Planning your annual or first Grand Canyon Rim to Rim backpacking trip? Maybe you are looking to hike up Half dome or backpack through Yosemite. Regardless of what you are training for, you will want to add some weight to your workout. This will not only increase your cardiac output (make your heart pump a bit harder), it will also help you realize what it feels like carrying that extra load. Here are a few ideas.
- Carry a pack during your training hikes with 10-20 lbs of rice. It is a bit bulky and doesn't quite simulate what a structured backpack feels like, but it helps. Kitty Litter also works and if you sweat profusely, is quite absorbent.
- Carry a backpack loaded with the gear, water and food you plan to carry on your trip. This gives you the best idea of what everything is going to feel like.
- Feel silly going to the gym or walking the neighborhood carrying rice or a fully loaded pack? Purchase a 10-40 lb walking vest. These vests fit nicely under clothing and look a bit like a bullet-proof vest - so you may get some inquisitive looks. Plus, the weight fits you more proportionately so there’s nothing bulky hanging off your shoulders. These are great to run in as well. You can get a 10 lb vest from Go Fit for $39.99 and Reebok also makes them. If you search, you will probably find other options.