Are you training for an adventure to The Narrows in the USA, or the Routeburn Track in New Zealand, or possibly the Everest base camp in Nepal?
This could be your biggest challenge to date. To prepare, you may have bought yourself some brand new hiking gear.
However, your new hiking gear is something that shouldn’t be kept packed away until the big day arrives. You should ensure that you get adequate practice with it, and know how to handle everything effectively.
Your primary concern should be getting accustomed to the weight and the balance of the backpack. Here’s how you should be training with your backpack:
When the word weight comes to mind, you may think about dumbbells or rocks. But these things aren’t appropriate to keep in a backpack during training.
Think about it, they have very small surface area and concentrated mass that could damage your bag. You also won’t be able to learn the appropriate balance and the correct way to carry your body.
Here are a few things that you could load your bag with:
The best way to spread weight equally throughout the backpack is to use water bottles. Water bottles can also provide a lot more convenience during training, because if you find that the weight is too much, you can remove one or two bottles or reduce the amount of water in each.
Books are another convenient way to add weight in your backpack. Make sure to carry old books that you aren’t much concerned about, as they are likely going to get ruffled.
If you have lots of old magazines in your house, they can provide you with a much more disposable option. However, ensure that the weight of the magazine is appropriate.
How much weight?
You need to be sensible about how much weight to train with. You have a rough idea about the things you need to carry from your previous excursions. Keep that in mind while practicing.
The weight of the backpack will be more in winter than summer. So if you are practicing with the same weight that you carried on a summer hike, you’re going to develop sores and pains during a winter trip.
The best thing to do is increase the weight slightly every day while training, which will train your body to carry a heavier backpack and give you a good idea about the maximum weight you can carry.
If you haven’t gotten your hiking backpack yet, visit Light Hiking Gear