… and minimize pain.
“… pain is unavoidable, suffering is optional …”
A truism very much in evidence on the Camino. I managed to avoid blisters completely while walking the Camino, and I’ve picked up a few lessons on minimizing the pain that worked for me.
- keep backpack weight to a minimum
Trust me, you really don’t need all of stuff you initially thought of bringing along. If your thought process starts with “it would be nice to …” leave it home. If it proves really necessary you can always buy it on the Way.
- comfortable and well worn shoes/boots
In my opinion THE most important part of your Camino gear.
- start slow and let your body adapt
Camino is not a race, and daily stages are not mandatory minimums.
- frequent breaks and letting the feet breathe
Every-time you see a bench or a convenient rock, sit down, take of your shoes and socks and let your feet breathe, some foot massage is advised as well.
- Body Glide feet treatment before walking
Works better than vaseline because it isn’t greasy. Helps prevent skin friction that causes blisters.
- cold water treatment
Your feet get warm and swollen during a long walk. Start your shower with a cold water blast at your feet and soak your feet in cold water after walking.
- elevation to reduce swelling
If your knee or ankle gets swollen, ice pack or ice spray will help. But to reduce the swelling you need to elevate your feet so that they are a higher level than your heart. Translated … lie down (don’t sit) and put your feet up, in case of major swelling keep your feet in that position overnight.