Backcountry activities as a fitness plan

8:47 a.m. on March 12, 2011 (EST)
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135 forum posts

In the past few weeks I've started to vamp up a workout regimen so that I can have a better time doing all of the backcountry activities that I like (hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, rock climbing). During one of my workouts I started thinking about how when I work out with all of these activities in mind I tend to stick with working out over the long haul and I also get out into the backcountry more often.  Has any one else noticed that backcountry activities not only are good at keeping us in shape but also serve as good motivators to improve our fitness?

7:27 p.m. on March 12, 2011 (EST)
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4 forum posts

I regluarly include hiking into my fitness regime.  I love doing a variety of things including mountain biking, swimming, and hiking with heavy packs on local bike trails to prepare for a backpacking trip.  Youll work muscles you never knew you had.

1:25 p.m. on March 13, 2011 (EDT)
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623 forum posts

the best way to train for a sport is to do that sport. This is true for anything whether it be biking, hiking, mountaineering, or basketball. 


I played collegiate basketball and I was always amazed that despite training hard, running often, and lifting, when I would get back into scrimmaging before the season I would be sucking wind - the lateral movement and stop and go style of exercise basketball uses just can't be easily duplicated unless you're actually playing.


Doing those activities will be good to keep your motivation levels high. As you said, if you are doing them out of shape, you will be motivated to get in shape so you can do them more easily. But also, if you do the same type of workout day after day you might get bored. By doing something you love as a method of getting exercise, you're more likely to stick with it.

7:35 p.m. on March 13, 2011 (EDT)
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2,993 forum posts

Cycle to get into shpe to backcountry ski, ski to stay in shape to cycle, its a (not so) vicious cycle.


6:10 a.m. on March 15, 2011 (EDT)
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135 forum posts

I just want to clarify that I wasn't really looking for tips on exercising for the backcountry.  I was just wondering if anybody else noticed that having a passion for the backcountry kind of pushes one towards having a healthier lifestyle ... regardless of their fitness level before finding that passion.

4:58 p.m. on March 15, 2011 (EDT)
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2,993 forum posts

Yes, if you want to enjoy it more.  You can never be in "good" enough shape to say I am content with the way I feel after muling a pack over hill and dale.  Better fitness equates to less suffering, and more itinerary options.  That's the motivation.


9:06 p.m. on March 16, 2011 (EDT)
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155 forum posts

Yes, yes and yes.

A year and a half ago, I decided to get back into backpacking. But I was extremely overweight. I lost 30 pounds last year because I wanted to be able to backpack better. I got into mountain biking. Just a few weeks ago, I started trail running.

I'm still overweight, and I have about 30 more pounds to take off. But it motivates the hell out of me to take it off. Nothing else ever has.

Just a few weeks ago, I met up with some great guys here on the forum and did a 12-mile hike. Two months ago, I climbed 3,000 feet through snow that ended up being three foot snowdrifts.

I wouldn't have been able to do that a year ago. And I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything else in the world.

Well the only other thing would be the experiences with my kids. Which is the other motivation. I want to be healthy enough to take them on the trail.

9:59 p.m. on March 16, 2011 (EDT)
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3,956 forum posts

A solid yes from me too.


7:54 p.m. on May 2, 2011 (EDT)
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11 forum posts

Rocklion - Keep after it!  That's cool.  

5:34 p.m. on May 3, 2011 (EDT)
280 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

Also take and use a heart rate monitor to keep yourself honest and in the fitness, improving, zone.

June 23, 2018
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