A lot of clients ask me " What sort of pack weight will we be carrying on our tour?" Well it varies. On our Carnarvon Gorge and Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walks 8kg max but on our more remote and extended Tasmanian walks 16 - 20kg. So how do you prepare yourself to carry the heavier loads?
To obtain the strength to carry heavier loads follows one main fundamental principal - INCREASE LOAD OVER TIME. Doing repetative training walks with the same weight will not increase your strength.
Firstly, timing is important. You need to aim to get your legs, heart and lungs fit a couple of months before you go on your walk. If you run or cycle a lot, "thats great" but do it on hills and progressively find higher and steeper hills to tackle.
My advice, grab your pack, have a look at it. Is it big enough to carry the essential items + supplies? Is it the correct size for my back length? Is it adjusted correctly? Not sure - take it into your local outdoor shop and get it professionally fitted.
Now for the training -
From our gear list throw in about 5 kg and walk about 4km at least 3 times a week. Each walk increase your weight by 1 kg.
Taking into consideration the weight of your pack; for your 1st walk on week 2 your pack weight should be 12kg. Once again do 3 walks increasing your pack weight 1kg for each walk that you do.
Week 3 - Total pack weight 15kg. This is the average weight for the ladies but guys you can keep adding a bit more!
It's time to find some bigger and steeper hills. Ladies - remove 2kg of gear and add 3 x 1 litre bottles of water, get cracking up a hill (at least 1 - 2km climb), empty out the water at the top and walk back down (saves the knees). For the guys do the same but with more weight.
Week 4 - Repeat this process by increasing your load by a bottle of water each walk up to as heavy as you can handle.
Some tips: 1. Walk in the boots that you intend to walk in on your tour. 2. Place the water bottles in the middle of your pack and close to your back.