You need not be an Olympian to join and enjoy one of Arctic Wild’s backpacking trips, but you will have lots more fun if you do some training and strengthening before your trip. The thing that sets an Alaska backpacking trip apart is the lack of constructed trails. You will be hiking on river bars and on cobbles and sand, weaving your way over tussock-grass mounds, splashing through creeks, and when lucky, you will find a narrow and rutted caribou trail headed generally the right direction. All this uneven terrain combined with a pack full of the necessities for life in the arctic means you will need strong ankles and knees. We suggest finding an area near your home like a soft sandy beach, corn field filled with stubble or some other landscape with uneven ground. Put on your pack with a little weight (it doesn’t matter what you use, as you can see, even a small child will do) and hike the roughest ground you can manage. Return as often as you can and gradually increase the weight in your pack. Time spent training before your trip will make your Arctic Wild backpacking experience even better.
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