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Miles to Nowhere: Hiking Death Valley

Expert survivalist Thomas Coyne talks extreme conditioning and what it takes to survive in Death Valley.

Tough Exterior

With an average of 15 daylight hours every day, summer is the perfect time to take your training outdoors and try new things. It’s ideal for trail running, hiking, rock climbing, sailing and mountain biking. Plus, outdoor exercise can fire your body up to recruit muscles you didn’t know you had, leading to new muscle growth.

And what girl doesn’t like a guy with a tough side? Take Bear Grylls, for example, who munches grubs on camera with their guts spewing wide angle, and college girls and cougars alike go crazy over him. Earn your wilderness cred (not to mention your six-pack) and you might have the same pull as Grylls come summer.  

No Idea If It Could Be Done

Thomas Coyne could take your girl for that exact reason. As a wilderness skills expert, founder of the Survival Training School of California, and former lead rescue Wildlands firefighter, he’s tested the limits of his physical and mental threshold—and passed with flying colors.

Last fall, he trekked 135 miles starting at the hotter-than-hell Badwater Basin of Death Valley (with the highest recorded temperature of 130 degrees) and ending at the top of Mount Whitney, 14,505 feet above sea level. He brought no food, water, lighter, matches, sleeping bag, or tent—just a 7-inch blade knife and a sun hat. Extreme? Absolutely. Find out how he did it, then strap your boots on to hit the largest gym around: the great outdoors.

NEXT: Our interview with Thomas Coyne >>

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