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#166120 - 02/02/09 08:41 PM Re: How many miles an hour hiking? [Re: Tarzan]
Desperado Offline

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
That guy needed a different real estate agent.
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.


#166121 - 02/02/09 08:44 PM Re: How many miles an hour hiking? [Re: Desperado]
scafool Offline

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Originally Posted By: Desperado
That guy needed a different real estate agent.


Well, wherever you go, there you are.

Edited by scafool (02/03/09 07:16 AM)
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

#166128 - 02/02/09 09:33 PM Re: How many miles an hour hiking? [Re: scafool]
Homer Offline

Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 42
Loc: Sacramento, CA
That's been my experience as well. For an average (non conditioned) person, about 3-3.5 miles an hour is a fairly comfortable walking pace on even level ground with no load. When hiking on more difficult terrrain, heavy load, or if there are any hills, the speed drops dramatcially. I usually estimate an hour/mile for any group with more than a few people, unless all of them are well conditioned. That includes rest breaks, snack breaks, lunch, photo ops, etc. On shorter hikes, maybe less that 5 miles, it's probably a faster, but as the hike gets longer the speed have usually averaged around 1mph. This is a very relaxed, comfortable pace for most people. If pushed, they can do maybe 2-2.5 mph, but not for very long.

I agree with ducktapeguy, I think that 1 to 1.5 mph is about right for the average person carrying any additional weight for a sustained period. I'm certain others could maintain a better pace but not me and mine. I will have to play it conservatively. Keep it slow and steady, to reduce the risk of injury and fatigue. What did the wagon trains average, about 10 miles a day?

P.S. God help me if there are fast zombies.
"The reasonable man conforms himself to the world around him. The unreasonable man conforms the world around him to himself. Therefore, all progress is dependent upon the unreasonable man." Unknown

#166130 - 02/02/09 09:47 PM Re: How many miles an hour hiking? [Re: Tom_L]

Originally Posted By: Tom_L
There is a good reason why experienced folks always measure distances in hours, not miles when traveling on foot. The mileage itself is just meaningless in difficult terrain.

Actually mileage is not meaningless regardless of terrain. Whenever you set out for a walk whether around the neighborhood, the park, a mountain trail or on the open plains you know it is roughly xx amount of miles which = xx amount of hours to complete the walk depending on your physical conditioning.

Every walk / hike whether it is a 5 hour hike or 5 day hike also needs to factor in mileage and hours...regardless of terrain type.

#166133 - 02/02/09 09:57 PM Re: How many miles an hour hiking? [Re: Homer]
Dan_McI Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 844
Loc: NYC
Never heard of Naismith's rule.

This moring I walked about 3 miles, with a small pack around Manhattan. About an hour to go 2.5-3 miles, with plenty of people and stopping for traffic.

#166142 - 02/02/09 11:11 PM Re: How many miles an hour hiking? [Re: scafool]
samhain Offline

Registered: 11/30/05
Posts: 598
Loc: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
On my last backpack trip I was covering about a mile every 30min (according to the trail markers).

By the time I covered the 8 miles to my campsite, I was beat.

So based on that with my current condition level and a 40lb pack, 8 miles /day the max I plan on covering.

samhain autumnwood

#166149 - 02/02/09 11:49 PM Re: How many miles an hour hiking? [Re: NightHiker]
Be_Prepared Offline

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 530
Loc: Massachusetts
Lots of great input here. It's funny, when I was thinking about some of the hikes I've taken, with significant elevation change, I am sure that I've had stretches where instead of miles per hour, I'd be looking at hours per mile! The Mahoosic Notch section of the AT in western Maine comes to mind. Anyone else ever traverse that mile? I gotta dig up some pictures.

A trail I've done at least a half dozen times, roundtrip from Pinkham Notch center via Tuckerman's Ravine trail to summit of Washington. (Sometimes I go up Lions Head, and down Tuck) From the Pinkham Notch visitors center, it's about 4300 ft elevation gain to the 6288 summit. The trail is only 8.4 miles, but, it's typically an 8 hour round trip, about 1mph. The guidebook says it should take 6:20, but, I guess I'm not in that kind of shape, or pack too much stuff. Don't always keep track of top time hanging out either, especially if it's a nice day. (Nice means above freezing, in summer)

- Ron

#166183 - 02/03/09 04:02 AM Re: How many miles an hour hiking? [Re: Be_Prepared]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Depends on a lot of factors like:
How far do you have to go? A very light pack, flat ground, good conditions and only a couple of miles to go, somewhere at the other end where I can kick back and relax for a few hours and I might have jogged it at a good six, maybe seven miles per hour. Older now, I might manage five miles an hour if you sic the dogs on me.

Heavy pack, up and down mountains, lousy weather, little opportunity to rest, limits on food and water, and the realization I have to do it every day for a month may limit my pace to about one mile per hour. Maybe a bit faster. Particularly on the down slopes.

I usually figure about two miles per hour and estimate I lose about a third of that pace if I'm going up and down mountains or slogging through swamps.

Extreme conditions can cause you to have to go slow and cover several times the distance on the ground that you cover on the map. Historically going through dense jungle and near vertical slopes trained troops sometimes only cover a mile, perhaps two miles, on the map in a day.

Forced by events highly capable and motivated people have often completed remarkable feats of strength, toughness and endurance. Sometimes coming across the line half-dead after giving everything they have to give. At the same time others have died in the attempt. History is full of these death marches.

#166185 - 02/03/09 04:11 AM Re: How many miles an hour hiking? [Re: samhain]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2809
Loc: La-USA
I plan on 5 miles per day for the first 3 weeks of hiking. That also means pushing for 5 days and laying up a day or two, procuring food and resting up!
The best luck is what you make yourself!

#166189 - 02/03/09 04:29 AM Re: How many miles an hour hiking? [Re: NightHiker]
Desperado Offline

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Originally Posted By: NightHiker
There are so many variables in that question that it's difficult to answer.

Terrain - flat, hilly, mountainous, sandy, rocky, swampy...

Weather - hot, cold, dry, wet, foggy, windy...

Visibility - night, day, visible land marks, solid or risky footing, clear or faint path...

Navigation technique - map and compass, gps, terrain features...

Equipment weight - the clothes on your, light day pack, "3 day" pack, expedition loadout...

Health conditions - injuries, fatigue, recent diet, stress level...

Distance to cover - 0-5, 5-15, 15-30, 30+

Alone or as part of a group - only as fast and strong as the slowest member...

"Tactical" environment - safe or "hostile", people and animals, natural dangers like avalanch & flood...

Situational urgency - is "whenever we get there" good enough with stops to top off water & forage while enjoying the trip, or is it a matter of life and death?

Original travel plan - stop to rest at set times or upon reaching pre-determined locations?

There's a different answer for every different set of combinations. For me, hiking alone, the very best I can maintain for more than a few hours is 5 miles per hour (very light load, ideal terrain & conditions, simple navigation, etc) but I prefer (and probably average) closer to 2.

All of the above is dead on.

Assuming long distance travel...

One more thing to add. One must plan "recovery days" every so often. There are going to be times requiring rest and work that does not include traveling.

Without some down time one will eventually be wearing down but not rebuilding the muscles worn down. This will eventually slow you some.

Edited by Desperado (02/03/09 04:31 AM)
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.


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