There is nothing worse than going on a hike and figuring out that you are not fit enough to handle it. This happens way more often than what you may think. Whether you visit Clear Lake or hike a mountain, you have to be sure that you prepare. Exercises are not that difficult to do and what you really need to remember is that you need to allow yourself enough time to prepare. Always focus on the following in order to prepare for your hiking adventure.
Create a Training Schedule
This is the very first thing you have to do. When you want to go through a 3 to 5 days backpacking trip it is particularly important that you get suitable cardiovascular training level done. In addition, higher intensity training and resistance work will help so you build up endurance and strength. If your fitness level is average, a 3 months training program should be created before the hike.
Cardio training is obviously a large part of the routine you will need to go through. It is important to have around 3 cardio days in your training if the backpacking trip will cover over 10 miles. High intensity workouts are nowadays really popular and they are effective at helping you with cardio. However, this does not help with your energy system as it is going to be used consistently during backpacking. Remember that hiking is not like running or like muscle training. A 30 to 60 min cardio workout will help you, especially if you add elliptical training, cycling or actual hiking.
Go On Training Hikes
One of the easiest possible ways to prepare for a long hike is to go on several short hikes before that. The idea is to gradually increase difficulty. This helps a lot in building cardio fitness and you can practice while wearing a backpack that is weighted. As time passes you progressively increase elevation and hike distance. You do the same with pack weight. You are mostly interested in building up your intensity level approach so that you can better prepare for the actual trip you plan.
It has to be added that the training hikes are also useful in getting you familiarized with the equipment while learning what the best clothes choices are based on different conditions like temperature.
The Resistance Workout
A common training mistake is focusing only on the body, without considering the fact that on a hiking trip you will have a backpack so extra weight will be moved along while you climb. Backpack weight will raise the gravity center so all that you do will become more difficult than what you are used to when you train without resistance. If you want to get the body at the point that you are truly ready for the hike, be sure that you perform at least 2 resistance training days per week. Combine this with the cardio workouts and the regular training hikes and you will appreciate how fast you will get ready for that big hiking trip.