Pack Weight

maxx

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What do you load your pack up to when training for the hunting season.

My hunting here in Iowa is easy so I don't have to train very much for here. I stay in decent shape playing basketball and chasing kids around. I have been walking 2 miles up and down the hill in my back yard for the last few weeks several times a week.

I am going to add a pack tomorrow that is 20 some pounds.
 

jryoung

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Unable to determine due to velocity
I've discovered that a heavy gauge extension cord is a great pack weight item. It's heavy, malleable and can distribute weight throughout the pack evenly as opposed to adding a heavy very dense item.
 

MinnesotaHunter

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I would say it depends alot with what shape you are in now and how much experience you have hauling a load on your back.

I have spent a significant amount of time under a ruck with a heavy load, so I train for the season with 2x45lb kettlebells (plus an old sleeping bag to buffer the load + the weight of my pack ~8lbs), but this certainly isn't what I would reccomend for everyone.

Start with 20 and see how you feel. Anything is going to start building the supporting muscles in your core and legs, and as you progress add weight/incline/distance/uneveness to your walks.
 

Muskeez

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I usually put an old sleeping bag in the bottom, or several blankets. Then I add weight in the form of boat anchors, mini dumb-bells, and even water bottles. More blankets around these items gives it better shape and something to cinch the pack straps down around.
 
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My person opinion is that the only adequate training for packs and being out west while living on flat ground is running. Do some hikes to make sure you pack fits and works, but doing regular runs is the only way to prepare. I've watched too many people who were doing a 2 mile loop on crushed lime paths with their pack hope for death in the mountains.
 

RobG

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I would say it depends alot with what shape you are in now and how much experience you have hauling a load on your back.

I have spent a significant amount of time under a ruck with a heavy load, so I train for the season with 2x45lb kettlebells (plus an old sleeping bag to buffer the load + the weight of my pack ~8lbs), but this certainly isn't what I would reccomend for everyone.

Start with 20 and see how you feel. Anything is going to start building the supporting muscles in your core and legs, and as you progress add weight/incline/distance/uneveness to your walks.
98 pounds? UR a bad-ass :D. I take 30# up past the M several times a week. This is about 1200' in 30 minutes. I'm comfortable with that weight and wouldn't do anything too strenuous on a regular schedule to avoid injury which would really mess up the season. Kind of like marathon runners not running marathons every day to train.
 

npaden

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One option that I've heard people using is water jugs. Going downhill with heavy weight can be hard on your knees, so they carry up a bunch of water in the jugs, dump some of the water out at the top and then head back downhill with a lighter load.
 

maxx

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This year I am trying to just stay in somewhat shape. I can hunt whitetails from a stand in pretty pour shape. I am doing it for overall health as much as anything.

My back yard is far from flat. I go up and down the hill 6 times which equates to 2 miles. I think my fitbit says 20 some flights of stairs.
 

MinnesotaHunter

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My person opinion is that the only adequate training for packs and being out west while living on flat ground is running. Do some hikes to make sure you pack fits and works, but doing regular runs is the only way to prepare. I've watched too many people who were doing a 2 mile loop on crushed lime paths with their pack hope for death in the mountains.

I am not sure I agree with this, why would you limit your self to one form of exercise? Certainly, just walking is not enough, but I think the best bet is a mix of both. If you don't ever condition your core, you stand a much higher risk of back injury once you put a load on. The benefit of walking with a pack overall conditioning, not cardio.

Ideally, I think a hunter should spend some time lifting weights, running, and rucking with a load. If I had some elevation to train on, I would definately reduce the weight I carry and incorporate more climbing.
 

RobG

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I am not sure I agree with this, why would you limit your self to one form of exercise? Certainly, just walking is not enough, but I think the best bet is a mix of both. If you don't ever condition your core, you stand a much higher risk of back injury once you put a load on. The benefit of walking with a pack overall conditioning, not cardio.

Ideally, I think a hunter should spend some time lifting weights, running, and rucking with a load. If I had some elevation to train on, I would definately reduce the weight I carry and incorporate more climbing.
I tend to agree, the extra weight also conditions your hips. That's where I feel it the most when carrying a load for any distance.

Also consider doing pullups while having your kid beat you with a broomstick ;)
 

TimeOnTarget

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I like you, live fairly flat terrain so I load up heavy trying simulate what I will experience at elevation. This week I've been doing 4 miles with anywhere from 70lb to 130lbs of dumb bells in the pack.
 

Bambistew

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One option that I've heard people using is water jugs. Going downhill with heavy weight can be hard on your knees, so they carry up a bunch of water in the jugs, dump some of the water out at the top and then head back downhill with a lighter load.

This is similar to what I do... 'cept its usually a 24pack.

I don't train with a lot of weight, packing an animal is only a small part of the overall hike/hunt so training with a load that simulates half an elk is pretty foolish considering the increased risk of hurting yourself before a big hunt. Also I'd rather make two trips than one monster load for the same reason if the terrain sucks.

Training with 40-60lbs is enough for me. Hiking/walking as much as you possibly can, helps a bunch. Doesn't nececarrily have to be in the mountains, but it helps. Running stairs will also help a bunch. My shoulders and knees usually hurt way before my legs. Being mentally prepared is far and away the biggest thing you can do for preparation of a big hunt. DON'T GIVE UP, and DON'T MAKE EXCUSES! I might be slower than some, but I still go the distance, every time.
 
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I am not sure I agree with this, why would you limit your self to one form of exercise? Certainly, just walking is not enough, but I think the best bet is a mix of both. If you don't ever condition your core, you stand a much higher risk of back injury once you put a load on. The benefit of walking with a pack overall conditioning, not cardio.

Ideally, I think a hunter should spend some time lifting weights, running, and rucking with a load. If I had some elevation to train on, I would definately reduce the weight I carry and incorporate more climbing.

I certainly don't think you should limit yourself to one mode of exercise, but running the most accessible and time efficient way to get into shape. Running has the highest calorie burn, is weight bearing (unlike swimming and biking) and will build the same muscles as carrying a pack.

The problem most people have is they lack intensity in their cardio workouts and once you add altitude to the equation "conditioning yourself" to wearing a pack at 700 ft above sea level doesn't mean anything once you can no longer support the oxygen demands of your body. Hunting is more or less 100% an aerobic activity when you look at it from the prospective of energy systems (ATP, Lactic Acid, Aerobic) save for a handful of short exertions like rolling over an elk or any brief heavy lifting.

The point is a hunter should be training more like a cross country runner than a football player. How many people people on this board had their hunt ruined because they couldn't do a short lifting based exertion and how many had their hunt ruined because they were huffing and puffing up the hill and missed an opportunity or had to turn around completely?

Walking with a pack maybe a valid exercise if you can walk out your backdoor in Montana up 3k feet of elevation, but it doesn't hold water at lower elevations because people won't push themselves hard enough to get their heart rates up to 85% of max.

Lifting is great and has a lot of benefits like greater strength, coordination and more calorie burn from more muscle mass. But when you look at it from a hunting prospective it isn't the best use of time compared to running.
 

twsnow18

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Hit the stairmaster with weight in your pack. At least as much as your day gear. It's as applicable as it gets, if you don't live near any trails/hills.
 

1_pointer

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Being mentally prepared is far and away the biggest thing you can do for preparation of a big hunt. DON'T GIVE UP, and DON'T MAKE EXCUSES! I might be slower than some, but I still go the distance, every time.
A whole metric ton of wisdom in these two sentences. This is the part I struggle with the most. My brain/attitude will often give out way before my body. A pard, who's very successful at punching tags, has shown me that.

One thing I've found high intensity weight circuits to do for me is cut down on the amount of time I need to recover. Though I get out of shape walking around the block, it doesn't take me nearly as long to be ready to go again.
 

TimeOnTarget

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A whole metric ton of wisdom in these two sentences. This is the part I struggle with the most. My brain/attitude will often give out way before my body. A pard, who's very successful at punching tags, has shown me that.

One thing I've found high intensity weight circuits to do for me is cut down on the amount of time I need to recover. Though I get out of shape walking around the block, it doesn't take me nearly as long to be ready to go again.

I agree. Muscle doesn't know the word can't. Only the brain knows that word.
 
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