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pack test for hand crews

I had a question on preperation for the pack test,i do not live near any canyons or mountains however i can make a drive.I work out at a local gym,any suggestions on what machines or exercises i can do,and i just bought a pair of whites,should i just start walking in them thru-out the day.I am older than most applicants,i am in good health and i am hopeing on passing this test.I have time so i want to prepare now.Any input would be appreciated.Thanks so much.


Here is a link to a thread you posted about a year ago with almost the exact same question... should check it out, nothing has changed.

Good luck,
"No one's perfect, practice makes improvement."

Dan-O, quick suggestion about your boots. Anyone who's been a wildland firefighter will tell you that your boots are possibly your most important piece of equipment. You're on your feet alot, and it affects your work level if you can't move comfortably for fourteen days in the bush. You called your boots "Whites"... so you almost certainly mean Whites Smokejumpers. Before you commit to those boots, go back to where you bought them and try on a pair of Whites Hawthorne's.

You've probably heard many people talk about Whites Smokejumpers like they're God's gift to your feet, and they CAN be if you BREAK THEM IN! You need to know what you're in for if you decide to keep them... they are the HARDEST boot to break into. You asked, "Should i just start walking in them thru-out the day?" The answer is a BIG yes, that and MORE! You need at least a month of hardcore hiking on rough terrain before those boots break in. It's going to hurt alot, but if you don't put in that time you'll be hating yourself when your 3 days into your first strike team and your feet are already blistered and bleeding.

My personal opinion, the Hawthorne's are better. They're made by the same company, Whites. AND, compared to the smokejumpers, my Hawthornes:
- fit my feet better
- were just as durable
- only took a week of break in
- cost $100 or so less (if money's an issue to you that can be important

Die-hard Whites lovers out there will tell you that the smokejumpers are COMPLETELY rebuildable and that makes them the better investment because when they're all worn out you can pay a fraction of the buying price to get them remade. What they probably don't know (because White's doesn't advertise the fact... they make more money off of smokejupers that way) is that Hawthornes are rebuildable too. The only part of the Hawthornes that Whites won't rebuild are the shanks, because they're steel. Smokejumpers have a leather shank that allow them to be rebuilt. This shouldn't be an issue, unless you do something crazy to your boots that warrants replacing the shank... Now I'm a specialist in finding new and amazing ways to screw up, but even I don't think I could screw up a shank that badly. The rest of the boot is just as rebuildable, and White's will do the work on them.

But, those are my experiences. Everyones FOOT will be different, so you need to find out for yourself. Just don't make the mistake of assuming smokejumpers (or Hawthornes) are the be-all-end-all of wildland firefighting boots. Find what fits YOU best.
This message was edited by MTDavidson83 on 5-19-05 @ 4:57 PM

I not sure why this question was even asked! Put on a pack and start hiking! What are you doing right now? Well, maybe you should hike instead! Need a pack? Get a book bag and fill it up with weight. That's the best way to train, just git r dun!

Thanks for the reply,i guess i always knew that,just needed to hear it.I have started the hiking,not easy,but it will get easier as i continue.Thanks again