Your five-day epic outdoor adventure traversing 60 miles of scree-filled Sierra mountain country is about to start with Thomas Coyne, a wilderness survival expert. It was a bad idea of you to use worn-out Coleman boots that have lasted 13 years of hiking, proper gear is important in any kind of adventure. Destination: Death Valley edge.
What lies ahead is uncertain. Were you in your right mind accepting the challenge? Was it lack of sleep or exhaustion that led you to say yes? You have no more chance to back out, so get on with it!
However, you have had enough workouts that give you a good start and a promising ending. Let’s review your past training:
- Regular strength training;
- Cardio workouts;
- A three-week kayaking/backpacking trip in Scotland accompanied by an ultramarathoner; and
- Rock scrambling on weekends.
Here are five ways to prepare for the big adventure:
- Getting yourself conditioned
Gym sessions with cardio by stationary bike and treadmill sprints, followed by a day’s rest, and two nonconsecutive days of lower-body and core strength training.
- Refueling on food
Coyne must have laughed when you told him that your friend suggested to limit your appetite before the trip. He said that in the wilderness you have all the time to starve. You then decided to fuel your stomach confident that this will see you through these coming days.
- Mental preparation
Focusing your mind is the best way to face an adventure. You have to separate the risks that might happen from the present moment by taking things one day at a time. Hike your way out while convincing yourself that you will eventually get to the other side of Inyo National Forest, in the southern Sierra Mountains, and go home riding a dusty van waiting on the other side.
- Finding the strength for a Warrior Dash
Before starting your adventure, it was your destiny with few MF staffers to join a Warrior Dash. This is a 5K obstacle/running course with seven of you running, climbing, skimming, swarming and trudging until you were done and rewarded yourselves with a cold beer after. It was fate giving you another chance to prepare for this hike of a lifetime. You are convinced that you can handle the situation not even knowing what is around the corner. You believe that you can manage muscle confusion and mud pits, aside from enduring the fatigue of blazing heat on your way to the finish line—wherever it is.
- Collecting your gear
Coyne wanted a barebones gear selection as he takes just a knife, a personal locator beacon, and the knowledge between his ears to get out alive. It was disturbingly simple. Your list for this trip is all lightweight: your high-tech know-how, a 2-lb Mountain Hardwear sleeping bag, one sleeping pad with sweat-wick base layers and almost 50 bucks worth of freeze-dried food. You decided to leave 40% of your food behind to lighten your pack load.
You still believe you are getting into an epic adventure partially blind. But knowing your limits is power, not a weakness. Whatever you experience along the way can be applied to any new challenge in the future. All new adventures are worth undertaking even if it presses you to the limit, but it is your choice. Your freedom to choose is the beginning of the process of living.
Photo Credit: CherryPoint on flickr