Walking the Camino is one of the most popular adventures, rite of passage or pilgrimage in the world. In English it is The Way of St James and it attracted more than 327,378 pilgrims from over 200 different countries to complete the Camino last year. That does not take into account the thousands of walkers who trekked sections of the pilgrimage route in France, Portugal and Spain. All roads on the Camino lead to Santiago de Compostela where pilgrims who have completed the entire route are presented with their Compostela certificate
The idea of walking a pilgrim path in the 21st Century may seem a bit archaic and quaint, but the increasing crowds is testament to the benefits and popularity of walking through nature, without modern devices and in the footsteps of many. This pilgrimage was popular in the 10th, 11th and 12th Century and then lay going wild and alone, and only began to be of interest again in the late 20th century. Modern travellers choose the section of the Camino that best suits their activity level, the time they have allocated to complete the walk and the scenery they would most enjoy along the way.
The most famous and popular route is the French, Camino Frances, with the Camino Portugues, originating in Portugal, as the second busiest route. These can be busy routes, so if you prefer a quieter road, the Camino Primitivo or Original Way offers 261km of beautiful scenery and a fairly strenuous trail. Should the wildness of a rugged coastline appeal to your senses, then the Camino Del Notre which takes in 825km of incredible, and rigorous, sea trails is probably the route for you.
It is possible to do the Camino de Santiago at any time of year, although snowy mountain trails may slow you down and become dangerous in winter. Spring and Autumn are the best times for the pilgrimage, no matter which of the trails, paths or pilgrim’s way that you choose.
No matter which itinerary and season you chose to embark on your iconic pilgrimage, you will need the right equipment. At Outdoor Adventure Stores, we have compiled a list of gear which are essential for a successful pilgrimage, where your thoughts are mindful of the road and the journey itself and not the pain of your blisters! Whether you decide to camp out and need a good sleeping bag or stay in hostels and pack a good sleeping bag liner, we have listed everything for you to customise to your own pilgrimage needs. Good walking shoes and rain ponchos or coats are a must for all.
The Camino is more than just an amazing outdoor adventure. Those who have embraced the rigours of its dusty and arduous roads say it that for many, it holds a specific spiritual symbolism too. We think you should be well prepared and are right here to assist in any way that we can so that your Camino trail is memorable for all the right reasons.
Ultra-comfortable walking shoes or boots
2-3 light cotton shirts. (one long-sleeved, one short-sleeved- look at base layer clothing if trekking in the colder weather)
2-3 trousers options (hiking pants, sweatpants, leggings, shorts, anything goes as long as you’re comfortable)
Plastic flip-flops (hostels essential)
Earplugs and eye mask
A medikit (Check out our readymade, compact and complete first aid kits)
Phone Charger and an adapter/converter for the outlets
Sleeping Pad – This is optional, but some people like to have them.