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As promised, here is the follow up post to Part 1 with a few helpful tips on how we prepared physically for our trip!
Our training locations were based the following:
- Sturdy trail, able to withstand a large group hiking on it
- Nearby for easy access
- Accessible to all levels since we would be focusing on distance and adding weight, not necessarily elevation.
We hiked 70+ miles on 9 trails before we departed for the Island! Since spring in MN can arrive late, we concentrated on building weight and distance and went out almost every weekend that we could. Since this trip was with a group of Scouts, our training worked out perfect with earning the Hiking Merit Badge. We avoided having a lot of extra planning meetings by meeting during the hikes and including a shakedown and 3 pack checks before we left.
We ended up doing our 20 mile hike (and then again) after our trip due to weather but having the structure of earning the Hiking Merit Badge helped get us to a solid loaded 10 miler at least 3x before departure. In addition to hiking with a weighted pack (gallon water jugs work great!)… I personally increased my training to include the following, which I feel helped prevent injury and keep up with the Scouts! I’m totally not a doctor (or an expert by any means), so listen to your body before you try any of this stuff out, okay? If you are new to hiking, check out my post on how to get started
- a few extra hikes to earn more Hiking Club miles (see Savanna Portage, Father Hennepin, Mille Lacs Kathio, Crow Wing, Charles Lindbergh)
- bumped up my cardio by adding spin classes and rowing machine 2-3x per week
- added some kettle bell swings, planks, squats and push ups
- reduced my yoga practice to once a week to stay flexible while adding other activities.
Our first hike was at Coon Rapids Dam , with close to 30 people in attendance. That was our largest hike since we opened it to the whole troop and the 5 miler met 2nd class scout rank requirements.
My favorite training hike was our 10 mile Shakedown trip up to Tettegouche State Park. I still owe you a review on that one, but any time I get to head up to my beloved North Shore of Lake Superior, I’m a happy gal.
Check our part 3 to see what we packed!
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