Many pilgrims considering walking the Camino de Santiago have the question, “Is walking the Camino de Santiago by yourself safe?” and the answer to this is absolute yes! But it is important to put yourself in safe circumstances to avoid potentially bad situations. For this article, we will assume you are planning the Camino Frances which is the most common of the routes. Here are tips to ensure a safe journey walking on the Camino for both males and females.
- Walk during daylight
Many pilgrims like to start walking early in the morning before daylight. In general, you will want to avoid walking in the dark even though early morning walking is going to be safer than evening walking. There are still people in villages, towns, and cities who drink throughout the night and don’t go to bed until daybreak. If you are a female walking by yourself, then wait until daybreak. If you are a male walking by yourself, you are likely going to be safe walking the early morning.
- Stay in groups while walking home from the evening restaurant
You are going to make friends along the Camino and go out to eat for dinner with them as well. Since you are friends, you will likely be in the same Albergue too. Take this opportunity with a group of friends to walk to dinner and walk back before the typical 10 PM curfew of the Albergue.
- Keep the drinking below the drunk levels
The Camino has a good amount of wine and beer drinking along the route and social drinking are safe and common. For your sake, it is good to remain no more than tipsy so that you don’t become disoriented from the Albergue or begin making more decisions such as walking home alone.
- Hold on to your bag when in large towns or cities
Pickpockets are common in cities, and you often will set your backpack down outside a building before going inside to order food. If you have met a friend, have one person watch the bags until you can swap. This is only important near cities. If you are leaving your bag then you should bring your essentials such as passports, credit cards, and cash with you.
- Listen to your body
One of the worst situations to be in will not even involve other people causing harm to you. Listen to your body…I repeat…listen to your body. You are hiking a long distance and your feet will be in constant discomfort from the hard surfaces. Stay ultra-hydrated during days when temperatures are above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Heatstroke, dehydration, and other bodily ailments are more dangerous than anything else. The other tips help you avoid thieves and other assaults, but this tip helps you avoid serious injury or even death. This is true with all types of hikes and backpacking trips. An experienced backpacker will have some story of someone they know getting disoriented from dehydration and needing a fellow backpacker for help. Luckily, the Camino is highly populated and there are people every couple miles during the day that will pass by so this is less of a worry than a traditional backpacking trip.
You can read more about how others on the Camino by reading more books about the Camino de Santiago. You can findCamino books and the ideal backpacking gear or Camino packing list for the trip at different blogs that are specialized in the Camino de Santiago journey.
About the Author:
Caleb walked the Camino de Santiago in the fall of 2016 and is planning another trip with his family and newborn baby in the fall of 2021. He works as a NetSuite developer at a family business in Wisconsin providing IT services to mid-market organizations. This career field is perfect for the Camino because it allows him to occasionally take longer vacations and work remotely. He wrote his first book about the Camino de Santiago and publish The Way of the Cross and the Struggle for Holiness a year after he completed the Way of Saint James.