The Essential Camino Walking Preparation Guide

The Camino Walking is your one-stop centre for:

  1. Learning how to Prepare for the Camino and other Long Treks
  2. Finding out about boots and other footwear, backpacks, quick drying clothes, socks, to keep you dry walking poles, and lots more.
  3. Links to reviews, product information and places where you can buy many of the things you will need.
 What to avoid

I have walked 5 Camino routes and clocked up over 3000 km. That doesn’t include over a 1000 km in training and walks in other parts of the world. Also volunteered twice in the main pilgrims information centre in St Jean Pied-De-Port and helped many about to commence their trek over the Pyrenees heading to Santiago De Compostela.

This, together with what I have learnt from many other experienced walkers, is now available to help avoid having dreams shattered after a few days or weeks; not through lack of commitment but from unimaginable blisters or tendonitis, or shin splints and similar difficulties all long distance walkers experience without sufficient and thorough preparation.

How To Use The Camino Walking Guide

1) Learning how to Prepare for the Camino and other Long Treks.

So lets get started: Are you curious about the Camino? What is it; what secrets does it hold; where does it start and finish; what to take; where to sleep; how difficult it is to walk; and what preparation and equipment are needed to succeed? You may have done day or multi-day walks in the past and have now heard what is often referred to as the “Call of the Camino”.

Along the Meseta

Preparation is the key. I am passionate about bringing together in one place all the essential information most people will need to avoid easily avoidable mistakes that can otherwise shatter dreams. This spurred me on to write a book and create the Camino Walking Guide website, not about walking the Camino, but how to prepare.

Preparation Is Key To Problem Free Walking

“Camino Ready. Backpacks, Boots and (no) Blisters”  is the second edition. The first edition received excellent reviews averaging 4.5 stars. This new edition was an additional chapter on “walking as a system” which provides insights into the controlled pattern of shock absorption and the smooth transition of forces as we walk. The main chapters are as follows:

  1. Boots vs. blisters. Choosing the right footwear for long distance walking.
  2. Walking as a “System” Learn about what is happing in your body as you walk.
  3. Choosing clothing for sun, rain and cold. Having the right gear.
  4. A get fit program. To be physically and mentally prepared.
  5. Are you a greaser or a strapper? Protecting your feet each day; avoiding blisters; choosing socks.
  6. Weight creep–a killjoy. Your backpack and a packing list.
  7. Water: why, where, and when. It is not just about sipping, need to avoid tendonitis and shin splints.
  8. Trekking or walking poles. Why, what, and how. Protect your knees and ankles. Techniques.
  9. Sundry useful tips. SIM cards, keeping valuables safe, free Wi-Fi, offline maps, and lots more.

The Essential Camino Preparation Guide Book

In addition to these subjects, in the appendix there are two articles by fellow pilgrims who commented on an a draft of the first edition and suggested other topics to help people with their first Camino.

The first is on albergues,What to expect and how to manage”; the second is “all about bed bugs with a focus on avoiding them and, if it happens, how to treat the bites and avoid carrying them home!

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Please note: I am not a doctor, pharmacist, physiotherapist, or podiatrist and don’t claim any medical knowledge. I am, however, offering my experiences so others may be well prepared and learn from my mistakes while walking thousands of kilometres under different conditions and over varied terrain.

The most important thing: Just love the “time out” from the daily routine along with the many challenges along the way. It is therapeutic walking through fields and forests, over hills and mountains, breathing fresh air. I did not know what “eco therapy” was until I experienced it: a sense of peace through being away from cities and immersed in nature. It is as though our genetic roots are being reawakened and we are reinvigorated.