Just call me Ranger Jenny

(see previous post about my year-long challenge)

Challenge 1: Backcountry Ranger

Job Description as given by Backpacker magazine: Simply put, get paid to be a backpacker.  OK, that’s too simple.  Rangers do explore sprawling wilderness areas on boot, but i’s not all peakbagging and meadow naps.  On patrol, you’ll check on visitors’ safety and lawfulness, perform trail maintenance, join search and rescue efforts, and more….According to Patti Schwind, who worked six seasons as a wilderness ranger in Idaho, “You need superior strength and stamina for all hiking conditions.  Rangers typically go on a 10-day hitch, alone, and hike up to 15 miles daily”

Entrance Exam: A backcountry ranger carries a 65-pound pack full of heavy tools such as an axe, shovel, pulaski, saw and wrench.  The following test is designed to gauge your ability to carry that pack and perform routine tasks.  You can take a one-minute rest between exercises, but to pass, you must finish it all within three hours:

—walk 5 miles at a 5% incline on a treadmill with a 50-pound pack, in 90 minutes or less

—dig a 10 foot long trench that is 2 feet wide and 2 feet deep

—push/roll a 30 pound boulder for 50 feet

Goal: Complete by end of July 2011 (five weeks to train and one week to complete challenge)

Exercise Schedule for Week 1 (June 19-25): Goal would be to run consistently and keep up with upper body weight work.  Goal here is general fitness, cardio and upper body strength.    

My short runs would be 2-3 miles, long run should be at least 5 miles, trail/hill run is max mileage.  All pushups, burpees, lunges are max # and max reps.  Core work an upper body weight work are 15 minutes each.

Day 1 (Sun 6/19): short run, stairs, pushups, upper body weight work, core work

Day 2 (Mon 6/20): trail/hills run, yoga

Day 3 (Tuesday 6/21): short run, pushups, upper body weight work, burpees, lunges

Day 4 (Wednesday 6/22): short run, dailey method

Day 5 (Thursday 6/23): long run, upper body weight work

Day 6 (Friday 6/24): pushups, burpees, lunges, yoga

Day 7 (Saturday 6/25): short run, upper body weight work, core work

A couple problems: I had no idea what a pulaski was.  The internet helped solve that. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulaski_(tool)).  I figured it was some sort of tool but yup, you learn something new every day.  Second problem—I figured that I would have to hike on a treadmill with a pack at a gym.  I don’t belong to a traditional gym, so that might be difficult, but I can figure it out.  Now, what I didn’t anticipate was having to go from that to digging trenches and rolling boulders within a minute.  Logistically, I’m not sure how that’s going to work.  I might have to get creative by timing myself on the treadmill, then doing some sort of strenuous exercise before the other parts of the exam to simulate exhaustion without needing to move a treadmill to the beach (which is, I think the only place that will allow me to legally dig a trench).  Thoughts anyone?

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