OHE May 14, 1998

Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 19:24:13 -1000
From: "Dayle K. Turner" (turner@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Power hiking?

Taking advantage of the boost of motivation and enthusiasm as a result of my recently-arrived IF pack and the just-concluded spring semester at LCC (all those final term papers are graded!!), I hit the trail for the third day in a row. Tuesday was Aiea Loop, yesterday Waimano Stream, and today a hike I call Tantalus-Little.

Sure these are all short, novice routes but I added a bit of a challenge by hoisting a 50-pound pack on my back and then hitting the trail. The results were three really nice workouts.

One thing I noticed the past three days is that Oahu trails, thanks to recent rains, are returning to their normal slushy-muddy state which bodes well for the precipitation-starved plantlife as well my lower body joints and feet which take more of a pounding when the trails I hike are bone dry and hard as concrete.

And there is plenty of the oozey stuff, believe me.

Today, as I hiked around Tantalus-Little (a combo of the Maunalaha, Ualakaa, Makiki Valley, and Kanealole trails), I also started thinking that hiking with a heavy backpack may be a natural evolution for folks seeking a different kind of challenge/workout. Weightlifters use a heavy/light/medium training regimen. Why not something similar for hikers?

For example, one day Jane Q. Hiker could hike up Lanipo with a 15-pound pack, then Olympus with a 25-pound pack, then Piei with a 40-pound pack. And this needn't be on consecutive days nor on hilly trails. In fact, Jane could opt to do most of her hiking on the same trail, perhaps a short one near where she lives. The Aiea Loop is a particular favorite of mine since it's situated between where I live (Kaneohe) and work (Pearl City). I'll probably do a bunch of my training there.

And I don't mean to suggest that this kind of thing is for everyone. But for those looking for other hiking/workout options, a set-up like I've suggested may fit the menu.

Sure, Jane or I may get some funny looks when hauling around a bumboocha pack around Tantalus--a few folks who saw me hiking looked at me as if I were a nutcase--but does it matter really? IMHO, it doesn't.

So if you see a big dude hauling a big pack up a trail some day, don't laugh. Come join me instead. [g]

Happy hiking everyone.


Reply From: Torrey Goodman (tgood808@Lava.net>

Even stranger looks may be received from passer-bys when a small person is seen humping a 50 lb pack AND wearing big plastic mountaineering boots. When asked what i was doing or carrying, I would simply shrug my shoulders with dismay... look sadly at my dog and say..."dog food".

Seriously though, Dayle is right on when he suggests taking successively heavier packs with you. It does get easier. When I was training for a climb last year, I found Kuli'ou'ou an excellent workout, then later went into Maonalua Valley. Caution though, the heavier weight on your back can cause you to fall off a steep trail backwards quite easily. A truly amusing experience!!! Makes you look kind like a cockroach on it's back with his legs waving madly and going nowhere.

Also, Dayle... don't forget to take those weights out before any big hikes. There is truly nothing funnier than getting to Paliku cabin on Haleakala, and while digging into your pack for the tent..... finding a 5 lb dive weight!!!! Your friends while laugh at you for years to come.

And you never knew "power hiking" could be soooooo fun!!!!!!

Reply From: Grant Tokumi (gtokumi@aloha.net>

Thats funny. In my scouting troop, our philosophy was just the opposite. We tend to pack heavy so we can have a more comfortable camp at the end. People go through the stage where they pack just the minimals, trying to stay as light as possible, but they seem to change their philosophy when they are camping in a little pup tent with a pen light and eating berries and MREs (military rations), while others are busting out their Cokes from their mini-cooler and eating steaks for dinner, and looking at Campmor catalogs and reading magazines at night under their gas lanterns. I'm not saying our way is better, just another point of view. We don't force anyone to haul in that peg malet or inflatable raft =).

And actually, when I think about it, I personally don't haul in too much luxorious, but I do enjoy reading my friend's magazines, having a piece of steak, and using the loppers instead of the Swiss Army knife to cut that firewood. More importantly, the adult leaders tend to carry extra water (in case the kids run out) and a larger flashlights for emergency purposes. On 2 day camps, I would say an average pack is around 40 to 50 pounds (the older kids, and the adult leaders) and around 30-40 for the younger kids. For a week long trip hike like into Haleakala, hmm.. I guess mostly everyones pack is 40-50 pounds. I say all this, but I'd have to say that if I were to do one of these mento SUPER hikes with these mento OHE people, then I would probably pack a bit lighter =)

On a trip into Waipio/Waimanu Valley on the Big Island, I wrecked my knees pretty bad because of my heavy pack. I didn't wreck them by falling or twisting it, it came just from the constant strain from that pack I guess. After around 5 hours, I developed sharp pains in my knees every step I took when hiking downhill. Up hill was ok, they didn't hurt. Others didn't injure their knees (and some had heavier packs) so I don't know what to say about that one. Perhaps it was the way I was walking, all the stomping, or I didn't train enough with a heavy pack so my knees could not take it. Or maybe I was even walking too cautiously, planting my foot into every step instead of trusting that I won't slip and walking more normally. My pack was around 45 pounds, and the hike was around 7 hours.

After that hiking trip, I would get that sore knee evertime I went on a decent hike, so I had to wear a knee brace. But I have to say that my knee has gotten much better. I think all the recent hikes I've done ("recent hikes" being all those seen on my web site) have helped my knee get better and I didn't have to use my knee brace after a while. My suggestion would be to go ahead and haul that pack on these shorter hikes, but I would carry water instead of weights. That way, you can ditch the water if you feel pain in your joints so you don't bust them up like how I did. Also, use containers that you can fill to the top. Sloshing water is bad for balance. And it might make you wanna go pee too. Advil is supposed to help pain in joints and muscles and that sort of thing.

BTW, I finally made a page for my hike up Ohulehule with Daryn, Alex, and Kurt. URL: http://www.rcarchive.com/hhg/ohule.html

There is no link to this page from the homepage yet so you will have to copy/paste or enter this URL directly.

Aloha from Vegas.
Grant Tokumi

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