We highly recommend that you do some training before coming one of the Black Tracks adventures.
All the walks are unique and extremely beautiful. They also come with varying physical demands.
The Remote Wilderness Treks in particular, require walkers to carry up to 15-20kg packs for 7-8 days over varying terrain.
Previous clients have often come with limited to no remote bush walking experience. However, with the correct preparation and support from our qualified Trek Leaders, anyone with reasonable levels of fitness can enjoy this special experience.
Physical preparation for your trip can vary greatly from person to person. How you approach this preparation is your own personal choice. What’s important is to firstly identify what motivates you to prepare best. Answering this question will help you choose the type of training that will result in a better level of self engaged preparation for your walk. The better your preparation, the more you’ll enjoy backpacking in Australia‘s great Kimberley.
Physical Training will:
Build endurance and general strength for walking and carrying your backpack (15kg to 20kg)
Develop improved balance and coordination for walking over rough, rocky and undulating ground.
Help to develop a good mental attitude for coping with (and even enjoying!) prolonged physical exercise
Test and trial walking equipment/items i.e. boots and clothing (chaffing, general comfort) etc
Help you to discover and understand how your body performs. I.e. do my feet swell, how much? Do I get blisters or do my feet chaff, where? What preventable strategies do I need to put in place, tape and strapping? Can I carry a 15kg (plus!) back pack, how will this affect my neck, shoulders, back?
The amount of walking preparation we ask you to undertake is only slightly more than that recommended for maintaining a normal healthy lifestyle.
To be physically prepared and to get full enjoyment out of the trek, consider following some form of physical training plan or alternatively, use the mild training plan we have designed, below.
To ensure that you have an enjoyable walk that is not too physically taxing, you should begin a training regimen at least eight weeks before your trek; earlier if possible. The following guidelines will assist you in achieving a level of fitness that will prepare you well enough for the Treks.
Week 1 2 to 3 x 3 km walks
Week 2 2 to 3 x 4 km walks
Week 3 3 x 4-5 km walks
Week 4 3 x 5-6 km walks
Week 5 3 x 5 km walks with 5kg in back pack
Week 6 2 x 5-6 km walks with 5kg in back pack
1 x 10 km walk with 5kg in back pack - level ground
Week 7 2 x 5-6 km walks with 10kg in back pack
1 x 10 km walk with 10kg in back pack - undulating ground
Week 8 2 x 5-6 km walks with 15kg in back pack
1 x 10 km walk with 15kg in back pack - steeper ground
Try to include some hills in your walks. Light stretching during or after each walk is recommended to prevent stiffness and muscle soreness.
Always train in the boots you intend wearing on your walk. If you have new boots, this is a good opportunity to "break them in". Wear good quality socks - wool or wool/synthetic blend is preferable. If blisters or friction spots develop, treat immediately by covering with a sports tape, not a band aid. It may be necessary to drain and tape a blister if it causes discomfort while walking. Any other foot problems (corns, bunions, gait problems, etc) should be attended to by a podiatrist so that they can be corrected well before your walk commences.
Some additional ways of getting fit include: using the stairs instead of the lift, walking the extra distance to the next bus stop, parking further from your destination, energizing your walks (stride out and increase your arm swing), walking to the shop for your paper instead of getting it delivered…be creative!
If you’re having trouble getting started, here are a couple of ideas that may help:
Exercise with a friend. You’ve got someone else to motivate you, the time passes more quickly and it’s more interesting.
If time is a problem, just remember that studies show fit people are more efficient in their use of time in other areas of their lives (so you can justify taking time out to exercise). Sacrifice the occasional lunch hour, or walk all or some of the way to work.
If you’ve always wanted to get fitter, this could be the start of a lifelong exercise program, which will benefit your health in many ways.
If you’re already fit – keep up the good work!
We would like to clarify that this is not one of those so called “hard core” survival type experiences. You don't have to be the strong outdoor type or a fitness trainer to take part, but you will need to be in good health with a reasonable level of fitness and have prepared physically for this walk. We strongly recommend that you follow some form of training plan. We will be walking between 10-15km each day with back packs, however the fitter you are the more you will enjoy this experience. The suggested training plan is only a minimum, if you cannot commit to this minimum level of preparation, we would recommend that you consider the Lightweight Trek.
One of the personal challenges you should consider before choosing a walk is the day time temperatures, especially if you come from the southern regions which are in the winter cycle here in Australia. One of the benefits for travelling to the East Kimberley at this time of the year, is to leave behind the cold southern winter and experience mild summer like temperatures. A strategy to decrease our discomfort when walking, is to commence early morning when it is cooler and finish around midday. There is time to relax and re-charge over lunch and personal time to lay back or explore during the afternoon, swimming, reading, writing a journal or exploring the shaded river bank for that best fishing pool. Later in the afternoon when it is cooler and before the sun sets, there is plenty of time to explore further a field without a back pack.
Good preparation will improve your fitness and you will have
one less physical discomfort to cope with on the walk.
Get started NOW!