Jungle bound until July 7


As of September 2017, new Sweat Science columns are being published at www.outsideonline.com/sweatscience. Check out my bestselling new book on the science of endurance, ENDURE: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, published in February 2018 with a foreword by Malcolm Gladwell.

- Alex Hutchinson (@sweatscience)


I’m flying out tomorrow morning to Papua New Guinea for a hiking trip along the Kokoda Track — definitely new territory for Lauren and me. A friend at Outside sent me this link to a story about a hike in the same region from a few years ago, which made me excited and a little nervous. While we’ve done some fairly intense hikes in Canada and the Australian outback, this will be a different kind of trip. We know a lot about bear-proofing and alpine passes, but not a lot about leeches and jungle rivers…


For the record, while most Australians who hike this route do so as part of fully outfitted groups (it’s a World War II battle site with significant meaning to Aussies), we’re schlepping our own food and gear. We will have a guide with us, though. The one thing we don’t have (which this bit of research from last week is making me regret) is hiking poles…

Anyway, the point of this post is that it’s astronomically unlikely that I’ll find any Internet between now and July 7 — so check back then as I start sorting through the backlog of cool studies that I have sitting on my desk right now!

[The picture above, from the Outside story I linked to, is by Philipp Engelhorn.]