Close banner

Support Outside Online

Love Outside?

Help fund our award-winning journalism with a contribution today.

Contribute to Outside
HealthTraining & Performance

What's the best way to train for a Wildland Fire Certification test?

To obtain Wildland Fire Certification in March, I must be able to walk or run three miles wearing 45 pounds in less than 45 minutes. The test takes place over varied topography on pavement. Can you recommend a training strategy? Gail Hellertown, Pennsylvania


Provided you can already run or walk the course in 45 minutes, you'll want to add weight during your training. Start with 10 to 25 pounds and slowly increase the load in 10-pound increments until you're hiking at an incline with a 45-pound pack.

Keep in mind that as you add weight, it will become increasingly difficult to maintain proper posture. Focus on standing tall with your chest up and your shoulder blades drawn back and down, and avoid bending over at the waist as this could slow you down and increase your risk for injury.

Do this two to three times a week. Then, twice a week, run, bike, or hike hills at a steady pace and lift weights (prior to your cardio) to build strength and stability.

-- Paul Robbins, metabolic specialist, Athletes' Performance

Support Outside Online

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.

Contribute to Outside