Would you like to live a fantastic experience with your family? The Way of St. James is ideal for all ages, although it is necessary to meet a number of requirements such as choosing the path that best suits them, previous physical preparation and appropriate clothing.
By following these tips we are going to give you, it is totally possible to do the route with the little ones of the house.
What is the right age to start?
From the age of 3 years old the child will be able to do the route, but if he is younger than 6 years old, you will need a mountain cart to carry him when he gets tired, which is quite normal because of his small resistance.
On the other hand, the best age to start is after 6 years old, where the child will be more capable of doing the route and enjoy the experience more.
Recommendations prior to the pilgrimage with children
In order to achieve the Camino de Santiago with children it is important that:
- The child receives previous physical preparation, with at least two months in advance in small mountains to gain some physical condition. If the child will carry his or her own backpack on the actual route, it is important that he or she also carries it during the training.
- The shoes should be worn in advance by the child so that his foot adapts to it and does not get blisters that prevent him from being able to continue the trail properly because of the pain.
Motivations to the child cannot be missing, so parents should tell everything they know about the path to motivate and excite the children.
Route and duration of the stages
Once you are doing the Way of St. James with children it is important that you never walk more than 15 or 20 km with them. And if they are more than 7 years old:
That the child only walks in the mornings, this way he/she will avoid walking at noon when the sun is more exhausting.
- The duration of the stages should be short, since the resistance of small children is not the same as that of adults, and this should be taken into account when planning the breaks and the route.
- For every hour five minutes to rest and give them foods that give them energy such as fruit, juices, dried fruits, cereal bars….
The French Way is a good option, as it is the most signposted and busiest. That is why you will find many places to stop and rest.
The ideal is to do the last 100 km with the children so that they receive the Compostela, which will make them very excited. Doing the Camino de Sarria you can achieve this goal.
There is also the possibility of making an organized trip with groups that are dedicated to this activity with several families with children, who schedule children’s activities during the pilgrimage.