July is a great month with the countdown to opening day of sheep season only one flip of the calander away. This is the month that sheep hunters in Alaska really start to amp up their summer training. Folks can be seen early morning and late evening hiking the neighborhoods with backpacks weighted packs. For me, it's looking a little different this year as I've had to get a bit creative with it. I've still hit a few of the local mountains, including a 45 min hike up Flattop with the 60lb pack...not too shabby, and a buddy and I even dumped our water jugs out on Wolverine Peak after an evening hike. 6.5 gallons of water in the backpack makes for about the perfect training hike and being able to unload all that weight up high, saves the knees on the decent. I'm liking this a lot more than the bag of dirt I used to haul up and down mountains.
Other alternative ways to train for the family man sheep hunter includes giving the daughter rides rides around the yard atop the pack/shoulders while I mow the lawn. What's that make, 80lbs for an hour. See, everything applies to sheep hunting!
Of course my favorite training is hauling a truck load of firewood out of the woods on a wheel barrow. Last night I brought home the third load of such. Paisley came along on this last one to join in on the late evening fun. Piggyback rides while dad pushed the wheel barrow resulted in another good work out as I turned 100yrds into a couple miles! I don't take the pack filled with water on these excursions...the demand is already enough to soak a shirt.