When it comes to going on an outdoor adventure, there will always be the need for some kind of preparation. Whether you are just going out to walk around the local community pond you will at least need proper footwear and water. If you are going to Africa on an eight-day buffalo hunt, there is going to be a lot of preparing to do. And it goes beyond any checklist of gear or practice at whatever you are going to be doing. A crucial aspect that is sometimes missed is proper physical preparation.
Now I believe the outdoors should be able to be enjoyed by everyone. It is one of the very few things that anyone from any walk of life can appreciate. Knowing that there are organizations like Outdoor Experience 4 All who work hard to bring kids with terminal illnesses out hunting or fishing really shows that we aren’t completely messed up as a society. Now should nature trails in the National Parks start being paved? Eh, that is a different discussion to be had. But no matter what, people should know what is going to be expected of them and if they can handle it.
People spend years training to climb certain mountains. They know what will be needed from their bodies in order to make it up and down in one piece. This can sometimes be missed when it comes to hunting trips. On certain hunts you may have to cover several miles through harsh terrain carrying a heavy pack. And after all that you’ll need to be able to hit the animal you are after!
One of the best pieces of advice I got was this: “Go to the range with your hunting rifle. Set out your target at least 100 yards out. Do twenty five pushups, twenty five body squats, twenty five crunches and twenty five jumping jacks. As soon as you finish, fire three shots at the target and see where you end up.” While you won’t be having to do a micro-Cross Fit workout on a hunt, you will be needing to rely on your own strength and how well you can control your weapon after exuding yourself. And think about this, you didn’t have on all that heavy bulky hunting gear when you were practicing!
Practicing with the gear that you will be using is essential to a successful trip. Whether it be fishing, hiking or hunting. You need to know how the stuff will work. And always try using your gear with gloves on. Because one day you may need to be able to unscrew your water bottle with thick gloves on or unzip your backpack or fire your bow and so on!
Do you need a six pack to catch a marlin or hunt an elk? No. But should have been doing cardio and perhaps weight-training leading up to the trip before? Yea. Especially since you never know when a normal trip could turn into something much more serious.