Congratulations on becoming a member of the No Barriers Warriors team and joining us on one of our expeditions!

Now that you have been accepted for an expedition, here are some suggestions about how to prepare!


We often are asked how to best pack to come on the expedition. To help, we’ve put together a video!


The most commonly asked question from participants is, “What can I do to prepare, physically, for the trip?” The most common piece of advice from Warriors Alumni is:

I would tell them to prepare physically and mentally. Look at the itinerary and be prepared to do more so that if the need arises they will have something in their “reserve” tank.” – Terry, 2016 Warriors to Summit participant

“Train at home before you go. Use the time before the trip to prepare physically.” – James, 2016 Warriors to Summit participant

Clearly, physical fitness is important to our expeditions. Each No Barriers Warriors expedition is designed to push veterans mentally and physically in some of nature’s most incredible wilderness settings. Being physically prepared is important to reduce injuries on expeditions and provide the best experience for participants. That is why we are challenging you to get prepared!

Before starting any physical fitness training or plan, it is important to consult your doctor. While we cannot recommend a specific fitness plan for any participant, we can provide you with resources and challenge you to be the most prepared that you can. Below is a list of recommended milestones for participants when preparing for an expedition. Reaching these milestones is not a guarantee that participants will be able to accomplish the physical challenges that occur on an expedition. Consult your physician or doctor concerning any changes in daily fitness activities.

Length of time prior to expedition Recommended Milestone
3 months prior Be able to walk 2 miles
2 months prior Be able to walk 4 miles with weight*
1.5 months prior Be able to walk 4 miles over varied terrain*
1 month prior Be able to walk 5 miles over varied terrain with weight
2 weeks prior Be able to walk 6 miles over varied terrain with weight

* Varied terrain means both horizontal and vertical movements. For instance, walking uphill and downhill, stepping over obstacles or around them, climbing and descending stairs, etc.
* With weight is best simulated by carrying a backpack weighing 10 to 25 pounds. Backpacks on expeditions can weigh up to 50lbs in extreme cases.

Online Training Resources

Remember to consult your doctor before making any changes to your current lifestyle. No Barriers USA assumes no responsibility or liability for the suggestions found in the articles below. These articles are resources from large organizations that are prominent within the outdoors field. They should be used as resources only after consulting with your doctor and, if followed, do not guarantee that participants will be able to accomplish the physical challenges that occur on an expedition.

Braverman, Jody. “How to Train for High Altitude Hiking.” LIVESTRONG.COM. Leaf Group, 03 July 2015. Web. 02 Dec. 2016.

Summary: Hiking at a higher elevation is oftentimes demanding on the body. Here are 5 steps that will help to prepare your body for hiking at higher altitudes.

REI Co-op

@REI. “Climbing 14ers: Training Tips and Exercises.” REI. ACE, 25 Mar. 2015. Web. 02 Dec. 2016.

Summary: Colorado’s 14ers are known to be challenging mountains. This article provides readers with sample fitness plans, hiking progressions, and visuals on exercises that can be done at home.


Lyons, Casey. “Fitness Special—Hike Forever: The Total Fitness Plan – Backpacker.” Backpacker. Backpacker Magazine, 26 May 2009. Web. 02 Dec. 2016.

Summary: Backpacker Magazine has provided a slide show 4 week fitness plan provides different options for different age ranges. Slide 5 explains their physical exertion scale, which would be a good place to start.

Body Results: Wilderness Sports Conditioning

“Hiking, Backpacking & Trekking Training Program Development.” Hiking, Backpacking & Trekking Training Program Development. Body Results, 1 Feb. 2016. Web. 02 Dec. 2016.

Summary: This website discusses the types of fitness qualities that a person should focus on when training for a challenging hike. At the bottom of the page is a plethora of extra resources that can help a person to improve the fitness qualities discussed in the article.

American Alpine Institute

Gentzel, Coley. “Physical Conditioning for Mountaineering Expeditions.” Physical Conditioning for Mountaineering Expeditions. American Alpine Institute, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2016.

Summary: This article discusses eight different topics that apply to training for a difficult hike. Some of the things discussed are timing, outside activities, inside or gym activities, provides a sample weekly schedule, goals and targets to reach, and discusses diet.

After the Expedition — Phase III

The purpose of Phase III is to support and empower our Warriors Alumni to live a No Barriers Life. We do this by helping you refine your pledge; creating and executing a plan of action; working with you to ensure completion of your pledge; and ensuring you remain an active member of the No Barriers Community.

More about Phase III here:

Phase III: Focus on the Future with Positivity

Recent Warriors alumni who have completed their pledge:

Phase III: Pledge Accomplished blog series »

No Barriers

Get Involved. Be Forever Changed.

Stay up-to-date on new opportunities & community stories.