Exercise! - Doing a 160 mile hike (NOLS course)




chaitea115
08-25-2013, 06:23 AM
Hi everyone!

Has anyone ever participated in a NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) course before? I signed up for a 31 day hiking backpacking course next June that is 160 miles (257 KM) long through the North Cascades in Washington - I have almost 10 months to prepare - I want to lose about 25 lbs before I go on this hiking trip. FYI it has absolutely nothing to. Do with weight loss I myself just personally want to get in shape BEFORE I attend

Here's a link if anyone is interested in the thought of the NOLS school - they have over 1.5 million dollars a year for scholarships and bursaries AND it's not for '' troubled'' kids like the outward bound programs reputation has - they have all age ranges and a wide variety of programs albeit for a cost (mountaineering in Alaska sounds so. Cool...) alot of college students can do a course for actual transfer credits it's affiliated w the University of Utah I believe

www.nols.edu/courses/locations/pacificnw/pnwbackpacking.shtml (that's the one I'm signed up for!!!)

I'm hoping that working out and day hiking w a 50 lb pack (buying my own pack and slowly starting. To walk around w it full will help me prepare? help me lose the weight and get fit in preparation too - it looks like it'll be hard work but a ton of fun. The scenery looks beautiful and the reviews I've read on online forums and blogs etc are pretty glowing - of course there are always risks involved in hiking in the wilderness w injuries and animals etc

Was wondering if anyone here does hiking or has participated in similar programs for the fun of it - I'm excited to go next year! Any tips on preparation?
The only thing I'm worried about is I've heard it's like really difficult to lose weight AND build muscle strength at the same time - I don't want to lose the 25 lbs and be a weakling before my trip especially w all the activity expended having to carry approx 45-50 lbs in a backpack for 160 miles over a month. That's why I'm starting now to get in shape and strengthen my body. I lost almost 50 lbs a few yrs ago but wasn't doing any serious gym work so I got '' skinny fat '' and then I regained half of it back


fatferretfanatic
08-25-2013, 06:49 AM
I haven't done anything like that for more than a day or two, but I've always wanted to do a cool backpacking trip like that. Good luck and I hope you have a ton of fun!

chaitea115
08-25-2013, 07:21 AM
I forgot to mention that I find it fairly easy to lose weight without exercising much - I know if I stick to 1200-1500 calories a day I'll lose weight but my huge problem is once I start adding in alot of exercise I seriously just eat All day long because of how hungry I get (and I make sure to eat high quality non processed food /protein etc all the stuff I should be eating) but I just get SO hungry when I exercise that I can never seem to lose anything. That's why I don't work out much if I need to lose 25 lbs but I know it's so unhealthy - and I need muscles and strength to do well on this 160 mile hike! Aaaargh


Tilly5
08-25-2013, 08:58 AM
My dh & dd love long distance hiking (did a 272 mile hike) and I follow a blog of a guy who has done the AT, PCT and other long hikes. So I've learned a few things about it even though I am only a day hiker. Getting in shape ahead of time is a great idea! Losing weight will help. Keep in mind that you will most likely lose weight on the trail. If it were me, I would focus most on muscle strength and go on lots of hikes (length and elevation) ahead of time. And as for the 50lb pack... a lot of serious long distance hikers don't carry that much, but you have to be a minimalist (minimal clothes, light weight equipment...). I don't know if your program requires you to carry that much, but you should be able to get your pack weight down. To quote my dh, "carrying a 50lb pack is brutal." But it is sometimes necessary as some of these outdoor programs are training you to be able to help carry someone else's supplies or trail maintenance supplies. Great that you have such a cool goal. Best to you as you prepare!

chaitea115
08-25-2013, 09:17 AM
My dh & dd love long distance hiking (did a 272 mile hike) and I follow a blog of a guy who has done the AT, PCT and other long hikes. So I've learned a few things about it even though I am only a day hiker. Getting in shape ahead of time is a great idea! Losing weight will help. Keep in mind that you will most likely lose weight on the trail. If it were me, I would focus most on muscle strength and go on lots of hikes (length and elevation) ahead of time. And as for the 50lb pack... a lot of serious long distance hikers don't carry that much, but you have to be a minimalist (minimal clothes, light weight equipment...). I don't know if your program requires you to carry that much, but you should be able to get your pack weight down. To quote my dh, "carrying a 50lb pack is brutal." But it is sometimes necessary as some of these outdoor programs are training you to be able to help carry someone else's supplies or trail maintenance supplies. Great that you have such a cool goal. Best to you as you prepare!

Yes, you're exactly right.... We have to carry a ton of gear and equipment. They do offer an ultralight backpacking trip but it's only for 14 days and I want to do a full month. I called and asked and it'd approx 50 lbs in your pack - and from what I have read online, you carry like bags of flour and sugar and staples like that to actually cook full meals - you don't eat freeze dried food so that adds alot of weight. I'm renting my backpack bc they require it to be min 95 L and there's no way I'd use that big of a size again (ridiculously large!) for a personal hike!

Mrs Snark
08-25-2013, 11:16 AM
50 pounds on your back is ALOT, that'd be the part I'd be most worried about and would train for. You're gonna wanna really strengthen your core. If you start training with your pack I think you're going to have no problem losing weight in the 10 month preceding your trip!

After carrying a 50lb pack all day I'm not gonna have the energy to make a meal with "staples", I'd want 5 candy bars and my sleeping bag, pronto. ;)

But it sounds like a very exciting trip!

Stay Puft
08-25-2013, 12:37 PM
That hike sounds amazing!

Don't worry about losing weight while building muscles. You aren't going to be bulking up. Doing weight training will burn calories and the muscles you build will burn more calories as well.

I'm going to be doing a mud run in 13 months so I'm looking at some similar training (except I don't have to carry a 50 lb pack thankfully). As Mrs Snark mentioned, strengthening your core is very important. Also don't forget your upper body.

I'm also going to be trying some yoga to increase my flexibility. I figure a strong core and some flexibility will help lessen the risk of injury.

Kscott
08-25-2013, 02:56 PM
I am a hiker in the rockies--love it. The best piece of advise I can give you--is because I have had friends that did about what you're talking about several years ago. Your hiking boots--make certain you buy 1 size larger than the shoe size you wear--because your feet are definitely going to swell. They didn't and the 3 day out--their feet were like raw hamburger.

If you can buy a pair now--and start getting them broken in all the better. Then I would plan on adding in some multi mile hikes right now--and continue until you start this class--so that your muscles are accustomed to hiking. For indoors Ellipticals work great for those that are planning on hitting the mountains.

EagleRiverDee
08-26-2013, 02:49 PM
Why a 50 lb pack? That's a monster.

I agree getting in shape in advance is a great idea. But you may also want to research the UL model of backpacking. I'm not UL by any means, but I carry a 25 lb pack for a weekend camp out and still have all the comforts I need. Unless you are going out for 10 days at a go without re-supply, I can't see why you'd ever need to carry 50 lbs. The newer materials like silnylon, carbon fiber, aircraft grade aluminum, cuben fiber, etc. mean you can get gear that is perfectly reliable AND light. Your back, hips, knees and feet will thank you if you do.

Some links that you might find helpful:
http://hikelight.com/assets/Ebook1.0.pdf
http://ultralightbackpackintips.blogspot.com/
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/what_a_scout_needs_for_backpacking_part_1.html#.Uh uUUJKNpy0
http://andrewskurka.com/how-to/
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/00034.html#.UhuUuZKNpy0

Good luck, by the way. I'm jealous. I would LOVE to do a long distance trip like that, and NOLS is a top-notch outfit.