Battle of Lepanto and Our Lady of the Rosary


For the 2014 Pilgrimage to Chartres our group will be walking for Our Lady of the Rosary. On October 7, 1571 the Holy League, a coalition of southern European Catholic maritime states, sailed from Messina, Sicily, and met a powerful Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Lepanto. Knowing that the Christian forces were at a distinct material disadvantage, the holy pontiff, St. Pope Pius V called for all of Europe to pray the Rosary for victory,and led a rosary procession in Rome.

A great article and the displayed image from Catholic Radio Dramas describes the entire story HERE.

Chartres……The City to Explore at the End of the Pilgrimage


Chartres…..The City to Explore at the End of the Pilgrimage

After the three day pilgrimage ends you find yourself in the beautiful city of Chartres. Although you just walked the distance in three days, by standard transportation you are looking at roughly an hour by either train or automobile back to Paris. Why head back so soon when there is so much to explore in Chartres, which is referred to as the perfect weekend trip away from Paris. Besides the Chartres Cathedral, explore the other historic sites, museums, parks and other events the city has to offer. For more ideas on places to visit after the pilgrimage, visit for some great incite in the places to see.

(Photo Courtesy of

June in Paris…..What to Wear to Prepare for the Weather!


During the three day adventure, be sure you are prepared for what June weather can bring to Paris, France region. This article by helps you understand the average temperatures and possible weather conditions you will experience along the Pilgrimage to Chartres. (Picture provided by LA Times)

June is a fantastic time to visit Paris, France, when the weather is mostly warm, dry and sunny. The average temperature at this time of year rises up from 16°C (61 degrees F) on June 1st up to 18.5°C (65.3 degrees F) by June 30th. Daily highs tend to range from 21°C to 23° C (69 – 73 F) over the course of the month, very rarely rising above 29°C (84 F) or falling below 16°C. Daily low temperatures range from 11°C to 14°C (52-57 F) throughout June, only falling below 8°C (46 F) or rising above 18°C one day out of every ten.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Paris in June in recent times is 35°C (95 F), with the lowest temperature ever recorded for this month being 1°C (33 F). Take a look at these temperatures alongside the average for the month – 16°C – and it’s clear that they’re the extremes and aren’t what you should be prepared for during your holiday. The longest cold spell in 2013 took place between May 14th and June 6th – that’s 24 consecutive days which had cooler than average low temperatures.

Throughout June, Paris is subject to an average of 25mm of rainfall which is spread across 11 days throughout the month. With so many days receiving some type of precipitation, it’s highly likely you’ll experience a shower or two during your holiday, so be prepared and pack an umbrella. Moderate rain is the most common type of precipitation and tends to fall around June 1st. Thunderstorms are the second most likely type of precipitation and usually occur around June 24th. The likelihood of rainfall decreases as the month develops, falling from 50% on June 1st down to 45% by June 30th. In spite of the fair quantity of rainfall, Paris is only affected by fog on less than one day each June and snow is almost unheard of for this time of year.

At 14°C (57 F), the average sea temperature for the closest coastal location to Paris in June is much higher than any of the previous months. Despite the increase in temperature, 14°C is usually considered to be too cold to enjoy a dip, so you’re best off sticking to indoor swimming pools if you’re eager to have a swim. Throughout the month, the average daily humidity is 66%, made up of highs of 92% and lows of 50%.

Paris enjoys an average of ten hours of sunshine each day throughout June – that’s one more hour each day than in May. Throughout the month, the sunshine and daylight hours stay roughly constant, with the day increasing by only 16 minutes between June 1st and June 30th.

Over the course of June, wind speeds tend to vary from 1 m/s to 7 m/s, almost never rising above 9 m/s. The highest average wind speed of 4 m/s happens around June 13th, when the average daily maximum wind speed is 7 m/s. On the other hand, the lowest average wind speed of 4 m/s usually occurs around June 30th, when the average daily maximum wind speed is 6 m/s.

Full article located here.

It’s a long walk, better keep your feet in mind

download (2)

The Pilgrimage to Chartres covers approximately 70 miles spread over three days. Those 70 miles add up to  a lot of wear and tear on your feet and legs. This article from “walks” you through a guide to purchasing shoes that will hold up and more importantly keep your feet protected and comfortable over long distance hikes:

When it comes to choosing the best shoe for your outdoor adventures, it’s important to be critical about your uses and decide what style of shoe compliments your needs best. Do you travel with light loads in decent weather? Maybe all you need is a trail running shoe. We typically break shoes down into four categories (from lightest to heaviest): trail runners, hiking shoes, hiking boots, and mountaineering boots.

Trail running shoes

Women's Brooks Cascadia 7

Women’s Brooks Cascadia 7
Credit: Brooks Running

Although trail running shoes are built for exactly that, they can fit a nice niche of hikers. If you do not need a very supportive shoe to handle heavier pack weights or like moving fast with ultra light gear, trail running shoes could fit your needs. They only come low cut, have soft rubber soles but with thick tread for gripping the trail, an EVA cushion midsole, and a breathable mesh or nylon upper. Very occasionally do these come with waterproof options, but most of the time they do not. They are more sensitive and agile than traditional boots.

Best uses: ultra-light backpacking, day hikes, rock hopping

Hiking Shoes

Click to enlarge

Drying out the Patagonia Drifter after a waist-deep wade across a creek. We were impressed with how waterproof the shoe is, and how well it hiked after it was saturated.
Credit: Tommy Penick

Hiking shoes find common ground between full cut hiking boots and trail running shoes. They are lighter than boots, but sturdier and more supportive than running shoes. Usually they come with a waterproof option and a non-waterproof option. They are usually low cut, though some shoes have a tiny bit of ankle support, but never as high as with a backpacking boot. They come usually with burly Vibram soles with a lightweight upper. Like running shoes, they are comfortable right out of the box and do not require any break-in time.

Best Use: moderate backpacking, long distance lightweight hikes, day hikes.

Hiking Boots

Click to enlarge

Asolo TPS 520
Credit: Asolo

Hiking boots range on a spectrum of light hikers to backpacking boots, and the weight varies considerably along this spectrum. What mainly classifies a “boot” is a cut that reaches up on the ankle, a hard rubber sole, and the fact they are usually waterproof. A traditional backpacking boot has a higher cut above the ankle than a light hiker, and is usually constructed with a full leather upper. A light hiker might have parts of mesh or lighter textile on the upper, but typically still protects the ankle.

Best Use: backpacking with heavy loads, hiking particularly rough terrain, hiking through snow where kicking steps might be necessary.

Mountaineering Boots

La Sportiva Batura 2.0 GTX

La Sportiva Batura 2.0 GTX
Credit: Ls Sportiva

With full shanks, very stiff soles, and a high cut that usually also includes a gaiter, these are the heavy-hitters in the world of boots. Mountaineering boots are also insulated and have hard plastic inserts along the heel and sometimes on the toe to accommodate crampon bales. Though the weight and stiffness of these boots is overkill most of the time, these features are vital to mountaineers and ice climbers who spend their time traveling in snow and need the option of strapping on a crampon.

Best Use: extreme hiking through snow, mountaineering, ice climbing.

After choosing which category fits your needs, there are a few important decisions to consider.

We all know a shoe poorly fit to your foot shape is a recipe for disaster in the backcountry, with discomfort being the best case scenario and infectious blisters and frostbite being on the bad end of the spectrum. We try to give you the best assessment possible for each shoe regarding the cut and fit, but this is a category that you need to decide yourself. Check out your local outfitter and try on as many shoes as you can that fit your requirements — see where the shoe breaks on your foot, how the heel fits, and how much room you have in the toe box.

It’s important to try on shoes with the footbed and socks you will be wearing in the backcountry. Some modern footbeds have a very high stack height which will drastically affect the shoe’s fit.


Click to enlarge

Any low cut shoe obviously won’t hold up to a soaking like this, but while shooting the photos our tester did proclaim, “wow, my feet still aren’t wet,” and was astounded by the Drifter’s waterproofing.
Credit: Tommy Penick

If you are in a rainy climate and expect to wear your hiking shoes to work, it’s an obvious choice. For a casual user, a Gore-tex membrane is going to provide great waterproofing without many drawbacks. However, long-distance hikers often prefer non-waterproof shoes because when they (inevitably) get wet, they dry quicker, and drain well. While Gore-tex and other membranes are becoming better every year in terms of breathability, they are still miles behind open mesh panels such as those found in the Merrell Moab Ventilator. If you will be in the snow often, the Gore-tex option is generally the right call.

The old mantra of long distance hiking states, “It requires five times as much energy to move weight on your feet as it does to move weight on your back.” Ask any PCT or AT hiker and they will attest to this. Going from a two-pound pair of shoes to a four-pound pair of shoes is equivalent to adding 10 pounds to your pack. With folks being as weight conscious as cutting toothbrushes in half, it would be silly to hit the trail with shoes that add virtual weight equal to hundreds of half-toothbrushes.

At Outdoor Gear Lab we generally advocate lighter gear because it can allow you to move faster and freer on your adventures. We have found that this also applies to footwear. Though heavy boots can sometimes have their purpose, the light weight of a shoe is preferable 90 percent of time.