Blue View – Stats and Facts for the Via Francigena

A lot of miles and steps to get from Rome to Canterbury

A lot of miles and steps to get from Rome to Canterbury

We’re back in Las Vegas now, and we’ve put together some statistics, facts and trivia about our walk on the Via Francigena Some are interesting and some are fun. Here goes:


Official length of the Via: 1272 miles (2052km)

Miles we walked on the Via: 1332 miles (2148km)

Average distance/day: 15.14 miles (24.4km)

Steps: 3,098,549

Average steps/day: 35,211

Most distance in a day: 20.5 miles (33.1km)

Most steps in a day: 47,856

Total distance walked including laydays: 1475 miles (2380km)

Total steps walked including laydays: 3,431,644

Number of Days:

Days walked: 88

Laydays: 19

Sick days: 6

Total elapsed days: 113


Most of our gear held up quite well. We did wear out our base layers, which were worn everyday, and our packs are looking a little ‘broken in’, but otherwise, I’m pleasantly surprised. All except shoes and socks, of course, which are a different matter:

Worn-out Shoes: 1-3/4 each – we replaced our first pair in eastern France, and the second pair is close to being worn out.

After only 956 miles!

After only 956 miles!

Distance per pair of shoes: 956 miles (1542km) - much better than the 400-500 miles I had anticipated.

Worn-out Socks: 0! Neither those Darn Tough socks nor the Injinji toe sock liners seem any the worse for wear. Amazing!

Meds and Maladies:

Shingles treatment and meds: $89.38

Heel Spur: Doctor Visit, cortizone shot, meds - $180.89

Ibuprofen tablets: 2,459,126 (just kidding – we didn’t actually count how many vitamin I’s we took, but it was a lot)

We used a lot of vitamin I… Ibuprofen

We used a lot of vitamin I… Ibuprofen

Cost of ibuprofen (200 mg tablets):

  • U.S. - $0.014 each (Walmart)

  • France - $0.11 each

  • Italy - $1.12 each!! (It was almost a trade-off between the pain of buying ibuprofen tablets at more than $1 apiece versus the pain of going without. Between Marcie’s shingles and my aches, pains and sore knees, this became a real expense in Italy.)

Number of blisters:

  • David – 1 small one

  • Marcie - 2 small ones and one the size of Lichtenstein… unless you count the 500 or so on her arm and shoulder from her bout with shingles

That’s one honkin’ big blister!

That’s one honkin’ big blister!

Weight loss:

Marcie weight loss: 13 pounds

David weight loss: 8 pounds

Our pants are fitting rather loosely these days.

Pack weight:

We started out carrying the cold weather clothing, gloves, hat, etc. we’d need to cross the Alps, as well as all the other clothing and gear we’d need for the four months we’d be trekking, so initially our packs were heavier. Once we crossed the Alps and were in France, we discarded and/or shipped the cold weather stuff back home, lightening the loads by roughly four pounds apiece – not inconsiderable.

On the other hand, it was cooler and there were lots of sources to fill water bottles in Italy and Switzerland, so we carried less water in our packs than in France where it was a lot hotter and water sources were few and far between. We also had to carry more food in France as there were many days when there were no groceries or restaurants on our path.

Marcie also carried a waist pack (I think we used to call these fanny packs) with her camera, spare batteries and a few other odds and ends, which weighed in at 2 lbs (.9kg).

I have a lot of data below that’s not of much interest unless you’re planning to hike the Via yourself. In summary, we managed to save about four pounds of weight by offloading our cold weather gear, then added it back in with the food and extra water we needed in France. Either way, for most of the trek, I carried a little over 30 lbs (13.6kg) while Marcie carried right around 28 lbs (12.7kg). This is obviously just a tiny skosh more than the 20 lbs and 15 lbs, respectively, that I was shooting for.

Our packs were just a skosh heavier than hoped for.

Our packs were just a skosh heavier than hoped for.

Starting weight of packs – no water:

  • Marcie – 23 lbs (10.5kg) + 2 lbs (.9kg) = 25 lbs (11.4kg) with waist pack

  • David – 27 lbs (12.3kg)

Starting weight of packs – with 1.5L water each:

  • Marcie – 26.3 lbs (12kg) + 2 lbs (.9kg) = 28.3 lbs (12.9kg) with waist pack

  • David – 30.3lbs (13.8kg)

Ending weight of packs – no water:

  • Marcie – 19.5 lbs (8.9kg) + 2 lbs (.9kg) = 21.5 lbs (9.8kg) with waist pack

  • David – 23.5 lbs (10.7kg)

Ending weight of packs – with 3L water and food each:

  • Marcie – 25.9 lbs (11.8kg) + 2 lbs (.9kg) = 27.9 lbs (12.7kg) with waist pack

  • David – 30.1 lbs (13.7kg)

And a little more miscellaneous trivia, in case you’re not totally bored at this point:

Number of times Marcie had to pee in the woods: 185

Days walked in Italy: 44 (half the entire route)

Days walked in Switzerland: 8

Days walked in France: 34

Days walked in England: 2

Miles walked in Italy: 678 (slightly over half the route)

Miles walked in Switzerland: 120

Miles walked in France: 504

Miles walked in England: 30

Highest temperature seen: 105F (40C) in Arras, France (and it wasn’t a dry heat)

Lowest temperature seen: 28F (-2C) Grand St. Bernard Pass, Italy

Number of passport stamps: 91

Coolest passport stamp:

A great stamp from the town of Altopascio, Italy

A great stamp from the town of Altopascio, Italy

Marcie’s blog is usually next on the schedule, but I’ll be preempting it with another Blue View about the gear list update… what we brought, what we’d do differently, etc. Ohhh - stop your groaning. I’ll try to make it a little interesting.