This is a question mostly asked by males. I would suggest that’s because they mainly think laterally and why train for a walk???
I have trained hikers, mountaineers and climbers in strength and conditioning for the last four years. Many of these clients have trained for hiking, trails and mountains overseas. Most of their training they do on the local trails and surrounding mountains and in the gym.
The biggest and most relevant reason for training for hiking is to be conditioned and strong enough to complete your hike and with enough energy in the tank to enjoy it. If its a physical struggle to just hike a mountain, then the struggle is going to be Physical and Mental! The latter is much harder to deal with but if you are fit then the mental struggle is easier.
That little negative voice in your head that places blocks in your way. “This is hard! I cannot do this! I don’t want to hold people up! The little mean voice that blurs your ability to do things with a positive attitude.
Feeling strong and conditioned for what you are doing means you will enjoy it more. It means you will have more confidence in what you are doing and hopefully inspire you to do more hiking!
Confidence and mental strength is not something you get and then have. Like any skill you need to keep working on it. Going out of your comfort zone and pushing past some of the limits you are putting on yourself, increases this skill. It doesnt mean go and climb Everest after hiking your first hill. It means next time trying something a little farther or higher or putting some weight in my pack to increase the intensity. Increments need to be small and constant.
Why should i train for hiking? Because it’s a brilliant past time and if it’s enjoyable then you will do it again and there is so many benefits to being in the wilderness!
Remember if you train right, Everything is Possible!