Adventure + Spirituality = Steps Out of Time

Several months back, Kate Soper gave me her book with this note tucked inside: "...I'm not sure what you'll think about this book! But my experience on the Camino meant a lot to me and I'd like to share it with you so here goes!" Full disclosure: I am a friend of Kate. That said, I also very much admire her book, Steps Out of Time: One Woman's Journey on the Camino.

Her spirited memoir is an account of a month-long, 500-mile hike across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. The narrative sparkles with natural beauty, camaraderie, memorable food, and the author’s personal determination to accomplish something magnificent. When she completed the hike, Kate was a changed woman.

Lots of research was done for this book, allowing Kate to offer practical advice including "12 Essential Tips for Santiago Pilgrims:" 1) Pack only lightweight, quick-drying clothing that you can layer. 2) Take well-fitting, well-used, and well-loved footwear, including good-quality, high-performance socks. 3) Your fully-loaded pack should weigh the lesser of 8 kg (17.6 lbs) or 10 percent of your body weight. (This includes a liter of water and the weight of the pack.). 4) Leave your phone at home. Ditto all other nonessentials. 5) Never leave in the morning without filling your water bottle and always carry food in your pack. 6) Wear a hat; keep your legs and arms covered or use sunscreen. 7) Bring a mechanical pencil and a lightweight journal (tearing off the cover will save a few ounces); write in it every day. 8) Unless you can sleep through noise equivalent to a freight train, bring ear plugs (snorers abound). 9) Be prepared to be humbled. 10) Remain determined to be open-minded. 11) Stop often to look and listen. 12) Try to be present in every moment.

This book is a great read and would well in a book group. Kate is retired and lives in Ann Arbor with her husband. She has worked as a lawyer, language professor, and U-M administator, among other jobs.


My son hiked this trail with his girlfriend - now she's his wife!

Thank you so much for drawing my attention to this book! I walked a portion of the Camino in college with some friends and it was definitely a life changing experience. I have always enjoyed hearing about other people's experiences walking long distances (Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, etc.) and am fascinated by the communities that form along the way. I am greatly looking forward to reading this book in preparation for the next time I choose to lace up my hiking boots.

I read this book several months ago, and loved it. I want to walk the Camino someday, and I read Steps Out of Time cover to cover! Thanks, Kate Soper for writing this book!

Thanks for your comment.

Wow! I'm guessing their hike was a powerful experience.

Thanks for your comment! Hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

Thanks for your comment. Nice to hear from another reader who loved this book!

500 mile hike? wow!