What took me to the Way of St. James?

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We have decided to do this Way, we have illusion and many desire to begin it but we do not know what to take. Are we prepared? Do I have to take a lot of luggage? And if I forget something? These and many questions arise at the time of preparing our backpack to begin this adventure, perhaps it is what most headaches bring us.

This is probably the most important point of our journey as it can make our journey more or less bearable. This preparation is doubly important for several reasons, but the most important ones to take into account are: first of all we have to be aware that even if we make stops in towns along the way and we can provide ourselves with some products or things that we need or have forgotten, we will not find shops in all points. It is therefore important to know what to wear, why we should wear it and really know what we need and what we do not need. This last question is mainly aimed at those who decide to start the journey on their own and carry their luggage all the way (bear in mind that the more weight, the more expensive it will be to walk). That is why our agency also offers the transport of luggage from one accommodation to another so that it does not pose a problem for the pilgrim and make each stage as comfortable as possible by worrying only about their enjoyment.

Getting the luggage right will allow us to have a better experience that is in the background what we are looking for. After all, we only want to have a good time, not to think, to come back in one piece but above all, to live an unforgettable experience.

Throughout this article we will answer all those questions that may arise in the preparation of the Camino thanks to the experience that our agency has acquired after each organized trip.

WHAT DO I PUT IN THE BACKPACK?

The first thing we must do is choose the backpack that will accompany us during the Way to Santiago. There are many opinions on this subject, but it all depends on the size of the person as well as their physical possibility. For this reason it is best to get an idea of our own strength and the weight we can each bear on our backs. However, in our blog you can find all the necessary information about this necessary item, if you want to know which is the perfect backpack for the Camino de Santiago click on the link.

 THE ESSENTIALS:

You’ve decided to do this stretch of the Camino de Santiago, the trip is organized but now… What do I put in my backpack?

BOTIQUÍN: We must stress that it is essential to carry a small first-aid kit with the essentials. This will help us in case of any physical discomfort on the way or any other health problem. If something more serious should occur, the first aid kit will help us to stop the damage until the medical services take care of you (bear in mind that in many stretches we will find ourselves in the middle of the countryside or the mountains and that it may take a long time to get to your location). First and foremost, safety must come first.

SHOES. Very important we must bring with us appropriate footwear to walk both on stretches of land, mountain and asphalt. In the first place they must be comfortable to walk and have some filming so that they do not cause us any type of problem. In second place we recommend a professional footwear, we will not serve any sport shoe. Thirdly and therefore our last advice regarding footwear is to wear sandals so that at the end of each stage we can rest our feet and make them breathe. They will also help us if we stay in hostels, for showers.

CLOTHING. It depends on the time of year, but we must think that the weather is capricious and one day it may rain, another it may be cold and the other heat. We recommend wearing appropriate pants, always long. Those of mountain or medium mountain are the most appropriate for this route. They are comfortable, flexible and resistant pants. We also recommend wearing shorts, long and short-sleeved t-shirts, underwear, and a sweatshirt or jacket since the temperature usually drops at night. Let’s not forget that we are likely to rain at some stage, a raincoat essential. Even if it’s many days on the road, we don’t advise wearing a lot of clothes. But don’t worry if they get dirty and we don’t have any more, in hostels we’ll find laundries, or even in some village we pass through.

ASEO. Although it seems unnecessary information because it is automatic to think about this when traveling, we recommend taking the basics for our hygiene (deodorant, gel, toothpaste and toothbrush, and even petroleum jelly for feet).

YOU CAN’T FORGET…

In the preparation of the backpack we will think mainly about the equipment to perform each stage, but we can not forget the most important when traveling in case we have some kind of problem. You will need a series of bureaucratic elements, such as an identity card or passport if you are a foreigner. We advise you to carry your health card and a credit card for any unforeseen event that may arise.

Another document that we will have to take with us if we want to obtain the longed for Compostela at the end of the road is the Pilgrim’s Credential, which we will stamp at least twice a day from our departure to our arrival.

It is essential to have a mobile phone as it is the only communication element we will have, so that if we get lost we can be in contact with civilization. However, for a better experience we believe it is best to disconnect from civilization in order to fully enjoy nature. Making the way to Santiago to be all day with the WhatsApp doesn’t seem like a good idea. Do not forget the charger at home, otherwise your mobile will become a useless piece of junk that in addition to occupying space, will weigh and make you less light the journey.

In any trip we must be cautious and although we seem obvious things to take, it is not bad to remember them when preparing the luggage and embarking on this adventure.

RECOMMENDED BUT NOT ESSENTIAL

Finally, if we want to be even more cautious and finalize the details of the Way of St. James, we recommend certain elements that can save us from some trouble.

Among them we can highlight several, but thanks to our experience organizing this trip and the opinions of our customers will indicate the most recommended.

A cane will help us to travel the routes, both as a point of support and for the rest of the legs.

A flashlight will not take up much space and may be very useful if we start the stages very early in the morning and the sun has not yet come out. It is recommended but not mandatory, we can also light through the flashlight of our mobile phone.

A knee brace, an element that at first sight can be useless if we do not have discomfort at the beginning but can save us from more than one stage since the knees suffer a lot of impact on the walk.

A reflective bracelet, which in the same way will serve us as the flashlight to make us visible if we start the stages just without light.

Sun cream, highly recommended because we will be exposed to daylight throughout the journey, and although we think it will not affect us, it is possible that we regret it once the night falls.

Sunglasses, if possible resistant in case they fall and that are of a good quality to protect our eyes during our journey through the mountains.

A sleeping bag is an advice that we give if we are a little more delicate or if we get cold in the chosen lodgings. Although as a general rule hostels, boarding houses, hostels and hotels will provide us with sheets and blankets in our stay, we may prefer to rest inside our jacket.

These are some of the elements that during many organized trips we have considered that could help us.

 

IF MY WAY IS NOT ON FOOT AND I DO IT BY BIKE… SHOULD I WEAR THE SAME?

If we have decided to take our bike and embark on this adventure we may have more questions when preparing the backpack. In fact, the tips for preparing your luggage that we show you to do it on foot can be applied to this modality. However, to avoid any problem, we cannot forget to equip our bicycle with a puncture kit and a lock to prevent theft if we leave it parked outside the accommodation. And although not essential but advisable, some pilgrims equip their bicycle with a bell in order to warn on the way to those who make it on foot to make way and there is no accident.

Finally, if when we finish putting everything in our backpack, we have not achieved a weight that we can support behind our backs or on the bike, do not worry.  One idea is to hire the Post Office Backpack, which thanks to its service will transport our luggage from and to the place we choose.  If you decide to make the journey through our agency, you will not have to worry about anything, we take care of transporting your luggage stage after stage, from accommodation to accommodation, you only have to carry a small backpack with water and some snacks.

Don’t forget the best advice we can give you, and that is to never carry more weight than you can really bear, as you won’t really enjoy the fantastic experience that is the Way of St. James.

If you still don’t know which way to choose, we recommend you take a look at our page or read the following article: Which way to Santiago to choose?

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