Daily Archives: March 29, 2009

Why The Camino De Santiago Is Like Life? And The Incredible Lessons To Be Learned…

As I prepare for my second Camino….I began to reflect on my last experience….and coincidentally….

The other day I was asked to speak about the Camino De Santiago….

I thought……rather than speak about the typical…

Fun adventures….and experiences…or…

What to bring……and how to prepare….etc…

All of which are important…

I took a different path

You see…

For me…the Camino De Santiago…is just like life…….and like life……there are incredible lessons that can be learned..

Let me explain..

Just Like Life…..you need to focus on one day at a time….one Albergue at a time…one Stage at a time…You cant focus on the whole journey or you will become overwhelmed…You learn to live in the moment…the present..

Just Like Life…..you walk at your own pace….Although you may meet many people…you need to go at the pace thats right for you….

Just Like Life…..when problems arise…and they will…such as taking care of your feet…you need to stop…regardless of those around you…and do whats best for you at that very moment…Do Whats Best For You…this can be somewhat difficult as many people…have a hard time….doing whats best for themselves..for fear of what others think….

Just Like Life…..you meet so many people…from all around the world….man…do you meet…so many great and wonder-FULL people….opportunities to re-humanize…..the Camino is really about the people….especially when our spirits are down..its great when those around us help to lift our spirits…and put things in a different perspective…

Just Like Life…..you are with nature….not in a tree hugging….birkenstock way…..but…you become reacquainted with yourself and your relationship to nature….one of the single most important and revitalizing ways to pick up your spirits…re-connecting with nature….in the concrete jungle it sometimes becomes a little difficult…the Camino affords us this possiblity…

Just Like Life…..You live only with the things on your back….you live the simple life….and you realize that…..you can not only survive…but thrive with less…contrary to the popular opinion that we need more to be happy…the Camino teaches us to live with less…

Just Like Life…..There are days…when…quite frankly you dont want to walk 25-30 kilometers….you just want to stay in bed….and like life…there are times when we become “stuck” and think what do I do now???? With the Camino…it reminds us that sometimes….we are our worst enemy…and that if we just continue on things will work themselves out…..

Just Like Life…..we need to re-charge our batteries….the Camino…allows us the time to re-charge…time for reflection….isnt that what we really want…more time…?

Just Like Life…..we sometimes ask ourselves what the heck am I doing…we question…ourselves…and the Camino is no different……it really magnifies….our own self doubts…and shows us….that in the face of adversity…..we can go on…

And Just Like Life…..each of us has own unique reason(s) for doing what we do….and the Camino is no different…there is no one reason why someone embarks on the Camino…its different for each person…respect that the reason(s) you have may be different from those around you….

Well thats my rant….

As you can probably tell….I loved my experience doing the Camino…

It is without a doubt the single best thing Ive ever done in my life.

Peace

-Bronson

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Which Ultra Light Backpack Is Right For You? – Backpack Comparison

Well I finally caved in….after much cajoling from my good friend and mentor Richard Morley

I´m doing a review on backpacks….really….I´m sharing some great “finds” that I found….awesome backpacks….and cheap….but terrrific quality….that weigh virtually nothing….to carry…

Let me begin by explaining briefly….my philolosophy….behind why I choose the gear that I use…

Simple….WEIGHT…. and the best quality at the cheapest price…

Having done the Camino de Santiago… I made the fatal mistake of bringing too much weight….(yes….I read the books and the websites…about not bringing too much weight…didnt help though…)

And after 400 kilometers (240 Miles)…. I swore never again….

My mantra….was if I ever do this again…….I´m going to bring only 4 kilos (8.8 Lbs)…nothing more…(I originally brought… 11 kilos or 24.2 lbs)

Never again… would I carry so much weight….

Wearing a backpack in the comfort of your home…..or training with it by walking around your neighborhood… is one thing.

But walking 25-30 kilometers a day with 11 kilos is a whole other story….

Reasons for Ultra Light Backpacking
1) Helps prevents sore knees
2) Helps prevents blisters
3) Helps prevents bad backs and shoulders
4) Teaches the importance of living with less (I couldn´t resist…..throwing this one in…..Im a minimalist at heart…)

So now that you have an idea of my goal 4 kilos or 4,000 grams….

Lets have a little math lesson…(this is more for the people from the States…)

1 ounce equals 28 grams
4 kilos equals 4,000 grams
4,000 grams equals 141 ounces

With that being said……the above math lesson is my guiding light…

This is how I structure all of my gear procurement……by grams and ounces….

I have become obsessed…..with grams and ounces….but when you do the Camino….weight is everything…..

Or really the less weight is everything…(if you´re not careful…you could be plagued with the infamous “Camino Walk“…)

With that being said…..I am only going to be discussing frameless backpacks…

Why?

Remember the math lesson…? (framed backpacks…weigh too much…)

I have probably one of the lightest and best quality framed backpacks….and even that is too heavy for my new 4 kilo requirement….it is an Osprey Atmos 35 weighing in at 1.1 kilos…or 2.4 lbs….

Too heavy…

So we are only going to be seeing a comparison of “Frameless Backpacks”

Another reason for frameless….is that you should not be bringing too many things in the first place…bring only the minimum….!!!! Trust me on this one…

So if a frame is required…..for your backpack….then my question to you is….what the heck are you bringing??? Do you think you are a small marsupiale…? What are you Captain Kangaroo???

All the backpacks that are being reviewed here…. weigh less than half a kilo (500 grams or 20 ounces)…..or 1.2 lbs….while providing at least 2,500 cubic inches of space to pack…..

Lets recap….the rules…

1) Less than 20 ounces the weight of backpack empty
2) 2,500 cubic inches of room…
3) Around $100
4) The very best quality

I found four backpacks…..

Company Style Price Weight Size
GossamerGear G4 Ultra Light $80 17 ounce/482 grams 4,000 c.i.
ULA Equipment Conduit $100 17 ounce/482 grams 3,200 c.i.
Zpacks
Equinox
Z1 Ultra Light
ARAS Eagle
$80
$129
4.2 ounce/119 grams
20.8 oz/ 567grams
2,600 c.i
3,200 c.i.

Which backpack did I choose for my second Camino…?

Drum roll please…

I chose….ULA and the Conduit…

Why…?

Because amongst the four….I personally felt that Brian…the owner….of ULA….best represented…what I was looking for in a backpack….

All four  companies are perfect….and the very best in quality….

So there you have it….

Enjoy…and Buen Camino….

Peace

-Bronson

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