Several useful tips to make the Camino de Santiago that will be very helpful if you premiere as a pilgrim soon
Due to the great acceptance of the contents of the tips for making the Camino de Santiago published on ViveCamino.com, we have decided to summarize and condense the most useful information for the pilgrim, so that you have access to it in one place. In addition you can extend much more the advice that we tell you below by accessing the links of each subject, so you do not jump in the void if you decide to do the Camino de Santiago for the first time. Surely if you are already a veteran in the Route Jacobea and you know some of these tips, but nevertheless it is not enough that you take a look for if you can discover new information.
Have a nice Camino de Santiago!
The Camino de Santiago is a physical and mental challenge, mainly because most of us are not accustomed to walking several tens of kilometers on consecutive days. This does not mean that if we are not in shape directly we have to forget to do it, but nevertheless we have to carry out a planning with at least two months in advance to begin to prepare us.
The most important thing in our training is to achieve a constancy in time, in such a way that we become accustomed to our body and our mind to the wear and tear of walking on a continuous basis. Simply giving us a beating the week before traveling the Camino de Santiago will only serve to start the journey with muscles loaded and at risk of injury.
As we say, it is advisable to start frequenting at least 6-8 weeks before leaving the Road, starting with short walks on land without too much slope change and at least 4 times a week. Important that we start from the beginning to prepare ourselves with the shoes that we are going to take to the trip.
Gradually we must increase the distance of our walks and during the last 3 or 4 weeks try to go out to the field to make some hiking route without too much difficulty, but with slope changes. The last two weeks it is advisable to take with us the backpack that will accompany us to the Camino de Santiago and fill it to get accustomed to weight.
The best time to do the Camino de Santiago is considered by many the spring (late April and May) and the beginning of autumn (all September and first half of October). However we are aware that not always the best time coincides with our free time, something that happens to most pilgrims. Most of us decide to go on the Camino de Santiago in summer, when we have a longer vacation, which causes a notable massification, especially in the month of August and in the last 100 kilometers of the French Way, the most Transited.
Therefore, the best time to make the Camino de Santiago is the one that best suits our needs. If we depend on our free time on vacation, a good idea would be to go on Easter, when we will find less massification than in July and August. If we are forced to do so in the middle of summer, it would be a good idea to do so in the first weeks of June, when the heat does not yet suffocate in the Castile fields and the density of pilgrims is lower (and therefore the problems in accommodation). If we decide to launch the Camino de Santiago on a winter vacation, we must keep in mind that some hostels close their doors during those months, so we should plan our stages better. On the other hand We must keep in mind the inclement weather and go very well prepared for bad weather.
Footwear is one of the most important parts of our team as pilgrims, as it will protect our feet, which will rest the entire weight of our body and backpack for many tens of kilometers. Seen this way, it is to think very well what footwear we wear, right? So, footwear is not something that we can neglect and if you are planning the pilgrimage for the first time, you have probably already heard that "new footwear can not be released on the Camino de Santiago." You can not have more reason, and is that a shoe too rigid, which is not yet made to the shape of our feet is synonymous with chafing and blistering, a load that can slow us down during the Camino. So take with you used footwear, but logically it is not too worn, as it can also cause chafing.
If you are looking for what footwear to take to the Camino de Santiago you should know that you have several options in the market, which you must choose depending on the time when you travel the Jacobean Route. The usual footwear for the cold and temperate months are the mountain boots, which isolate us from the cold and hold the ankle, although in return they weigh a lot and warm the foot more, and can generate moisture (so that this does not happen you have to choose a Breathable fabric). For the summer months, it is best to choose good hiking shoes, with specific hiking soles, of a lower weight and that make the foot transpire better, avoiding the blisters, although they do not support the ankle as the boots. For the hottest days, some pilgrims opt for special closed hiking sandals.
Also of vital importance is the choice of the socks that we use, that can not be of cotton, since they soak and can produce blisters. We must choose socks without seams, to avoid scrapes and made of fibers, so that the feet transpiren well.
When it comes time to plan our backpack, one of the most important considerations is the total weight we are going to carry on our back. It should be around 10% of our weight, so for men should not exceed 7.5-8 kg and in the case of women 6-6.5 kg, even if these are indicative quantities . All that we take with us to the Road we will have to transport behind our back during a week? two weeks? So when packing, make sure you take only the essentials, thinking very carefully what to carry in the backpack to the Camino de Santiago.
When choosing a backpack for the Camino de Santiago it is very important that we take home a model with support at the waist to be able to distribute the weight correctly and not just the shoulders. On the other hand, when packing, we must always place the sack in the bottom and the clothes on top, while the small objects we use more in the side pockets.
When we plan our route to Santiago de Compostela, with the days available we have to decide how many stages we do and how many kilometers we travel. In every guide of the Camino of Santiago, like the one of ViveCamino.com, you will find fixed routes of the stages, with a fixed distance, but you do not have to fulfill them to the letter, since you can always stay halfway and stay In an intermediate location (in routes like the French Way you will not have problems with the accommodations).
The important thing is to adapt the distance of each stage to our physical condition, that of those who accompany you and especially the sensations that your body sends you. A good idea is to start the Camino de Santiago by walking conservative distances, such as 15 kilometers per stage, to increase to an average of 20-23 km a day. This should be the reference distance; Increasing it is already the decision of each pilgrim according to the difficulty of each stage or his physical condition.
If you find discomfort, it is best to take a break and even spend a day to recover, in order to avoid the appearance of injuries. For this it is important to be strict with the foot, always supporting the whole foot and adapting our step to the changes of slope, in addition to doing stretches every day before and after each stage. If we are still wary of tendinitis or a sprain, it is best to have the services of a physiotherapist, which should not be a problem in the localities of the Camino where more pilgrims spend each year.
The Camino de Santiago is full of accommodations that serve the pilgrim, a tradition that has been taking place for many centuries. With the boom of the Jacobean route at the end of the last century, we find a more varied offer in the localities through which the Camino routes pass, being the star accommodation for pilgrims the hostel. But not only hostels live the pilgrim and is that sometimes we feel like (or directly need) a little privacy and less strict times for sightseeing or rest, and for that we can stay in many hostels, boarding houses, campgrounds or hotels.
Where to sleep on the Camino de Santiago, as you can see, depends only on your needs. However the lodge is the traditional accommodation for the pilgrim, being of two types: public and private. In publics we will not be able to reserve, assigning the places according to order of arrival and preferably for the pilgrims who arrive on foot, while in some private can be called in advance to notify us of our arrival. In the hostel it is necessary to present the credential of the pilgrim to be able to stay, and there we will be sealed so that we can follow our route. Do not forget the stoppers, since you are going to share a room with other pilgrims and keep in mind that around 10:00 pm to 11:00 p.m., the lights go out, since it is usual to start walking with the first rays of the sun day.
The most important thing on the Camino de Santiago is not to get to Santiago de Compostela by all means, but our journey for days or weeks (in some cases even months) is an experience. We all want to remember the Camino de Santiago as an unforgettable trip and not as a full-blown viaduct. For this, one of the best tips we can give you is the need to take care of your feet on the Camino de Santiago, because they will take you to your destination. Your feet need you to mimic them, massage them after each stage and at the first discomfort or blistering act and do not turn a blind eye, as a small inconvenience over time can slow down your Camino de Santiago.
It is also very important to feed and hydrate at each stage, especially this last in the warmer months of the year, where we are most vulnerable. You do not have to carry a lot of food in your backpack, but you always have to carry something over if anything, especially something that contains sugar in case it gives us a downturn (or we can help a pilgrim who needs it on the Camino). The most important thing is that you never lack water; You can not depend on the sources you find while you walk, since we may not find one in many kilometers.
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