Author Topic: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?  (Read 14098 times)

Offline Antman

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Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« on: March 03, 2012, 04:37:44 PM »
Howdy all,

A little background on myself. Mid forties, average fitness level, in no way overweight. In my thirties I started running again and managed to run and finish several road marathons, many trail races and even a 50k trail race. I re-enlisted in the military after 9/11 and a 13 year break in service. After that my running moved from the forefront, but I still trained hard ( the Infantry will do that! ). Well it has been a few years since I really have been training much, and realized after carrying gear into by BOL in the snow last weekend that I gotta get at it again.

Like all our other preps, you can't train after the fact when you need it. Stresses and difficulties are much easy to manage when your not sucking wind and unable to think straight after strenuous activity. Train hard, fight easy, as we said in the infantry.

So tomorrow, not just walking the dogs and going to work for me. Going to starting running a bit and basic body weight training. I don't agree with the fitness for looks idea, but strive for the best strength to weight ratio.  And remember "Rule Number One- Cardio!"

So where do you place it on your prep list and what are you doing for improvement?

Offline liftsboxes

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2012, 04:47:13 PM »
I'm a fan of combining strength training with a lot of walking.  I go hard on the uphill slopes and easy on the down side (old football knees).  In the warmer weather I also do some weekly canoe/kayaking/swimming.

Offline rustyknife

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2012, 05:19:35 PM »
I rank it at the top. I like to go hiking in the mountains each weekend, with a 25lb pack, minimum about three miles regardless of the weather. During the week while I'm working I will take speed walks around the parking lot. Most of the trouble I have is from finding good healthy food on the road. Tried refrigeration in the truck but that do not do well so I been eating the same foods I have in my BOB plus fresh fruits.

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2012, 05:26:34 PM »
I've let my fitness slip since 2009 for a variety of reasons and while I'm still reasonably fit, for a number of reasons, I'm planning on upping my game in the coming months.  Until this fall I was still coaching endurance mountain bikers and what I learned over the years is to really get the most bang for your buck, you need interval training.  That doesn't have to be running sprints necessarily, but doing something like walking alone isn't going to retain the overall cardio capacity to fight off the effects of aging and gain longevity.  The bike has always been one of my favorite training tools, but I've also had times where so much of my time was on the bike that it hurt to walk just four or five miles despite being able to ride 100 miles in a day. 

Ideal fitness for me involves 20 flights of stairs without stopping, running some short sprint intervals, walking for several hours of rough terrain with a pack, being able to ride a bike for three-plus hours, swim a 1000 meters in the pool, and take the dogs for a comfortable jog for three or four miles.   I'm well shy of that today, but I hope to get back to that level by mid-summer.

Offline Shaunypoo

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2012, 06:22:28 PM »
For me it is way up there.  My feeling is that if I can't take care of myself, how can I take care of those I love.  I know that isn't applicable for everyone, so don't take my head off about it.  I want to lead my family by example.  I may be failing by my own standards right now, but I am getting better.  Besides, I want to maximize the life I will have.  I don't want to develop anything that causes me to be dependent on drugs when SHTF.  I don't take medications or pills now, and I don't want to have to do without when the time comes.

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2012, 06:25:23 PM »
I don't want to develop anything that causes me to be dependent on drugs when SHTF.  I don't take medications or pills now, and I don't want to have to do without when the time comes.
Good luck.  My cholesterol was 255 the year I ran the Portland Marathon.  Sometimes genetics just sucks. ::)

Offline Antman

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2012, 08:06:05 PM »
Yes, genetics does suck. I have Crohnes and am dependent on meds. I do feel that a healthy lifestyle helps all around. And besides if you get sick, and strong body and mind can do wonders towards the recovery. I know that for a fact.

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2012, 11:11:06 PM »
Yes, genetics does suck. I have Crohnes and am dependent on meds. I do feel that a healthy lifestyle helps all around. And besides if you get sick, and strong body and mind can do wonders towards the recovery. I know that for a fact.

Man I'm sorry to hear that, life is tough enough without living with a problem like that.  If it helps, I am your average Joe in terms of health and have a busy life that enables me with an excuse to do little to stay in shape.  I am in my mid forties and about 35 pounds over the weight I should be for my height and age.  I am also an avid hunter and worry every year when my season starts that I won't be able to hunt the way I am accustomed to.  My average day of hunting includes hiking about 8 foot miles (not GPS miles) in high altitude with a 20lb pack and a 10lb rifle, up steep mountains, down steep mountains, side hilling and in all kinds of terrain and weather.  I manage, and do so very well.

There is no reason to get in a hurry when your hunting, and depending on the circumstances, this can also be true when you're bugging out. . .  If an animal is running in the forest, I can spot them in a second.  The same would be true for spotting a person.

Sure it is best if you can be fit, but to learn how to deal with the cards you're dealt can be very powerfull too.

As an example; I have taken many friends hunting with me over the years.  The people that have struggled the most are not those that are out of shape, it is the people that are not prepared for the environment (ie.  clothing, foot wear, and most of all not being sure footed to deal with the terrain).

Don't give up, do the best you can with the body you have, get in the best shape you can, eat as healthy as you can, take care of your body the best you can.  Most of all, be smart and be prepared for your situation.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2012, 11:26:09 PM by nelson96 »

Offline Shaunypoo

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2012, 07:11:44 AM »
Don't give up, do the best you can with the body you have, get in the best shape you can, eat as healthy as you can, take care of your body the best you can.  Most of all, be smart and be prepared for your situation.

+1

This is the best advice.  I have had plenty go wrong for me genetically, so I am not unfamiliar with it.  I am not the healthiest right now, but have gotten better since I starting prepping and realized they go hand in hand.  I am not particularly unhealthy, but can always be better.  Besides, alot of conditions can be maintained or even improved with better diet and health, and the more I learn, the better off I will be and be able to help others who may be in bad shape.

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2012, 09:09:57 AM »
Took advantage of some great weather here yesterday and ran some stairs with my wife.



Offline Slocan

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2012, 09:45:52 PM »
When it comes to preps I rank fitness pretty high up there...now if I only practiced what I preached. ;)

Just started running roughly two months ago.  A YMCA finally opened up nearby, so now I can exercise while someone looks after the kids.  I try to get in 3 times a week, and soon the pool will be open so I plan to get in there as well.

I find it amazing how quickly our bodies adapt to strenuous activity.  When I first started out running I`d be lucky to go for 2 mins. without having to stop, now I`m up to 30 mins.  So for people out there who think it`s hopeless just keep plugging away, you`ll notice gains to your endurance quickly.

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2012, 10:56:08 PM »
It ranks up there. I have been lifting weights for 30 years now. In the gym 5 days a week. Im pretty much one big mound of muscle. :)
My cardio could be better, but im a line backer not a running back.

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2012, 10:14:13 AM »
I am also military.  Combine that with being a prepper and I consider physical fitness primary amongst my prepping.  If the day is getting on I will sacrifice doing any other prepping that day to work out.

From what I can see surviving is a lot of work, you are working all day every day in TEOTWAKI or even simply SHTF to keep yourself and you family alive.  This means being on your feet and doing things.  Well, I am an office weenie by position which means I need to train to do the prepping level of exertion.

Also, when your 4 year old gets footsore can you carry her for long distances?  Can you move an injured comrade to safety?  Can you move your bug out load to your BOV without being left in a sweaty heap?

Offline M.U.C.T

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2012, 05:35:49 AM »
I rank it as the most important thing in being prepared...I'm a martial arts instructor for 8 years and I teach reality based martial arts and have competed in competition but have also competed to stay alive in real altercations the thing that saved my life was not my strength because the guys who were attacking me were bigger and stronger and one of them was trained just as well as I was it was my endurance that kept me alive. It's not the guy who can move 1'000lbs once it's the guy who can move 100lbs a thousand times......thats my opinion anyway
http://modernurbancombattactics.blogspot.com/2012/02/how-fit-is-fight-fit.html

Offline cheryl1

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2012, 11:01:37 AM »
Took advantage of some great weather here yesterday and ran some stairs with my wife.


:o She must love you. I would rather get a divorce than run up that!

Offline Cedar

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2012, 11:14:28 AM »
High enough I did 280 miles with a 25-31 pound back last year. I had to take a couple months off hiking, but I am back to it again now. I usually do 9 milers with 500 ft elevation change with a pack. My normal trail is closed due to too many trees coming down and a 40 ft landslide blocking the trail. Heading out to do a possible 10 miler in 2 weeks with a TSPer.

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2012, 04:02:15 PM »
:o She must love you. I would rather get a divorce than run up that!
She's always been a stronger runner.  The only place I can go longer or faster is on the bike.  She was doing half-marathons in high school. :o

Offline AussieNana

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2012, 12:16:29 AM »
Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?

Right up the top with health. But I'm not starting from where you are starting. I am over 60 and have had more than half my life battling illness with very few opportunities to ever get fit. It wasn't until I was 46 that I could even do an hours exercise. So my fitness regime starts with health and I start that with a Paleo/primal diet. I have had more than 50 odd symptoms disappear and four autoimmune diagnoses pronounced in remission since I decided the doctors knew very little about my health and that diet was a huge component despite their denials.

Firstly I had to stop my weight increasing and that occurred some 4 years ago. Despite enormous levels of fatigue I've always tried to exercise, with the emphasis on trying, rather than becoming successful. Slowly and with varying levels of adherence to a low carb diet I finally realised that all the so-called healthy legumes weren't healthy for me and caused enormous gut problems leading to major eye disease (autoimmune uveitis leading to blindness). Now completely off legumes and grains and most sugar (ie most fruit) I am two thirds of the way to my ideal weight.

Instead of needing a sit down every 20 minutes I can now be on my feet for hours if need be. A walk that used to take an hour now only takes 40 minutes and sometimes less.

Being able to run with a pack on my back for 5km or walking all day carrying a pack is just off my agenda. It is just lovely to be able to walk up a steep hill for half an hour and still have the energy to walk back down again. It is great to know that if I got stranded in the city (15km away) I would be able to walk back home - slow it would be, but now I know I could.

I can hold my own (just) with 20 year olds at karate class.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that while fitness and endurance is a really important prep to have, some of us have greater difficulties than others who have been more blessed with health and opportunities.

But, hey, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't try though it might be sensible to work up to fitness slowly and methodically so we don't overdo it and slow the process down.


Offline jlesniak

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2012, 08:16:22 PM »
I think it's critical - like with skills and other knowledge, it's something that can't be taken away. I started training at a CrossFit gym a couple years ago and fell in love. The right gym can help you scale CrossFit, and with the emphasis being on functional movement, I think it dovetails very well with the prepper mindset.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2012, 09:11:14 PM »
I'll rank fitness just below knowledge and skills.  Like jlesniak said, it's something that can't be taken away.  (Though it can degrade with disuse.)  Fitness is multi-purpose, maybe even all-purpose.  It keeps you healthy, when the chips are down it helps you keep a clear head, it's vital for defense, it can be your transportation, and the list just keeps on going.

The aftermath of Katrina was incredibly physical.  Dealing with the heat, fetching water, clearing debris, tarping in roofs, getting around without gas, it was more than a lot of people could take.  Basic functional fitness would've gone a long way to help these people.

Offline dk1138

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2012, 11:05:08 AM »
I'll rank fitness just below knowledge and skills.  Like jlesniak said, it's something that can't be taken away.  (Though it can degrade with disuse.)  Fitness is multi-purpose, maybe even all-purpose.  It keeps you healthy, when the chips are down it helps you keep a clear head, it's vital for defense, it can be your transportation, and the list just keeps on going.

The aftermath of Katrina was incredibly physical.  Dealing with the heat, fetching water, clearing debris, tarping in roofs, getting around without gas, it was more than a lot of people could take.  Basic functional fitness would've gone a long way to help these people.

+1! 
Physical fitness (cardiovascular capacity, muscular endurance, tendon strength, kinesthetic learning (muscle memory) for manual tasks/body skills, you name it...) is probably #2 IMHO, closely behind knowledge and thinking habits.  In our society, I guess you could put financial security ahead of this, but for many people that works out poorly in the long run (poor health and fitness seems to be a trait of a lot of workaholics).

(1) Health.  Being sick doesn't just stink, it's expensive and interferes with everything else.  Unless you've been really sick or worked with a lot of ill or injured people, it's hard to imagine.  There's a huge yearning out there for fitness without activity (from every angle, dietary view, social context, etc) but in years of learning about this stuff I've never been convinced that the body can be truly healthy without diverse activity. 

(2) Mental/Emotional benefits.  Nothing helps you deal with stress like being in shape.  Staying up all night, being chronically sleep-deprived, having to deal with crises all seem to just go better when I'm in reasonable shape.  Several studies also point towards physical activity supporting brain health and mental function, and subjectively it always seems to help attitude as well...

I think a lot of people end up focusing on combat fitness, which is super-relevant to some people (great article in Men's Health or one of those mags last year on the kind of workouts some of the guys deployed forward in Afghanistan did and ways in which they were useful) but not in honesty for most of us. 

I guess one thing I would say is don't just concentrate on what you're good at.  If you're big and strong, make sure you have the muscular and CV endurance to go a few rounds if you need to, or run away from something while carrying your child.  If you're a great runner, make sure you don't end up with a nasty case of bicipital tendinitis the first day your house floods and you need to spend 2 hrs carrying heavy things.  And any of us over 30 could probably afford to strengthen our backs. ;)

Great thread. 
David

Offline Nadir_E

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2012, 03:32:18 PM »
I think of it like a barbell with fitness on one side and knowledge on the other.  One isn't much good without the other - both are primary requirements and should be in balance with one another.  The more you have of both, the more you can "lift" in life.

Take care of yourself NOW - waiting til the SHTF to get in shape is about the stupidest idea ever.  You'll have LESS time to do it then than you do now.  Plus, as mentioned above, being healthy pays all kinds of dividends which you might as well enjoy.  For example, if you have folks who have diet-based diabetes, think of what could otherwise have been done with what's now being spent on meds?  I know there are cases where it isn't diet based, so if that example offends (not my intention), think about smoking instead.  As kids say today, "Just sayin..."

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Offline Roundabouts

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2012, 10:02:12 PM »
never really thought about it until lately.  Over the last year wow have I gone down hill.  It use to be I could do what I wanted when I wanted and never really had to "work out"  I just did work at home.  Could run a mile or better  jump over 4' fences lift and haul 90 pound cement bags all day dig shovel gravel.  yeah had some fat over the muscles but basically was good to go.  Well happy frigen 50th birthday to me.  This year I can hardly walk to the end of the drive.  Lifting 90 pounds are you kidding me?  I can't even do a pull up or a sit up any more.  Dang when how did that happen?  :-[ So guess I will have to start really working out. I can't believe how much I have lost and so fast. 

Staying in shape is very important.  I hate the idea of having to have hubby do everything for me.   :P

Offline Cedar

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2012, 11:29:37 PM »
Come hiking with me Rounds

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2012, 08:53:56 AM »
If this can get moved to a better spot, please do.

Yesterday, as I was driving back home after I did a 7.7 mile hike with a 35 pound pack. I got to thinking about all the folks who want to BO and head to the mountains in case SHTF. I was thinking about all the people who have those plans and wondered if they have actually packed their BOB to their BOL. Or even just on a hike anywhere.

Normally I do a little better than 2 miles per hour of hiking with that weight. This was so steep where we were going, we did 1 mile per hour. It was at about the 3,600 ft level.  I am guessing it was a 600-700' elevation change and some seemed to be 200 feet change within 1/4 mile. Both me and my hiking partner were discouraged a bit in our time. Neither of us had been on those particular trails before, but we were still anticipating a 4 hour hike, not a 7 hour hike.

I looked for hiking calculators to see how many calories I burnt yesterday and found a few more I thought might be helpful to other people and to help determine how long it will take to get to your BOL or....

Travel time calculator http://www.hikenewengland.com/LegendTimeCalc.html

Calories used http://hikingscience.blogspot.com/p/calculate-calories-burned_22.html
Make sure to add the 'Adjusted Calories Burned' together. Like I burned 945 calories yesterday, but initially I thought it was 400.

Hiking difficulty http://www.hikingincolorado.org/hikecalc.html

Food Calculator http://www.hikingdude.com/hiking-trek-food.php

Cedar

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2012, 09:02:18 AM »
That difficulty calculator cracked me up.  I put in a hike my wife did the other day and as an expert is was classified as easy, but as a novice it was classified beyond strenuous.  Just goes to show you how relative things are.

I'd really like to get off my duffer more at work and I'm considering putting a timer in my office to tell me to get up and run a couple flights of stairs every 20-30 minutes. 

Offline Nadir_E

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2012, 10:10:16 AM »
... I got to thinking about all the folks who want to BO and head to the mountains in case SHTF. I was thinking about all the people who have those plans and wondered if they have actually packed their BOB to their BOL. Or even just on a hike anywhere. ...

Cedar - there was a guy on these forums a couple of years back who mentioned that he had practiced his "work-to-home" bug-out (not a regional bug-out, just getting home from his office on foot).  It was a relatively long hike if memory serves - 20+ miles.  I was impressed not only that he actually hiked it, but that he installed several snack/water caches along the way - that's some impressive follow-through.  It certainly made me think about whether doing something similar with gas/food/water for long bug-out's (100's of miles) would be feasible. Where you could stash such things without serious trespass but with reasonable certainty they wouldn't be bothered is a difficult question.

Btw, with some of the steep hills/mountains, 1 mile per hour doesn't sound unreasonable, particularly if you live at an elevation several thousand feet below where you're hiking.

-N

Offline Nadir_E

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2012, 10:22:49 AM »
...I'm considering putting a timer in my office to tell me to get up and run a couple flights of stairs every 20-30 minutes.

Endurance - I'd suggest an alternative to spreading out your work-out like that.  One "angle" that CrossFit promotes is intensity over volume.  Some work-outs (for the top tiers) are completed in 3 minutes or less, but they are incredibly intense (mere mortals take 2x - 3x as long for the same scope).  So instead of spreading the work over the work day, consider ending your work day with a couple of warm-up flights to loosen up, and then sprint the stairs, maybe with a round of push-up's at the top and sit-up's at the bottom.  Consider starting with something like AMRAP-10, then -20 (but not more than that).  [AMRAP = "as many rounds as possible in X minutes" - so AMRAP 10 is a ten minute work-out, but I promise your ass will be kicked when you're trying to do it for time].  You don't need an hour for work-out's - a good quality intense workout of shorter duration will get you fit just fine.  Work your way up from 3 times per week to 4, but no more than 5 times per week.

If it starts to get "easy" then add something like a dumbbell to the sprints. ;)

-N

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2012, 10:28:53 AM »
I was impressed not only that he actually hiked it, but that he installed several snack/water caches along the way - that's some impressive follow-through.  It certainly made me think about whether doing something similar with gas/food/water for long bug-out's (100's of miles) would be feasible. Where you could stash such things without serious trespass but with reasonable certainty they wouldn't be bothered is a difficult question.

My problem with stashing caches for me is, do I know for sure I am going to head that way? What is the problem that I need to BO for? What direction is the issue? Is someone going to find then before I need them? How often do I need to check them to see if they are still there or the contents are still ok? I think I would also drop the '10 essentials' into each bucket in case my BOB and me parted ways for some reason.

I know it is a 7-8 hour hike for me from home to BOL #1. 2-3 day hike for BOL#2 and 10-12 day hike to BOL #3. After yesterdays hike, I am also considering that area as a BOL#4. I always consider worst case scenario and that I will be on foot. I would rather bug in, but you never know what life can throw you.

Btw, with some of the steep hills/mountains, 1 mile per hour doesn't sound unreasonable, particularly if you live at an elevation several thousand feet below where you're hiking.

After I did the calculator, it said we should have done it in 8 hours. We did it in 7, so I felt much better. And SP (my 2 yr old) even walked a bit over a mile, not to mention checking out snails, snakes and millipedes, so if she had not dismounted from the pack, we might have even made it in 6? 6.5 hours?

And yes, I live at 65 feet above sea level.

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Re: Where do you rank fitness and endurance in your preps?
« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2012, 11:58:43 AM »
Endurance - I'd suggest an alternative to spreading out your work-out like that.  One "angle" that CrossFit promotes is intensity over volume.
-N
I still plan on doing a proper workout every evening, but the latest studies are saying that having a sedentary job is worse that smoking two packs of cigarettes a day for CV risk, so I'm trying to do what I can to mitigate the fact that my ass is glued to a chair too many hours.