Getting used to carrying a heavy pack is essential if you’re off on any multi-day trip into the mountains, but it’s not much use if you injure yourself before you’ve even left.
When I was training for a six week expedition in Patagonia, I was trying to get used to carrying a pack with 50 kilos in it. Carrying the pack uphill was the most beneficial training, but coming back down can really put a huge amount of strain on your knees and won’t really help you and may well cause an injury.
Fill up the required amount of old plastic bottles with water, one litre per kilo, and then carry this uphill for up to a couple of hours. Before coming down you can empty all or some of the water to take the strain off your knees.
About the Author
Alex Palmer is the co-owner and founder of Cold Mountain Kit and started climbing back in 1989. He’s climbed extensively throughout the UK, French Alps and has been as far afield as Yosemite, Northern Patagonia and South Africa. A total trad climbing snob.