September 21, 2021, 05:45:13 PM

Author Topic: Exercise Levels  (Read 3395 times)

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Offline Bwise903

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Exercise Levels
« on: December 28, 2020, 02:26:27 PM »
Quick question for you all,


As a new hunter to the west, I am curious to understand what fitness level you should be at for a backpack hunt.


I currently am 259, looking to drop 25-35#'s by september. the weight loss in of itself should help, but i am looking for guidance on what my fitness level should be. running a 5k without stopping? running it in x amount of time? Being able to walk x miles with x weight? Are there any other gates that you measure your readiness by?


I have lost 20# in the past 3 months, so I hope I am on my way to success, but if there are other benchmarks I should be going after, will be helpful. I have browsed the forum and found some, but wanted to look for more.

Offline cohunter14

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Re: Exercise Levels
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2020, 08:18:13 AM »

I don't know that there are necessarily benchmarks, but I'd say a lot depends on where you are hunting, how you plan on hunting it, and also if you are coming from lower elevations or not. For instance, if you are planning on hunting an area where you are going to be going 3+ miles in every day (and then 3+ miles out), with 1,500 feet of elevation gain in an area that is 10k-11k feet above sea level, and you are coming from sea level, you are going to need to be in way better shape than someone who lives at 5,000 feet, hunts at 8,000 feet, and is only walking 2-4 miles a day in relatively flat ground.


So, start by assessing yourself and your hunt. What elevation do you live at and what elevation are you going to? You say you are doing a backpack hunt. How far in are you going? Are you going to carry camp on your back every day or are you going to drop camp somewhere and hunt from there?


You don't have to be a marathon runner to hunt elk, but you do need to be in at least somewhat decent shape, especially if you are backpacking in. Your most important factor, at least in my opinion,
if you are backpacking in
will be leg and core strength. It won't matter if you can run a 5k in under 18 minutes if your legs, hips, or back start killing you a mile into your hike with the weight of camp on your back. In addition to trying to add strength to your legs, I would definitely do some hiking with your pack if you can. Load it up with some weight to simulate brining your camp in and make sure you'll be able to carry it to camp. Then add more weight to simulate an elk quarter on your back and make sure you'll be able to haul it out. Keep in mind that doing this at 500 feet of altitude on a flat street is very different than doing it at 8,000 or 10,000 feet and hiking up a mountain. So try to find a hill or use stadium stairs to simulate things.


One thing to keep in mind: your biggest obstacle, if you are backpacking in, isn't going to be getting your camp packed in. It's also not going to be how far you can hunt each day from that camp. It will be if you happen to shoot an elk and finding a way to get that elk out safely while not letting any of the meat spoil. So be realistic with your prep work and with your plans. The last thing you want to do is shoot an elk six miles in when it's 70 degrees out and be so worn out that you can't get it back to your truck in time.


It sounds like you are on the right track for sure though. Keep it up with the weight loss - remember that every pound you lose is one pound less that you have to haul around the mountains! Good luck!

Offline wl704

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Re: Exercise Levels
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2021, 02:40:49 PM »


Quick question for you all,


As a new hunter to the west, I am curious to understand what fitness level you should be at for a backpack hunt.


I currently am 259, looking to drop 25-35#'s by september. the weight loss in of itself should help, but i am looking for guidance on what my fitness level should be. running a 5k without stopping? running it in x amount of time? Being able to walk x miles with x weight? Are there any other gates that you measure your readiness by?


I have lost 20# in the past 3 months, so I hope I am on my way to success, but if there are other benchmarks I should be going after, will be helpful. I have browsed the forum and found some, but wanted to look for more.

Congrats on the weight loss! And welcome! IMHO, you can never be in too good shape*, but endurance and cardio are the two things that I find help me most.

5 years ago, I was around 240, but dropped about 60, walking, jogging but switched to elliptical (less impact) and backpacking with weight. I'll do either about 100minutes walk most days of the week or backpacking one day, adding weight through the season.

Cardio seems to help me with elevation in the Rockies, since I'm a flatlander.

Building endurance allows me to hunt all day roaming the mountains... With one day last year over 20 miles and a lot of elevation (gain and loss).

Past couple years, when we're not pandemic-ing, I've added Hiit, Tabata sets and stationary bike classes at the Y, to mix things up a bit.

My boys and I also do a big hike (3 day) weekend now (somewhere between memorial day and the fourth of July) on the AT as a gear shakedown and readiness check.

Offline steelheadboy

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Exercise Elk Hunting
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2021, 10:01:42 AM »
At present I walk daily for 4.5 miles at 3.0 mph over a pretty flat route as measured by a pedometer. I also sprinkle in long bike rides @12-14 MPH, weather allowing throughout the year. Due to Covid restrictions (no gym open) I have put together a home workout set up; kettle balls, free weights and bands. I believe I can maintain a solid basic fitness level using this strategy.


Several years ago my hunting partner and I had a drop camp tent 3rd season OTC at 11,000 ft in CO. Hunted up to 12,000 ft. No special physical preparation. We were there 9 days. Never hunted CO in the past. Killed a nice 5 point. My home in Coastal NC is at 11 ft elevation.


We were both near 65 at the time.


MY go-to exercises for strength building for elk hunting are: pulls ups, chin ups, and farmers carries.
Eat and exercise as if your life depended on it.....

Offline Bwise903

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Re: Exercise Levels
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2021, 01:57:11 PM »
All good info everyone. I have been doing HIIT for about 3 months now so i am hoping that helps as a flatlander.


I ran a few 5k's already this year. Looking for more ways to add elevations into my day to day. I told my wife that we are going to head up to sleeping bear dunes this summer and plan to run the sand hills as a training method.



 

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