Backpacking is a life-changing experience, and we want hikers of a wide range of fitness levels to know they can participate in one of our trips.

Fitness Level continues to be one of the hardest things to describe or define in an objective way.  We describe fitness level on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being least fit and 10 being most fit.  Some examples of those levels are listed below.

Fitness Level 1 = rarely active, sedentary job

Fitness Level 4 = someone who is active ~3 times per week (ex: walking 30 minutes), or someone who works an active job (ex: mail carrier)

Fitness Level 7 = works out 3-5 times per week, regularly participates in active forms of recreation (ex: hiking on the weekends)

Fitness Level 10 = an elite ultrarunner or triathlete

On all of our trips, we list a minimum recommended fitness level and a preferred fitness level range.  A hiker with this minimum recommended fitness level will likely find the mileage and terrain of the trip very challenging.  A hiker within the preferred fitness level range will find some challenges with the trip, but it should not feel like they’re pushing themselves to the max.  A hiker with a fitness level above the preferred range may enjoy slowing a down a bit for the trip.

Additionally, some types of “fitness” translate better to backpacking than others.  I would describe both an elite body builder and a professional triathlete as both being a 10/10 on the scale listed above.  But an endurance athlete’s training background will be more well suited for backpacking than a body builder.

Wherever your fitness self-assessment lands you, we've got a trip for you! If you don't see anything suitable on our trips calendar, give us a call and we'll help put together the perfect itinerary for you.