Alpine Adventure Training Requirements

Hello to All,

With the trip to Camp Tahosa here before we know it, it is time to start planning and training for our back packing adventure. Below I have out lined a few things that should be and in some cases must be done before we embark on the trip to insure that everyone is safe and happy for the week.

Each of you qualify to go on the trip based upon age and scouting experience. With that said each of you should know that this backpacking trip while a great experience is also fairly physically demanding. It is wise to start training and working your way up to carrying the load at high altitude. In general, your body will need to work 30% harder at everything including sleeping then where we live at sea level. Additionally, you will be carrying food as well as group gear for 5 full days including 15 meals and snacks. This load will be heaviest in the first 2 days while we are going up hill and lightest the last days when going down hill.

The absolute best way to start training is to go for walks up and down hills with your pack on carrying a minimum of 25% of your body weight in the pack. So for those that weight 210 pounds, like me, that means going for a walk with a pack that weights at least 52+ pounds. The reason for carrying 25% of your weight is that it will train you to carry 20% at high altitude which is a normal long distance pack weight assuming the minimum of gear, cloths , food and water are carried. All scouts and adults will have to carry a pack weighting 20% at high altitude for the 5 days. It is recommended that each of you get into the habit of walking at least 10+ miles a week with weight on you back.

I strongly urge each person to start training so that when we hit the trail we can complete the distance otherwise we will need to turn back. Recommended additional training should include core exercises like sit ups, push ups, Pilates 100, sand bag/dumb bell squats, swings and dead lifts. These core exercises will help strengthen your vertical and lateral muscles avoiding common injuries when back packing. It is best to do 2 sets of 30 for each exercise at least 4 times per week.

Lastly, for any of you who may be overweight like me now is a good time to consider reducing some of the extra weight. My goal is to get down below 200 before the trip that way I can carry less weight in general as well as that 10+ pounds I hope to shed.

For those who have not taken the physical fitness merit badge, Mr. Bedard should be contacted as it is a great time to get that badge done as the training will serve two purposes.

There will be two required long distance hiking/backpacking events to help get the group into shape. Yes that includes me also.

March 29th Troop Hike – The High Adventure Crew should plan on going on this trip and must bring a full back pack weighting 25% of their weight. If it does not weight that much we will add rocks to the pack to get the weight up there. Please bring plenty of water also. I would like all High Adventure Crew members on this trip if possible.

May 3 & 4th – The troop backpacking trip will have two groups, adult leadership permitting, so that the High Adventure Crew can get 20 miles under it belt in 2 days. This is a must attend event for all High Adventure Crew members no exceptions. If there is an issue attending this trip please contact me immediately. As with all troop outings, be sure to turn in your permission slip at the previous troop meetings to allow us to properly plan and coordinate the required transportation.

If for some reason someone can not make the March 29th hike, we will have another group hike during the bike trip in June.

Lastly, at this week’s meeting we will meet for a short period to review the above, have a weigh-in so we can define pack weights for the following hike. Additionally, over the next month I will send out e-mails on recommended personnel gear to pack along with an initial list of group gear that we will be packing. The trip on May 3 & 4 is a full shake down trip to get everyone organized and focused on training for the summer trip.

Backpacking along the continental divide will be a magnificent experience and one which I am sure all will remember and tell many about. The key to having a fantastic experience resides in the basic scouting phrase “Be Prepared” with your help we will be prepared to fully enjoy the experience of a life time high in the mountains where few dare go but the adventurous.

Peter Lanciano

PS. Younger scouts and adults that are attending the Tahosa Eagle Point program must also get in shape. While you don’t have to pile rocks in your backpacks like our Alpine Adventure scouts, you should also begin training, and make every effort to attend the troop’s Mar/May/June adventure trips. Working on the Personal Fitness Merit Badge is also a fine way to get in shape.