Author: Kevin Donahue

Walking the Last 100KM of the Camino de Santiago

Walking the Last 100KM of the Camino de Santiago

For many pilgrims, the commitment of time required or the physical demands of walking the entirety of the Camino de Santiago may not be possible. However, pilgrims may receive the Compostela (Pilgrim Certificate) by walking at least the last 100km to Santiago de Compostela.   

2021: Holy Jubilee Year for the Camino de Santiago

2021: Holy Jubilee Year for the Camino de Santiago

Following a year which saw the fewest pilgrims arriving in Santiago de Compostela in more than a decade due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, many are preparing to walk the Way in what will be a very special and important year: the 2021 Holy Year 

Key Differences between the California Missions Trail and Camino de Santiago

Key Differences between the California Missions Trail and Camino de Santiago

With more Americans walking the Camino de Santiago and looking for a Camino walk in the United States, the California Missions Trail has begun to draw more pilgrims seeking a pilgrimage walk in America. Born from the ancient footpaths traversing the coast between California’s twenty-one 

HOW TO: Follow Trail Markers and Trail Blazes in Europe

HOW TO: Follow Trail Markers and Trail Blazes in Europe

As an experienced backpacker in the United States, I’m well-acquainted with how to read and follow trail blazes in North America. However, when I started hiking distance routes and trails in Europe, I quickly found that the system of trail markers was vastly different and 

Packing List:  Backpacking Gear for England’s Pilgrims’ Way

Packing List: Backpacking Gear for England’s Pilgrims’ Way

I was first drawn to England’s ancient pilgrimage route to the shrine of St. Thomas Becket following my 2019 Camino de Santiago. With my eyes set towards Europe’s Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome, I learned the history the Pilgrims’ Way from both Winchester and 

Review: Osprey Exos 58L Backpack

Review: Osprey Exos 58L Backpack

If I could only buy one backpack for all my varied hiking needs, it would be the Osprey Exos. Dollar-for-dollar and pound-for-pound, this go-anywhere, carry-anything pack remains one of the best (if not the singular best) backpack you can buy for the trail or distance 

How To Read and Follow Trail Blazes in North America

How To Read and Follow Trail Blazes in North America

For many beginning hikers, the excitement of exploring a great trail is often tempered by anxiety about becoming lost along the way. However, you don’t have to be intimidated by the National Scenic Trail system or worried that you’ll be lost. Nearly every public trail 

The Best Months to Hike the Florida Trail

The Best Months to Hike the Florida Trail

Planning to hike the Florida Trail?  Since 2018, I have been section hiking the Florida Trail, one of eleven congressionally-designated National Scenic Trails in the United States. At more than 1,300 miles, the FT has been called “the toughest hike you’ve never heard of” for 

The Ultimate Backpacking Gear List for Hiking the Florida Trail

The Ultimate Backpacking Gear List for Hiking the Florida Trail

Since 2018, I have been section hiking the Florida Trail, one of eleven congressionally-designated National Scenic Trails in the United States. At more than 1,300 miles, the FT has been called the “toughest hike you’ve never heard of” for its exceptionally diverse track over the 

HOW TO: Make Your Own Camino Backpack Shell

HOW TO: Make Your Own Camino Backpack Shell

One of the universal symbols of pilgrims in western culture is the simple scallop shell. The shell is used both both for waymarking and as a metaphor for the Camino de Santiago, its lines said to represent the different routes to the tomb of Saint 

PACKING LIST: First-Aid Kit for Blisters and Foot Care

PACKING LIST: First-Aid Kit for Blisters and Foot Care

One of the questions I get from both experienced and newer backpackers alike is: what first aid and foot care items should I carry in my backpack in case I get blisters or have foot pain? This is a really serious topic for hiking, whether 

PACKING LIST: What to Pack to Hike the California Missions Trail

PACKING LIST: What to Pack to Hike the California Missions Trail

Once the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a change in my plans to hike the Via Francigena through England and France, I set my sights on walking the California Missions Trail in the summer of 2020. With abundant options for lodging, food, and resupply, the California Missions 

HOW TO: Five Tips for Urban Hiking

HOW TO: Five Tips for Urban Hiking

Nearly all of my pilgrimage trips have included some amount of urban hiking through modern cities, including the Camino de Santiago as you arrive at the Cathedral and the California Mission Trail through the major metro areas of San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. 

PACKING LIST: Backpacking First-Aid Kit

PACKING LIST: Backpacking First-Aid Kit

As a lifelong Scout and Scout Leader, I’ve probably created and carried more than 30 unique first-aid kits over the years. I say “created” because – more often than not – retail first aid kits are not specialized enough for backpacking – lacking a few 

A Beginner’s Guide to the California Missions Trail

A Beginner’s Guide to the California Missions Trail

Born from the ancient footpaths traversing the coast between California’s twenty-one Spanish missions, the California Missions Trail or El Camino Real in California (“The Royal Road”) as it is also known connects historic missions, pueblos, and presidios over an 800-mile long pilgrimage walk. Established between 

GPS & Google Earth Routes for the California Missions Trail

GPS & Google Earth Routes for the California Missions Trail

In researching the California Mission Walk, also known as “El Camino Real” for an upcoming pilgrimage, I quickly found a number of wonderful resources and communities of walkers. However, specific GPS, GPX, and KML files for Google Maps detailing for the California Missions Trail were