Monday, 3 March 2014

Sherpa walk, the best way with a heavy pack.

I bet your thinking, what's the Sherpa walk? Well it's a type of walking used by the Sherpas of the Himalayas. Sherpas lives revolve around the mountains and often have to carry perticularly heavy kit. 

The boots Sherpas use aren't the solid plastic stiff soled boots we see on mountaineers. Yet they still manage to tackle some of the toughest terrain on the globe. The knoledge I'm going to give you is their secret in doing it.

When we try to climb uphill we all tend to use a wide gait, the same gait as we use on the flat ground. This striding step both strains your tendons and joints, and burns vital callories which on a meager diet isn't good at all. The Sherpas use a lot of smaller steps. These allow your muscles to work more naturally and use the elasticity to their advantage. 

When you add a heavy pack your muscles have to work far harder. The strain on your joints is also noticeable. When we revert to the Sherpa walk this becomes far less noticeable.

So today I decided to see if this was definitely the case, and the one and only way to do it is to find a steep rugged area and give it a go. So I grabbed as much heavy kit as I could and stuffed a fairly large pack full. I think it was a good 80lb of kit in there. Anyway I strapped my pack on and headed for my chosen incline. 

So I tried both methods of walking without a pack first. I found that it was easy enough both ways. The Sherpa walk was unusual at first but pleasant. The next time it was with the pack. This was where I found the biggest difference. The standard gait felt strenuous in comparison, this I had never found in all the years I've been in the outdoors.

Just to say though, I want anyone who reads this to go out and try it, it works for me. 

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