I have done the research, walked the walk, and can help you successfully prepare for the Camino Frances and similar long-distance ancient pilgrims’ pathways. From the dozens of things to know I have chosen seven key topics based on my own experience which are discussed in detail in Backpacks, Boots & Blisters available for sale as an ebook or print copy.
Long-distance walking is not like any other type of walking; it can be thought of as undertaking many back-to-back, half or full marathons, except at a walking pace that continues for days, weeks, and in some cases months (at the end of which you don’t want to stop).
This is nothing to be afraid of but it is essential to prepare so that when the time comes you are physically fit, with no injuries, and have a positive mental attitude knowing you are well prepared with the right clothes, backpack, and know-how.
Before starting it is essential to have a health check to make sure there are no barriers to you being able to train for a long walk. I have consulted doctors, physiotherapists and podiatrists for advice on my health, for advice on exercise as well as having my feet checked and inserts made for my boots.
When ready buying the right footwear and socks is critical as your feet, ankles and knees in particular are going to get a lot of exercise and need careful attention. A training program is outlined in detail in Chapter 2 Your “Getting Fit” Plan and Program.
There are many guidebooks for the actual pathways including places to eat and sleep. These you will need to find your way and enjoy the Camino–provided you have reduced the risk of failure by thoroughly preparing yourself.