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  1. #21
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    There's been a lot of good advice here, including that about training slowly over the longer term for us older hikers. Practicing pitching your tent/hammock and practicing sleeping are also worthwhile. And while it's not really physical training, dialing in your rain gear is important, too. Once you learn to comfortably handle rain, it makes dealing with crappy weather a lot easier. Nobody ever complained about having a dry sleeping bag at the end of the day.

  2. #22

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    I found it helpful to spend some time using a stair-stepper machine in the weeks before getting on trail for a long section hike (Springer to Hot Springs). Allowed me to average 13-14 miles a day in the first weeks.
    Find the LIGHT STUFF at QiWiz.net

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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by RangerZ View Post
    Did seven miles today with a day pack. Day pack because I finally got around to cleaning my backpack and it’s drying.

    I did support the local little league by buying a soda from the ballfield concession stand.

    Went to REI for some supplies.

    Visited some national parks.

    Thursday and today ( at least I didn’t have to walk 200 miles to get there today )

    36087B53-0591-48D2-9758-55B8B0A9676F.jpgDD65E4AC-38E0-4583-B338-4CBA6F5EB2AE.jpg
    76 HawkMtn w/Rangers
    13 HF>CramptonsG
    14 LHHT
    15 Girard/Quebec/LostTurkey/Saylor/Tuscarora/BlackForest
    16 Kennerdell/Cranberry-Otter/DollyS/WRim-NCT
    17 BearR
    18-19 AT NOBO 1540.5

  4. #24
    GAME 06
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye View Post
    There's been a lot of good advice here, including that about training slowly over the longer term for us older hikers. Practicing pitching your tent/hammock and practicing sleeping are also worthwhile. And while it's not really physical training, dialing in your rain gear is important, too. Once you learn to comfortably handle rain, it makes dealing with crappy weather a lot easier. Nobody ever complained about having a dry sleeping bag at the end of the day.
    Sort of off topic, but since you bring it up. Assuming you can do this at home - wait for a rain storm and then go outside and figure out how to set up your tent without getting everything wet in the process. I learned how to do this by failing out on the trail the first couple of times and being very annoyed. Also pack up your pack like you are ready to hit the trail. Get out the garden hose and water your pack for about 20 mins. Then open it up and find out if anything you want dry is wet. Then adjust your waterproofing methods till they work right. I am so anal about keeping stuff dry it is a bit hilarious.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyoming View Post
    Sort of off topic, but since you bring it up. Assuming you can do this at home - wait for a rain storm and then go outside and figure out how to set up your tent without getting everything wet in the process. I learned how to do this by failing out on the trail the first couple of times and being very annoyed. Also pack up your pack like you are ready to hit the trail. Get out the garden hose and water your pack for about 20 mins. Then open it up and find out if anything you want dry is wet. Then adjust your waterproofing methods till they work right. I am so anal about keeping stuff dry it is a bit hilarious.

    Real trail life advise.

    Walk uphill 2-3 miles to the grocery store in the cold rain wearing your anticipated backpacking gear and apparel. Buy groceries. Load your pack. Walk home. eat the food you anticipate eating on the hike. Cant do it don't attempt an AT thru hike.

    Walk 2-3 miles " " " in 95* temps with no shade. Buy ". Load ". Walk home. Cant do it head to the beach not the AT PCT or CDT.

    With the shweet warm house with loaded fridge and sickening sweet drinks and comfy bed and blankets just a few hundred ft away with everyone watching that NFL or NBA game noshing hot pepperoni pizza and slugging frosty cold ones while snuggled into their comfy recliners in front of LCD big screen go outside in the cold and rain and snow and set up your tent and sleep in your bag joyfully. Make sure to say goodbye to all, what you're doing, -hiking training- and instructions not to baby you. Cant do it....

    Walk 3 miles to a laundromat. Wash. Dry. Leave. Walk into the woods and sleep. Cant do it....
    Sleep on the floor at home with all teh windows open and thermostat off with your relatives dirty wet socks to the left of your face and a dead cockroach to the right of your face.

  6. #26

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    Dogwood is exactly correct. Training time is about spending that time just as you would on the trail. Don’t cut corners and assume something will work out. Eat, sleep and hike as you will on your thru. Food gave me the hardest time on my thru. At home we eat pretty good. On the trail you must eat what you carry and it takes a lot of trial and error to get that right.

    Plan on early mornings on your thru? Then train with early morning climbs. Don’t get your pack ready the night before. Spread everything out and pack it in the morning.

    Look at the weather to decide what to wear, not to decide when to train.

    The more prepared you are the more fun you will have.

  7. #27
    Registered User Elaikases's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkeeterPee View Post
    I'm curious, how people are preparing for next year? Have you started? What are you doing?

    I plan on a two-week hike this fall. In the meantime I'm walking as much as I can and am trying to lose 30 lbs before next spring.

    One thing that really helped me, though we ended up 756 miles short of finishing due to some family matters that took us off the trail long enough that the weather caught up with us after we flipped, was eating 750-850 calories for breakfast every day. Eating 5-6 thousand calories a day is hard and it is much too easy to find yourself like one of those guys who plans on 360 calories for breakfast and thinks that is a lot of food.

  8. #28
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    Just got back from a 2-week trip. Hiked from West Virginia line to milepost 65 of Shenandoah National Park. It was a very good trip and I gave me some confidence that I'll be able to keep doing it For a long period. I plan a couple more shorter trips in November and December which should help prepare me for cooler Temps.

  9. #29
    Registered User coyote9's Avatar
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    How are we training? The approach trail. That counts right?

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by coyote9 View Post
    How are we training? The approach trail. That counts right?
    The last time I went up the approach trail I bumped into a guy about 2 miles from the top coming out of the trees. I figured he was returning from a poop mission but, no, he looked at me and said something like "I can't believe how hard this is. I had to go bury a bunch of my gear so I could make it to the start of the trail."

    Unusually for me, I was speechless. Maybe a little training is in order.

    Of course, not long after that I bumped into a guy carrying an ice axe (it was mid-May by then). I did inform him he was not going to need an ice axe. But, as usual, I had completely misunderstood the situation as he informed me it was not for ice climbing but for personal protection.

  11. #31

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    If your training is walking I might recommend a weighted vest or backpack. Otherwise walking doesn't have much training effect--just too easy.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc View Post
    If your training is walking I might recommend a weighted vest or backpack. Otherwise walking doesn't have much training effect--just too easy.
    If this was for me the OP, yes, my walks and hikes are all with my bag. I was doing 32lbs in the bag, now I am doing 38 just to get a bit more workout on our nearly flat terrain.

  13. #33
    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    The often overlooked mental fitness aspect is worth a mention when training for a long distance hike. The human psyche is a fickle thing—it feeds off of emotions. Try keeping a daily journal on your progress, with positive self feedback every day. This is a good way to stay focused, even when things aren’t going so swell.
    Understanding how even the most physically fit person can simply quit a thru attempt due to what I call “trail fatigue” is worth noting—and acknowledging.
    So look at the best case scenario every day, set realistic goals daily that are attainable. Try not focusing on the next day or the next week but the day right in front of you.
    Oh yeah— take pictures, make memories —have fun.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnybgood View Post
    The often overlooked mental fitness aspect is worth a mention when training for a long distance hike. The human psyche is a fickle thing—it feeds off of emotions. Try keeping a daily journal on your progress, with positive self feedback every day. This is a good way to stay focused, even when things aren’t going so swell.
    Understanding how even the most physically fit person can simply quit a thru attempt due to what I call “trail fatigue” is worth noting—and acknowledging.
    So look at the best case scenario every day, set realistic goals daily that are attainable. Try not focusing on the next day or the next week but the day right in front of you.
    Oh yeah— take pictures, make memories —have fun.

    I totally agree.

    The AT is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical. (Apologies to Yogi Berra).


    76 HawkMtn w/Rangers
    13 HF>CramptonsG
    14 LHHT
    15 Girard/Quebec/LostTurkey/Saylor/Tuscarora/BlackForest
    16 Kennerdell/Cranberry-Otter/DollyS/WRim-NCT
    17 BearR
    18-19 AT NOBO 1540.5

  15. #35

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    Walking home from work (6mi) four of five days (in NYC, so I have public transportation), and increasingly difficult day hikes on the weekends. I'll start carrying my full pack soon. I'm also going to PT twice a week until the new year (my deductible reset) for massage and to strengthen my knees and feet. Daily stretching my calves and hamstrings and rolling out my plantar fascia.

    I also changed my diet to 80% vegetarian + dairy + eggs, and I feel f*ing great, so that change might be permanent.

  16. #36
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    1. Losing weight to maintain an ideal BMI.
    2. Strength training such as Leg Press, Calf Raise and Leg Extensions.
    3. Hiking the hills with a pack.
    4. Carefully plan and test your "Dry Camp Clothes" and "Rain Gear".
    5. Imagine yourself living outside for at least 6 days, food/water? sanitation? shelter?
    Simple is good.

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