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Lightly Burdened Pilgrims: Trip Report and Photo Essay
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Daniel Paladino
(dtpaladino) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Lightly Burdened Pilgrims: Trip Report and Photo Essay on 05/03/2011 13:03:14 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Lightly Burdened Pilgrims: Trip Report and Photo Essay

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Rocking! on 05/03/2011 15:54:34 MDT Print View

Wonderful stuff. Thanks.


Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Great write up! on 05/03/2011 22:31:54 MDT Print View

A very fun and insightful read!

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Lightly Burdened Pilgrims: Trip Report and Photo Essay on 05/03/2011 22:58:35 MDT Print View

What an adventure—a great read and sparkling photography. Well done!



Kat ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Wonderful!! on 05/03/2011 23:05:41 MDT Print View

From "Alles in Ordnung" all the way to " Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita".....Great write up, beautiful pictures....thanks so much!

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Lightly Burdened Pilgrims on 05/03/2011 23:32:04 MDT Print View

The pilgrim aspect identifies something that has eluded me in describing travel. We are all pilgrims, in search of our own grail, in the wilderness or populated spaces.

Of course, the ultralight aspect is of interest. It fits with a pilgrimage too, leaving the material world behind and only taking the most elemental supplies to complete the journey.

Rome is such a fitting end to a journey. What a mind-blowing city!

Ludek Chovanec
(ludd) - M
What a great trip on 05/04/2011 03:34:01 MDT Print View

Thanks a lot for your trip report. I'm from Europe, currently living in Switzerland, and I totally agree that the notion of wilderness and long-distance backpacking is very different here than in the States.
In Europe, accommodation is available almost everywhere within day's walking distance, including remote mountain areas and farmlands. It would be in fact possible to travel just with a rainjacket and credit card in your pocket. You can also use the dense network of public transit to skip over uninteresting parts like big city suburbs.
On the other hand, it is very difficult to plan a trip if you want to sleep in a tent or under a tarp. In most European countries (with the exception of Scandinavia and few others) it is generally forbidden to camp outside of designated areas (campings), which are usually crammed with RVs and motor homes.
Bivouacs are sometimes tolerated in the high mountains, and you can certainly spend a night in tent pitched on a forest clearing in less populated areas if you keep low profile, but you'd be still in a shady legal area at best.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Lightly Burdened Pilgrims: Trip Report and Photo Essay on 05/04/2011 06:31:04 MDT Print View

Thanks for the hike and history. Kinda bad there's less wild camping in that portion of Europe. Wish there were something analogous to the AT through Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and maybe the "Benelux" countries, terminating in Amsterdam.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Lightly Burdened Pilgrims: Trip Report and Photo Essay on 05/04/2011 11:58:51 MDT Print View

Although I'd prefer a more camping-based hike the landscape through which you walked sounds spectacular. Thank you for sharing.

Bart Godefroid
wild camping on 05/05/2011 01:45:19 MDT Print View

Thanks for the inspiring article!

I'm from Belgium and agree that In Europe civilization is (most of the time) only a day's march away.
But if you want to wild camp that's also perfectly possible. All you need to do is a little planning to avoid densely populated areas. This can be done very easily in for example Scotland, Scandinavia, some parts of Germany, etc. In France there's even something called 'the diagonal of emptiness', it's a geographical line from the north-east to the south-west of France. This line covers an area with a very low population density. Bivouacing (camping for one night) is also permitted in France if you respect certain rules.

Of course a pilgrimage, like the one from the article, is a different way of travelling with other benefits and interest points than hiking desolate areas.

Edited by bjgodefr on 05/05/2011 01:47:28 MDT.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Lightly Burdened Pilgrims: Trip Report and Photo Essay on 05/05/2011 18:37:08 MDT Print View

Nice story and beautiful pictures. Made me recall Thoreau's Walking...

I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who
understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks--who had a
genius, so to speak, for SAUNTERING, which word is beautifully derived
"from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and
asked charity, under pretense of going a la Sainte Terre," to the Holy
Land, till the children exclaimed, "There goes a Sainte-Terrer," a
Saunterer, a Holy-Lander. They who never go to the Holy Land in their
walks, as they pretend, are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds; but they
who do go there are saunterers in the good sense, such as I mean. Some,
however, would derive the word from sans terre without land or a home,
which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular
home, but equally at home everywhere. For this is the secret of
successful sauntering. He who sits still in a house all the time may be
the greatest vagrant of all; but the saunterer, in the good sense, is
no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while
sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea. But I prefer the
first, which, indeed, is the most probable derivation. For every walk is
a sort of crusade, preached by some Peter the Hermit in us, to go forth
and reconquer this Holy Land from the hands of the Infidels.

George Gibbs
(GeorgeG) - MLife
Nice story on 05/12/2011 14:49:16 MDT Print View

Nice story. Heard you on Rick Steves I think.


Locale: Northwest Mass
A different Pilgrimage on 07/08/2011 22:03:35 MDT Print View

Great Story. My friend and I this spring did a bike tour with a bit of hiking from Northern France to Santiago and beyond. Traveling the pilgrimage is simple, easy and beautiful - and we were stealthcamping as often as possible and never eating in restaurants. We did imagine though, that if we were walking and had a much larger budget, we could live with only a smart phone, debit card, poncho, toothbrush and earplugs.
Reading this makes me want to take a plane to somewhere in Europe and just see where the wind takes me...

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
superb! on 07/09/2011 00:20:43 MDT Print View

What a fantastic account of a European walk! Its a great change of pace to the typical forests and mountains.