Answering Questions About Training for and Walking the Camino

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In a previous blog post, I received some great questions about training for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Here are answers to 2 of those questions.

Question:   Would you ever during a walk, not make it to a village before dark?
Answer:  I would never recommend not making it a village before dark, unless that is part of your plan to camp out and you have the requisite gear.  Here is a link to a global sunrise, sunset time website.  You can choose your location, and print a summary for the year.  For the months of June and July In Santiago de Compostela the sun rises around 7 am and sets around 10 pm.  Our plan is to start early each morning.  This means being on the road by 7 am walking an average of 20 km’s per day.

Using the following calculations we will to arrive at our final destination each day by early afternoon.  I calculate that using a daily average of 20 km’s per day, and a 12 minute / km pace, we would average around 4 hours of walking per day. Add 2 hours for stopping and distance and pacing adjustments and we would spend an average of 6 hours per day to complete our walks.  If we leave at 7 am we would finish by 1 pm leaving a good safety margin for arriving to our destination before dark.  We also have our route mapped each day, and will keep to that itinerary to ensure we always reach our final destination before dark.

My walking buddy and I have decided to sign-on with a travel company that supports self-guided walking holidays and cycling holidays. There are 5 main reasons we decided to travel this way:

  1. If we have an emergency and it looks like we won’t be able to make it to a village before dark, we can contact this tour company (they have 24/7 support) for support and guidance.
  2. We are not part of guided tour, we are still travelling on our own but we wanted the ability to confirm our lodging ahead of time, and not worry about booking into a town upon arrival.  The tour company will book all our lodgings for the entire walk.
  3. We are on a deadline and have only 40 days to complete the tour and return home and to work.  We will have paid and committed to the travel company to complete our itinerary in 40 days.  They provide a recommended walking route for that timeframe.  We will be paced by them to ensure we are meeting our daily walking targets.  It may remove the spontaneity of choosing a place to stay but we thought being able to complete the whole walk in 40 days was a bigger priority.
  4. They will move any items we don’t want to carry.  We have decided to walk with a day pack, and have the tour company move the rest of our gear for us.
  5. We have decided we want to upgrade our lodging to improve our ratio of people to bathroom.  This is just our personal preference :-)  The travel company has selected quality, local accommodations and the reviews are good.  Here is the link to Mac Adventure the self-guided walking holidays travel company we are using.

Question:  What shoes have I found best for the walk?
Answer:   I have bought ECCO BIOM Terrain Hiking boots, and Merrell hiking socks, they are illustrated in the blog picture above.  I wanted a boot that was light, Gore-Tex for waterproofing, solid gripping sole with flexible shoe body that would breathe in hot weather.  I wanted moisture wicking, light to medium weight hiking socks that would fit perfectly with the shoe.  I am starting with a mid-weight sock for my fall and winter training.  I have just started walking in the new boots and socks.  Please visit my Facebook Page –Train for the Camino, as I will be posting regular training updates there.

I’d love your feedback! And don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one via the commentluv feature here on the site.

Buen Camino




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