety of responses to your question but most with a view of reducing the weight you carry. I would cut back on your list to a maximum of 3 pairs of underwear and socks (although I would go for 3 pairs of socks and 3 pairs of liner socks), 2 shirts, 1 pair of trousers, and a pair of shorts. Laundry every day so that will cut back on the number of items you need. Not tried Injini socks.
 

Hurrying

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Camino (Planned)
If you get into the habit of doing your laundry every day it becomes part of the pilgrim routine and second nature.
The problem is that I would need to pay for laundry every day, or hand wash. Secondly, how will I dry the clothes? Do albergues have drying clothes hanging everywhere? Will someone try to hang their drying underwear on my bunk bed? :confused:
 
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery

Most read last week in this forum

I have booked stops for my first three days of the Camino Frances. Day 1 SJPDP- Gite Makila Day 2 Aubergue Borda Day 3 Hostal Burguete After that I might just wing it the rest of the way. What I...
I would love advice and recommendations from the forum. I am looking at pre-booking accommodation along the entire walk. Reasons: I am a stroller and don't want to have to rush to find a bed or...
Hi All, I’m Graham and I’m doing the Camino Frances from SJPDP starting second week of May 2023. (First timer) Just asking is a sleeping bag necessary, or would a liner be enough? I’m from...
Hello! I’m planning to walk some of the French Way in either June or September this year. Due to time constraints unfortunately I can only walk for around 20 days so. I was thinking of starting at...
The Pilgrim Office in SJPP provides a comprehensive list of all the albergues on the CF. Is this list available anywhere on line? If not, is something similar out there somewhere?
Would anyone know what the opening hours of the pilgrims office in St Jean in February 2023?

How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2023 Camino Guides
Top