Fitness
 

On an expedition you'll spend three days carrying a loaded backpack up steep hills along rocky paths. There's no denying that this is a fairly strenuous activity, but you don't have to be super fit. If you are physically able to walk a few miles now, you can do it. You just need to do some training, but start soon not the week before!

 

How much you train and the weight of your rucksack will have the biggest impact on the physical challenge of an expedition.

 

For the best and most enjoyable expedition experience, do the hard work beforehand and spend time getting your pack weight as low as you can.

It's always best to have a plan, so start by making a training schedule. Doing this about 6-8 weeks beforehand will give you enough time to make a real improvement to your fitness. Set some goals, and make sure your schedule is realistic. It has to fit in with your work and home routines otherwise it won't last long. It's not always easy, but Camp 404 can help you find something that works.

 

The key is to build up your fitness slowly over several weeks. Training can be a combination of walks and exercises. If life is very busy or it's just hard to get out walking you might need to rely more on exercises. That's fine, but doing some long walks is essential to allow your body to adjust and to make sure your boots and other gear are trail tested before you go anywhere near a mountain.

Doing regular training walks is a good routine for a healthy mind and body anyway. Like me, you might find that a daily walk routine starts to improve your mental health and resilience and becomes a lasting habit you don't want to break.

Getting fitter will make you feel more confident about going on Expedition, and the fitter you are the more you will enjoy it.

“The fleeting hour of life of those who love the hills is quickly spent, but the hills are eternal. Always there will be the lonely ridge, the dancing beck, the silent forest; always there will be the exhilaration of the summits. These are for the seeking, and those who seek and find while there is still time will be blessed both in mind and body.” Alfred Wainwright