Backpack Training...

moeleo

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Dec 10, 2016
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Pittsburgh PA
Not sure if this should go here or in fitness and training but I got my Kifaru pack a few weeks ago and have already put it to use training and getting ready for September. My question is how do you guys all use your packs to train? How heavy have you loaded yours and what do you load them with? I want to really start pushing mine to see what it will handle. I know I read Aron Snyder and one other person packed an entire elk out 9 miles in one trip. Just curious what y'all put your packs through. Doesn't have to be brand specific, if it fits you and feels right then it's a good pack! Also just looking for tips or tricks on hauling really heavy loads in excess of 100+ lbs. here is how I've used mine so far.
5c935221db06b7ae97d635a7ea4abfe0.jpg


Not sure how to upload videos but we did about a 45 minute hill repeat workout with 90 lbs that consisted of sprints, reverse sprints, lateral hip movements, and bear crawls up a pretty steep hill.


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NevadaZielmeister

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Dec 29, 2016
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Reno, NV
That is a cool picture of those two weights.

I was just curious, but why not load your pack the way you would actually use it. I like the idea of using two 45 pound plates, but I have never seen meat look like that before. Maybe you could also pack out the rest of your gear on top of the weights and/or bags of rice/sand to give you a complete feel for the hike. Just my two cents.
 

flatlanderhuffandpuff

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PA
I use bags of solar salt. For most of my "training" hikes I take just one bag and some food and water and figure its about 50 lbs total. If I am doing a "pack out" hike I'll take 2 bags and add some random extra weight to make it around 90-100 lbs.

I would suggest you try to simulate the volume and weight distribution you will see in the field. Those plates are keeping the weight tight to your back, a normal load will be much higher profile which will be noticeable.
 
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moeleo

moeleo

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I completely agree with load it like I would use it. Unfortunately, I hung stands a couple days prior to taking this pic. I use my pack with the cargo net to haul out stands and sticks. It was in my jeep and I wanted to do something with my pack that evening at the gym. So plates just happen to be what got strapped to it. I'll be doing much more with it now as I'm getting more comfortable with the pack and how it fits me and how I like to have the straps and distribute the weight. I plan on tomorrow actually doing another 6-7 mile hike with about
60-70 lbs. when I have time I load it up with gear and for extra weight I try to use dumbells wrapped in extra clothing. That's what I did at the gritty hike a couple weeks ago and I did notice a difference. Though not as much weight only having about 60 lbs in it that morning. I just love the fact of doing this style of functional work with the pack to make me better and more comfortable. Thank you for your replies!!!


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justinspicher

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That is a cool picture of those two weights.

I was just curious, but why not load your pack the way you would actually use it. I like the idea of using two 45 pound plates, but I have never seen meat look like that before. Maybe you could also pack out the rest of your gear on top of the weights and/or bags of rice/sand to give you a complete feel for the hike. Just my two cents.

This was my/is my thought process also. I don't really see the point in carry more weight than I have on a hunt or in training. That's just me though.
 

muddydogs

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May 3, 2017
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Utah
I carry my hunting weight in my pack plus ten pounds, why 10 extra pounds you may ask, well for the first couple minutes of the hunt it actually feels light with just my hunting weight which makes me feel better I guess. I use my normal hunting gear for weight, my pack stays set up for hunting year around and its nice to be able to fine tune your load placement as you hike around in the summer.

As a guy that carried 80+ pounds on his back almost everyday for 4 months for a couple summers I hate to tell you there is no getting used to it as that much weight is just heavy. Waist belts and shoulder straps are going to dig into your body and there's not much you can do about it as there supporting a lot of weight in a small area. I don't train with these kind of loads as I don't see the need to put my body through the wear and tear. Carry a lighter pack and work on your leg muscles in the off season and you'll be ready for the couple pack out trips needed if you happen to get lucky.
 

ElkNut1

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Feb 25, 2012
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Idaho
I start with 35# & end up with 50# by Aug.I do this about 4 months prior to the elk opener. I carry the weighted pack 4 days a week for aprox 1-3 miles on each venture, it all depends on the weather & how I feel that day. I haven't seen the need for heavier pack weights for training purposes as I'm just conditioning myself for the upcoming season. This type training along with a weight lifting routine aids me in carrying 100# loads with no sore muscles afterwards in packing elk out. I used to do the heavier training loads as well but realized it wasn't necessary for me so down sized them, glad I did! (grin) With over 140 elk & deer packouts this works well for me, still going strong at 62 & 150# -- Thanks to my Exo Pack, this thing is amazing!

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napeequa55

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Feb 28, 2016
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I train with a 50-lbs bag of gravel pothole filler in my pack.

I walk a three mile loop, mixing in lunges, and then do a stairs routine.

May end up going heavier as season draws closer, just as needed to keep it challenging.


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Kotaman

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Oct 12, 2012
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North Dakota
I no longer train with heavy weight. Too hard on my aging body. Most of the year I'll have my "daypack mode" load in and once every couple weeks load it up with 45-50 lbs. I've never had a problem carrying a heavy load when I have to. (100 lbs or more) Usually the adrenalin of a hunt allows me to carry about anything when I have to. Usually the heavy load is only one or two hikes per hunt, so I don't worry about it. No way can my joints/knees handle carrying weight everyday on training hikes.
 

WV Mountaineer

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Oct 2, 2016
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West Virginia
I've actually backed down in the last two weeks. I had pushed back up between 80-90 pounds depending on water and accessories carried. Now, I stick to 100 pound sand bags filled a 1/3 and a .25 the way, in my load shelf with my pack loaded like I hunt. It comes in around 65 pounds. But, I'm thinking I'm going to drop one of the sandbags next week. Just too much wear and tear on my knees to do this nearly every day that heavy. I can walk forever loaded or unloaded so, mission accomplished.


Here's a tip. Synthetic sandbags work great to simulate meat. They are cheap and durable. You can buy 10 for $10. Put sand in them and roll. Each bag filled a third or so is going to be 30 or 35 pounds dry. You can increase the weight of each bag by simply soaking it in a bucket. A bag that weighs 30 gets close to 40. so you don't need to make up a bunch of bags. Plus, you can use them for rifle rests when not using them in your pack. Just duct tape them good. God Bless
 

Daniel_M

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Jan 17, 2013
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Wasilla, Alaska
40# bag of water softener salt (large pellet) on the load shelf and a sleeping bag and 3L of water in the bag for volume. 61# even. 5-6 miles a few nights a week with lunges and getting up off the ground. Weekends I drag my pack out camping and get up in the elevation or hike a 5.5 mile RT area with 1800ft gain.
 

FlyGuy

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Aug 13, 2016
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The Woodlands, TX
I've got a rogue training sandbag that I use in mine. Feels more "natural" than lead weights that I was using before. Pack is 72lbs, which is as high as I want to go for training purposes. IMO, anything more than that is just an invitation for injury, and that's the last thing I need with < 90 days until my hunt. I use this about one day a week right now, either on a hike or on the stairmaster at the local Y. Plan to mix this in more frequently over the coming weeks, but also doing Xfit 3 days/week and fairly long runs (7-11 mi) 2 days/week. Trying to get another 8-10 lbs off before September!

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mrbillbrown

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Dec 26, 2013
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Edmond, OK
Anybody worried about keeping "hunting gear" stored compressed in your training pack year round? It was my impression you need to leave things uncompressed and not squished into weird places until you need to pack it for a trip. I'd hate to trim with expensive gear all year long to find out it's not up to a Backcountry hunt come game time.

I've always used sand or kitty litter as a weight in my pack because it's cheap and if I had to dump it I'm not losing anything expensive or hurting the environment.
 

Where's Bruce?

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Sep 22, 2013
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I throw water bottles in mine and slowly increase the weight weekly. I want to be able to go up and down the local hills at a 4mph pace for 5 consecutive miles. Pack starts at 30lbs and ends are 75-80.
 

napeequa55

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Feb 28, 2016
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I don't train with my hunting gear in my pack because I don't want to leave it all in my car. If a crook is going to carry off my pack he's going to be carrrying sand, not hundreds worth of outdoor gear.


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justinspicher

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I don't train specifically with my hunting gear either. Now that I have a seasonal job that requires me to hike for work I get all cardio and backpack training I need.
 
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moeleo

moeleo

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I don't train specifically with my hunting gear either. Now that I have a seasonal job that requires me to hike for work I get all cardio and backpack training I need.

I would love to have a job that I got to hike!! Killing two birds with one stone!


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Jimss

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Mar 6, 2015
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Training as close to conditions that are similar to where you'll be hunting would likely be the best. If you can possibly do a lot of hiking at the same elevation, slopes, topography (rocky hillsides), etc will get you primed and ready. It will not only get your legs and lungs in shape but also your feet, back, and ankles. I hike a lot every day at work so stay pretty much in great year-round shape. You may also start getting used to using trekking poles on the same steep slopes you will be hunting on. I first thought trekking poles were for wimps but they are a life-saver on steep, rocky terrain...especially when packing hefty/bulky loads. There is an art to using trekking poles correctly (cadence, pole height, strap use, etc). If you can do fun activities while hiking/packing it will make things a lot more enjoyable (fishing, backpacking, shed hunting, scouting, etc).
 

justinspicher

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I would love to have a job that I got to hike!! Killing two birds with one stone!


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The best part is that it's all for low pay and completely manual labor. I lost almost 30lb last summer and covered nearly 250 miles between 9-11k in elevation. Came back for a second season. I'm also able to do quite a bit of scouting while I'm out working as well.
 
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