This week I purchased my backpack. I spent a couple of hours in Summit Hut picking out and getting fitted for my backpack. As requested, I went to the store with a list of what I will need to carry and ended up with an Osprey backpack which weighs only 3 pounds and 2 ounces. The salesman didn’t think an ultra-light backpack would be sturdy enough for the amount of miles and time on the Camino.
The next day I filled two water bottles, put them in the pockets on each side of the pack; put in my wallet, cell phone and keys and weighed the pack – it was 7 pounds in total. I took off on a 4 mile walk on relatively level ground with a friend. It went real well. I didn’t have any noticeable aches or pains or feel like I was carrying a heavy load. Good!
We walked the same country road again the next day – this time I added a 3 pound dumbbell to the pack to bring the weight up to 10 pounds. Again the walk went real well and again I felt good.
This morning I decided to climb up the hill that is 1 mile long with a 500 foot elevation with 10 pounds on my back, a 24 ounce filled water bottle in my one hand and my walking stick in the other hand. Geared up and ready to go with the Gypsy Kings playing on my iPod, I began my walk. I got to the top of Ridgeside in the same amount of time it normally takes and continued on to one of the hilly dirt country roads I love to walk. I walked a slightly different route today but when I arrived back home, I had walked for 2 hours, 6 miles in total and still felt really good.
“For in their hearts doth Nature stir them so, Then people long on pilgrimage to go, And palmers to be seeking foreign strands, To distant shrines renowned in sundry lands” —Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales