Spring is a beautiful time to go and explore mountains. Below are some of the best hiking tips from one of our avid users and outdoor adventurer, Brigid, on how she gets ready and puts in the work in the winter & spring to tackle big objectives, hikes and overnight trips over the summer.
Brigid has travelled the world, hiked the PCT, gone on countless backpacking adventures and has enjoyed the whole process!
The sun is out and the air is actually starting to feel warm again; that means it is time to get into shape for spring hiking! In order to avoid injury, it’s important to strengthen those hiking muscles along with increasing your cardio capacity. The following suggestions are methods that I personally use to get ready for spring/summer hiking.
Quad Strengthening – every time I brush my teeth I do either squats or wall sit. It is so simple, but that 2min twice daily really adds up! Remember, any strengthening workout should be supplemented with protein for a fast recovery!
Increase your backpack weight (slowly) – the backpack I bring with me on my after-work walks/hikes usually weighs around 10lbs. I’ll start adding extra water bottles in order to increase the weight – 500mL of water is approximately 1lb. By the end of spring I'm ready to carry 20-25lbs no problem.
Go for a bike ride – in order to prepare for lots of hiking, you want to work all the muscles without too much repetition or impact. Biking (stationary or road/mountain) is a great way to strengthen those leg muscles.
Hit the Hills – a great way to strengthen your muscles AND increase your cardio capabilities is to hike elevation. Try to find a trail or set of stairs that you can tackle, and slowly increase your backpack load.
In Bear country? Bring Bear spray and know how to use it. However, most of the time as long as you let the bears and other wild animals know where you are, they want nothing to do with you and they will get off the trail and let you pass. Your voice (not bear bells) is the best way to let them know that you are entering a forest, coming around a blind corner, hiking through dense bush, etc.
Slowly increase mileage – We manage to get our daily distance up to around 30km in the first week; the convenience of PROBAR MEAL Bars and BOLT helped us be more efficient on the trail! Too much too soon will lead to injury, be careful!
Follow Brigid and her next hiking trips here