Yesterday I went walking with my friend for an hour-and-a-half (about 3 miles) and I was exhausted! It may have partially been the heat, but I believe I just wasn’t prepared for it. I thanked him profusely for the experience and decided it’s time to get serious about preparing for the Camino!
Today I walked an hour-and-a-half again with Brian, and this time averaged 3 miles an hour and walked about 4.5 miles. Improvement! Tomorrow I am determined to walk 2-3 hours at the same pace.
I continue to wear my hiking shoes regularly and also usually my hiking socks. I’ve been reading Pilgrim Tips and Packing List Camino de Santiago by S. Yates with Daphne Hnatiuk, and I’m really enjoying it! So much useful information in there. (Thanks, Mom!) I highly recommend the text.
Some things I need to add to my packing list:
- feminine products
- 1-2 regular pop (soda) bottles to use as a water bottle
- ear plugs
- a plug adapter
- travel size toiletries ONLY
- a power transformer
- toilet paper
- container of salt
- plastic bag containing copies of important documents
- travel health insurance
- pair of nail scissors (useful for many things!)
- really thin (inner) socks
- foot cream
- safety pins
- a garbage bag (to line the inside of the backpack)
They also recommend cutting off tags, ripping out unneeded pages, and emptying the backpack every 2-3 days to clear and re-pack! Intense!
Finally, especially now that I plan on training harder, my two biggest concerns are frequent bathroom needs and blisters.
As far as the first, I’m sure I will get used to the open air practice eventually. As far as the second, here are a few suggestions from Yates and Hnatiuk:
- Cream the feet at least twice a day with Nivea, Neutrogena, or similar.
- Only wear broken in, comfortable shoes.
- Wear 2 pairs of socks so that the friction occurs between the sock layers.
- Don’t shower in the mornings and don’t do any foot soaks until you’re done hiking for the day. (This softens the skin and makes it more likely to blister.)
- During rests, take off shoes and socks and put your feet up (like on your backpack) to reduce swelling
- Take care of hot spots and discomfort immediately before a blister develops
- Take care of your feet in the evenings! Wash thoroughly, soak when possible, check for signs of problems and treat them, and cream generously.
- Shower first.
- Wash and disinfect hands.
- Disinfect blister, clean the area, and open it with a small incision with a sterilized utensil, just enough to drain the blister but keep the skin intact. (Do not remove the skin!)
- Use a sterile compress to apply pressure and empty the blister. Tape small compress to blister and surrounding area to prevent blister from re-filling overnight.
- Insert iodine into blister with iodine cream or liquid iodine syringe. (Yipes!)
- Cover with compress package and bandage.
- If needed the next day, buy Spontex® kitchen cloth, cut it to size — leaving a hole where your blister is, and tape it to the surrounding blister-free skin.
- Keep the dressings clean, and change them after every shower.
- Cream the old skin over the blister to keep it soft and elastic, so it won’t cause another blister!
Those feet are important! Love, love, love your feet!
Much love, many blessings. ❤