Trail Tales: Endurance Hike Testimonials

Embarking on a journey through the great outdoors is not just a physical feat but a transformative experience that pushes the boundaries of our endurance and resilience. In the world of hiking, there exists a unique breed of adventurers who seek not just the thrill of conquering peaks, but the profound sense of self-discovery that comes with each step taken on a challenging trail.

In this blog post, we bring you some inspiring testimonials from our team and hikers who have embraced the world of endurance hikes! Motivated individuals who have found strength, and personal triumph, along the winding paths of nature’s gym.

So, whether you’re a seasoned hiker seeking new challenges or new to the hiking world and eager to explore your potential, these testimonials are bound to resonate with the adventurer in you.

Consider this an invitation to lace up your boots and embark on your own journey towards becoming “hike-fit.” Add endurance hikes to your hiking schedule, set goals for longer journeys, and embrace steeper descents. Get ready to transform your hiking experience, one step at a time. 

Endurance hiking has significantly enhanced my outdoor adventures. The support and increased fitness gained by boosting hiking pace, engaging in strength training on hills, and carrying weight have made navigating trails much smoother. This training proved invaluable during a recent multi-day tour, where I had noticeable more confidence and control throughout.

The sense of community with like-minded individuals adds an extra layer to the experience. Personal challenges, especially in challenging conditions, push boundaries and reveal newfound strength.

Endurance hiking, beyond its physical benefits, offers a valuable learning opportunity from experienced guides. Witnessing individuals overcome fears through self-talk and visualization is truly inspiring. In essence, endurance hiking is a transformative journey, elevating both fitness levels and personal resilience on the trail.

– Heidi, Tour Guide

While I may not consider myself a “natural” endurance hiker, I’ve come to recognize the value they add to long-term hiking goals, especially for multi-day trips. Incorporating endurance hikes into my routine has been a game-changer. If I can endure a challenging day, I find myself appreciating and enjoying longer walks even more. The beauty of these hikes is that I don’t always need a hiking buddy, as most participants are like-minded, creating a supportive and motivating atmosphere. There are moments when you simply get into “the zone” and get it done.

Surprisingly, with each repetition of an endurance hike, it feels easier and not as daunting as initially perceived. What makes it enjoyable is being outdoors in nature, setting and achieving mini goals like reaching the top of a hill or navigating through amusing rock formations – some of which might look a bit indecent, adding a touch of humor to the journey. Interestingly, I’ve discovered that I don’t need music, and thoughts of work or life drama fade away.

While I initially added endurance hikes for track fitness to enhance my enjoyment of longer walks, I’ve also found joy in incorporating a more relaxed approach. Sometimes, I mix it up with a hike, wine, and dine session when I crave a lazier buzz. It’s all about finding that perfect balance between pushing boundaries and indulging in the sheer pleasure of the outdoors

– Vicky, Hiker

For me the endurance hikes are all about the personal challenge, getting out of your comfort zone and striving to achieve better. It’s not purely about being first up the hills or fastest paced on the flats….. it’s pushing yourself that little bit harder to elevate your standard to a higher level than usual and strive to try your best.

The feeling of self-fulfilment when you are satisfied with your efforts is second to none. The only close contender is the vibe shared amongst the group, most of our enduro participants are repeat offenders and all make the environment so welcoming in that they support each other to do their own bests and even spread positivity to the newcomers who may not believe they can get the job done.

The results are typically a very satisfied group who all share a common bond of conquering the “beast” that our enduros are reputed to be.

Though once completed, most say all in all it wasn’t so bad. The camaraderie for those who have set out and completed the task at hand is so good to see. Even us guides have a great time, joining in the banter of the group.

– Mark, Hiker & Volunteer Guide

Endurance as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary – the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity. That definition is one of the reasons I find myself drawn to the OTBT endurance hikes. The challenge I choose to put myself through knowing that I have it within me to achieve a goal under stress and adversity. That feeling of accomplishment at the end of every hike reminds me of how capable we as humans can be no matter the challenge.

This can be accomplished on a solo hike. However, how an OTBT hike differs is that on most days you are thrown in with a group of strangers all experiencing the same challenges with their own individual skill levels. The morning starts with the welcoming smiles of OTBTs professional and experienced guides, any nerves and anxieties for the events ahead are quickly subdued as you are introduced by the guides to the rest of the awaiting group of hikers. Ranging from the first timers to the experienced hikers. After we are welcomed and introduced to a snippet of the trail ahead, we set off on our adventure. And an adventure it is.

Our guides, one leading and the other following from behind to ensure we are keeping pace and not falling too far behind keeps you feeling safe and challenged at the same time. Something about being in a group of hikers setting off on a challenge together gives you a sense of belonging and almost a reminder of how we humans have been designed to walk and through modern times we have forgotten how our bodies were meant to function. The feeling of being a part of a tribe moving through terrain as simple as a sandy path that eventually turns into a loose gravel punishing hill, the inner voice breaking through full of self doubt and pain. However this is quickly silenced by the voices of encouragement coming from our guides and other hikers pushing us through that moment of pain. You are encouraged by words of advice and tips on how to make the struggle easier. This will continue throughout the journey. But, it’s the conversations and stories from the rest of your new tribe that distracts you from any hardship you are experiencing. Not to forget the amazing and beautiful flora and fauna of your surroundings encapsulating the beauty of this world around us. When we finally reach the peak of any hill and you get to admire the views around us, you earn a sense of gratitude at altitude. Let’s not forget when you get midway you get to share a well prepared snack with your group, just as our tribal ancestors once did. With full bellies and a glucose recharge we set off once again to fulfill our goal of accomplishment. As we continue to trek through continuing the many stories and discussions with your tribe we are met with the trails conclusion. Cheers of celebration and encouragement are shared and that feeling of accomplishment floods in. New friendships are formed and knowing that you as an individual was able to endure a challenging task with a supporting group of amazing humans leaves your heart filled with gratitude.

– Rossdy, Hiker

6 year ago the though of doing an Endurance Hike made me cringe. I knew there was absolutely a place for them with OTBT and that is why we created them, but I just didn’t understand the appeal of walking fast up hills and exerting myself.

Even when I went out on the famils to map out the route and do a risk assessment I did not have fun. But then over the years as my fitness has improved I wanted to push that bit harder. I started going out and doing the routes by myself at a slower pace because I felt like I’d never keep up with the groups. I was exactly where most hikers probably feel they are – scared of tackling the beast of enduros and doubting themselves. BUT in 2023 I decided to tackle all of the Endurance Hikes we offered – even WUNGONG! The feeling I got when I completed Wungong and even managed to keep up with the group was incredible. I finally understood the appeal. That sense of achievement, the endorphins, the dopamine rush, it was simply amazing. I am generally a slower hiker, who loves to stop and smell the roses (take photos, look at wildflowers, fungi and breathe in that fresh air), but there is definitely a place for Endurance Hiking in my schedule now as it is a way for me to work on my fitness, mental health and confidence . Oh the camaraderie and banter is also second to none! Lol

– Tracy, Founder, Director & Guide

Find your next adventure