How Hard Will This Be?
Starting in 2015, we’re adding a physical challenge scale to our programs based on a 1-5 rating. Physical difficulty refers to how physically arduous and demanding a program is, and how fit a person should plan to be before participating.
Wilderness Bushcraft Semester: 4
Boreal Snowshoe Expedition: 4
Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester: 5
Yearlong Wilderness Bushcraft Immersion Program: 5
Summer Woodsman: 2
Winter Woodsman: 3
What The Numbers Mean
1: Easy. Person should be comfortable with physical tasks such as walking on level terrain or paddling a canoe for a short distance.
2: Some Challenge More challenging walking conditions, paddling into a headwind, some lifting of heavy packs and boats, but not much.
3: Intermediate. Can be long days of easy activity, some carrying of canoes, uneven hiking terrain with some hills. Physical training prior to arriving is helpful.
4: Advanced. Long days, carrying canoes and other heavy items on uneven trails, cutting wood, etc. Your body is the engine that gets it done. Physical training prior to arriving is highly advised.
5: Expedition/Extreme. Expedition-level fitness. Not a triathlon or bodybuilding event, but functional strength and endurance needed to successfully complete program. Hiking mountains carrying boats, hauling loaded toboggans, etc. Physical training prior to arriving is mandatory.
What You Can Do To Increase Your Physical Strength And Endurance
In the months leading up to your immersion course or expedition, you should be actively training your body both in strength and endurance. You don’t need to be an ironman or a bodybuilder to succeed on our program. However, the more functional strength and endurance you have, the easier it will be and the more you’ll get out of it. It takes muscle power to paddle all day, carry an 18′ boat on your shoulders, and still have enough in the tank to cut firewood to cook dinner. Prepare by getting out and working hard.