Mar 8, 2010 at 10:13 am #1256207
I ask because hiking MT. Si yesterday (busy trail near Seattle, 4 miles long one way, 3800 vf) I saw a lot of people who seemed to be training in a variety of ways.
Many people running up and down, many people lugging big 50 lbs looking backpacks (not camping, just carrying to carry), one woman with a big pack dragging a good-sized car tire behind. Maybe she was getting ready to summit one of the volcanos or something …
I had my dog, and he is a natural athlete, so I loaded him with 10 lbs so he gets used to hauling a load and gets the type of work out he can handle. I had 6 or 7 lbs in a daypack. We reached the top in 90 minutes, so brisk but not break-neck pace.
A woman with a big pack who I passed actually said something about if I want to be in shape the weight should all be on me. I smiled and ignored her (I am always about hiking my own hike!) but I think I disagree. For me carrying a load, on a steep trail anyway, is taxing. I'd much rather do unloaded or lightly-loaded hikes and a bit of running in town so I don't irritate my joints and tendons unnecessarily, then pack light enough that I don't need to do more than a few month of yoga in the winter to get my core strong enough to bear a pack without trouble. Come spring I do some shorter trips and adjust my "training" according to how I feel.
You? Does anyone train with a heavy load?Mar 8, 2010 at 11:11 am #1583571
@junctionLocale: Atlanta, GA
Pay no attention to her. She was probably a PETA (people eating tasty animals) freak who thinks animals are better than humans. I'm all about treating animals humanely for the record. A few pounds won't hurt a dog.
As far as my personal training, I don't use a heavy load. It's hard on the body. After my recent motorcycle accident, i've been working out a lot to get back into shape. The stair stepper has been my best friend at the gym. I'll do 5 miles every day at levels 9-11. It takes roughly 40 minutes. My knee is tired at the end, but it gets stronger every day. For my efforts, i've recovered quickly.
Regular exercise is the key for me. You won't see me with a heavy load though.Mar 8, 2010 at 11:20 am #1583576
drowning in spamMember
Does anyone train with a heavy load?
Yes, but not exclusively.Mar 8, 2010 at 11:28 am #1583585
David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
I train for others thing, and backpacking is the beneficiary. Occasionally that training involves carrying 30 pounds of water up a local hill. Most of it gets dumped before descending.
It's generally efficacious to train for harder efforts and loads than you'll actually encounter.Mar 8, 2010 at 11:31 am #1583586
John Frederick AndersonMember
Hatha yoga every morning, and a bike ride every other day.
I live in the city, so it's hard to get out and hike daily, but a strong day hike once a month with moderate weights helps get pack fit.
fredMar 8, 2010 at 11:31 am #1583587
Jonathan RyanBPL Member
@jkrew81Locale: White Mtns
I like to trail run year round. I find this with some pushup's etc gets me in the kind of shape where I am more than comfortable with the kind of trips I do. I keep motivation for trail running going by entering in local races every few months so I constantly have a new focus to work toward. Not competitive or anything, just like to go out and have fun.Mar 8, 2010 at 11:33 am #1583588
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Most of us are in the outdoors for pleasure, so we do little things like reduce our packweight to try to optimize the experience.
I was walking around in a local hilly park, and up the trail walked five firefighters in full gear. I think it was four men and one woman. They had their full yellow suits on (which must be extremely hot), hard hats, each carrying small packs, and they each carried a Pulaski or similar tool. It turned out that this was a training mission, and they were hiking up and down the hills with full load to get prepared for fire season. This was no walk in the woods for them. One person looked close to collapse.
That's what will happen to you if you don't lighten up your pack.
–B.G.–Mar 8, 2010 at 11:44 am #1583594
Probably like others, I don't train. I exercise to keep in decent shape, and I backpack (and bike and run, etc.). But I don't really train for anything.Mar 8, 2010 at 11:52 am #1583600
John DonewarBPL Member
@newtonLocale: Southeastern Louisiana
No heavy loads for me.
I climb real flights of stairs.
I walk real miles carrying my loaded pack weighing 14.5 pounds.
I have an out and back route @ 9 miles long that I do regularly that has a 35' to 40' flight of stairs midway. I'll do this "stairclimb" 3 or 4 times before starting back for the house.
I supplement this with an elliptical workout at a moderate level of intensity including intervals of higher intensity.
Party On ! 2010
NewtonMar 8, 2010 at 11:54 am #1583601
@paulsiegelLocale: Southern Appalachians
I do Crossfit, it's not for everyone but I feel it keeps me in shape without endless training. Plus, it's my job.
Good option if you've got limited time (most workouts take under an hour) and have an affiliate near by. I would highly recommend it.
If you've got any questions about it feel free to PM me.Mar 8, 2010 at 11:56 am #1583604
No weight training here. I try to play year round (hike, bike, ski) and to run regularly. This is mostly to help me feel good and keep my sanity. But it also serves to keep my basline such that I can generally get out and do anything within reason. This year I participated in two events non competitively, a half marathon and a mostly uphill 14 mile charity ski tour. As was mentioned already these helped keep my motivation up. I found that not only was I in better shape for backpacking but that backpacking was excellent cross training for these other activities.Mar 8, 2010 at 12:08 pm #1583607
Cayenne RedmonkBPL Member
@redmonkLocale: Greater California Ecosystem
I play a lot of footbag for the ankles, knees, hips, back, and abs.
I run for my lungs.
I go for long walks with 10-15lbs in a pack, focusing on using the trekking poles to maintain cadence.
If you want to train to be faster, start by walking faster with no weight, and over time increase the weight.
If you want to train to haul larger loads, then load up a pack and start walking.Mar 8, 2010 at 12:49 pm #1583631
Ken T.BPL Member
Physically active at work. Load and unload a truck of masa and tortillas. That keeps me limber. Two dogs = lots of walking. Seems to do the trick for me.Mar 8, 2010 at 12:57 pm #1583633
@cbertLocale: N. California
includes ample repeats of horizontal reclines and 12 oz. curlsMar 8, 2010 at 2:33 pm #1583682
I don't really have a rigorous training schedule for backpacking. I'm in okay shape. Generally I stretch in the morning, do some pullups, do a couple curls and situps before bed. I'm also a student of the ultralight philosophy so my pack doesnt put much strain on my body.
Usually a couple weeks before the hike/trip I'll know exactly what i'm bringing and i'll put everything in my pack and walk around the neighborhood park with it for a couple hours. While i'm there I do wildlife photography, fishing, and I occasionally just wander around enjoying the nature. I often forget I'm carrying my 15-17lb pack when I have stuff to do.Mar 8, 2010 at 5:05 pm #1583723
Tom KirchnerBPL Member
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
It depends on what kind of backpacking/climbing,scrambling, etc you are doing, IME, and also, perhaps, your age. When I was younger and running seriously, I never trained specifically for backpacking. The conditioning from 60-70 miles/week with 2-3 very hilly runs, hard to avoid in the San Francisco area where I was living at the time, was more than adequate for my trips in the Sierra. Later, as my running diminished in volume and intensity, I began to use training hikes up various mountains along the I-90 corridor outside Seattle, and 2 40-60 minute sessions/week on a Stepmill at my gym. How much weight I carried depended on the time of year and what I was training for. Prior to climbing season we would work up to 40# (mostly water) in about 1 hour 45 minutes on Mt Si, dumping the water at the top, like Dave C. mentioned above. This was supplemented by Stepmill and perhaps 20 miles of shorter runs in the city, plus weight work and a couple of sessions at an indoor climbing gym and later Icicle Canyon in April. When I stopped climbing this was overkill, to say the least, and I have since found that the carries up Si, (with 30# because that is the max I carry on a 10 day trip, including water) and twice/week on the Stepmill are enough to get me anywhere I want to go in the Sierra, or the Cascades, on trail or off. I would say calibrate your training to the intensity of your backpacking, climbing, or whatever. Many ways to achieve that goal. This is what works for me.Mar 8, 2010 at 7:18 pm #1583802
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Nope, no time, too busy going walking …
CheersMar 8, 2010 at 7:38 pm #1583816
From a few of the posts here it seems that some of us do some hiking with a fully-weighted pack to get/stay in shape. Great idea packing water and dumping it at the top — solves the too much stress coming down issue. I'll have to give it a try this week if I can slip out of work a couple of hours early, maybe sneak a can of beer in there too to "dump out" at the top.
I had a conversation with a coworker today who told me many of the people hauling packs up and down Mt. Si were training for Rainier — the 1000 foot per mile slope is the same as most of the trek up Rainier so some outfitters specifically recommend humping packs up Si as pre-trip conditioning.
Nice to know too that most lightweight backpacker out there are basically on the same low key program of not doing a lot specifically outside of staying fit in general — now where did I leave that remote ;)Mar 8, 2010 at 7:47 pm #1583820
Greg LewisBPL Member
I don't usually carry heavy loads to train. But this year I am summiting Rainier (if all goes well) so I will be carrying heavier loads of up to about 40 pounds on Si.
GregMar 8, 2010 at 7:59 pm #1583830
"one woman with a big pack dragging a good-sized car tire behind"
Wow; that's comedy!
Although I'd have to wonder what that does to the trail. Can't be pretty.
Being a relatively recent UL convert, I can't imagine ever purposefully loading myself down to train. Backpacking isn't sport and it isn't competitive, and I spent way too many years of training for competitive sports, so the last thing I want to do is encumber myself when I could be relatively pack free.
I do try to do as much mid-week short hiking as possible, but that's just for general fitness and relaxation. I do also do quite a lot of very heavy landscaping, brush clearance, etc, and that often involves something on the order of third class scrambling up and down my hill, and often involves very heavy rocks. It's superb strength/power conditioning, and good for balance, but doesn't do as much for endurance. But I'd do it even if I never hiked, so its benefits for backpacking are a by-product of something I love to do anyway.
But, as others have said, hike your own hike!Mar 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm #1583840
Jim W.BPL Member
I ride my bike 2 miles to catch the Train, then after 40 minutes on the Train I walk 1.5 – 2 miles from the Train to my office. In the afternoon I reverse- walk, Train, bike.
Is that enough Training? I get some exercise when I'm not riding the train too.
The main challenge is to get decent aerobic exercise without being drenched in sweat when I arrive at work. Merino undershirts and a fan at my desk really help.Mar 9, 2010 at 6:32 am #1583972
@johnnybgood4Locale: New Hampshire
I do a little running to keep in shape and I also have a nice area near work where I can get a 7 mile loop hike done in the morning (if I can get myself out of bed early enough).Mar 9, 2010 at 1:50 pm #1584137
I was doing training with a 25kg pack. I found that when on an actual walk, it made 10kg feel like nothing.
My regular training involves weights and hill sprints.Mar 9, 2010 at 2:02 pm #1584145
Piper S.BPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
I trained to go trekking in Nepal and I trained for the PCT, but otherwise I don't train to go backpacking. I do a lot of day hiking and my overnight pack is pretty light now so I don't really feel like it's much of a hardship when it's time to put it on for an overnighter.Mar 9, 2010 at 2:13 pm #1584154
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
The simple thing to do is to go out and hike. Maybe your schedule permits only an hour or two, but strap on a daypack with some water jugs in it (for ballast). Hike some hills until they get easy. Besides, if you suddenly feel a bad ache in your knee or ankle, you can dump out the water to lighten your training pack.
If you are training for high elevation, then I think it helps to push your training exercise all the way into a breathless state. I used to run three miles every other evening. Then when I was getting ready for a high elevation trip, I increased that to 5 miles, and I would attempt to speed up to a sprint for the last half mile. That improves your pulmonary function, and that certainly helps at high elevation. For ordinary backpacking, it is overkill.
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