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walking sticks


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I like the idea of finding a lovely piece of wood at the beginning of the Camino to use as a walking stick. But what are the chances of this? Maybe everyone entertains this idea and all sticks are found at the end of the Camino!!!. Otherwise, would I be better off puchasing a telescoping walking stick from a travel shop in Paris or even SJPP?
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Sticks and Compass

Hello Renata,
You won't ned a compass on the camino. Just follow the flechas amarillo -yellow arrows - forever westward to Santiago. In the early 1980's a priest of the parish of Santa Maria La Real in O’Cebreiro - Don Elias Valina Sampedro - begged some yellow paint from the Roads Department and started painting yellow arrows across the Camino Frances to help pilgrims find their way.
“In the 1970’s there survived only a remote memory of the Jacobean pilgrimage” he wrote in one of his books. (In 1972 only 6 pilgrims were awarded the Compostela.)

As for a stick - if you start in St Jean you will find over a dozen souvenir shops selling sticks of every description. have a look at page 2 of the photos section of this forum where you will find a picture of sticks for sale.
sticks and compasses

Thanks Sil,
Interesting and unique looking sticks. I sort of like the idea of simply 'finding' one at the beginning of the trail. A bit of tree from the trail. But these handmade ones look quite special too.

As for the compass, I have read many equipment lists recommend a compass. Is it easy to know when one is going westward? And is it therefore difficult to get lost with the yellow markings. Most of the popular books I've read by pilgrims write of getting lost at least once, going round in circles.
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.

If you feel safer with one, a compass is such a small thing that it won't add much to your weight.
I think that the only way you could get lost is if you are so deep into your own thoughts - which happens all the time! - that you miss a yellow arrow.
Don't rely on it more than the path though. If the path takes a slight detour south to circumvent a private property or highway and your compass shows that you are not going west you might get yourself lost!
Most days you can see other pilgrims ahead of you as well.
I recall feeling sense of panic when I hadn't seen a yellow flash or spot of paint for a while. And then you see a boulder or tree with a dab of yellow on it and you feel so relieved! Those flechas will be your best friends and guiding lights.

That sounds good.....I'm reassured. Better without a compass I think. I can see that it may be distracting, and it sounds as though the yellow markings are reliable. Thanks Sil
Hello Renata,

We are a belgian couple around the 60 and walked the Camino last September, and had the same problem when starting: no stick, one stick or two ? Finally we purchased a pair of telescopic sticks, and walked each with his stick. We can only advise you to buy one, it helps in many situations, and you can always fasten it on your rucksack, it's very light. No need for compass, more important is the choice and weight of your luggage, maximum 8 kgs.
Buen Camino, Jupp
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
On both of my Caminos I trusted that I'd find my stick en-route. Both times I found fantastic walking sticks within hours of starting.

Last year I carved patterns in my stick and got quite attached to it. Other posters on here have said how they bond with their stick and are upset to leave it behind.
I found that the right stick presented itself when I needed it. Early on I found a lighter stick that served the earlier landscape of the camino portugues, but then changed to a heavier one for the hills in and around Arcade.

Finding a stick is part of the adventure/process, in my opinion.
Thanks for replies. Good to hear that with all the numbers of pilgrims, there are still some old sticks laying about. Yes, I could see how one would bond with their stick, a strange companion on this journey. Good advice to trust that I will find 'my' stick.
The 9th edition the Lightfoot Guide will let you complete the journey your way.
moonwood said:
I like the idea of finding a lovely piece of wood at the beginning of the Camino to use as a walking stick. But what are the chances of this? Maybe everyone entertains this idea and all sticks are found at the end of the Camino!!!. Otherwise, would I be better off puchasing a telescoping walking stick from a travel shop in Paris or even SJPP?

I'll echo a few others and say that finding the right walking stick can be part of the journey, too. I found one fairly early on, but then, days later, happened upon my 'real' stick and realized, at the same time, that I'd actually picked up a good walking stick for my wife.

As for a compass - they're small and fairly cheap. If it will make you feel more comfortable, take one. I don't think you'll need it - West will be obvious enough. Besides, you'll be swimming in an ocean of friends who will gladly show you the way.

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