Weighted Pack

VLD Pilot

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Joined
Dec 24, 2017
Messages
953
Location
Northern, Mi
Last Colorado bowhunt I trained with a pack and had some decent foothills in my back yard. Gravel pit close also that had pretty decent hills but very steep. I used sand bags in my pack. Each weighed 25 lbs. Started with 2 and finished at 6 just before leaving for the hunt. Strictly for incline and stress walking up and down. Made a huge difference from my first CO hunt. One thing I'll say right now. Working out with weights is great. I do it everyday. Heavy leg presses 500-550lbs for 4-5 sets of 12 doesn't cut it for walking in mountains. No comparison to actual simulated weight load carrying. Don't get me wrong, I'm in the best shape of my life do to working out but cardio and endurance training is not the same as pushing iron in your gym. At 57 years old, I'm still young. Workouts are 75% lifting/25% cardio. Another 10 years and my workouts will be more 50% cardio/50% lifting. Anybody that plans a hunt in mountains, do yourself a favor and train exactly as you will be hunting.
 

GW Hunter

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Joined
May 2, 2015
Messages
263
Location
Orangevale, Ca
I just lay on the couch until it’s time to go...
I really don’t need any extra training. I’m a GF for an electrical firm building a high rise. 5-7 miles and 70-80 flights a day, every day. If I don’t lay on the couch, I’ll be too worn out to make it...
 

TRyan

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Joined
Jan 23, 2016
Messages
65
Location
Olympia, WA.
I've added 50# in steel weights to my hunting pack and have been walking a mile a day, 6-7 days a week for the last few months. Not perfectly ideal but better than nothing, I keep telling myself.
 

VLD Pilot

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Joined
Dec 24, 2017
Messages
953
Location
Northern, Mi
I've added 50# in steel weights to my hunting pack and have been walking a mile a day, 6-7 days a week for the last few months. Not perfectly ideal but better than nothing, I keep telling myself.
You really won't know how ideal until you get out on your hunt. I guarante it's gonna make a huge difference. You can't account for the elevation unless your training in it already. My Michigan 1000' was a drastic difference from 10,000' treeline in CO when I first hunted there. Took me a couple days to get my wind from the elevation change. Base camp at 8000. Spike camp near 10,000 was an experience. Second time out after training all year was a major difference. The thin air was the only obstacle. Even that was minor after a day or two. You'll be glad you hauled around plates everyday before your hunt.
 

Country Bumpkin

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Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
518
Location
Boise, ID
I’ll just say, I’m happy to see so many contributors on this thread. I’m of the opinion that the most successful hunters are those that are “balanced”. I think we are all guilty of over-prioritizing one aspect or another, I’d guess that there are a few of us that over-value our shooting/equipment capabilities and under-value scouting/E-scouting (could hit game on the other mountain, if only they knew how to find them).

I see guys every fall, $2,000 worth of boutique camo clothing, $500 boots, $2,000 spotter, $1,400 binos, $5,000 rifle setup..... stopped half way up the mountain and asking me if they are “almost there?” or “are there any animals in this unit?”. I smile and respond “yup, keep on going, you are half way there”. Sometimes I’ll take the time to show them a pic from last years animal to encourage them. More often than not, I’ll come back down to camp that night and they will either be packed up and gone or have resigned themselves to drinking every night and road hunting. There are so many hunters out there that “invest” in the wrong things. If you can’t get to the arena, with enough juice to execute a shot and complete an arduous pack out, then all of your other efforts are just a gear-gathering hobby (which is okay, lots of folks take great satisfaction in looking the part and chalking up an unsuccessful season to unfavorable weather/migration patterns).
My preparations have changed over the years, last year I feel that I (personally) overtrained. I was rucking 3-4 times per week and running or biking in the off days. Physically I felt on top of the world, but I started this routine in early March and carried it through the start of archery elk. I burned myself out mentally and it was a struggle to maintain that routine for such a long time.
This year I’ve dialed back to rucking 1-2 days a week and I’m going to start biking July 1st. I had planned on amping things up earlier until I compared my rucking times to last years results. I set a new PR 5 weeks into rucking this year, as opposed to having “overtrained” for 6 months last year (I attribute it to allowing for better muscle recovery during the initial build phase). I’m expecting even better performance once I ramp up my cardio.
Anyways, long rambling post, just to say, “keep it up everyone!”. You will very rarely notice your physical preparations up on the mountain, but you will assuredly notice a lack of preparations when you admit to yourself that you are suffering physically and mentally during your 5 day hunt that you’ve looked forward to all year and spend a lot of time and money on.
Physical limitations are unacceptable for anyone that is “able-bodied” and knows in advance that they are hunting the mountains that fall.
I made all of my interns (20-22 y/o) go hiking with me this past week. Most of them were empty (no pack), I was carrying 50 lbs and beat all but two of them to the top. They were all miffed that they didn’t beat me. Preparation.....

props to my son, he’d beat most of them to the top too, he’s 8 and knows how to earn the things he want.
1592747876411.jpeg

1592747823106.jpeg
 
Last edited:

TRyan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2016
Messages
65
Location
Olympia, WA.
I’ll just say, I’m happy to see so many contributors on this thread. I’m of the opinion that the most successful hunters are those that are “balanced”. I think we are all guilty of over-prioritizing one aspect or another, I’d guess that there are a few of us that over-value our shooting/equipment capabilities and under-value scouting/E-scouting (could hit game on the other mountain, if only they knew how to find them).

I see guys every fall, $2,000 worth of boutique camo clothing, $500 boots, $2,000 spotter, $1,400 binos, $5,000 rifle setup..... stopped half way up the mountain and asking me if they are “almost there?” or “are there any animals in this unit?”. I smile and respond “yup, keep on going, you are half way there”. Sometimes I’ll take the time to show them a pic from last years animal to encourage them. More often than not, I’ll come back down to camp that night and they will either be packed up and gone or have resigned themselves to drinking every night and road hunting. There are so many hunters out there that “invest” in the wrong things. If you can’t get to the arena, with enough juice to execute a shot and complete an arduous pack out, then all of your other efforts are just a gear-gathering hobby (which is okay, lots of folks take great satisfaction in looking the part and chalking up an unsuccessful season to unfavorable weather/migration patterns).
My preparations have changed over the years, last year I feel that I (personally) overtrained. I was rucking 3-4 times per week and running or biking in the off days. Physically I felt on top of the world, but I started this routine in early March and carried it through the start of archery elk. I burned myself out mentally and it was a struggle to maintain that routine for such a long time.
This year I’ve dialed back to rucking 1-2 days a week and I’m going to start biking July 1st. I had planned on amping things up earlier until I compared my rucking times to last years results. I set a new PR 5 weeks into rucking this year, as opposed to having “overtrained” for 6 months last year (I attribute it to allowing for better muscle recovery during the initial build phase). I’m expecting even better performance once I ramp up my cardio.
Anyways, long rambling post, just to say, “keep it up everyone!”. You will very rarely notice your physical preparations up on the mountain, but you will assuredly notice a lack of preparations when you admit to yourself that you are suffering physically and mentally during your 5 day hunt that you’ve looked forward to all year and spend a lot of time and money on.
Physical limitations are unacceptable for anyone that is “able-bodied” and knows I’m advance that they are hunting the mountains that fall.
Very well said! You hit the nail in the head. Without training with a weighted pack and putting on some miles leading up to a hunt, it's amazing how 35lbs of gear and a few miles of pretty easy ground can wipe a guy out if opening day is the first day he's put a pack on since the year before! I've been that guy before, and this year I'm going to be ready.

Good luck with your hunt this year. Sounds like you'll be in tip top shape, which will put you ahead of the pack.
 

cahunter805

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Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
485
This is the first year I’ve concentrated on some preseason weighted hikes and it’s been going very well. I’m using a bag of rock salt inside a trash bag and taped and it seems to fill my pack well. Going to add a dumbbell this week also. Like stated above nothing beats a few weighted pack hikes a week to really help out. Also I’ve found myself being able to fine tune my suspension setup and testing them to see what’s most comfortable to me.
 

TexasSportsman

Active Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
43
Location
Houston, Texas
Three years ago I trained by hiking with a weighted backpack until I got up to 50 pounds. A college friend and I were going to Zion National Park. We heard the most challenging hike there was Angels Landing. We saw video of the last part of the hike not the first. The elevation change is 1488'. I thought I trained enough for this hike as I was able to do the six miles or more with the weighted backpack.

As you can see by the image the switchback has a steep incline. Believe me its tougher than it looks. The last leg of the hike has a sheer drop of 1000' or more either side of the trail. Five people have died on the Angels Landing trail.

What I wasn't able to train for was the change in elevation.
 

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One Hole

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2015
Messages
223
Location
North Idaho
This is the first year I’ve concentrated on some preseason weighted hikes and it’s been going very well. I’m using a bag of rock salt inside a trash bag and taped and it seems to fill my pack well. Going to add a dumbbell this week also. Like stated above nothing beats a few weighted pack hikes a week to really help out. Also I’ve found myself being able to fine tune my suspension setup and testing them to see what’s most comfortable to me.
does the salt make it back home with you? lol
 

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