I have received some great emails this month asking some fantastic questions about the Camino de Santiago as readers prepare to hike 500 miles across Spain themselves. I am jealous! I want to hike it again. I boiled down some of the most common questions I have been getting recently for the benefit of those preparing for this long distance trek.
Unlike the Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail and Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. (See more popular long distance treks here) you don’t really need to “rough it” on the Camino de Santiago which seems to be a common misconception.
Common Questions About The Camino de Santiago:
- Do I Need a Solar Charger For My Phone? No. There are ample opportunities to charge your phone along the way. If you are coming from a country such as the United States, you WILL need to bring an adapter like this one here with you of course.
- Will I be completely alone? Is this safe? As with everywhere in the world, you are never completely safe. But, that being said, there are so many people that walk the Camino de Santiago alone. (You likely won’t be alone long as people tend to “buddy up” with friends they make along the trail) The trail is very safe and if you use common sense you should be just fine walking the Camino de Santiago alone. Over 200,000 people walk the trail each year so most of the time you will have a fellow pilgrim within eyesight. See the latest statistics on the Camino de Santiago here.
- A month is a long time to hike. Can I work while I am on the Camino de Santiago? Yes. Wifi is easy to find along the Camino de Santiago. You should have no problem finding time or a signal to pop open a laptop or iPad to get some work done. I would do your best to unplug but at the same time understand that this is a very long time to “vacation”.
- How much food do I need to pack? This is one of the most common questions I get. Likely because many of the long distance treks like the Pacific Crest Trail require mailing yourself packages of supplies at stopping points along the way. The Camino de Santiago does not require this. Instead of campfires and freeze dried meals, think evenings spent enjoying a bottle of wine and a well deserved meal at a great little restaurant. All you need to pack during the day are snacks and water. You only need a normal sized water bottle because there are ample fountains everywhere to refill. See my printable packing checklist for the Camino de Santiago here.
- Should I bring a tent? I don’t recommend it. Weight is the name of the game. There will be evenings when you are sleeping in a pilgrim hostel, full of snoring pilgrims, that you will wish you had a tent, but not many people camp along the Camino de Santiago. You certainly can though, if you are dead set on camping. If this is the case you should also plan to complete the trail much more slowly. We met some people during the summer who just “cowboy camped” as well, simply throwing their sleeping bag on the ground and sleeping under the stars.
- How much will this cost? I would plan on about 37 euros (45 USD) per person per day. See a detailed breakdown of costs here.