Have you decided to do the Routes of Santiago de Compostela, already? Before starting this pilgrimage, take note of some useful tips, especially if you are taking this adventure for the first time.
What you need to know before starting. These are the key-tips to enjoy your adventure:
In order to prepare ourselves physically and mentally, it is important to begin training at least two months before making the pilgrimage. This will help you to enjoy the experience.
Start with short walks on simple paths and increase the distance and difficulty little by little. During the last two weeks, take with you the backpack you are going to use on the road and make sure it has a similar weight so that your body gets used to that physical effort gradually.
Backpack’s weight and objects distribution
The backpack’s weight should not exceed a maximum of 10 kilograms, although ideally, the backpack weight should be 10 or 15% of your body weight. Do not carry unnecessary objects, as there are many points to replenish. Likewise, more massive objects should go to the bottom and closer to the back so they can offer better balance points.
Time of the year
The time of the year when the pilgrimage will happen is one of the essential tips since the route varies depending on the season and each one has its advantages and disadvantages.
The best months in terms of weather conditions are during spring and autumn, since in summer, the excessive heat is exhausting, and in winter, appropriate clothes are heavier to keep you with a proper temperature.
Food and water
Food must be sufficient to maintain active wear. A good meal at breakfast will give you enough energy for the day. Along the way, it is better to have a light but energy-filled food and eat a more significant portion once the day is over to rest and recover.
Water from the taps on the roads is suitable for human consumption, so it should not be a concern.
The duration or number of kilometers per stage should be adequate to our physical condition into order to keep the pace throughout the pilgrimage. Although there are already some pre-established stages on the guides, it is all right to go at your own pace since you can sleep and stock up on provisions in almost every town.
Shoes are very important to keep in mind, because wearing the wrong shoes can make your experience horrible and very painful, so much that you can leave it before finishing the routes.
If the shoes are rigid or do not fit well on our feet, they can cause chafing and blistering. We recommend using used shoes, but without being too worn because it will also cause chafing.
Mountain boots are the recommended shoes for temperance and the cold months, they hold your ankle and isolate keep the cold away, always choose one made of breathable material. For the hot months, mountain shoes for trekking are breathable, lighter, but do not hold the ankle like boots. There is also the possibility of using special-sandals for hiking.
Where to sleep
Thanks to the boom that the Jacobean road is having, there are now a great variety of sleeping offers. The first option is “the hostels,” but if you fancy having more privacy to rest better some nights you can opt for other offers like hostels, pensions, camping, hotels…
We can find public and private hostels; in public places, you cannot book, bed type is a first-come-first-served random assignment, while in individual hostels we can book a room before arriving. Of course, keep in mind that in hostels you need to present your pilgrim’s credential.
We hope you find our tips helpful! Buen Camino!