Preparation

The Camino

Just about anyone can walk the Camino. When it comes to your preparation and training there's few things you need to know before you make the journey. We've listed a few tips below, if you'd like further details on preparing for the Camino journey, please consider purchasing The Guide to the Camino Francés - select our shop from the menu at the top of the page.

Finding the Right Footwear

Find yourself a good quality pair of walking shoes or hiking boots. Although you'll be doing lots of walking over various types of terrain, you don't need to buy a pair for mountain climbing boots. Regardless of what type of boots you buy, ensure they're comfortable, provide good ankle support, and are waterproof. There's nothing worse then walking for miles in water logged shoes... extremely unpleasant.

Walking Long Distances

Aside from the walking aspect of the Camino and depending on how much time you have to complete your journey, you'll need to get your head around the fact that you'll be walking anywhere from 20-30kms every day for around a month. If you plan to walk the from St. Jean Pied de Port, you may find the first week or so a little hard, but you'll soon settle into it and rest assured, it does get easier.

Level of Fitness

You don't need to be in peek physical condition to walk the Camino, you just need to be relatively fit and enjoy walking. People of all ages make the Camino journey. However, it would be foolish to think that you wouldn't have to prepare yourself to walk 20-30kms every day for around a month. Preparing yourself for the journey will also give you an opportunity to test your Camino footwear.

If your not already walking on a regular basis, a good way to prepare yourself for the Camino was to start with few short walks around home around 4-5kms and work your way up walking longer distances, until just before you depart for the Camino.

Learning the Language

Unless you're wanting to commit to a Spanish language course, which isn't necessary, you can learn a few common spanish phrases and you won't have any problems communication with the locals on the Camino. Pilgrims have been walking the Camino for hundreds of years, so the locals are used to people not speaking the Spanish. In saying that, don't expect everyone you meet on the Camino to speak English.

Safety and Security

While the incidents of theft on the Camino is relatively low; I had a couple of items of clothing taken off a communal clothes line, a few days into the journey. We spoke to another unfortuneate pilgrim who had all their cash stolen out of an albergue about half way through the Camino. They openly admitted that they'd 'let their guard down' and at the time, they should have been more cautious leaving cash unattended.

If you're an Australian resident, you can register with Safe Traveler, at www.orao.dfat.gov.au. Your registration will help the Department of Foreign Affairs contact you in an emergency, in a natural disaster, or a family crisis. The information you provide is protected under the Australian Privacy Act 1988. You may also want to consider writing down a list of the names, addresses, and contact details for Australian embassies and consulates, in the larger towns or cities you'll be traveling to.