here is my take. I have done a couple of triathalons( i don't get the point) and love sheep hunting. I am an avid mountain biker. I have to stay in shape year round.
Climbing hills with weight on your back is an excellent work out and a good way to make your knees hurt after to much working out. A good way to climb hills and save the knees is to climb with jugs of water in your pack. at the top dump them out and climb down. you get the weight for climbing and save the knees coming back down. this wouldn't be possible running stairs. to much time dumping and adding water. aslo you do a 6 hour mountian bike ride thru big country every weekend and come hunting season you will fly up those hills.
carbs: you need them. that simple. but you should only eat them when you need them. If you are not excersing or doing anything that day, say sitting at the computer all day. don't eat any carbs. going out for a 3 hour bike ride with the boys after work. eat pasta with meat sauce. You balance your food intake with your calorie outake. But if you where to backpack hunt all season with no carbs, your body wouldn't be able to do it. remember the cave men didn't excurt hours upon hours of high heart rate excersie unless a wolly mammoth was chasing them. Our diet can mirrors theirs. but we also need to add carbs for those days you will excirt lots of energy.
Let me start by telling you the story of two Johns.
John number one went on a day hike with a couple of friends in the Cascade Mountains about an hour from Seattle. He somehow got separated from his buddies and became lost. John was dressed in casual cloths for a warm weather day hike and had nothing but a lunch with him. He spent three days in those mountains and luckily made it out to tell the story.
John number two, a friend of John number one, was much better prepared when...