Just curious what you are using for training weight in your packs during the training season? Right now I am using our big tent which gives me a pack weight of about 44lbs. Wanna add to it but not sure what.
I wouldn't throw 100lbs in right off the bat, but I would add weight as the season gets closer. Doing some "real world" backpack weight training has been the key for me!
4-6 miles with 45-60 lbs 2 times a week
80 lbs intervals (hill training/short distance)
60 lb ascent lunges
40 lbs at 4 mph for 8-10 miles
I usually do 1 heavy day a week (80+lbs), but will occasionally exceed 100 if I'm feeling good. I would say that your upper end training # is going to depend on what you plan on carrying during the hunt.
If you think 120lb pack loads are in the cards, than I would at least do a dry run with that weight and see how it feels. I know that I hit loads that exceed the 100 lb range, so I will train with that amount, but I wouldn't suggest that unless you feel comfortable with that amount.
I train with 100-175 lbs in my pack, but I'm a very large individual and I have been training steady for over a year. I usually walk 2 miles with those loads. Going to up the distance to 4 miles come april, and then I'll start doing hills with them as well. I want my 50 lbs of gear to feel like a feather when I'm bivy hunting this year.
I tried it but I hate just packing needless weight. Instead I go on backpacking trips all spring/summer leading up to hunting season to get in shape. Usually 3-5 day endeavors in which my pack will be anywhere from 40-70 pounds depending on the style and goal of the trip. If pack rafting, that's another 10 pounds of gear and I might throw in some fishing gear or even a rifle as grizzly season is open all summer long in some parts on the state. That is extra weight worth taking, but to haul 100+ lbs for no reason I feel is of little use as I will save my knees for the heavier loads then.
For myself its right around 60# maybe a little more. And thats about 15# over my 8 day pack weight so like I said for me its not worth putting my body under load on regular basis. I used to train at heavy wieghts but recently have been thinking over the value of it and last year didnt go over the 65 mark and was just fine on a long, long heavy pack out tipping the scales aroud a 130 # on one trip and felt the same that I had any other year. Now with that being said, I do train all year running , lifting along with hill running. Now if a guy couldnt run or just didnt want to run whether it be distance, intervalls , sprints or mile repeats then I can see the true value. But still think there is better options then pushing the limits of your back for one of the smallest portions of the hunt...That is unless you get in and kill in your first 1 to 2 days. But that really is my openion and to each their own.