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Frequently Asked Questions


In the weeks after you register, you will receive a detailed registration packet. You will be asked for more details about your needs (for instance, dietary needs, transport etc). At the same time, we will get more detailed information from you that we need, such as emergency contacts, cell phone numbers etc, and answer any subsequent questions you may have about the walk. And we are always available to answer any questions you have.


Below are answers to some common questions you might have:

Q: Where are the walks?

So far, the walks are from the following "four shores": The North Shore Way, The Annapolis Valley, The Gaels' Trail, and the South Shore Peace and Friendship Way.

Q: Is every Trail walked every year?

Some years walks are provided on all four shores, but not every year.

Q: Do I have to be religious to go on pilgrimage?

Not at all! Although pilgrimages have been associated with all of the world's religions, they are also an opportunity to explore your spirituality, whatever it may be! Space is given to pilgrims for meditation and for prayer, however they understand and practice it.  Camino Nova Scotia is welcoming to all and we are a very inclusive group. Pilgrimage appeals to all sorts of people, for all sorts of reasons. You can expect the pilgrim group to include a diversity of ages, genders, sexual orientations, cultural backgrounds, and spiritual perspectives. Travelling together creates many opportunities to practice mutual respect & hospitality towards each other. 

Q: Is there a shuttle service to the first trail head?

Participants who sign up in advance for shuttle service will meet on campus at Atlantic School of Theology, 660 Francklyn St., Halifax, NS, on your day of departure. We will contact you in advance with the exact departure time.

Parking is available at AST (see Parking).


Q: What should I be most prepared for?

Blisters are very common and can be agonising after a full day of walking.  Prevention is key. The best blister prevention is to break in your shoes/boots before attempting a long walk. Advance training is a must!  Invest in good footwear & wool socks (more under Footwear) and pay attention to any areas that rub. Cover those “hot spots” with bandages, gauze, tape, etc. as soon as they form. Stay hydrated. Changing socks part-way through a long day of walking can be helpful.


Q: Will there be additional costs above the fee, and should I bring cash?

You won’t need much money once we are underway. But you may wish to bring some Canadian dollars or a credit/debit card to buy the occasional drink, ice cream, snack, gift, or souvenir along the way.  Meals are included in your registration fee.


Q: What is the fee?

The fee for our 2024 Caminos is $1000 CAD.  You can learn more about what that includes and how to register HERE.

Q: Can I bring my dog?

Sorry, but pets are not allowed on the pilgrimages.

Q: Will I be able to connect with my family and friends while I am away? Or in case of an emergency?

Cell coverage is good in some places (especially in Cape Breton) and almost non-existent in others. We will not have access to wifi in every place we stay overnight, though local cafes etc. may offer this. Some pilgrims choose to unplug and leave their phones and gadgets at home. The Camino NS staff do carry cellphones to be contacted in case of emergency.


Q: How will I know where to go? 

Most days, daily sheets with route info and directions will be distributed. Please use them. Keep an eye out for fellow travellers to avoid getting lost. If you stick to the directions, you won’t lose your way (most of the paths we follow are linear former rail-lines, so large and generally well-marked).


Q: How long are the walks?  

Closely estimated distances will be provided on the info sheets you will receive each day. Our shortest distance is ~15 km. The longest distance may be up to ~29 km.  NOTE: these are approximate measures! You can set your own pace and take rest stops whenever you’d like.


Q:Is food provided and where do we eat?

Meals (and morning coffee and tea) are provided. Camino NS staff purchase and supply the food or arrange for catering. Breakfast is set out for self-serve, along with the day's lunch fixings and snacks (to create your own lunch to carry with you). Supper, whether catered or made on site, is a common meal, prepared & cleaned up by the willing. (Part of camino communitas!) Evening snacks are provided too. If you have dietary needs you will have an opportunity to communicate these during registration


Q: How will I know what to bring?

We will provide you with a thorough packing list. You will be encouraged to pack in a light and compact manner. Bring a daypack for your water, lunch, TP, directions & personal items.  Your daypack should be sturdy & comfortable, since you’ll be wearing it a lot. Consider investing in a pack with contoured, padded shoulder straps & an adjustable waistband and/or sternum strap. Your overnight bag will be transported for you to the next destination. 


Q: Should I consider insurance?

For Nova Scotia residents, please ensure that your provincial health insurance is in good standing.  For all participants, the purchase of additional personal insurance is at your own discretion and is your responsibility.


Q: Will laundry services be available?

Clothes washing in machines will not be available.  You may wish to bring a small amount of laundry soap to hand-wash a few items along the way in sinks, although it is likely easier simply to pack a few essentials in your luggage and do your laundry following the Camino.


Q: What should I expect in terms of trail ease or difficulty?

The paths we walk will generally  e gravelled, not covered in roots and rocks; and any inclines are very slight. The route is divided between (1) trails (dirt, crushed gravel, rough gravel, or asphalt) and (2) secondary roads. 


Q:How are the pilgrimages funded?

Participant fees cover approx. 80% of the costs of providing the CNS experience. The balance is funded by grants from the Province of Nova Scotia and individual donors.


Q: Will there be rest stops?

You will be able to rest whenever you like. Camino NS is a mobile retreat: a time away from our ordinary work and responsibilities, giving us time to reflect and refocus on what is important. Taking care of our bodies is important too.


Q: What does a typical walk day look like?

We try to keep it simple.                   

7 am                Rise, eat, prepare a packed lunch

8:30 am           Morning meditation

9 am                Begin the day’s walk as a group; individual speed will vary as the

                         day unfolds      

Lunchtime       Take a break in a beautiful spot

2-4 pm             Arrive at our evening destination

6 pm                Share a common meal

7 pm                Relax, reflect with a guest speaker or musician…or….

8:30 pm           Group conversation about the day’s experiences

9:15 pm           Compline (evening prayer, together)

10 pm              Bedtime


Q: Will I have access to showers?

We will only have access to showers at campgrounds, municipal pools, etc. about 2-3 times during a normal week's walk.


Q: What are the sleeping arrangements like?

To keep the budget low and provide a real communal experience, we sleep overnight on the floor of host churches and community halls. Private rooms are (usually) not possible, but some walkers prefer to bring a compact tent! (Note that tenting may not be an option every night, as some venues do not allow it.) Bring your own sleeping bag, pillow, and camping mat or air mattress. (We can provide an air mattress if needed! Just let us know in advance). We will pay close attention to ventilation. We are also providing a Corsi-Rosenthal box (air filter) for the common area.


Q: What if I get too tired or develop an injury? Is there a support vehicle available?

If you are tired or injured, getting a lift in the van is not hard to arrange. However, you might have to wait a little while to be located and collected. The van is also used to purchase each day’s supplies and we use it to transport your overnight bag/gear to the next destination.


Q: How should I prepare for camino?

Training is essential.  START TRAINING NOW!  Daily 1-2 hour walks are a good idea, with longer walks (3-5 hours) at least once a week.  As your endurance increases, try back-to-back days of longer walks. You will be fit and ready!


Q: Are washrooms available?

While indoor plumbing (toilets and sinks) is available to us morning and evening, we often will NOT pass a washroom or outhouse during the day. Bring toilet paper in your daypack for these festive occasions. Some professional outback hikers swear by carrying a hand spade with which to bury toilet paper and poo. We want to tread lightly on the Land, so please don't litter non-biodegradable items such as plastic tampon applicators (for these, bring along a Ziplock bag or some such, to transport them to the next garbage can).


Q: Is water provided along the route?

Tap water in Nova Scotia is great, and you can fill up in the mornings. The Camino NS support team will also arrange water stops along each day's route so you can refill.Do bring a water container. Even if you don't normally drink much water, your body needs it walking over 20 kms in a day, because you dehydrate through sweat and breathing.

Camino NS Map.jpg
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