Preparing for an elk hunt

Logan Suhrbier

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Jul 6, 2020
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Been preparing for an elk hunt in Idaho during October. Been doing a lot of runs, a few hikes with 50-60 lbs increasing distance (4 miles so far), and HIIT workouts nightly. I live in a very flat midwestern state. Any other things or advice on what I should be doing?
 

Nimrod85

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Jul 12, 2020
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Keep doing tons of cardio. Make sure you're getting some kind of hill or incline training in. That's what's going to kill you. I'm from Montana but when I lived in the midwest I ran a lot of stairs to get ready for when I came home. It worked okay, but the altitude is always going to make a difference too--especially the first few days.
 

Farmerlentz

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Jun 29, 2018
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Be mentally ready for it to suck. Especially if you have to pack something out a couple of miles. Keep up the back pack cardio and find hills, stairs or bleachers if you can. Good luck 👍
 
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Logan Suhrbier

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Thanks guys. I spent a few years in the Corps in an infantry unit, so long hikes and mentally sucking are something I grew accustomed to. I know the mountains are a different beast, and it's just prepare to the best of your abilities and it will suck less, which is what any of us can hope for.
 

Gearqueer

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Mar 17, 2019
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Been preparing for an elk hunt in Idaho during October. Been doing a lot of runs, a few hikes with 50-60 lbs increasing distance (4 miles so far), and HIIT workouts nightly. I live in a very flat midwestern state. Any other things or advice on what I should be doing?

I think you’re on the right track. Let us know how it goes after the hunt. Semper Fi and good luck.


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mad_angler

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Thanks guys. I spent a few years in the Corps in an infantry unit, so long hikes and mentally sucking are something I grew accustomed to. I know the mountains are a different beast, and it's just prepare to the best of your abilities and it will suck less, which is what any of us can hope for.
Thank you for your service.

Mental is way more important. With your Corps training, you'll be fine.

I've been moose hunting with a military guy. He didn't really train all that much before the hunt but just kept going and was way tougher than us.

One example, we got in late after a long day in the rain, we were very tired and just crashed. But he took the time to organize his gear and dry his rifle. He said "if you don't take of your gear, it won't take care of you".

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K_pem

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Weighted step ups, pistol squats, split squats, lunges, single leg RDL, hip ab/adduction work, pretty much any unilateral weighted exercises will drastically help you when carrying extra weight. Focus some time on eccentric work specifically to help develop the muscular capacity for downhill work. I'd add in some core work and weighted

I would not neglect cardio to accomplish these things, but even 1-2 days of decent lifting can drastically improve performance in the mountains with weight on your back.
 

MMOATSY

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Jul 13, 2020
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Great info guys, I also have been looking at this stuff. Pretty hard when you live in an area that’s only about 1200ft lol!!


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fatlander

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Find the STEEPEST (not biggest) hill around. Put 30-50 pounds in you pack and put your hunting boots on. Go up and down it. Strength training has its place, but NOTHING prepares you for walking up and down steep hills under weight better than walking up and down steep hills under weight.


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shredder97

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Jun 8, 2020
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Dragging a tire with a harness or pack belt will do a good job of simulating an incline. Amazing cardio
 

Termite

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Aug 15, 2020
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I find that you can train a ton but the altitude always gets me for the first few days. That's me coming from 700 or so feet above sea level, going to usually 7k+. Check out this write up on what altitude does to your body. Makes me want to go to Colorado right now!!!

 

Fallow120

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Dec 28, 2020
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How much elevation change do you think is average in a single day on the mountain? Train to be able to double it at a jog. Then you might be prepared.
The elevation is the real struggle out there. What you can jog at a lower elevation, you can probably walk/hike at a higher elevation. Try to keep the pack on too.

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TJNM

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Jan 10, 2021
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Most flatlanders i encounter in the hills get wiped out by altitude. There's not much in the way of training is gonna help with that. Acclimatization a couple days ahead of actually hiking will really help. I like to sleep at higher elevation for at least a night. Proper hydration will also help some.
 

Cmirly

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I didn't even think about having a nights sleep at elevation... im going to be training for my first elk hunt this year also but that would make sense about the nights sleep I guess
 

Newtosavage

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In someone's favorite spot
Dragging a tire with a harness or pack belt will do a good job of simulating an incline. Amazing cardio
Running stadium bleachers will do an even better job.

Nearly every high school has a free outdoor gym that will get you in the best shape possible for the mountains. After my 1st year of elk hunting I learned the value of running bleachers. I don't think there is anything better for prepping your legs and lungs at the same time.
 

Will_m

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Jul 7, 2015
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Just drink heavily the night before working out. Over time your body will become accustomed to feeling like its straddling the precipice of life. Then quit drinking a couple weeks before your hunt. You'll feel so good you won't even notice the elevation or fatigue!
 

rkcdvm

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Lots of hills in your boots . I tend to struggle more on the downhill than the uphill (knees.)
 
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