Why you should stay fit before your backpacking trip

It’s true; you’ll most likely lose weight on your trip. Being weighed down from a large backpack certainly builds stronger legs. All your adventurous treks and hikes will burn thousands of calories as well. Then there’s the meal when your meals are always on a budget. Does this mean you can eat all you want before you leave and not even bother exercising? No! Why?

  • Your body needs to be in a constant healthy state. I shouldn’t have to say why you need this. Common sense.
  • Letting yourself loose before your trip will mean you’ll find yourself tired more often.
  • Get better sleep at the noisy hostels if you’re in good shape. Body will also adjust faster to jet lag. Wake up feeling great from day one.
  • Feel and look better from the start of your trip. This builds better self confidence and bigger smile.
  • Avoid Yo-Yo dieting! Which is what you’re doing to yourself if you over eat now then be active later.
  • Build a stronger immune system before you go. This will avoid sicknesses early on your trip.
CrossFit Central - Randal Setzler

CrossFit Central - Randal Setzler by daverephoto

This is what you can do to live a healthy life before your backpacking trip

Build a strong all around body to support your backpack and adventurous treks. Strength training is the way to go. If you haven’t used free weights before, now is the time. Muscle burns fat quick so emphasize a lot of your workouts on weight training. If you’re nervous on what to do, view some videos on Crossfit Exercises. Find what works for you and always try new exercises. Key here is to be well rounded. Don’t be afraid to try new things.

  • NO EXCUSES! Work out and work out often!
  • You don’t need a gym membership to be in shape. There are TONS of exercises you can do at home and outside.
  • Don’t just do Cardio! Weights are VERY important. Like I said before, you want to be well rounded.
  • Protein! However way you get this, you need it! It melts away the fat 24/7 even when you’re not working out.
  • Eating healthy is another given common sense tip. It’s impossible to over do on vegetables so have as much as you can handle of this food group.
  • Carbs are NOT bad. You need it for energy. Complex Carbs is what you should be looking for. (example: wheat)
  • Take a backpack and put everything you would typically carry with you before you leave on your trip. Now go somewhere local and walk around town. How long can you last before your legs give? Test yourself and keep track of how far you go and for how long.
  • Stay active everyday. It could be a small activity one day but a strong one the next as long as you keep your body active.

Stay motivated!
Stay in shape!
No excuses!


  1. Frank on April 19, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Great advice, relevant for any trip where you are going to be challenged physically AND mentally.

    We always up our exercise before we head off anywhere on a trip, including wearting our boots and making sure our feet are well broken in!

  2. Robin on April 19, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    This is a great point. I bump into many people on the trail that are suffering because they were not really ready physically for the trip (a few times it was myself!).


  3. Teresa on April 20, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Excellent post! Filling yourself with protein keeps you so full all day and gives you strength at the gym. Doing a little bit every day builds you up to get to bigger obstacles, especially backpacking- where you are constantly on your feet. This is important to prepare yourself for this!

  4. Nabeel on April 23, 2009 at 4:59 am

    I’ve faced stomach problems many time while traveling and then I run to find a washroom near by. Exercises really keep you fit and your every part working 🙂

  5. Rich Cook on April 24, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Thank you for the comment about carbs. I’m sick of people badmouthing them because that’s the latest diet trend (which doesn’t work). Carbs are the bodies basic fuel; without them we shut down and die. When you’re dead, backpacking isn’t much fun. It’s a matter of balancing your carbs, going on what has been called a “slow” carb rather than a “low” carb diet. Tim Ferris of The 4 Hour Work Week writes about it. It’s the perfect diet, especially for diabetics.

  6. Skylab on April 27, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Thanks everyone! 🙂

  7. Get Fit on April 29, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Now is the time to get fit!

  8. Ryan Gargiulo on January 27, 2010 at 10:48 am


    Great article. I’ll be sure to take some of your advice for my upcoming RTW Trip!

  9. Ryan Gargiulo on January 27, 2010 at 11:48 am


    Great article. I’ll be sure to take some of your advice for my upcoming RTW Trip!

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