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ridgewalker777
07-22-2004, 11:23
How stressful is it to carry a backpack up to 50 pounds over foothills and mountains for 8 to 25 miles a day? To what is the physical exertion comparable?

gravityman
07-22-2004, 11:41
Your heart rate essentially is a good measure of your exertion level. We find that backpacking out here at 10,000 feet going up hill with 25 lb backpacks at a 2 mph pace is equal to running a 10 min mile on flat land for me. But it will all depend on you, your physical fitness and your pack weight.

Hike 8 miles a day feels like I'm not doing anything. Hiking 25 miles is exhausting. Not as hard as the marathon I ran, but not that far off either. Of course it only took me 5 hours to run 26 miles, but it would take me about 14 hours to backpack that far.

Gravity Man

Streamweaver
07-22-2004, 11:50
Im not trying to be funny but I think the only person that can answer that question for you ,is you.In other words nobody can tell you what its like because there is just to many variables! What kinda shape you are in ,how well you have eaten ,how well your pack is handling the load etc etc .The best way to find out is go to a local state park or forest and load up your pack and hump it over some hills. Streamweaver

SavageLlama
07-22-2004, 12:18
Depends on how fat you are. :D

smokymtnsteve
07-22-2004, 12:31
take your time ...pace your self...50 lbs is not too bad for 8-10 miles a day..

Streamweaver
07-22-2004, 13:10
Depends on how fat you are. :D
Subtle man ,very subtle!! lol

SalParadise
07-22-2004, 13:50
I carried a 50-pound pack from Springer to Gatlinburg, TN, and not much less for a long while further. I think I'm still breathing hard from it. Oh, those Georgia hills were awful. But I don't know if there's anything comparable.....maybe try to bike up a hill in 10th gear. Or put on the pack and climb every other stair of a 5-story building. Are you thinking of thru-hiking with that weight?

SavageLlama
07-22-2004, 13:53
50 lbs is a lot bro.. I'd cut that in half if I were you.

smokymtnsteve
07-22-2004, 14:39
50 lbs is a little heavy..but not that bad

35-40 lbs is comfortable.

ridgewalker777
07-22-2004, 16:24
I was presenting it hypothetically, to get hikers to reflect upon the physical stress they are undergoing, not unlike packmules, for which most are unprepared. I've been averaging 35 or more pounds, less comfortably than I would like, through New England and around 20 miles plus average.

Jersey Bob
07-22-2004, 16:40
at least 10 characters

White Oak
07-22-2004, 16:55
How stressful is it to carry a backpack up to 50 pounds over foothills and mountains for 8 to 25 miles a day? To what is the physical exertion comparable?
50 lbs @ 10 miles/day is doable if you're in real good shape, but the odds of injury go up and you'll probably be miserable. There are a rare few who carry heavy loads and say they don't mind, but I wonder what they're really thinking as they lug that sack of barbells up a long, steep climb. I'd suggest 35 lbs max.

smokymtnsteve
07-22-2004, 18:12
50 lbs @ 10 miles/day is doable if you're in real good shape, but the odds of injury go up and you'll probably be miserable. There are a rare few who carry heavy loads and say they don't mind, but I wonder what they're really thinking as they lug that sack of barbells up a long, steep climb. I'd suggest 35 lbs max.


ok I tell you what we are thinking..were are thinking about whole grain pancakes with fruit in the morning and a few cups of good coffee...

35 Lbs just isn't much weight to carry....

steve hiker
07-22-2004, 18:55
whole grain pancakes with fruit in the morning and a few cups of good coffee...
Drop a few of the right kind of buds in those pancakes and you won't feel the weight at all. :sun

hiho1624
07-22-2004, 18:56
I have carried a pack that weight 43 lb..For nine day,seven in the rain,back in June on the 19,04 from Unicoi Gap to Wesser [NOC} , I will not carry wet clothing again ,Unless I dry them at night,But it was wet and Foggy, thy stayed wet,I will not carry any extra clothing again. I carry my food {Mt, House]and 100oz water ? I have the clothing on my back and one pair of dry clothing for camping at night aim cutting back to 22 lb. went I travel in the Smokey this fall,
{ Sept 04] just my slepping bag ,tent, pump for water, pot and pans ,stove with fuel, THAT IT no extra.:-?

Moon Monster
07-22-2004, 22:13
Regarding calories burned, here's a site where you can get an estimate of calories burned for your weight per minute you spend in an activity. Backpacking is one of the activities.

http://www.healthstatus.com/cbc.html

It does not corect for elevation or pack weight, and of course those make for extreme variables. Probably more extreme than differences in personal metabolism. Yet, in the long run, personal metabolism means more. So on a thru-hike, you could burn from 3000 to 8000 calories per day--a huge range. That will probably even vary for you from week to week. Some weeks I was eating 6000 calories a day and some weeks I was eating ony 2500 cal. per day with similar effects.

Only a few activities on this list (which is long) are more intense than backpacking. A couple are rock climbing and strenuous swimming.

Jersey Bob
07-23-2004, 09:21
at least 10 characters

SavageLlama
07-23-2004, 13:17
Interesting article on training for a hike..



Here's a how-to on hardening up

By Gary Fallesen
Democrat & Chronicle (http://javascript<b></b>:NewWindow(%20'FIISrcDetails','?from=article&ids=dmcr');void(0);)
July 21, 2004


You are hiking and dreaming about sitting. But when you get to sit for any length of time after that long, hard hike, you find yourself fantasizing about ever being able to walk again.
Pain-free, anyway.

It's the height of the hiking and backpacking season. How are your legs doing? Did you do enough preseason running so those good walks aren't spoiled? Did you lift enough weights to make that pack feel lighter?

"If you don't make something happen regularly, you're really cheating yourself," says Lawrence Creatura, a rugged 39-year-old climber from Mendon.

"Whatever's going on, turn it into training. A Frisbee league, a running club, yard work. Run in races, go orienteering. Going for a walk with the family? Throw a backpack on with some weight in it. Get your muscles used to carrying a load."

And he isn't referring to your body weight.

"Drop a few pounds," Creatura suggests. "It makes a huge difference."

Whether you trained hard enough or not, this is not the time to put up your feet and relax. Not if you plan on hitting the trail for a midsummer stroll of any great length or tackling that Adirondack Mountain climb you've been thinking about for some time.

Kim Fisher, a 37-year-old backpacker from Gates, has some Adirondack high peaks on her summer to-do list. How is she preparing?

"I try to get at least an hour's walk in each day," Fisher says. "I have a group of friends from the ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club) that get together every Wednesday or Thursday night to hike the local parks for a couple hours. On the weekend, I like to take at least one day to really push myself with a long hike or bike ride."

Fisher also tries getting into the gym twice a week to work out on an incline treadmill.

"I find the better shape you can be in the more enjoyable the outing will be," says Jim McLaughlin, a 35-year-old backpacker and ice climber from Webster who also occasionally rides in bicycle races.

He focuses on workouts for the legs and cardiovascular system.

"Early season I run and run," McLaughlin says. "It builds a foundation that I can work from. I also mix in the StairMaster with ankle weights that are close to my boot weight."

He rides his bike on the indoor trainer until the weather gets good enough to hit the road. Once outdoors, he looks for every hill he can find to bike up.

While most of his weightlifting is done in the fall (to prepare for the winter ice-climbing season), he says he still concentrates in the summer on working his abs, shoulders and arms - "all of which help with heavy packs and reduces the chance of injury."

Years of preparing for ascents and downclimbs have taught me a few valuable exercises:

Squats

These will strengthen your quads and hamstrings. To do them properly, stand with a barbell resting across your shoulders and slowly bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Slowly straighten your legs. Do three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions. Be careful how much weight you use so you don't hurt your back. When starting out, just use a barbell.

Lunges

This is one of the best things you'll ever do for yourself before facing rough terrain that is anything but flat. They are especially good for the quads, hamstrings, and gluteus. Take an exaggerated step forward and bend both knees at 90-degree angles. Push off the front foot and return to the standing position. Repeat with the other foot. Do three sets of 10 to 15 reps. Add small hand weights as you get stronger.

Step-ups

They sell boxes to jump or step on, but you can easily use the stairs leading up from your basement or to the second floor of your home, or the steps coming in the front door. Step-ups are as straightforward as they sound. Step up, step down. Use the ball of your foot as the landing zone. This will work your calf muscles and improve your balance for hopping from rock to rock on the trail. Add hand weights or, better yet, wear a backpack with weight in it. Step up two steps to stimulate the occasional high steps you'll be doing while hiking. Again, three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

Don't limit your stepping up to workouts, though. If you take the elevator at work, find the stairs.

"Stairs, stairs, and more stairs," agrees Sheri Batchelder, the coordinator of the Younger Members section of the local Adirondack Mountain Club chapter.

No stairs? Then just step out.

"Put the bags of kitty litter - or anything else that is heavy into the pack and walk, walk, walk," says Barb Brenner, 46, of Lima, Livingston County, who has thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail.

These simple exercises also will help your knees. All in all, stronger legs lead to less stress on the cardiovascular system, which means less gasping for air as you're going up a mountain or along a rolling trail.

"One of the curses of Rochester is it's so flat," says Creatura, who earlier this month was climbing in the North Cascades of Washington state. "You might have to use a machine in a gym - a StairMaster or stepper. Supplement your workout with weights on your back. You look a little silly, but it works."

The reward for the embarrassment of not fitting in with the rest of the gym crowd will be a fitness level that has you ready to go the extra mile.

You'll be able to hike farther and, at the end of the day, you'll be able to stand back up after you sit down. Your legs will thank you the next morning.

Kozmic Zian
07-23-2004, 13:45
Yea.....Stress Hiking.........I would say, without reservation, that backpacking for successive days over very mountainous, rugged terrain, is the most stressfull(physical) activity one can persue. It is like running up and down stadium steps with an old school typewriter slung over your back, all day (8-12 hours), every day for however long your hike is. The cardio-vascular aspect is important, but so many other factors come into play, also. Like the feet, knees, ankles, shins, calves, thighs, gut, back, shoulders, even arms and hands.....Believe me, if you walk to Maine from Georgia (or vice-versa), you'll be in the best physical and mental condition of your life. No doubt about it. You know how we feel when we'er outa' shape and have to walk up some hill, say in town or something, what a grunt it is, right? Well, if you do a Thruy, when you finish, those little walking chores will be 'gimmies', with pleasure. Of course you can't keep that level of fitness, over time and it comes off after a few years.....But 'they' say, 'If you Walk The Trail End To End.....You Add A Full Ten Years On To Your Life'.....I believe it. I quess Jack, Warren, Seiko an LW are gonna' Live [email protected]:p

c.coyle
07-23-2004, 14:06
Squats

These will strengthen your quads and hamstrings. To do them properly, stand with a barbell resting across your shoulders and slowly bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Slowly straighten your legs. Do three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions. Be careful how much weight you use so you don't hurt your back. When starting out, just use a barbell.


Two cents on squats from an old dinosaur weightlifter:

Barbell Squats, done properly, are probably the single best weightlifting movement for creating overall body strength - hamstrings, quads, glutes, abs, spinal erectors, lats, traps, even shoulders. Done improperly, you're going to hurt your back and knees.

If you already have back and knee problems, consider another exercise such as leg extensions or leg presses (both of which require machines).

If you want to squat, I strongly recommend having an experienced weightlifter show you how. Stance, how to "set your back", head position, and how far down your body type will let you safely go (not everyone can safely get their thighs parallel to the ground) are critical. It's not brain surgery, but proper squatting form can't be learned from a book.

Where do you find the right teacher? People at chain gyms such as Gold's usually don't have a clue. If your local high school has a weight room open to the public, you can usually find someone who knows what he's doing. Otherwise, find an old fashioned gym (lots of free weights, no ferns or carpets, garage-like surroundings) and ask for help.

dangerouswolf
07-24-2004, 09:41
I have carried a pack that weight 43 lb..For nine day,seven in the rain,back in June on the 19,04 from Unicoi Gap to Wesser [NOC} , I will not carry wet clothing again ,Unless I dry them at night,But it was wet and Foggy, thy stayed wet,I will not carry any extra clothing again. I carry my food {Mt, House]and 100oz water ? I have the clothing on my back and one pair of dry clothing for camping at night aim cutting back to 22 lb. went I travel in the Smokey this fall,
{ Sept 04] just my slepping bag ,tent, pump for water, pot and pans ,stove with fuel, THAT IT no extra.:-?
Not sure I'd want to give up putting on dry socks and underwear everyday. As I went along I lightened more by managing water better and food. Met another hiker who's inspired me to explore food dehydration this winter. Other than that, plan each section well so you only carry what you need for each section.