Preparation for a Camino
After you decide what route you want to walk, the next step is preparing for the journey. I found that all the information I needed could be found on various forums and blogs. That said, it is important to speak to pilgrims who have walked one of the many Caminos to get an idea of what is right and what is wrong. Being badly prepared is not somewhere you want to be. I have been in that position.
Joining your local Camino association (in my case Camino Society Ireland) is a good starting point. Here you can meet pilgrims who have already walked many of the different Caminos and “have caught the bug”. They will be more than happy to answer any questions you have about your upcoming Camino. It is also a good place to get your first sello (or stamp) for your pilgrim passport. YouTube is a great source of information but you can find the answer to every question on the Camino forum or on a Facebook group like this one.
a) Useful Planning Links
I have collated a number of resources that I have used to plan my various Caminos throughout the years. Some may prove worthwhile to you. If you know of others, please let me know. I can add them to the list for others to view. You can let me know by emailing here.
b) Packing Lists
Having the right kit is essential for your Camino. It is the difference between not having an enjoyable time and wanting to return again. I made many mistakes in 2011 and had decided not to return. With plenty of research and with help from friends in Santiago, I returned in 2012 to walk from Astorga to Sarria. The advantage of time is that you can buy a certain piece of kit and see if it works or not.
Here are some of my packing lists from my previous Caminos, some to Santiago. I hope they prove useful to you. My friend Linda has written extensively about her pack from a female point of view, on her site, details below.
- 2021 Packing List – for my next Camino, perhaps the Camino Portugués Coastal from Porto in 2022.
- 2019 Packing List – Camino Portuguese from Lisbon
- 2019 Packing list – Celtic Camino from A Coruna
- 2018 Packing Checklist
- The same list from 2018 with links to the items: 2018 Packing List
- September 2017 Packing List – Camino Francés from Burgos
- May 2015 Packing List – Camino Francés from Belorado
- May 2014 Packing List – From St Jean Pied de Port on the Camino Francés
c) Camino de Santiago Guidebooks
Below are a list of books I own and links who where you can purchase them. These editions may have been updated:
- The Camino Portugués – A Wise Pilgrim Guide (link for purchase)
- The Camino Francés – A Wise Pilgrim Guide (link)
- A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino de Santiago – John Brierley (link)
- A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino Portugués – John Brierley (link)
- St Jean Pied de Port – Finisterre – Maps Only – John Brierley (discontinued)
- Michelin Camino Frances Maps 2014 edition (link to 2018 edition)
- Camino de Santiago – Way of St James from the Pyrenees to Santiago (Rother Walking Guide) (link)
- Camino de Madrid – CSJ Guide by Johnnie Walker (link)
- The Northern Caminos – Laura Perazzoli and Dave Whitson (link)
- Camino Ingles – CSJ Guide by Johnnie Walker (link)
- Walking Guide to Via de la Plata and Camino Sanabrés – Gerald Kelly (link)
c) Useful information before you go
- St-Jean Pied de Port – The Basics
- How to travel to St Jean Pied de Port?
- The Pilgrim Passport
- Accommodation on the Camino de Santiago
- List of All Albergues on the Camino Francés (link to caminodesantiago.me)
- Accommodation I have stayed in on the Camino Francés.
More to be added..