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Backpacker's Health & Safety The Backpacker's Health & Safety forum is for the discussion of health and safety/survival issues that directly relate to backpackers.


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  #1  
Old 02-04-2010, 03:07 PM
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FatherTime66 FatherTime66 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Oregon
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Staying In Shape During The Off Season

I'm not a year-round backpacker. My preference is to hit the trail when the weather is moderately comfortable, say above 45 degrees. Rain doesn't bother me but cold does. So for me, November thru May in Oregon is usually "off season".

Are there others out there who share my weenie approach to Mother Nature, and if so, what do you do to stay in shape? I walk several miles every other day, but that's getting a little old, and exercise machines don't excite much either.

I would love to have some new options.
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2010, 03:44 PM
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WanderingWoodsman WanderingWoodsman is offline
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I follow a similar 3-season approach to hiking. I'm not one much for winter here in western Pennsylvania. As for staying in shape I do a good bit of walking and some strength training with free weights. Winter also happens to be my busiest season as far as work goes, and right now I'm struggling to keep up my modest workout routine.
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  #3  
Old 02-04-2010, 06:35 PM
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texasbb texasbb is offline
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Basketball at lunchtime three days/wk, plus "hiking" up our local Badger Mtn (1.4 miles each way, 860 ft vertical) with 50 lbs on my back two or three times/wk. 'Course, both of these are done outdoors, so I guess they wouldn't work if I had an aversion to cold.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:14 PM
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tonto tonto is offline
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Feeling The Urge

Being an Assistant Scoutmaster in central NC I get to "enjoy" the outdoors one weekend a month no matter what the weather conditions or temperature. We don't go out in December because of the holidays. I can't say I really ENJOY going out when it's really cold. I have slept on Mt Rogers, VA with the frost covering the ground and my bivy while I snoozed under a poncho shelter. I've learned to do it comfortably and most times even like it. In fact I can say the urge to be outdoors seems to build in me to the point I even look forward to my monthly time outside even if the forecast is crappy. I'm a carpenter by trade so I get plenty of exercise swinging hammers, climbing ladders, lugging wood, etc. Guys pay me to do my exercise routine & every day is different.

Last edited by tonto : 02-04-2010 at 07:17 PM.
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  #5  
Old 02-05-2010, 04:20 AM
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amac amac is offline
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I'm with you on the 3-season, thing. I like to take walks on local trails in the Winter (especially at midnight with a full-moon), but I'm too cheap to buy all the cold-wx gear I would need to go on an overnight backpacking trip. As far as staying in shape, I bought one of those old Nordic Track skier machines for $100. I was looking for a quality eliptical, but, alas, the "I'm too cheap" thing hit me again. I love the skier machine. It kind of mimics the stepping motion of hiking and gives an excellent aerobic workout. If you consider buying one, I understand that the older models from the original company are the ones to buy, they're built like tanks.
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  #6  
Old 02-05-2010, 10:49 AM
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Outdoor_Jim Outdoor_Jim is offline
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As much as I hate it, it's all treadmill and I use the incline during part of it. Feel like a gerbil on a wheel but there aren't many options.

As soon as the weather breaks, I'm on the bike with warm clothes.
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  #7  
Old 02-05-2010, 02:31 PM
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adventure_dog adventure_dog is offline
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I'm with Outdoor Jim: the gym gets to see my smiling face every morning during the week and then I squeeze in a bike ride, paddle or urban hike (sometimes ex-urban if the weather is cooperating) on the weekends if it's not too cold/wet.

I used to hate the gym but I found that the fitness pay off is tremendous. Plus, if you go to a well-equiped gym, there have been some interesting advancements in fitness machines and you're sure to find one or two to keep you entertained for an hour or so.

Consider joining a walking group in your city. I know a bunch of folks who meet up with different people throughout the week to put in a few miles around town to get some exercise and coffee. It makes it a little more entertaining than hoofing around by yourself.
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  #8  
Old 02-05-2010, 03:04 PM
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Mocs Mocs is offline
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I backpack some year round but I too do more trips in the spring and fall when the weather is nice. I run regularly 5-7 miles 4 times a week to stay in shape. When it is nice I run outside but in hot or cold weather I run on a treadmill at the YMCA.
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  #9  
Old 02-05-2010, 03:11 PM
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Grannyhiker Grannyhiker is offline
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I don't winter camp (hate the short days) so exercise-walk and occasionally dayhike during the winter. It gets harder every year to force myself to go out and walk when the east wind is roaring out of the Columbia River Gorge and/or the rain is coming down! But I have to--if nothing else for my dog! I do have an exercise bike for indoors, but that doesn't do much for the dog.

At least this El Nino year, snow levels are high so the Gorge trails are accessible to at least 3500 feet (so far--winter ain't over yet!). So unless the winds are howling, it can be quite pleasant out there. The past two years, snow levels seemed to stay at close to 1,000 ft. forever, and I got awfully tired of going around the same loop twice to get in enough mileage and elevation gain!
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  #10  
Old 02-05-2010, 06:07 PM
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richwads richwads is offline
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I pretty much let all the fitness go through the holidays, than about this time of year patch in a 2 mile walk 3-4 days a week to keep from totally turning to jello. In a month or so a weekend hilly hike of 3-4 miles will become pretty regular, then the backpacking trips kick in, starting short and working up during the summer.

Then it kinda goes downhill again the next winter , and starts over.

"For every thing there is a season . . ." as they say.
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