Fitness Requirements

Fiordland Explorer

Fitness Requirements in short:

  • 15kg – 20kg backpack up to 8 hours
  • Paddling legs of up to 6 hours
  • Reasonable water confidence /swimming ability
  • You don’t need to be a pro but we need some paddling experience

The Fiordland Explorer is a real 6 day wilderness expedition – it can be relatively easy or it can be a challenge depending what the weather throws at us. Please read the requirements and make sure you understand the demands. It is one of the best-guided adventures you can do in New Zealand.

On your Fiordland Expedition, you will be carrying an approximately 20 kg backpack for up to 8 hours a day (mostly 4-6 hours) and some paddling legs may take between 4-6 hours. Your fitness will have a big impact on how much you will enjoy this unforgettable adventure. Even though paddling experience is not essential it will certainly help. We will assess and train you to make sure you are prepared for the challenges ahead.

Nobody, unless carrying a backpack every day, will be used to the different load on your shoulders and you will feel tired after a long day. And for the paddling section on our trips, unless you are paddling on a regular basis, you will feel your muscles burning in the evenings. This is all part of the adventure.

We understand it can be difficult to prepare for a specific adventure, but you should give it a try and we promise you will enjoy this trip even more.

Your goal is to walk with a backpack (around 15-20 kg) at a very easy pace for 3 – 5 hours. You should start with flat and easy walks and gradually build up to more hilly terrain.

It can be hard to prepare for the paddling demands unless you actually paddle. If you have the chance, great go for it – if not, replace the paddling sessions with arm strength/core training sessions.

TOP TIP:  Wear your hiking boots that you plan on wearing for the trip on all training walks. This will make sure they are properly worn in and gives you a chance to find any hotspots or blister areas that might need attention. Appropriate socks are as important as shoes if we talk blisters.

 

Our personal (guides) training plan (4 – 6 weeks)

Week 1: Easy Terrain
  • 1–2 days walking with your pack (15 – 20kg) for about 1h each.
  • If you have access to a gym, general fitness is always good – if you can find a kayaking machine do a 20min session 2 x week with a steady but slow pace.
Week 2: Easy Terrain
  • 1–2 days walking with your pack for about 1:50h each.
  • Kayaking machine or kayaking on lake or water (if you can) 20min x 2 slow steady pace.
Week 3: Moderate Terrain
  • 1–2 days walking with your pack (increase weight a little bit ~ 2 -3 kg) 1h each.
  • Kayaking machine or kayaking on lake or water (if you can) 20min x 2 slow steady pace.
Week 4: Moderate Terrain
  • 1-2 days walking with your pack (with increased weight) 1:50h each.
  • Kayaking machine or kayaking on lake or water (if you can) 20min x 2 slow steady pace.
Week 5: Moderate to more challenging terrain
  • 2–3 days (if you can) walking with your pack (reduce weight to start weight) 1h each.
  • Kayaking machine or kayaking on lake or water (if you can) 20min x 2 slow steady pace.
Week 6: Easy Terrain
  • 1 day only with a 20kg pack for 2 -3 hours (try to do this about 4 – 6 days before start of the trip)
  • Kayaking machine or kayaking on lake or water (if you can) 20min x 2 slow steady pace.

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