Conditioning Hikes are completed throughout the training cycle to prepare recruits for tactical foot movements. Also known as “humps”, these hikes range in distance from 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) to 15 kilometers (9.3 miles). The prescribed weights from 40 to 60 pounds are established to simulate movement of weapon, gear and self to the fight.
Hikes are completed on Saturday mornings and are led by the Company Commander. Hikes are preceeded by a hot meal in the chow hall, and recruits are given a piece of fruit or an energy bar which can be consumed at rest stops to sustain them through the event.
The Company Commander will lead the recruits on a variety of surfaces to include roadway, sidewalk, and dirt trail. Because these events can take several hours, platoons will be rested every 3 miles. At rest breaks, recruits will drop their packs so they can consume snacks, change socks, and repair gear as needed. They will also be allowed to refill water and make head calls before SDIs confirm accountability and the event resumes.
By completing each of the hikes during training, recruits will become more resilient to future training and combat operations. They will also develop critical self-care skills such as blister prevention.