Summer is approaching fast, and our backpacking trip will be here before you know it— you'll want to make sure that you are in trail-shape before strapping on your pack and hitting the trail.
Some recommendations for training for a backpacking trip in Yellowstone are below:
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. Grab a 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.
(Remember, Nomadic by Nature will be providing a proper backpacking pack with padded hip belts and shoulder straps. Your guide will help adjust it to your frame prior to the trip.)
4. Hit the gym— recommended exercises include, but are not limited to, running on the treadmill, Stair Master, jump rope, bleacher runs/ walks, 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, high school bleachers, or parking garages 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 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.