Our week in the Cantal was a good opportunity to test my kit, and it has resulted in some changes to my pack. I hope I’ve made the right choices as time is fast running out and come what may, these items are coming with me.
Finding the right footwear has been a frustrating process. I don’t have access to the shoes that I’d like to try, so I can only go the mail order route. Once purchased, it’s all but impossible to really know how they feel on a hike… Without going on a hike… And once you’ve taken the shoes on a hike… They can’t be returned.
This is my third camino and you would think that I had my pack and it’s contents sorted by now. Sadly experience just seems to bring more choice and more confusion and as a result I have made a number of adjustments to my pack this year.
France is a nation of walkers so it it should be easy to buy equipment… but it’s not. I’m tall for a girl (176cm) and I have a size 41/42 foot which is very wide (3E). I find that shoes for women stop at 41 so I buy most of my shoes online. Wide fitting is also not a normal option so for walking shoes I have no choice than to buy online; and I generally buy men’s. It’s an expensive and frustrating process!
If I want long length trousers then I also need to buy online although tops and t-shirts are easily and cheaply available. I love my adopted home; France is a beautiful, fabulous place to live but shopping for the camino isn’t so easy (or should I say I haven’t found it easy).
Anyway, here’s what I think I’m taking to Spain… it all weights 7.7kg
After a week of walking and trials and tests and much concern and research and reading and worry… I’ve decided on which shoes will be coming with me to Spain.
I’ve considered buying another Keen Targhee, Hanwag’s, Altra’s, Brooks and New Balance. I’ve read reviews on Amazon and blogs, and Outdoor Gear Lab and countless websites. I’ve downloaded apps and templates and measured and checked and watched videos and pondered and considered and basically got my head spinning with too much information.
Gerry’s amusing new nickname for me (or my feet) came to him as we compared my feet to a photo taken on my first camino. He has a selection of names for my feet which also includes pasties and bricks with toes… so you’re getting the idea that I have wide feet!
A few days into my first camino I had to stop for a few days because my blisters were just too bad. I rested up in Estella and bought new shoes and fortunately managed to reach Santiago without too much more drama.
So today we went shopping in Bordeaux… for boots bag and socks!