I was wondering when do you start you're routine of either backpacking or hiking to get into shape for the upcoming hunting seasons, and what is you're routine? I know I get kinda lazy after deer season, and the older I get (43) the harder it is to get into the swing of things.
How many of you stay in the routine all year round (like we all should) and what's you're secret(s)?
I am a couple of years behind you at 41 but old enough to know if I don't prepare for my backpack hunts I will not be happy with the way I feel on them. ###I don't really hike that much to prepare for the backpack trips. ###I played basketball for a living for 12 years and I find myself conditioning the same way I have always done in the past just not as hard. ###Bench presses, leg extentions, sit ups and clean and jerk lifts are what I do now on the strength training side with jogging, jump rope and playing basketball taking care of the cardio training. ###
I try to keep a steady training through out the year but the intensity will increase as I get closer to a scouting trip or hunt. ###I think keeping your weight down is one of the keys to ###moving well in the mountains. ###I have unfortunately added 20 pounds since my playing days but I will try to drop a few pounds before a big backpack trip to help lighten the load. ###Thus far I seem to manage dropping five pounds before my big trips but I wouldn't mind dropping more. ###I paid a hefty premium to have a rifle that weighs a pound to a pound and half lighter than a standard weight rifle but I really believe that the best way to lighten your total load is drop 5-10 or what whatever number of pounds off your bodyweight. ###I know easier said than done but I think the thought is sound. ###
I never used to worry about gettin in shape for hunting, but now at near 40 it has become a factor. ###About two years ago after having my weight creep up year after year (5'8" 230 & 25% body fat) I knew I had to get back at it. ###I joined the gym and started working out again. ###Now I am 195 13% body fat and can run with the young dogs again. ###(And out bench press most of the them too **wink**) ###
Now my way of getting in shape for hunting is to throw 40lb of plates in my backpack and hike the horse trails in the hills around my house. ###Treadmills, elipticals, stairmasters just drive me out of my gourd. ###I can't stand being in one place for so long but an hour or two of hiking and seeing outdoors isn't even like work to me. ###
I am finally getting in good hunting/aerobic shape now too. ###Yesterday I hiked for about and hour and a quarter and when I got back to the house I realized I hadn't touched my water.
Hey hawk 1, good to hear from ya, I totally agree with the body weight. Three years ago I was hunting at 215lbs. About 10 to 15 lbs over what I should be. After that season I decieded to never carry that "extra weight" around. In reality I might as well put 15 pounds of sand in my pack, works out to be about the same feeling.
I scout for chukar... ###I still have about 15 that I could/should loose. ###I notice a huge difference with those extra pounds when going up over hill and dale.
If I'm going on a serious out of state hunt (elk in MT where we did 20-24 miles a day for 8 days straight), I'll run as much as I can make the time for. ###Seems like there's nothing that can replace good old running.
The one thing that I've always had a hard time preparing for is the change in weather and the altitude. ###It's hard to compare hiking 10 miles here in SoCal with a 30lb pack on your back in shorts in August to being bundled up in wool with the same pack in October (20 degrees) in MT at 8000 ft. ###That always seems to throw me for a loop.
I know what you are talking about songdog. Even in my younger days when I was really athletic I still had a lot of trouble above 8000 feet. First few times I went all out and didn't think anything would happen but then halfway through the day I would be completely floored. The only way I have been able to cope is to go reeallly, reeallly slow and easy for the first day or two to adjust to the altitude and after that it's much, much easier to pick up the pace.
I've been working on dropping my several metric tons of bodyfat for those backpacking wilderness hunts by hiking the local hills, sometimes with a weighted daypack. Taking my dog keeps me motivated. My recent obsession with hunting pigs in public wilderness also keeps me going.
Leg and back (and abdomen) strength is an obvious must. Squats, situps, leg lifts 3x a week ideally, but this part of the program has been harder to get motivated about, since I've been too lazy to move my set from the cold patio to the warmer garage. Fortunately it looks like the weather is warning up a little now.
(Edited by shaginator at 5:18 pm on Feb. 22, 2002)
I started backpack hunting 3 years ago. First time I went out I found myself tired after half a day. I gained a few pounds since then, but I try to keep in shape bye climbing stairs and running. I think it's about time to start againa and lose the 20 lbs I shouldn't have.