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Walking stick

cearc

New Member
I arrive Madrid airport Wed Aug 26 and travel by bus to Astorga, arriving approx 6.00 p.m.
Can anybody tell me if or where I can buy a walking stick in Astorga after that time. I want to begin walking early next morning. I don't want to bring one on the plane as it may be confiscated.
Any advice? Thanks
 

Canuck

Veteran wanderer
Camino(s) past & future
?
Not knowing what you're looking for exactly, I am not sure about finding something in Astorga.
But, if you're interested in some locally made wooden stick, you'll find them in the small villages on your way to Rabanal del Camino.

Cheers,
Jean-Marc
 

Pepa

New Member
Hi, the same question... would it be possible to buy a walking stick in SJPP? Or should I buy one in Pamplona before I go?
Pepa
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
Hi Pepa and Cearc
Pepa I think you should try to buy your sticks/stick in Pamplona-the outdoor pursuits chain store 'Decathlon' have a good range of everything you need, including sticks, and are very competitively priced (there must be one in Pamplona we found a big one in Legrono) If you are looking for specific 'quality brands' then maybe a smaller specialist shop in Pamplona.
Cearc If you are looking for metal walking poles/sticks in Astorga I passed what looked like a regular sports shop (but it seemed to be more of a tracksuits, sport socks sort of outlet as I didn't notice any sticks or boots in the window) on Lorenzo Segura street (?) which leaves the Plaza Major heading north to the Cathedral. The shop is somewhere on the left hand side of that street (and its a longish street). We were there on a very cold sunday evening and didn't explore too far so there could be better shops than the one I spotted.
If you are looking for a wooden staff/stick then, as Jean-Marc says, you should be able to pick one up en route. But if you want that early start then you may have to be 'stickless' at the beginning of your day though that won't be to bad as its a nice stroll to Rabanal. Heres a thought Astorga can be an end point for people walking the Camino in sections & sometimes those pilgrims leave their sticks (the big wooden ones) behind so wherever you are staying you should ask about that and hopefully be gifted a veteran stick thats already been broken in! Bonne Route
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I purchased my very nice walking stick in SJPP before I left.
They're pretty much everywhere along the Camino for very little cash.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Exactly so - and they get cheaper the closer you get to Santiago .. in fact, you could most likely buy lots retail in Santiago and sell them for twice as much in St. Jean! :wink:
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
Well now if one is going all commercial about it I can actually give Cearc a very good price on my old sticks now.... but he shouldn't dally as bidding is only going to go up. "Look ladies and gentlemen a genuine pair of pre-owned Black Diamond walking sticks blessed by Santiago himself......"
 

Alan Pearce

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2008, del Norte 2009, VdlP 2011, Ingles 2014, Camino de Madri 2015, Frances 2017
The first post on this topic was by cearc, who said he was worried that the airline might confiscate his staff. I brought my staff [170 cm] from Australia last year via Quantas and Air France to Paris, then Air France to Pau. Coming home I flew Air France from Madrid to Paris, then Singapore, and finally Sydney. The staff was never questioned, the only downside being that it had to be collected from a different luggage carosel which caters solely for long articles, and was usually the far end of the terminal.

Alan

Be brave. Life is joyous.
 

Minkey

Active Member
I think there's a sports/walking shop somewhere in Astorga if you want poles. A guy I met bought some new shoes there when I went there the first time around.
 

Sansthing

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Camino (2009), French Camino (2011), Via de la Plata (2012), Camino Inglês (2014),
I bought my sturdy, wooden, metal-tipped walking stick from a souvenir shop near the albergue in Pamplona. It was only 4.50 euros and served me well to the end.
Sandra :arrow:
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Many pilgrims - including me - pick up a stick along the way, just a branch will do.

Here are some that were left at the pilgrims' office in July.
 

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johnBCCanada

Active Member
Hello

or you could just start walking when you get there and see if you feel the lack of a walking stick. I don't want with a stick when I am not on the Camino. I tried a single wood stick on the Camino and after a couple of days gave it away. I did use a pair of the sport lightweight poles later on and that was good but used them only because of a sore ankle.

If you don't normally use a stick when walking why start now?

John
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Just a branch will do if you believe that just a board will do for a pair of skis.

There is a physiology involved in trekking poles; a stave is just a balancing device that uses one arm to drag it along. Many pilgrims don't use them, but do not think that grabbing a branch will give you the same benefits as trekking poles. It won't happen. Pacer Poles may be an improvement on the established trekking pole physiology. Anniesantiago will let us know in a few weeks.

From a pole-hater:

II. The "Pro" Side: Advantages of Trekking Poles

Most obviously, poles reduce the impact of hiking on knee joints and leg muscles. Arm and shoulder muscles support and relieve the leg muscles. With the basic "hands above the heart" position necessitated by the poles, circulation is improved and heart rate is reduced. The "rhythm" created by walking with poles leads to relaxed, more regular breathing and increased stamina.

A landmark study published by Dr. G. Neureuther in 1981 proved that use of "ski poles" while walking reduces the pressure strain on the opposite leg by approximately 20%. Furthermore, while walking on level ground, poles reduce the body weight carried by the legs by approximately 5 kg every step. Move to an incline, and that reduction increases to 8 kg. This translates into tons of weight -- yes, tons -- for even a two hour hike.

Jacquie Hunt, editor of a popular hiking newsletter, weighs in with additional health benefits: "An advantage that I found once I started using poles is that my hands no longer swell up when it is hot. Keeping your arms moving so the blood doesn't pool in the hands is a lot safer than keeping hands high on pack straps and risking a smashed face if you trip."

Finally, poles help many people with balance issues. We all have different comfort levels when balancing along puncheons, crossing streams, etc.; for some hikers, trekking poles are worth their weight in gold. They can certainly aid when crossing soft ground, and can be indispensible [sic] for tasks like river crossings, and scree running.

III. The "Con" Side: Problems with Trekking Poles

There are two categories of drawbacks to hiking poles -- those legitimate, and those perceived. One of the main problems with my comments in the LA Times article is that my "over the top" approach precluded me from stating the legitimate drawbacks to using poles. So here goes...

First, using poles increases your total energy expenditure. Your arms were not designed to prop up your body, nor to distribute weight. Even Peter Clinch, whose "Pete's Pole Page" is long recognized as an on-line authority, says, "...if you have tired legs and knees then poles can be a win, but if you have a tired body, with your cardiovascular system at its limits, then poles may be more of a hindrance than a help." Those "tons of weight" that poles save the knees aren't carried up the hill by themselves. Many hikers with good legs are unaware that they actually may run out of gas more quickly by using poles.

Not only do poles make hands and arms do what they aren't designed to do, they prevent your hands from being hands! Open the map, eat a snack, wipe your brow, grab a rock, snap a photo, read a compass...all of these become clumsy and time consuming with poles in hand.

The final "legitimate" con is that many people simply do not use poles correctly. Clinch says, "judging from the people I see in the UK using poles, the majority of folk get little or no benefit from them." Without proper technique, poles are simply in the way. And that brings us to the "perceived" drawbacks.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Oh well - the ancients seemed to manage with their 'rods' and their 'staffs'. No carbon, titanium, telescopic, inner-sprung sticks were needed! :wink:
(The latest post on my Amawalker blog is about walking poles).
 

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Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
This post made me laugh because Joe and I have been discussing sticks all morning.. to take them or not to take them.

I love the Pacer Poles, but they turn out to be a bugger to pack with their funny handles. I'm a bit stressed right now, with only 4 sleeps to go, and just want things to be easy.

Easy, to me, sounds like going to the Pilgrim's office in Santiago to get Credentials AND to ask, "Can I have one of those poles?" :lol:
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
You can help yourself to those discarded poles in the Pilgrim's Office.

Have you noticed how the ancients all got by with sandals? No hi-tech, gortex, verbim soled, waterproofed, new-age laced, ankle supporting boots for them!
 

Torquay

New Member
My mum and I both have knee problems and we found our walking poles essential especially for the long downhill days. We took them on the plane by strapping them on to our backpacks, plastic wrapping them with the security wrap stuff and then checking them in. We had no problems. Buen camino.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I'll use anything that I can lean on - especially going downhill. I am wobbly on downhills, particularly rocky, river boulder ruts that twist and turn - or shifting shale and gravel paths. Mud is even worse.
I don't think I look like a grasshopper trying to crochet (I could never hop downhill) - more like a crippled crab on crutches! I have quite severe ostroporosis and a fall could mean a broken bone and the end of the camino, so, to borrow a phrase - "my rod and my staff, they comfort me".
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Agree completely :wink:

though how many staff do you take with you? just one to carry the backpack and another to carry the comfy chair and cucumber sandwiches? :lol:
 

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