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Topic: Backpack Training Gear, New to backpacking< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 01 2012, 3:56 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi everyone:

I am new to backpacking and am currently training to go on my 1st backpacking trip next month. Right now, I am walking up to 5 miles a day with my backpack on and some random weights thrown in there. What do the rest of you veterans do when training to go on a hike? Do you just load up the pack with free weights or all of your real gear? The problem with that, is that I wear those clothes a lot and my tent is a good one and I don't want to have a lot of wear and tear on it during the training period. Any advice is appreciated.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 01 2012, 4:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Strengthen your core and your legs. Those will be the two primary muscle groups used hiking.

In regards to preparing for a hike, I prepare my mind more than anything else.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 01 2012, 4:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Right now, I'm preparing also. I will train with what I intend to carry that way my body will be used to the load. I don't foresee any wear and tear on my gear as I'm not actually using it except the pack and my boots. Everything else will just ride in the pack.

It will be interesting to see the various suggestions here. Good luck on your upcoming trip.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 01 2012, 4:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Dayhikes, dayhikes, dayhikes. I found it really helpful to load up my backpack with a couple of gallons of water (about 16.5 lbs) and go on some dayhikes. Maybe start with just a gallon and some towels to distribute the weight more evenly, then hit the trails. I started backpacking just this year and this is the method my lifetime backpacker friend recommended. The best thing about using water is that you can practice carrying the weight up the mountain, then dump it at the top so you can save the wear and tear on your knees on the way down.

When you say you're up to 5 miles a day, is this in the city or out in the woods? If you're in the city, I would definitely recommend going on some day hikes, even sans pack. Hiking with a pack over varied terrain is a bit more difficult than in the city, and it's good to be prepared.

Other than dayhikes, squats and lunges are extremely helpful. I'm still working on increasing those, but I've definitely noticed a difference.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 01 2012, 4:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

i have a couple of old, wrecked sleeping bags that i use as fill; i put free weights in between, packed in tight enough that they won't tend to shift.  i make sure i work in some hills as much as possible.  

how much weight? depends on you, the trip you are planning.  i have carried as much as 70 pounds, as little as 10-20.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 01 2012, 5:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

One day I was out snowshoeing and I met a guy carrying a huge backpack. He was about to climb a steep ravine at sunset. I asked him if there was a place to camp up there as I had my camping gear with me. He replied, no, no place to camp, he was "just training for Everest." He failed on his first Everest attempt but succeeded on the second and completed all of the Seven Summits.

Personally I think that short backpacking trips of one to two nights are a good way to train. Don't get too anxious about it. Choose an easy trip, pack, and go. When you get home, check your packing list and modify it as needed.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 01 2012, 6:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TrailTramper @ Nov. 01 2012, 2:44 pm)
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One day I was out snowshoeing and I met a guy carrying a huge backpack. He was about to climb a steep ravine at sunset. I asked him if there was a place to camp up there as I had my camping gear with me. He replied, no, no place to camp, he was "just training for Everest." He failed on his first Everest attempt but succeeded on the second and completed all of the Seven Summits.

Personally I think that short backpacking trips of one to two nights are a good way to train. Don't get too anxious about it. Choose an easy trip, pack, and go. When you get home, check your packing list and modify it as needed.

That, I believe. I've a few friends that have made summit on McKinley several times. If a person fails their first attempt, they are probably just a victim of weather. On mountains like Everest, you are not in control of the mountain. The mountain decides if it will let you summit.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 01 2012, 6:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

On my most recent major hike, it became obvious that my friend had a lot more endurance than myself.  In the past, when we had hiked together it was usually the other way around.  

 The difference seemed to be that i had awhile ago stopped my regular, fairly consistent running/jogging (which during our past hikes i had been doing this), and for this trip, a couple of months before he started jogging.

Seemed to make a big difference for him and the lack, for me.  This despite the fact that previously i was going out and walking with my bag loaded up heavier than for the actual hike, doing some squats etc.  

 I think it does help to do the above, but some more intense cardio-aerobic seems to help out even more with long term endurance.  Btw, not sure if it it's a factor or not, but my friend also started doing Yoga even previous to the jogging (never in a million years thought he would do something like Yoga).
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 01 2012, 8:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I don't workout or train, I just go. I have found just doing day hikes regularly is about all I need to do.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 01 2012, 11:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

When I was in CA, living just above sea level, I went every weekday morning at 4:30 to a gym and ran on an elliptical trainer. That was to keep my legs use to climbing.

But what works best is to take every opportunity you can to get to the elevations you plan to be at for your trips. I spent almost every weekend in our local mountains, even if only a dayhike, but getting above 10,000 ft. Usually with at least 20 miles too. That way when I was in the Sierra Nevada I was not bothered much.

Now I am living in MN where it is flat and have been coming back from a bad injury. I walk on a treadmill now and am getting back up there.

I have never carried a lot of weight to train. What I have found is that it is the activity level, not the weight on my back that counts. I would rather have strong muscles and a bit of weight surprise than major shin splints and worn joints from training daily with weight.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 02 2012, 11:44 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

running + pushups + pull ups + deadlifts + squats = strong conditioned hiker!
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 02 2012, 10:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ Nov. 01 2012, 4:17 pm)
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In regards to preparing for a hike, I prepare my mind more than anything else.

Great advice from tigger as usual. The human body it's capable of amazing feats of will and strength, but only if the mind wills it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 04 2012, 4:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I was going on five mile day hikes every Sunday for a while. I would load my pack up with my gear, just like it was a real overnight hike. Water, sleeping bag, tent, etc. On other evenings I would walk three miles on the treadmill, all uphill at about 3mph, without a pack. It helped me get in better shape for my hikes.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 04 2012, 9:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Physically, I've taken to loading up my pack with the gear I intend to take, and then hiking up and down a relatively tough local trail (3000+ ft elevation gain in 7.5 miles).  That way I can judge my current fitness level against the necessary load, and set my maximum daily mileage based on that.  My dog gets the same treatment.  I don't want to have to carry her out if her paws get bloody.

But as others have mentioned, mental preparation is the biggest deal.  Know your maps like the back of your hand, and practice using all your gear, even what's in your emergency supplies.  If you want to be able to count on a flint stick to make a fire when you are lost, cold, and afraid of the dark, you should first use it successfully in your own backyard.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 05 2012, 7:07 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(DavidUTD @ Nov. 04 2012, 9:48 pm)
QUOTE
But as others have mentioned, mental preparation is the biggest deal.  Know your maps like the back of your hand, and practice using all your gear, even what's in your emergency supplies.  If you want to be able to count on a flint stick to make a fire when you are lost, cold, and afraid of the dark, you should first use it successfully in your own backyard.

I agree with your last sentence more than any. Experiment, mess around with stuff, try different things - before you hit the trail. That having been said, a great time to try different things is on an over-nighter. You aren't out for a long time, and if your miles are short then who cares about pack weight - load up and go play. You'll be better off on your big trips, and the extra weight helps the work out.

That having been said, mental preparation is a big part of it, but if your body fails in one way or another you can get screwed. I think that is what the OP is wanting to avoid - I've been there, done that and it's not fun.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 05 2012, 9:48 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I hike. My legs hurt when I am off schedule, too. The whole reason I started hiking in the first place was that gyms are hella boring, and stink, and are crowded with people who don't understand you - and the trails are open, scenic, and not crowded at all, and the people you meet are friendly and get it.

And then the bug bit and who gives two figs about the gym? I spend the money on getting to the trailhead.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 05 2012, 11:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I live in area where the base altitude is around 3800'. There are trails within 30 minutes drive that give me access to elevation gains from 5000 to 7500 in two miles or less. I have one very worn out Camp Trails Freighter frame pack from hauling 5-7 gallon water jugs up and down those same paths after work and weekends for some years. And yes there was a lot a mental prep involved in staying motivated in those slogs.

The smartest thing I ever did, especially being one short of 60 in age, was adopt a hiking partner that teaches anatomy and physiology in a pre-med program. I now work out both aerobically and with free weights-calesthenics 5-6 hours a week and at least one long day hike a week; about 8-10 hours of activity a week. The woman, same age, and i hiked Sunday up a 1200' gain in two miles with winter daypacks and muddy trails like it was around the town. And today was just another day; no IBu, no stiffness, no difference.

It is my experiance now that maintaining a good margin  of health, an emphasis on strength and aerobic fitness, and flexibilty through core exercises or yoga is the key to hiking and backpacking.

Not super-bad-axe hiker. I am still 10-15 overweight according to the norms, so i still have work and learning to do.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2012, 5:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For me, I run & bike.  I was a runner before I started backpacking so it was an easy transition.  And trail running is a great way to combine the aerobics of running with the scenery & solitude of a day hike.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 09 2012, 2:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(DieselNut @ Nov. 02 2012, 10:43 pm)
QUOTE

(Tigger @ Nov. 01 2012, 4:17 pm)
QUOTE
In regards to preparing for a hike, I prepare my mind more than anything else.

Great advice from tigger as usual. The human body it's capable of amazing feats of will and strength, but only if the mind wills it.

Indeed, along those lines, the power of mind at work

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhMnSzOEe1E&feature=related
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 12 2012, 10:41 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Stairs. Up and down, and forwards and backwards. Take them single, double and triple if you can. Uses all different muscle groups in the legs and feet. Trekking poles with rubber feet helps with upper body, if you really use them to help yourself up.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 12 2012, 11:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Besides going to the gym ect, I will add water to my pack on day hikes, and even my daily carry. Just throw in some extra bottles of water into the pack, no need to throw free weights or your intended gear when you dont have to risk messing up any of your gear. I got this idea from mountaineers, several do this to train for upcoming trips. They add a ton of water of course.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 13 2012, 12:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Day hikes with lots and lots and lots of going up and down small hills.  100-300' gain/loss at a time.  Cardio and weight training.  Low weight and high reps.
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