Camino and Hiking Events in August 2017

Below is the roundup of Camino related events and hikes in the SF Bay Area for the month of August 2017.  On Sat. August 5th, I will be presenting about the Camino Inglés after the monthly Lake Merritt walk and brunch.  Part of the joy of “unpacking” my Camino is going through the many photos and compiling my notes so that my reports might be helpful for pilgrims considering this route.  I enjoyed every step of the Camino Inglés and look forward to sharing the highlights and lessons learned.

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Camino and Hiking Events in July 2017

Below is the roundup of Camino related events and hikes in the SF Bay Area for the month of July 2017. But first, I had a wonderful time on the Camino Inglés and will be writing my route reports soon.  Part of the joy of “unpacking” my Camino is going through the many photos and compiling my notes so that my reports might be helpful for pilgrims considering this route.  I enjoyed every step of the Camino Inglés and look forward to sharing the highlights and lessons learned.


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Injury Prevention Tips for the Camino

Injury Prevention Tips for the Camino 2017

Below is a presentation by Scott Williams on injury prevention that I recorded at our NorCal Chapter’s annual pilgrim blessing ceremony on March 18, 2017. Scott “Shroomer” Williams is active in the American Long Distance Hiker Association-West and has thru-hiked the Triple Crown (Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail).

Filming Scott Williams

Filming Scott Williams presentation on injury prevention tips for the Camino

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The Walk of a Lifetime

I’m sharing a great article about the joy of walking the Camino, from the perspective of a former Navy SEAL (United States Navy’s SEa, Air and Land Teams.) As Bob Brooks says,  “The walk itself kicked my ass. I thought I was in good shape but it was kind of an ego crusher. It was a real humbling experience.”  Yep. This is why I highly recommend training for the Camino as much as you can.  Like the Nave SEALs motto,  ‎The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday, the Camino can be challenging, but Bob shares how rewarding it can be and how the Camino provides.

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Walking Day 1: Ponte de Lima to Rubiaes

Tracked hike from Ponte de Lima to RubiaesContinued from Bom Caminho: A Ponte de Lima Jazz Serenade.

Stage:  Ponte de Lima to Rubiaes
22 km

(additional 3 km due to a “Camino provides” situation described below)

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Sunrise on my first morning of walking

On the first morning, I learned that the pilgrim lifestyle is early to bed, early to rise. Although I had earplugs in, I was woken at 6:30 by the rustling of plastic bags and loud whispering from three Spanish women a few bunks over. By the time I had dressed, the bigger co-ed dorm, occupied by the Italians and loud snorers, was empty. The only sign of life in the women’s dorm was a sleeping girl in the bunk bed between mine and the window, who shielded her eyes from the sunlight with her slender arm. Only that girl and two older French men were still at the albergue when I left.

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Immersing Myself in Yoga

Some of you may know that one of my intentions for 2016 was to start yoga teacher training. I had been meaning to take my yoga practice to the next level for a while, and I believe that teaching yoga could be good for when I’m a hospitalera (volunteer) on the Camino.image

Sometime last year, I watched the YOGAWOMAN documentary and was totally inspired. I was in awe of the women featured in the film who made a difference in communities all around the world. I was particularly impressed by a group that went to Kenya to teach young women how to teach yoga.

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My Camino Packing List, Part 1: Apparel

During my Camino planning, I heard a few wise pilgrims say, “The lighter the pack, the better your back.” I chose to pack light not only to spare my back but also to put as little strain on my knees and feet as possible. There’s a well-known rule of thumb for pilgrims according to which the weight of your backpack should not exceed ten percent of your body weight, which means that my pack shouldn’t be heavier than 14 lb (excluding water and snacks). I carefully selected and tested all gear to cull down the list of bare essentials. You can see the result of that selection along with apparel reviews below.
Camino Provides Packing List 2016
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Pre-Camino Training: Multiday Walks

Prior to my Camino, I did a lot of training hikes on the weekends. I also tried to increase the distance of my daily walks to an average of five to six miles per day. But none of this could compare to the real challenge you face when on the Camino, that is, walking twelve-plus miles per day for several consecutive days.

I took the time to smell the roses!

The week before I left for Portugal, I walked to work three days in a row. It gave me a chance to test all my Camino gear and a new pair of insoles for my boots as well as to see up close places that I don’t get to see when I commute on a highway. With the help of Google Maps, I found a safe, walkable path, which turned out to be five miles long each way—only a mile longer than my car drive to work. On those three days, I walked alongside the peaceful Lake Temescal and took the time to smell the flowers.
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More Injury Prevention Tips for the Camino

Here are the continuation videos of Scott “Shroomer” Williams’ talk that I captured at our annual blessing of the pilgrims event. Among many great tips, he demonstrated shortening your walking stride, using trekking poles and umbrellas, and ways to lighten your load.   He shared lessons of people he met along the Camino. He brought a box of gear for show & tell and demonstrated how to use everything. From blister and bedbug prevention to avoiding jungle rot, there’s something for everyone! Watch and learn from the Shroomer. Continue reading

Injury Prevention Tips for the Camino

Last week I told you about an epic hike on Mt. Diablo with Scott “Shroomer” Williams. Today I’m sharing a video of Scott at our annual blessing of the pilgrims event, talking about his first Camino and injury prevention tips for hikers.

Click to watch first video segment (11:05 minutes)

Continuation of Scott’s talk are below:

Scott Williams Injury Prevention Tips for the Camino: Part 2 

Scott Williams Injury Prevention Tips for the Camino: Part 3

Scott provided a handout with a list of ultra light gear companies for long distance walking.  See list below.

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