Backpacking and hiking trips can be a great way to exercise while spending time in the outdoors. However, carrying a pack for miles on end can do a number to your back and shoulder muscles, as well as your legs if you are on an incline.
Hiking, especially when done on a slope for an extended period of time, has the capacity to help you lose a great deal of calories. It offers both cardiovascular exercise and weight training, because you are constantly working your heart, lungs, legs, and back.
Having the ability to make it through a long trip of carrying a pack takes a good deal of preparation, especially if it is a multiple day excursion. You may feel tired and sore after reaching a certain destination, but then need to wake up and hike again the next day.
Building up endurance is extremely important. The stronger you can make your cardiovascular system, the better.
Often these types of trips are performed in the mountains, where the altitude is less and it is harder to breathe. During your training, you may find it helpful to prepare by running up inclines or hills.
This will work your system and body more than if you were jogging on flat ground; it may also increase your resistance to becoming winded and tired on uphill climbs. Getting on the treadmill or bike or running outside for thirty to forty-five minutes every other day should help you get ready.
Having a strong cardiovascular system and good aerobic fitness will be essential to your ability to make it through difficult trails. Because your bag is likely to weigh around thirty to forty pounds, with all of the clothing and camping supplies stored inside, it will be vital that you increase the strength and muscle mass in certain areas of your body.
There are many muscle groups that get worked when you are backpacking. The trapezium, which is located at the base of the neck, will be a large support when it comes to the shoulder straps.
If this area of the body has not been sufficiently strengthened, you could experience tiredness and soreness very quickly. A good bag will place most of the weight on your hips, especially if it has hip straps, but the trapezium will most likely still feel some of it.
The abs will also need to have a sufficient amount of strength, because they will mainly be responsible for stabilizing the pack as it moves and as you twist and turn. Before you leave on your excursion, make sure that you work this group every other day for a few weeks.
Performing crunches should help you to develop muscle endurance in your abs. Make sure to also get some workouts in that involve weights, like a medicine ball or dumbbells.
The upper and middle back usually take a lot of the brunt from items you are carrying; they try to keep everything from moving one way or the other and throwing your body off balance. Using machines at the gym or dumbbells may help increase the fitness in this area.
Probably one of the most important parts when it comes to backpacking and hiking is the legs. These muscles must be toned and prepared to tackle inclines and rocky terrain.
You can help them to handle the resistance better by performing squats and exercises for the calves during your weight training. Though you can prepare your body to take the weight of this type of hiking, you should also be sure and take measures to lighten your bag as much as possible when you are placing the items you need inside.
Though you do not want to over-pack clothing, make sure that you bring enough depending on the season. During warmer months, you may not need to bring as many pieces; during winter, you will probably have to load up on layers and jackets.
Avoid taking personal items with you that you may not need or end up using. If you insist upon bringing certain hygienic sundries along, try your best to find travel sizes or place them in smaller, lighter containers.
You can even split the amount of supplies that you take along with the others that are coming with you; there is no need for everyone to have all of their own cooking and camping supplies. Preparing your body and your pack wisely is the best way to have an enjoyable hiking excursion.