You must be in shape to hike well. To get in shape you should train like an athlete. Hiking requires that you use your legs and feet in a way you may not have done before. Walking along trails and up mountains works your feet, legs, and back muscles.
Carrying packs and climbing up into thin mountain air pushes your body to limits that may surprise you.
How to Train for Hiking and Get in Shape
Here are some tips and guide for hiking training. The topic is vast, so if you are in hurry check out the topic list.
Begin with Preparation: How do I prepare for my first hike?
How do you prepare for this exertion? Begin slowly, with short day-hikes that take you along familiar roads and paths somewhere near your home. A three-mile hike on a warm day will give you an idea of how strenuous hiking can be. The short hike, with your pack on your back, is a first step-a shakedown effort to prepare you for longer, more strenuous hikes.
Make your first hikes with friends, Scout troop, or parents. Compare notes on difficulties the group has with hiking boots or other gear. Notice how far you can walk on flat ground and on the hills before needing a rest-stop.
Strength Training for Hiking: How do I increase my stamina for hiking?
Keep a mental record of how far you can walk in these different terrains in an hour, two hours, or more. Planning a long backpack will require this self-knowledge.
This strength training for hiking is important to step for understanding your body capacity.
What exercises to do to prepare for hiking?
Increasing stamina for hiking isn’t a thing that can be achieved with a day or two. You need regular exercise to increase your stamina level. However, here is a checklist of stamina increasing for hiking.
Cycling for Getting in Shape for Hiking
I have seen a lot of questions in different forums on cycling for outdoor trips. To be more specific, most of these questions are like these.
Is cycling good training for hiking?
How important is cycling in hiking preparation?
Can I get in shape for hiking by cycling?
To be short, the answer is yes. But you need to do it regularly to get the full benefit. It is better to mix upcycling with other easy to follow body exercise.
Proper Hiking Footwear for Hiking
How do your feet stand up on these short trips? Do your light hiking boots cause blisters? If they do, then perhaps you have worn the wrong socks, or perhaps your feet have not toughened sufficiently for the length of hike you have taken.
It takes days of hiking to toughen your feet to resist the chafing of boots. If your boots are a poor fit, however, they will continue to give you blisters, no matter how you toughen your feet through training. Nothing causes foot blisters faster than sloppy boots.
Take great care in buying well-fitted hiking boots before you begin these training hikes.
Situations and Solving During Hiking
You Should Learn to Manage
During the hiking, many situations can occur, one of you members can get ill. Having proper knowledge on these and common sense can get your companion out of dangers. Your hiking training should also teach you to manage these situations.
Over-Heating Hiking Situation Handling Training
Your training to hikes will help you understand your body and how it reacts to heat and cold. During a hike on a warm day, you’ll notice that your body begins to heat up and you will sweat. Sweating is your body’s way of cooling itself. You should sweat during a hot day’s hike.
When to get a warning in your hike?
If you over-do the hiking pace, your body will give you warning signals. If you stop sweating, begin to feel sick to your stomach, or appear pale or flushed to your companions, then you are probably becoming over-heated.
You should stop, rest, and drink water, allowing your body to cool to prevent heat stroke.
When a companion collapses from the heat, with hot, dry skin, you should cool him off as quickly as possible. Immerse him in a cool stream or lake or carry him to medical help immediately.
Over-cooling Hiking Situation and How Can You Solve It
In our first training for a hiking trip was all for the information. You need to have the proper idea of your body condition and what to do and trace the sign of body imbalance.
Your body can also become over-cooled. On cold hiking days, these are the warning signs of over-cooling: the feeling of chill, followed by shivering, and then uncontrollable shivering.
How You Can Save Your Companion if He / She is Cold
If you see a companion shivering, you should recognize the symptoms of over-chilling, called hypothermia, and get warm clothes on him or her. Uncontrollable shivering is an advanced stage of hypothermia, usually followed by slurred speech, stumbling, and seemingly foolish behavior.
Someone suffering from an over-cooled body often does not know what he is doing. Thus, he will not do things to protect himself from further chilling. He is close to death.
Hiking companions must look out for each other. Learn to recognize the symptoms of hypothermia and how to care for someone who is suffering from it.
Use of Proper Food for Cold or Heat Situations
What to do? Your body is something like a furnace: It needs fuel-food-to produce heat to warm itself. If you see a companion shivering uncontrollably, put more clothes on him, feed him warming foods, such as chocolate or warm drinks, and (most important) walk him to make him warm himself.
If he is not severely chilled, place him in a sleeping bag for warming. And keep his head covered-your body loses from 30 to 50 percent of the heat it gives off through your head. Thus, the most important thing to cover in cold weather is your head
Training for Mountain Hiking
How to hike a mountain properly
Walking on flat terrain is good training, but mountain hiking is the real thing you train for.
First Mountain Hike
Your first mountain hikes should be short ones. They should give you the feel of carrying packs and an indication of the condition of your feet and how they react to your boots.
The short hikes should help you understand your body and its reactions to hard climbs.
Don’t carry too much in your pack on these first short hikes: food enough for a one-day-hike meal, rain shirt, compass and map, water bottle, extra socks, moleskins (adhesive cotton patches), and first aid kit.
Your partial pack should not overload you, but it will prepare you for your next step-carrying a full pack on your back for a long backpacking trip.
Caring Foot for Mountain Trail
Why extra socks in that first training pack? Your feet are your means of travel in backpacking; you cannot go far without them. Foot care begins with your choice of the right boots for you. It continues with foot care as you hike.
After you have the right boots and begin hiking, make sure your feet stay dry. Your feet will sweat on warm days-and even when it is cool and the damp socks will chafe against your feet and cause blisters.
You should be aware of blister warning signals and do something to prevent them before they form. If your socks become damp, change into the dry pair you brought with you. Do your best to stay out of water and mud that can soak through your boots.
Take Proper Prevention for the Foot in Hiking
If you begin to develop tender spots on the bottoms, sides, or tops of your feet, use your moleskin patch applied like a band-aid over the beginning blister, to stop further chafing. In hiking, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Nothing helps prevent excessive fatigue and blisters better than occasional rest-stops before trouble begins. Ten minutes every hour of hiking can help prevent misery.
During such stops, take off your boots and examine your feet. If they don’t require further attention, then lie back and elevate your legs and feet slightly. This ten-minute leg- and foot-rest will revitalize you so that you can continue for great distances.
Last Few Words on Training for Hiking Trip
If you have done your training hikes properly, you will know your physical limits. And you will know not to exceed them. Push yourself, but not too far.
Tell your hike leader that you are tired or that your feet are blistered.
It is when you have exceeded your physical limits that accidents occur. All your training should lead you to this self-awareness on the trail.