Course Preparation

Have fun and enjoy the adventure of preparation while training for your course! This is an excellent opportunity for you to get outside, get fit and explore your neighborhood's parks and recreation areas.Your attitude of commitment and willingness to try new things are two of the most important contributions you can bring to your course. Prepare yourself to take on new challenges and try new activities.

Your ability to interact well with a group is also important to successfully completing your course. Plan to be patient, to persevere, to expand your limits and to have a positive and memorable adventure! We strongly suggest that applicants who are overweight or have high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, diabetes, a prolonged sedentary lifestyle or smoke more than one pack a week consult with their physician to establish an exercise program.

You DO NOT have to be an athlete or highly-trained to attend an Outward Bound course.

You DO have to be physically capable and active. Our courses are demanding. You will use your muscles in new and challenging ways or ways that you have not used them in a while!

It takes strength and fitness to carry a 50+ pound pack for 5 miles or climb a rock wall. If you aren’t already involved in a fitness program, now is the time to start. Your efforts will pay off in enjoyment, comfort and fun.


For most people, the best and most accessible exercise is jogging—a combination of walking and running compatible with your current level of fitness, ability and interest. Why jogging? It’s the simplest, cheapest, least encumbered, most available and most efficient way to use your large leg muscles—requiring the heart and circulatory system to pump large quantities of blood and oxygen.

The most important thing is to find an activity that you enjoy doing. While exercising three times a week for thirty minutes is the minimum, five times a week is optimum physical preparation for your course.

Build in 15-30 minutes every other day for light weight training. Weight training helps build strength which will complement your aerobic fitness.


Hike with a weighted backpack. Start with 20-30 lbs., then build to 50+ lbs. If you do not own a backpack, you may be able to borrow one from a friend, family member or rent one from an outdoor sporting goods store. If none of these options are available, try a smaller "book bag" style backpack with approximately 15 lbs. in it. Start out hiking just a couple of miles on hilly terrain or stairs and increase your intensity and mileage as you gain strength and endurance. On course, you can expect to carry a backpack that weighs approximately 40 to 55 lbs. and you may be hiking for distances of five to 15 miles per day.


Climbing indoors at your local rock climbing gym is the best way to prepare for climbing outdoors. If climbing at a gym is not available, substitute pull-ups, sit-ups and strength training with weights. On course, you will practice knots, climbing and belay techniques as well as safety procedures.