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First time doing the Frances in early September need help! Please

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by Rookid, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. Rookid

    Rookid New Member

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    I'm flying out to Biarritz from Korea somewhere between the 2nd-5th of September 2010. I haven't done much backpacking at all but looking to kill a month and do the Camino de Frances starting in St. Jean Pie de Port. I was reading for the blog and was curious as to what else I may need/find helpful amongst the essentials I will be packing. I'm about 175lbs and was also curious how light I should keep my pack. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

    -Lance


    Essentials

    Needle and thread – when you get a blister this will help. Thread the needle and run through the blister, leave a bit of thread inside to drain the blister.
    Two pairs of shorts, one for night other for day. (zip able long trousers are good)
    1 T-shirt
    1 shirt (light weigh, quick dryingt)
    2 pairs of socks
    Sleeping bag
    2 pairs underwear
    Rain gear – poncho is the best.
    Fleece, it does get cold at night and the mornings can be chilly
    Sandals for evenings
    Pain-killers
    Sunscreen, a must!
    Sunglasses
    Hat
    Toiletries – keep it very light
    Towel – get quick dry from outdoor store, they are also super light
    Mobile (if required) but if you have a Nokia don’t take a charger, lots of people have them, just borrow one.
    Camera
    Earplugs – too many people snore – loudly
    Small torch
    Swiss army knife
    Mosquito spray
     
  2. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    Hi Rookid ~

    You have a very good list and a great start in getting prepped. What goes in your backpack is very personal and everyone has their own preferences. Just FYI a carry a slightly different assortment for various reasons:

    *Clothes -- 3 changes, rather than 2 changes of clothes. Why? One is for wearing, one is for drying, and one is a spare. Having only 2 changes means doing laundry every night.
    *T-shirts -- cotton is a no-no. Make certain to get the poly athletic t-shirts that dry quickly and aren't cold when they're wet
    *Poncho -- I despise ponchos because they protect you from rain, but they make you sweat due to lack of ventilation. My solution is a breathable, waterproof Gore-Tex jacket and a separate pack cover. The jacket doubles as extra warmth if needed, but most importantly the Gore-Tex breathes and you're not soaking in poncho-sweat while trying to keep out of the rain
    *Sunglasses -- On both my Caminos I never found a use for sunglasses. The reason is that most walking happens in the morning and is done by 2-3 pm. Since the Camino goes east to west the sun is behind you and seldom in your eyes. The brim of your hat is adequate for keeping the direct sunlight off your eyes.
    *Mosquito spray -- I've never seen a mosquito on the Camino. Flies yes, mosquitoes no. Would leave this at home since the flies just laugh at it.
    *Camera bag -- This is the one thing I'd add to your list. If your camera is buried in your backpack or just not in easy reach you'll find it annoying to stop and take a photo. I found a camera bag that easily attaches to my waist or chest strap. This makes getting my camera very easy and allows lots of fun photos of the Camino.

    Again, great list. Buen camino!
     
  3. InOrlando

    InOrlando New Member

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    Rookid:
    Husky is right: Don't bring any clothing that isn't quick-drying (including your special hiking socks).
    But you also want to be comfortable.
    A suggestion: Wear the clothing you want to bring--wear it for about two days without washing it.
    Then hand wash all the clothing you'd like to bring (did you get them clean?), and hang them up to dry. See how long each one takes.

    If the clothing isn't dry within 8 hours, then don't bring it. I also suggest that you find some anti-blister stuff for your feet. I used Compeed Anti-Blister Stick on my toes, and I did not have any blisters.
    Buen Camino!
     
  4. Rookid

    Rookid New Member

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    thank you both so much for the insight. I'm about 175lbs would a 25lbs backpack be alright or does it really need to be super light?

    Also socks? what kind do I need or could you recommend some brands? And what's this I hear about smothering your feet in vaseline or should I just stick to some anti blister stick?

    Thank you all so much, in advance.
     
  5. Covey

    Covey Active Member

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    The weight of your pack is vital on any long distance trek because you are having to carry it for 30+ consecutive days.

    The consensus advice is 10kgs all up weight or 22lbs and that includes the weight of the pack itself, your clothing and bits and bobs you carry in your pack AND food and water. You will be carrying 1litre of water which is 1kg. You have to allow up to half a kilo for food items such as fruit etc. If you are carrying a walking pole/poles on your pack, add them in.

    As to socks, there are a wide variety of brands available in the stores. I am starting from St Jean on 4th Sept and will be using my 1000 Mile socks again.

    I used to use Smartwool socks which were excellent, but when I have started in July, they tended to be a little too warm for the general weather conditions so I switched to the 1000 Mile ones last year. They are a double layer sock and I find them very good.

    Some wear the "normal" thick trekking socks and a very thin pair of "liner" socks next to the skin. The idea is that the liner sock sticks to the skin and any rubbing/friction involves the two layers of socks rather than between sock and skin. The 1000 Mile socks have the liner built in rather than separate socks.

    Have a look at : 1000 Mile Sportswear - 1000 Mile Sock

    I have never bothered with the Vaseline smothering ritual but many say that the Compeed anti blister stick is good, although no doubt somewhat expensive as are all Compeed products along the Pilgrim Ways!
     
  6. Rookid

    Rookid New Member

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    Thank you all so much for your help. I'm currently in Korea and I will try to have some of those 1000 mile socks shipped or search for them somewhere but will any of the stores down in St. Jean Pied de Port have them as well? I'm actually planning on starting there as well either on the 2nd or 4th of September haha...coincidence. For the month of September is it absolutely necessary to bring a sleeping bag or would I be able to get away without one?
     
  7. Covey

    Covey Active Member

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    Don't plan on being able to buy specialist walking kit in St Jean!! The link to 1000 Mile socks will give you the company head office and they will ship overseas, or try Amazon.com.

    I am arriving in St Jean on the 3rd and will start walking on the 4th.
     
  8. Rookid

    Rookid New Member

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    Thanks Covey...I'd like to order but there are too many to pick from haha...could you recommend any? Thanks a million.
     
  9. Covey

    Covey Active Member

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    I use the All Terrain Sock. On the front page of the web site it gives you a size chart as they do not sell by shoe size but by their own size band. At the bottom of the home page is the button for their web shop.
     
  10. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    I was very interested in Covey's 1000 Mile Sock but couldn't find it in Seattle prior to my Via de la Plata this year. I went with liner socks instead and was completely blister free.
     
  11. karenleeg

    karenleeg New Member

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    Hi Covey,
    Good advise about the socks! I am getting very excited about this upcoming walk. Unfortunately, fell and sustained some significant ligament tears in ankle, not to mention many bruises (including my ego) a few weeks ago but, I am going to come and do this walk anyway. I will look for you at Gatwick early morning of the 3rd. Are you in London just prior to our departure or a few days earlier? I am arriving on the 27th of August from Toronto, spend a bit of time with family and getting over jet lag. Hotel suggestions for SJPP? I am sure it is somewhere in this blog but how easy is the transfer from Biarritz airport to the appropriate train/bus connection to SJPP?
    Thanks!
     
  12. Covey

    Covey Active Member

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    Sorry to hear about the injury and hope all will be well by the 3rd! I live in south London and will be here for the week before we go. You could join me on one of my training walks down the Thames Pathway to blow away the cobwebs and jet lag.I never bother booking anywhere in SJPDP as there is an "albergue" where I always stay, and as it is tucked away in a side street, always has space.

    Transfer from Bairritz Airport to the station is easy. There is a bus from just outside the terminal door to the station! As I am going to the same place, just follow the Camino Grandfather!
     
  13. Gazza

    Gazza Member

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    I also used the 1000 mile socks, after Coveys recomendation, blister free.

    I live in Australia & I found a site that sent them across, mail free. They worked out cheaper then buying the "smart socks" in Australia.

    Covey, think you need to get onto the manufacturers & get us some promo stuff for the free advertising......:confused:
     
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