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How to train for a backpacking trip

So, you're going on a backpacking trip? How exciting!

You will want to make sure that you are in trail-shape before strapping on your pack and hitting the trail. This is important because you don't want the long days, heavy backpack, and elevated terrain to kick your butt any more than it already may.

So, how do you get in shape and train for your upcoming backpacking trip?

1. Start training early-- that way if it is harder than you thought it would be, or something comes up and life happens and you can't train as often as you like, you have a base to work off of.

2. Go hiking-- the best way to get in trail shape is to actually hit the trail. We recommend doing a series of short hikes, and then gradually adding distance as you build up endurance.

3. Test out your backpack and add weight to simulate how heavy your backpack will be. Start slow and eventually your pack should weigh about 35 to 40 pounds. The best way to achieve this weight is by adding pillows or jackets to simulate the correct shape and load distribution, and using heavy books, free weights, or 3-4 gallons of water to your pack. By the end, you should be doing six to eight mile hikes, with a fully weighted backpack.

4. Hit the gym-- recommended exercises are running on the treadmill, Stair Master, bleacher runs, walking lunges, squats and never underestimate the power of yoga.

5. Take the stairs or run the bleachers. Since it may be hard to train for elevation gain and loss if you live in a flat area, utilize the stairs or high school bleachers if you can. This is will help your heart and lungs get used to uphill and downhill motion.

6. While training (or even just walking about the grocery store, etc.), wear the boots that you plan on wearing-- this will break them in if they are new, and help your feet adjust to the shoe.

7. Drink water. Make sure you get in the habit of drinking water, well before the few days before your trip. You want to make sure that you are nice and hydrated for your backpacking trip.

By getting in shape before you start your hike or backpacking trip you'll be able to enjoy your trip without worrying about aches and pains. Training for the trip not only helps yourself out, it helps the whole team accomplish the goal and stay safe and comfortable out there.

Nomadic By Nature offers guided day hikes and multi-day backpacking trips in Yellowstone National Park.

On a guided backpacking trip, all of your gear is provided, meaning that you don't have to worry about what is appropriate for the elements; we have gear that is tailored to Yellowstone and all of the weather patterns that could happen on your trip. We provide top of the line Deuter backpacks that are comfortable, versatile and light-weight, as well as tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and all group gear.

This guided trip offers backpackers a little bit of everything Yellowstone has to showcase— thermal hot springs, pristine lakes, big rivers, remote valleys, and mountain summit views.

We camp on the shores of Heart Lake, one of the largest backcountry lakes in Yellowstone. Weather permitting, you'll have a chance to summit Mount Sheridan, with views all the way to Grand Teton National Park. Once leaving Heart Lake, we traverse Snake River and travel far into the southern boundaries of Yellowstone.

On this trip you'll have excellent opportunities to spot wildlife, soak in hot springs, and experience remote parts of Yellowstone National Park.

Check out our backpacking trips and find one that's right for you! And feel free to reach out with any questions about our trips or training for your own backpacking trip.


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