Fitness and Safety

In order to be sure that everyone has a great time on the trail, it is important to be in good physical condition. Trek will require hiking while pushing and pulling loaded handcarts weighing hundreds of pounds. Participants should feel confident and excited rather than anxious about this challenge. Preparation will reduce anxiety about the physical nature of trek, prevent injuries and fatigue, and help everyone enjoy the spiritual, social and emotional blessings of the experience. Please direct questions about physical preparation to your Young Women and Young Men leaders. Have fun getting ready for trek!  Those with physical limitations should reach out to trek organizers so that appropriate accommodations can be made.

Fitness Requirements

Everyone participating in trek needs to be physically fit enough to complete a 3-mile hike within 1 hour. Wards and branches should schedule a youth fitness activity to do a hike like this but you are responsible for yourself and for being in shape for trek. Please contact us regarding youth in your ward/branch that are specifically challenged and discuss opportunities for them to be appropriately involved in this amazing event.

Sample Conditioning Schedule

Trek preparation is a great excuse to meet during the week to walk together, have a joint activity walk-a-thon, or exercise with family members. This schedule is one idea of how to get started, and can be adapted for different levels of fitness. Anyone beginning a new exercise routine should consult with their doctor first. Remember to wear the shoes you will wear on trek!

Basic Workout Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Week 1 Walk 15 min 15 min 15 min 15min
Push-Ups 2x 2x 2x 2x 2x 2x
Sit-Ups 5x 5x 5x 5x 5x 5x
Week 2 Walk 30 min 30 min 30 min 30 min
Push-Ups 4x 4x 4x 4x 4x 4x
Sit-Ups 10x 10x 10x 10x 10x 10x
Week 3 Walk 30 min 45 min 30 min 45 min
Push-Ups 6x 6x 6x 6x 6x 6x
Sit-Ups 15x 15x 15x 15x 15x 15x
Week 4 Walk 45 min 60 min 45 min 60 min
Push-Ups 8x 8x 8x 8x 8x 8x
Sit-Ups 25x 25x 25x 25x 25x 25x
Week 5 Walk 45 min 60 min 45 min 60 min
Push-Ups 8x 8x 8x 8x 8x 8x
Sit-Ups 25x 25x 25x 25x 25x 25x
Week 6+ Walk 60 min 60 min 60 min 60 min 60 min 60 min
Push-Ups 10x 10x 10x 10x 10x 10x
Sit-Ups 30x 30x 30x 30x 30x 30x

Footwear - Important Safety Considerations

Type: Boots are recommended for those who have a tendency to roll or sprain their ankles. Sturdy walking shoes are acceptable. When choosing footwear, remember that it will receive heavy wear and will get very dirty. Blisters are the most common medical condition and can ruin the experience for some, but they can be avoided!

Fit: Footwear should be comfortably snug when wearing two pairs of socks (see below). If footwear is too tight, blisters will form on the toes and heels, and if too roomy, on the bottom of the foot. Insoles are another good way to reduce friction between the sole of the boot or shoe and the bottom of the foot. It is essential to "break in" footwear thoroughly before we hit the trail. Also remember to trim your toenails if necessary, several days before trek.

Socks: Even after footwear is broken in, it is still necessary to prevent blisters by wearing one pair of thin nylon, polypropylene, or rayon socks under another pair of thicker wool socks. This reduces friction between footwear and the foot. Cotton socks should not be worn as they form folds, which quickly cause blisters. Cotton socks also hold moisture and dry slowly, making them unsuitable for hiking.