The Gear List - tricksy items

My previous experience of long walks was many, many years ago. Right back in 1991 I walked across England.  16 days, with 3 rest days, 192 miles (that's 309 kilometres).  Being young and fit I took a pretty casual but seasoned approach to packing and gear.  I had leather Scarpa seamless boots, a good jacket, a RAB sleeping bag - which I possess to this day, and a decent 65 litre pack.

My husband at the time carried a tent, and we slept in it only a few days, mostly B&Bing our way across the country.  Through the Lake District, Richmond, the Richmond Plains, onto the Yorkshire Dales and Downs ending at Robins Hoods Bay just south of Whitby.

Being older, less fit, carrying more of my own weight, I am obsessing just a little over what gear I should take to Santiago de Compostela. So far, the things that are bugging me are my boots, hat and jacket.

I have a sore right foot which I think is arthritis following a break about 20yrs ago.  I have some trusty boots but they are fairly flexible soled and hurt now when I get over about 4km.  So I bought some new, stiff soled Keens, thinking this would be the answer.  Dang, but they hurt my instep, and the right boot is loose at my heel.  My sister Karen told me to google Boot Lacing techniques.  Wow! that was a revelation.  I now have toe locking and a right heel lock.  It seems to have helped hugely.

As for sunhat, I want a scrunchable one.  Something I can whip out of my pocket and stick on, or scrunch back into a pocket when not using it.  I think I'm going to have to sew one, as I dont like the look of many I have seen so far. Definitely not a folding-into-a-bag type!

My rain jacket is a good fit, but it has a foldaway hood, but I am going to sew it into a permanent "out ready for action" hood in order to tidy up the part under my chin where jacket and hood chin-strap meet (letting in water, and itching).

NB: Weatherwatch
Roncesvalles, Spain (day 1) today 4C and raining
Santiago de Compostela (Final day) today 8C and raining