There is a lot of content that has been shared about going to Camino de Santiago, but here we are going to do a summary and condense the most important and useful information into one article so you can easily have it in one place. Using these tips will go a long way in helping you with making your first trip to Camino De Santiago a success.  Even if you have been there once or a couple of times, it is a good idea to go through these tips because you might end up finding something you didn’t know about before that will help in making your trip even better.

Preparing physically

The Camino de Santiago is both a mental and physical challenge. This is because many people are usually not used to covering tens of kilometers on foot over a couple of days. This doesn’t mean you cannot do it if you are not in shape, but it is a good idea to do proper planning two months before the adventure so when the D-day comes, you will be able to do it.

The most important thing in the training is achieving a constancy in time. This will allow the body and mind to get accustomed to wear and tear as a result of walking over a long distance. Giving the body some beating the week before the adventure is not a good idea because what this does is risking injury. There is nothing worse than starting your adventure with muscle pain or injury.

The best time to start frequenting is at least six to eight weeks before leaving. This will involve going for short walks on land that doesn’t have a lot of slope change and doing it at least four times per week. You should start from the beginning, and this means choosing the right type of shoes to wear during the trip.

You must increase the distance you cover on your walk gradually. Three or four weeks before the day, go to the field and find a hiking route you can take that is not too difficult, but it should have slope changes. The last two weeks will be taking a backpack that is the same weight as the one you will be carrying in Camino de Santiago. This will help you get used to the weight and you will not have to struggle to carry the weight because the body will be accustomed to it. 

What is the best time to do Camino de Santiago?

Many people consider late April and May and all of September and half October to be the best time to do the Camino de Santiago. There is one thing that many people usually keep in mind when it comes to planning such trips, the best time might not coincide with your free time, and this is the case for many people. Many people usually have free time during the summer because of the long vacation, and this is when they choose to go to Camino de Santiago. This results in many people going at the same time in the month of August.

The best time to make your trip is a time that works best for you. If you are one of those people depending on the free time on vacation, then Easter can be a great time to go because the number of people during this time is less compared to July and August. If you have to plan for your trip during the summer months, then you should choose the middle of summer, which is the first weeks of June. This is a good time because the heat is not suffocating at this time and the density of pilgrims is lower (and therefore problems with accommodation). If you find winter is the time that works for you, remember that there are hotels that will be closed, and this means having to plan the stages better. The weather can also be a challenge during this time and it is important to be properly prepared for bad weather.

Which footwear is the best for walking?

One of the most important things for pilgrims is the footwear they have. This will provide protection for the feet, which is going to rest your entire body weight for several kilometers. This makes it very important to have the right type of footwear. This is not something you can neglect, and this is very important especially if this is your first time planning the pilgrimage. If you choose a shoe that is very rigid and not made for the shape of your feet, you will deal with blistering and chaffing, and this will leave you feeling pain and it will also slow you down. You can take your used footwear, but you should make sure it is not worn out because it can result in chafing.

If you are looking for the best footwear you are going to take, you should remember there are different options out there, and you should choose the one that will work best for you, but you should also keep in mind the time of traveling and the Jacobean Route you are going to take. Mountain boots are great for cold and temperate months because they will isolate you from cold and hold the ankle, although it will be a little heavier and provide warmth to the foot, which can results in moisture (you should go with a breathable fabric to avoid this problem). If you are going during the summer months, you should choose good hiking shoes that have specific soles, and have a lighter weight. The shoes should also allow your feet to transpire properly and avoid getting blisters, but these type of shoes doesn’t provide support to your ankles the same way boots does. When the day is hot, many will prefer wearing special close hiking sandals.

The socks you choose to wear is also important, and it should not be cotton because they tend to soak, resulting in blisters. You should go with socks that don’t have seams so as to avoid scrapes and made of fibers, and this allows the feet to properly transpire.

How should you prepare the backpack?

Planning your backpack is important, and the first thing you need to think about is the weight that you are going to carry. A good estimation is 10% of your weight. Men should not exceed about 7.5-8kg and for women it is 6-6.5kg. When packing, you should try having only the essentials to keep the weight as low as possible. Keep in mind that you will have to carry the backpack over tens of kilometers in days, making it important to keep the weight low.

When looking for a backpack, you should be after the ones that have support at the waist. This is a good idea because such backpacks distribute the weight correctly and not all will be on your shoulders. When you are packing, you should have the sack at the bottom while the clothes stay at the top. The smaller objects should be at the side pockets.

Planning the stages at your own pace?

When planning the route to Santiago de Compostela, with the days that are available you have to decide the number of stages you are going to do and the distance you are going to cover. There are different guides that will help you because they have fixed routes of the stages that also come with a fixed distance. You don’t have to fully follow the guide, you can decide to stay halfway in an intermediate location.

One of the most important things is adapting the distance of each of the stages to your physical condition and those people who are going to accompany you. One good option is starting the walk by choosing conservative distances such as 15 kilometers, then you can increase it to 20-23 kilometers a day. The increase will be done with your physical condition in mind. 

If you experience some discomfort, then you should consider taking a break and taking a day to recover so you don’t end up with injuries. It is important to take care of your feet, and this will mean supporting and adapting the step to changes in slope. You should also remember to do stretches every day before and after completing each stage. If you get a sprain or tendinitis, it is a good idea to see a physiotherapist, which is not a problem because there tend to be available because of the high number of pilgrims.

Where you will sleep

There are many different options when it comes to accommodations for people taking part, which a tradition that has been around for many years. The increase in the number of pilgrims on the Jacobean route over the last century, there is a wide range of options where the route passes. There are people who like staying a hostel, but there are some people who want to have a little privacy and less strict times for rest or sightseeing, and this is why they prefer going to boarding houses, hotels, and campgrounds. Book your trip through SantiagoWays and choose your preferences before you leave.

The places you are going to sleep on the Camino de Santiago will be determined by your needs. The traditional accommodation option for pilgrims is the lodge, and there are two types of lodges, private and public. When it comes to public lodges, you will not be able to make a reservation, the places are going to be assigned according to time of arrival, and those arriving on foot are given preferential treatment. The private ones have the option of calling in advance and notifying them of your arrival. You will be required to provide credential of the pilgrim before you are allowed to stay in the lodge, and it will be sealed so as to make sure you follow your route. You should also remember the stoppers because you are going to be sharing the room with other pilgrims. The lights will be turned off at 10 to 11 at night so you can get enough sleep. Sleeping late is not a good idea because you are not going to get enough sleep, you will need to wake up early so you can start the journey with the first rays of the sun.

Taking care of yourself when walking the Camino de Santiago

Getting to Santiago de Compostela which is the destination is not the most important part about the journey, but it is the days or weeks and even months you will be spending doing it is the real goal. You will always remember the experience of the journey from start to finish. One of the most important things you need to do when taking this journey is your feet. These are what will take you to your destination. You should take good care of your feet because they will have a big impact in determining whether the experience is smooth or riddled with a lot of strain and pain. After completing each stage, you need to massage them and look out to see if there is any problem. If you happen to notice any blistering or swelling on your feet, don’t assume anything. A small thing that you have ignored can easily turn into a serious problem that will make it hard for you to walk. You should deal with the problem so it doesn’t slow you down. Always be on the lookout for any discomfort or blisters on your feet.