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Are you HIKE READY?

By Jo Cordell-Cooper*

 

LAST month, I spoke about the free 10walks10weeks initiative (between 2 September and 25 November) to encourage you to walk more often and address your personal risk factors associated with having a stroke.

You can still join in, and all you have to do is share your walk (of 60-minute duration or longer over and above what you usually do) on the HIKE READY Facebook group.

Little walks add up, and for those getting a little more adventurous there are HIKE READY seminars and resources to help you walk further.

I’m about to embark on my biggest hike ever, an 18-day hike around the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal.

I’ve been preparing for it over the past few months, so I thought I’d share my top three tips for preparing for extended hiking trips while juggling work and being a parent.

So, here are my top three tips for preparing for extended overnight hikes:

Start wearing a pack with the weight increasing incrementally. Even little walks like when you walk your dog add up. It is not only your powerhouse hiking muscles (legs and buttocks) that need conditioning. Your whole body needs to become accustomed to hiking with a backpack on.

Walk on tired legs. Recently, I completed a two-hour walk up and down the hills of the Montrose Trail. While a two-hour walk is nowhere near the eight-hour days I’ll be doing, it was a hard walk because it was hilly, and my hiking buddy and I really pushed ourselves. We were indeed pooped after the two-hour jaunt that we completed at 5.30pm – right on dusk. The next morning, I got up at 7am and immediately completed a 20-minute heavy pack walk with dog in tow, followed by a 45-minute weight training session. I felt a bit stiff and weary to begin with, but with only one rest day in my 18-day trip, this will be my reality once I get to Nepal.

Do some really long (seven hours plus) day walks with a pack prior to leaving. Wear what you will wear on your extended trip. Aim for that route to be similar in terms of hills climbed and terrain encountered. Study the topography of your intended walk so you have the experience and stamina for it.

Hiking should be an absolute pleasure, but it can be uncomfortable and challenging if you are poorly prepared.

If any of this resonates with you, please feel free to make contact with me.

There’s a free hiking tips resource to download on the front page of my website at jocc.com.au.

*Jo Cordell-Cooper owns the award-winning business Jo CC Holistic PT and is founder of local hiking charity Tasmanian Iconic Walks. Make contact at jo@jocc.com.au or phone 0409 862 206.

Caption: Greg Cooper and Jo Cordell-Cooper hiking the six-day Overland Track.