Guide book or just a map for the Camino de Santiago?

Guide book or just a map for the Camino de Santiago?

The question was:

I had just walked the Camino Frances with the Brierley Guide. A couple of friends who plan to walk the CF next year asked me what maps/guides I would recommend. I remember meeting pilgrims with just maps of the camino. I thought that it would have sufficed and are much lighter than my guide book. I looked up the Brierley Maps (NOT Guide) and Ben Cole and Bethan Maps on Amazon (USA). The Brierley Maps was listed at 4 ounces, while the Ben Cole and Bethan Maps at .8 ounces! I have heard that the Ben Cole and Bethan’s lighter, but I don’t think it’s that light LOL For those who have these two maps (Brierley’s and Cole’s), please let me know the actual weights of these two items. BTW, in helping these two friends plan for their CF, I’m thinking of returning next year to walk the Camino del Norte. Any suggestion for Guide/Map for the Norte? Buen Camino.

Read the good advice regarding the pros and contras of bringing a map and/or guidebook on the Camino de Santiago.

4 Replies to “Guide book or just a map for the Camino de Santiago?”

  1. I’m going in 5 months – only going to have John Brierleys guide book – I’m tryin to not over think stuff, Mr Brierleys maps, distances and albergue descriptions etc in his guide book look very indepth compared to other guide books – please tell me I’m making the right move…. I’m thinking worse case there will be enough friendly pilgrims around me to help me on my journey…. no?

  2. I had only John Brierleys guidebook this last summer when I hiked the camino and felt it was all I needed. When you check into the Pilgrim office in St. Jean (if that’s where you’re starting) they give you a map of the camino with daily stages and elevations as well as a list of albergues. This too was helpful. Obsessing over pack weight is frivolous. By all means, pack light, but shaving off a few ounces or grams will not be felt. Of course, it all depends on what kind of experience you want. If you don’t want to plan any of it and just want to take each day as it comes and simply follow the yellow arrows, then perhaps no book is needed at all. And keep in mind, most pilgrims you will encounter will have a guide book. However, I liked having a goal for each day and knowing what resources were available to me when I got there and what some of the significance of these places were. There are some definite errors in Brierleys guidebook and his elevation maps do not necessarily correspond with the one given by the Friends of the Camino. But regardless, there’s a mountain or a hill and you’ll still have to walk up it.

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