From my army days, a full combat load was 110-120 lbs. And yeah, you definitely felt it.
These days I might start a multi-day backpacking trip with 40-50 lbs, which is a load that should be manageable and not do you any damage.
However, it's probably not something you want to go cold-turkey with - I'm not surprised you are feeling a little achey.. Can you practice walking with a 10-20 lb backpack during the week?
Squats and planks should be part of any overall exercise program, and are good strengthening exercises for carrying a pack when hiking. Deadlifts too. The one exercise I would add that is more hiking specific is calf-raises - really strengthens the foot and ankle, and adds much more protection against sprains and rollovers than any pair of hiking boots. I'd recommend doing them barefoot, as it really works the foot muscles as well.
Fitness Minutes: (1,404)
1,455 4/22/13 8:28 A
i would say that I wouldn't do it everyday but I think It would be a great calorie burner. I wouldn't worry too much about it though
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
4/22/13 8:21 A
Its not something I would do every day but as long as the weight of kid was relatively balanced, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Ice it and take it easy for a day or 2. Also, how old are your hiking boots, having good support in the sole and through the ankle is key when you're carrying that kind of weight.
Fitness Minutes: (15,392)
1,802 4/22/13 7:58 A
Yesterday I went hiking with my husband and three kids. I ended up carrying my 4 yr old (46lbs in a 5lbs pack) for about 2.5 miles of the hike. It was hard work of course, but I am strong and didn't find it impossible, although I was tired when we got back to the car. Last night though my hips and knees were aching, and I am just wondering whether carrying that much weight is actually bad for me. If it was just a muscle ache I wouldn't be worried. Don't they make you march with 50lbs in the army? Although, those doing that in the army might be 15 years younger than me I guess. Anyway, some input on whether this will make me stronger or weaken my joints would be great. Thanks :)
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