Long-distance walking - advice and/or experiences appreciated

Hi all!

My mother and I are leaving on June 13 to walk the first two stages of the Via Podiensis (the beginning of the Camino de Santiago), from Le Puy to Conques in France. We are going with a tour company (www.followthecamino.com) who organizes the lodging and luggage transport, but we won’t have a guide, and there are 3 of us in our group.

We’re all in pretty good shape, but I’m looking for advice or anecdotes from anyone who has experience with long walks like this - I know that good, well-broken-in footwear and a comfortable day pack are pretty much mandatory, but is there anything else we should know? Has anyone else done this route?

Thanks in advance!


Ack, wrong forum (I think) - can someone report me so this can be moved to the right place? Much obliged…

Dry socks. Especially if you are going to be wearing shoes that don’t have particularly breathable uppers.

Your anti-chafe substance of choice (Body Glide …etc). If this is a significantly longer walk/hike than you are used to doing in one shot, chances are some places are going to start chaffing that you haven’t experienced before.

Water. And some nutrition/calories, hopefully something you have experience eating on the move (so you know it will not upset your stomach).

Last thing i would say is snack early and often. If you wait until you feel hungry, it will probably be too late, and you’ll end up feeling like crap for a while.

What kind of daily mileage or kilometerage are you expecting?

I do four-mile walks all the time, for health, but I like to just amble along, stop often for photos and trail mix. I wouldn’t be happy doing serious guided walking.

Good luck! Have fun! Take lots and pictures!