There is really no need to immediately hit the gym or splurge on a large amount of money to start training.

Have fun and take it easy!

For a city slicker (like myself), I would recommend taking your physical preparations slow and steady.

What are we working towards?

To prepare yourself for a long distance backpacking/hiking experience.

What does our goal lead us to?

We can split the day’s activities like so:

Day Objectives

This day plan will work nicely with a leisurely evening rest (and enjoy the nature or the hospitality of your hosts).

Let’s Start Slow and Steady!

The objective here is to build up stamina for a day’s worth of backpacking/hiking (about 10 hours) at a sustained walking pace of 5 km/h (for a total distance covered of 50 km) with a load of 20 kg.

Picking Out a Training Route

If you are not confident of your fitness level, start with relatively flat terrain first. Once you are confident of your fitness level, you can pick a route that is similar to the terrain that you will be facing during your trip or just extending the route distance.

When I first started out, I chose a simple route that is situated near my home.

Route Training I
Part of Singapore’s Northern Explorer Route of its Park Connector system. Route length 17.3 km.

While this route has slight terrain graduations but it is literally a walk in the park. Another plus point of this route is that it is cyclical (so that you repeat the same route on the same training session) and it takes you through a variety of environments (e.g. towns, suburbs, slight wilderness with paved footpaths and so on) – this would make you feel more comfortable during overseas backpacking/hiking trips.

A point to note, at least for me in Singapore, is that I do not have the option of mountainous terrain to train on regularly – I decided to prepare for this aspect via staircase ascending and descending (and submit myself to fate and luck when I actually go to the mountains overseas).

Most importantly, be prepared to do this training in various weather conditions (so pack accordingly but lightly).

Weather Conditioning

I would suggest that you condition yourself for various weather conditions by not stopping the scheduled training due to weather conditions.

  • Hot or sunny weather
    • Hydration is important as heatstroke can be fatal
  • Cold or rainy weather
    • Make sure that you brought along suitable clothing
      • down jackets for cold weather
      • rain wear for rainy weather


In case of lightning, please take shelter along the route and take precautions against falling trees (if you are out in the trail).

A good suggestion would be to the shortest feature on the terrain!

Let’s get started!

It is suggested that you start with the Beginner Level guide first. This guide will look into developing stamina and strength for this highly achievable goal.

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