Preparation is essential to increase the potential for success of any trip. Including making sure you’re in good physical shape before you take off. The only way to do that is to train appropriately and regularly. 


It’s important to consider which type of hike you want to do. Will it be a strenuous day hike to a mountain summit? Or a week long hike in the country? Maybe even a challenging long-distance hike?

For all these types of hikes, you’ll want to be in decent physical shape. There is, however, a difference between training for day hikes and long-distance trips.

Most people with an average fitness level should be able to complete a day hike. That’s not to say that it won’t be a challenge, though. People living active lives will be more comfortable with several hours of physical exercise.

If you don’t walk a lot, start with making it a habit. Giving your legs some daily exercise for a few weeks should set you up for a successful day hike.

Long-distance hikes, and even overnight hikes when carrying camping gear, are different. Training for these kinds of walks involves much more than simple basic physical exercise. A workout routine.


Hiking is the most natural form of exercise for us humans. We evolved into two-legged walkers. Walking is what we do to get around, whether it’s inside your house or in the park. It’s the most natural activity there is.

That said, while everyone can walk, with all the conveniences of modern society, not all of us are used to it anymore. Especially not for prolonged periods of time and over distances. Most people will need to train before embarking on a long hike. This is how you do it.


The gym is a great place to condition your body and improve both strength and stamina. 


Arguably most obvious, you need to start hiking. The best way to train for hiking trips is mimicking them as well as you possibly can. If you’re not used to hiking, you should start by going for long walks in the park or another area near your house. While the gym is fantastic to work on specific muscle groups and do targeted exercises, nothing compares to a walk outdoors.

After your feet and legs have gotten used to walking for a few hours on end, continue by doing hikes with a small backpack. Gradually increase the length and elevation gain of your hikes.

Eventually, you should do hikes with your backpack and all your hiking gear you will need on the hike. Doing so, you allow your body to get accustomed to the weight it will have to carry during your actual hiking trip.


Tweaking your habits might seem less important than the previous two tips, but this can and will result in significant changes in your physical appearance and fitness.

You can incorporate extra exercise into your daily routine. Take the stairs instead of the elevators. Walk to the store instead of driving. If walking isn’t possible, park in the spot furthest from the store entrance. You can also carry a small backpack to enhance the benefits of a (slightly) new lifestyle.


When training for hiking, it’s important to distinguish between different types of training. As with any sport, there are three different aspects you can work on.


Cardio exercise is the most crucial part of your hiking training. Two days of cardio for every day of strength training. Three to four days a week is recommended. Also, equally as important is to allow for at least one day of rest per week. Rest is a critical part of any training schedule.

The ultimate goal of cardio is to optimise your body’s recuperation power. Cardio helps improve endurance. It also increases your body’s capacity for repairing itself after prolonged intense exercise.

Cardio training includes everything from walking and jogging to swimming, cycling, and group fitness classes at the gym.

The key is to push your body to the point of fatigue but never to exhaustion. Start light exercise while still increasing your heart rate. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your cardio workout. 


Resistance targets specific body parts and muscle groups. This is important because it teaches your body how to manage prolonged physical stress. Aim to include two days of resistance training in your weekly schedule.

This includes exercises such as squats, lunges, planks, step-ups, sit-ups and push-ups.


Mental preparation is as essential as physical training. No matter how great of shape you are in, you cannot physically prepare for adversity. Cold weather, unexpected downpours, broken gear and blisters are just some of the challenges you can face on a trek. Mental strength is the only thing that will get you through them.

Information is preparation. It’s important to put your expectations into a realistic framework for setting off on a hike,  read books and watch hiking or adventure documentaries and videos.

If you sign up for one of our worldwide trekking adventures you have a free days training with us. It is to give you a chance to see what it’s going to be like on the trip and for you to get the right mindset to have an enjoyable adventure.

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