Training for a Backpacking Trip

  I have a bunch of backpacking trips coming up in the hiking season.  One of them I will be doing an over 200 mile traverse of the Olympic National Park.  Most of that route will be off trail.  It is scheduled to take me 4 - 5 weeks, with no rest days.  My net pack weight should be just under 25 pounds with Bear Canister (required in the ONP Subalpine).  I will be mailing myself one resupply in the remote town of Amanda Park.

  I get asked all the time, 'What type of training I am doing for such an adventure?'

  Well I would say that doing your typical gym routine, would be a huge mistake.  There is no better way to train for something than just getting some miles on your legs.  No treadmill, weight routine, stepmaster or indoor cardio routine can substitute the great outdoors.

  It's not Training, the Outdoors is a Lifestyle!

winter cycling

 Giving up my car and start cycling to get me from A to B.  This saves me a whole lot of money and detaches me from bubble people create around themselves socially by driving.  I can't count how many people that I've met by not driving.  Allows me to look people in the eye when I pass by.  I feel the modern human has forgotten how to do this!

  I personally believe that riding a bike is not a natural movement; when compared to walking.  However it gets me around in an urban environment, great conditioning and my trailhead shuttle.

  What I really enjoy is walking and feeling the ground under my feet.  Distance, hills, snow or mud; it dont matter.  I can not get enough.  So i would never consider it training.

  Its my belief that all humans should walk 1 mile on the ground a day - minimum.  

  It is human nature to be able to walk for slow continuous distances for most of our day.  Also to release short burst of energy; such as sprinting.

winter trail run
 Elwha Valley Trail Run

  So all that being said;  get out there and do something.  The hardest issue people have on the trail is their bodies aren't use to movement.  The average American walk only for a short time and their whole body gives out.  Why?  From not moving.   This is very bad for their overall physical and mental health.

  What ever adventure your planning.  You should figure out how many hours you're going to be moving.  Then train toward that.   Don't worry about your MPH, just get yourself use to moving.  

Note:  In my example;  I'm training for long distance and lots of elevation gain.  I'm trying to get my body able to acclimate to doing it day after day.  All with minimal muscle soreness.  

My Winter 2012 Training:
winter training program
Working on building Strong Legs and long Trail days

My Spring 2012 Training:
spring training program
Working on Elevation on Legs and long Trail days

My Core/Upper Body Training:
core hiking program
Strong Core improves being able to Posture for long periods

My Recovery:
recovery hike program
Focusing on IT Band and Foot Muscles

  Use this as an example to plan your next adventure.  It can be tailored down/up for your exact trip and time you have to dedicate to your training.  Having a very minimal lifestyle;  I obviously can dedicate lots of time.

  Challenge:  Walk 1 mile a Day!  Have Kids?  Most importantly; take them.

 Most importantly:  Listen to your body.  You can over train very easily.  Focus on Sleep, nutrition and hydration.  Feel like your doing to much - to fast?  Take a day off!

Disclaimer:  Training your Feet for any type of Minimal Footwear takes months/years.  Start out under 1 mile walking and then build by 10% at your own pace.