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How to Train for Hiking & Backpacking – Increase Stamina and Fitness

Hiking and backpacking are not just walk in the woods.

You need to build strength and balance to perform these outdoor activities successfully. Before you engage in the actual pursuits, you have to prepare your body for endurance. In this way, you prevent yourself from hiking injuries like ankle rolling and ankle sprains.

If you are out of shape or wasn’t active for a while, you might need to consider reconditioning your body for hiking and backpacking. To prevent injuries and exhaustion from these activities, you need to train for a week or more so you can prepare your system for the heft event ahead.

In preparing, start with basic exercises to warm up your muscles and get your heart rate up.

Run or walk in the sand

Running or walking in the sand builds your muscles. It protects your knees band ankles and can prevent injuries during the actual hiking.


Crunches build your core strength and help you keep your balance on uneven surfaces. You need to gain this before going in for a hike. The built-up core will let you have a smooth hiking experience by stabilizing your spine that keeps you in an upright position.


Cardio exercises are your way to get your heart rate up. It is crucial in hiking since it will require you long endurance. Condition your body with cardio exercises to build your lung capacity, which will enable you to hike longer.


If you will carry a heavy load, you need to work on your upper body. Push-ups are once the way to strengthen your upper body, especially on long trips where you need to carry your necessities at your back.

If you plan to hike and are not in shape, you need to condition your muscles first so your body will not feel any burden during the activity. Also, it will prevent ankle rolling and ankle sprain that is likely to happen when hiking.

On the other hand, backpacking needs more preparation for the upper body than hiking. Backpacking requires you to carry all your gear in your backpack. However, you also need to prepare a workout plan that will target to increase strength in your core and major leg muscles. And to increase endurance as well.

You can refer to the list below to train for backpacking so you can enjoy physically demanding hikes like https://www.themanual.com/outdoors/the-five-most-physically-challenging-hikes-in-the-usa/


Increase strength in major muscles

To condition your body for backpacking, you need to increase strength in major muscles that do the heavy lifting. With this, your body needs strong legs and core muscles to support the heavy loads that you will carry.

Build endurance

Endurance is one of the essential things you must develop before engaging in a backpacking activity. Build endurance in the lower body part, as well as the shoulders and lower back. It is because backpacking is an all-day activity. You need to endure until you finish your target line.

Improve balance

Backpacking activities commonly take place in uneven terrain. Considering this, you need to improve your balance to be more stable when going through your way up to your destination.

Squats and lunges

Just like crunches, squats and lunges can build strength to your core muscles. It is essential to have a variety of exercises so your body will be more in condition.

Cardio Exercises

Do not forget to do cardio exercises to train your heart and lung capacity. Backpacking is an all-day activity, which means that you need loads of energy to support you during that day. With this, you can plan activities like trail running or biking for cardio exercises.

Training for hiking and backpacking is a must, especially if you think your body is not in the right condition to perform such activities. You need to schedule and plan your workouts and exercises so you can monitor your progress as the day for your hiking or backpacking comes. With this, you help yourself to improve and prepare your body for the hefty event.

Additionally, you do not only condition your body for the outdoor activities, but you also prevent yourself from possible hiking injuries like ankle rolling and ankle sprain. Avoiding these physical traumas will also refrain you from having an unpleasant trip. Training yourself is a good choice, and it will result in a successful outdoor activity.

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