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Dennis Schaub
08-16-2018, 12:10
Obviously, this is very personal and varies from person to person and place to place. I'm trying to figure out a realistic distance my son and I can hike in a day. Seems like the average hiker is around 10-15ish. I would like to cover more ground than that. We are leaving Harper's Ferry next week heading north, 3 days, two nights. I am 42/m, he is 13/m, both very fit (marathoner, obstacle course racing, etc). In my mind, I was planning 20 mile days, but after more research, it looks like the average is only half that?

Berserker
08-16-2018, 12:22
Depends on what you want to get out of your hike. You can surely do 20 mile days, but you'll be hiking from dawn till dusk and then eating and sleeping the rest of the time. If you want to spend time hanging out in camp you'll want to back that off a bit. If you are doing MD, that's easy terrain, so you should be able to leave camp in the morning, hike 10-15 miles and then make camp around 4 - 5 leaving you time to hang out. Also, not sure if your 13 year old is into 20 mile days or not...that's a lot of mileage per day.

Heliotrope
08-16-2018, 12:25
If you havenít done any overnight trips together then you donít have a reasonable point of reference to base your trip on. Perhaps consider this a chance to learn what you can both handle and set a moderate goal. If you end up going faster than 10-15 mpd then great. And are you having fun doing it?


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tflaris
08-16-2018, 12:35
If you average 1.5 mph for 8 hours you would have achieved 12 miles.

This was a good starting point for us when we first started LD Hiking.

TF



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tdoczi
08-16-2018, 12:38
youre going to be hiking on largely very easy trails.

this perhaps presents two factors to keep in mind-

1- you may be able to do more than you think, and with seemingly little effort

2- if this happens you should not think of this as indicative of how future hiking trips might go.

i think if youre in reasonable shape and arent easily made tired by simply walking all day youll find it not a problem at all to make 15 MPD

lonehiker
08-16-2018, 12:43
It will be a bit tougher than what you are expecting. The weight of the packs will be the unknown variable especially if you aren't going particularly lightweight. I would plan on 12-15 miles for food planning purposes. If you do manage to pull off more mileage it isn't a big deal.

Slo-go'en
08-16-2018, 13:09
The other factor is the spacing of shelters. The area you are planning to hike in is "designated sites only", which means you can't just camp anywhere. This might mean some designated sites may seem too close but if you skip one the next might be too far. (if you don't have a guide book to help plan with distances, you best get one ASAP)

The trail north of HF isn't very difficult by AT standards, but it's not flat either. There are a few modest climbs and a lot of small ups and downs. Put on a 25-30 pound pack and hike in 90 degree humid weather and that really slows you down. Hiking is a lot different then running.

I would keep your goals modest for this first trip and see how it goes.

illabelle
08-16-2018, 13:23
Another factor that often gets left out of these discussions is whether you and your son's feet are conditioned for a full day of hiking. It's quite possible to have enough energy to keep on going, but have feet that are too sore. Best to be conservative with your ambitions until you know what your limitations are.

Dennis Schaub
08-16-2018, 13:24
This is why I posted the question, I am trying to figure out where we are going to stay overnight, I should have stated that in the original post. Sounds like 12-15 MPD is the consensus, so I will plan for that! Thanks everyone.

Venchka
08-16-2018, 13:43
More than 3!
Wayne

Captain Panda
08-16-2018, 14:07
I'm sure you are in great shape; but being in hiking shape carrying a pack is a whole other matter. Most thru hikers start out with modest mileage, and at some point are able to put in big days. Trying to do that kind of distance from the get go, even in relatively easy terrain may result in anything from blisters to an assortment of injuries, which could make the trip very unpleasant. Most hiking injuries are caused by: too heavy, too fast, too long. You and your son will enjoy the trip a lot more if you aren't pushing hard all day to do somewhat unrealistic mileage.

Venchka
08-16-2018, 14:10
More than 3!
Wayne
Miles that is!
Wayne

HooKooDooKu
08-16-2018, 14:37
This is why I posted the question, I am trying to figure out where we are going to stay overnight, I should have stated that in the original post. Sounds like 12-15 MPD is the consensus, so I will plan for that! Thanks everyone.
Depending upon the steepness of the terrain, my experienced 12yo does 12-14 MPD.

peakbagger
08-16-2018, 14:55
Depends on many things. Many folks can crank out the miles one day and then have to back way off the next two or three as they pushed to hard on the first day. Far better off setting a 6 to 7 hour first day without pushing it and then adding a bit more on subsequent days. For week long section hikes I usually had a planned mileage for each day and then a "stretch" goal for each day. If conditions were good and we hit the planned goal we usually would go for the stretch goal,. If the weather was crappy or other reasons we may just do the plan.

I would start out with 7 hours of hiking plus 1.5 hour of breaks (20 minutes for lunch and 10 minutes every hour. That a 14 mile day for average conditions less if there is a lot of elevation more if flat. As the week goes on the pack get lighter add an hour. I find adding 2 hours a day is too much over the long run.

Mugthumper
08-16-2018, 14:57
If you do not have backpacking experience, I would not recommend planning any days longer than 16 miles, even if you are physically fit. That section is not particularly challenging, but like others mentioned, the weight of a pack and your feet could slow you down. Besides, there is a lot of history along this section of the trail, and it'd be a shame to pass it all by because you wanted to make miles.

If I were planning a 3 day / 2 night section here, I would start at Harper's Ferry and finish at Pen Mar Park. I would walk a quarter a mile further to reach the Mason-Dixon Line and you will have officially completed Maryland. Then head back the quarter mile to Pen Mar. This is approximately 41 miles and very reasonable for the first time backpacking on the AT and will also allow time to enjoy yourselves.

An itinerary to consider;

Day 1 Harper's Ferry - Crampton Gap Shelter = 10.4 miles
Day 2 Crampton Gap - Pogo Memorial Campsite = 15.9 miles
Day 3 Pogo Memorial Campsite - Mason Dixon Line = 14.6 miles

Dennis Schaub
08-16-2018, 20:13
Thanks! That's super helpful!

Rain Man
08-16-2018, 21:34
Heat can really sap strength and endurance. IMHO better to plan short miles and exceed rather than long days and "fail."

I also agree that MD has lots of historic sites to spend good time at.

Last Call
08-16-2018, 22:22
Slow and easy, especially if novice backpackers....pack makes a difference.

Kerosene
08-17-2018, 11:05
Until you have a couple of hikes under your belts, I would suggest you start with shorter, slower 10-mile days. There's no reason why you couldn't extend any one day if you're feeling good and aren't ready to stop. The worst that would happen is that you'll be carrying a bit more food than you need, you'll get home a day early, and maybe you have to dry camp if you can't make it to the next official campsite or shelter.

Use your first hike or two to figure out what you are both capable of, then adjust your mileage for future hikes based on the terrain and anticipated weather. For example, before my knees gave out I was quite confident that I could get out and complete successive 15-mile days on the southern AT. In some sections (WV/MD, SNP, southern VA) I readily extended to 18-20+ days as the trail was smooth (not necessarily flat, but few rocks and roots) and my weather was ideal. By the time I sectioned NH, I realized that I would be lucky to cover 15 miles across all those rocks and roots (climbs don't really slow me down very much), and cut back my anticipated daily mileage to 10-12 (which was still tough on some days!). That mileage popped back up to 14-16 when I eventually covered northern ME. Note that for these hikes (2000-2014) I was a physically fit male soccer player with very strong legs and great cardio, aged 43-57, carrying a pack that was less than 15% of my bodyweight (24-26 lbs with 3 days of supplies and 2L of water for shoulder season hikes). Most of these hikes were solo, and I typically walked fewer miles in a day when I had a partner.

Just Bill
08-17-2018, 11:13
If you don't know....
5-10 miles per day is a good number.

Seriously.

Most people forget it's easy enough to put in a decent day, but two and three days in a row is where the proof shows up in the pudding.

If you are fit, hike often with a 10 lb daypack in similar terrain... I wouldn't plan more than 80% of your average day hike per day.
Most don't do 20 mile day hikes... so most shouldn't plan 15 mile a day outings.

Best case- you do great, it's easy as hell, you're happy, and you come back.
And since we are talking the AT... well it just keeps going if you find yourself at camp with nothing to do at 2 pm you can just walk to the next campsite down the line.

Worst case- All too frequently folks overestimate the miles they will cover. It then sucks, you feel defeated, you're unhappy, rushed, sore and worst of all- you don't come back.

Just Bill
08-17-2018, 11:24
Also- 13 year old.
Fit or not... you never quite know.

In scouts when I planned routes we shot for a 3 route plan... high, low, medium.
Sometimes teens are best kept busy from dawn til dusk and put to bed worn and tired.
Sometimes teens are best left to find that creek to take an impromptu swim, practice building a fire, or exploring something found along the way.

A good route should have a few layers and fall back plans. Ways to cut it short or stretch it out.

Give it a 5 or 10 on day 1... there's always some fuddling around getting to the trail, playing with last minute crap at the car, or stopping for a bite that leaves you not quite rolling early as planned.
I know Ohio isn't California... but you may be a bit burned out from driving too on day 1. On Day 3... you may want a bit of time to get cleaned up, grab a meal, and get on the road at a decent time too.
Look ahead... if you do feel great and want to stretch... what could make sense on day 2.

The AT has lots of 5-7 mile increments that can be mixed and matched on the fly.
Go ahead and plan a 5/10/15 MPD set of routes. That will get you familiar with your options.
If'n you and junior are sitting there twiddling your thumbs and he's bored out of his mind- then feel free to run each other into the ground. ;)

MtDoraDave
08-17-2018, 11:46
Even if I've been training here in Florida prior to a section, it does not get me ready to do long miles on day one of an AT section hike.
I usually get shutled on day one, starting a bit late, and try for 8-10 miles on day one, adding a couple miles each day on the trail. By the fifth day, I can do a 20 miler.
Doing long miles on day one is a sure way to be miserable for the next two days.

Dennis Schaub
08-17-2018, 13:47
Yup, that is why I posted the question. I think we have a good mid-distance plan, if we are feeling good, we can always tack on a bit more or call it quits early. Thanks for the tips!
Also- 13 year old.
Fit or not... you never quite know.

In scouts when I planned routes we shot for a 3 route plan... high, low, medium.
Sometimes teens are best kept busy from dawn til dusk and put to bed worn and tired.
Sometimes teens are best left to find that creek to take an impromptu swim, practice building a fire, or exploring something found along the way.

A good route should have a few layers and fall back plans. Ways to cut it short or stretch it out.

Give it a 5 or 10 on day 1... there's always some fuddling around getting to the trail, playing with last minute crap at the car, or stopping for a bite that leaves you not quite rolling early as planned.
I know Ohio isn't California... but you may be a bit burned out from driving too on day 1. On Day 3... you may want a bit of time to get cleaned up, grab a meal, and get on the road at a decent time too.
Look ahead... if you do feel great and want to stretch... what could make sense on day 2.

The AT has lots of 5-7 mile increments that can be mixed and matched on the fly.
Go ahead and plan a 5/10/15 MPD set of routes. That will get you familiar with your options.
If'n you and junior are sitting there twiddling your thumbs and he's bored out of his mind- then feel free to run each other into the ground. ;)

Mugthumper
08-17-2018, 15:38
Also- 13 year old.
Fit or not... you never quite know.

In scouts when I planned routes we shot for a 3 route plan... high, low, medium.
Sometimes teens are best kept busy from dawn til dusk and put to bed worn and tired.
Sometimes teens are best left to find that creek to take an impromptu swim, practice building a fire, or exploring something found along the way.

A good route should have a few layers and fall back plans. Ways to cut it short or stretch it out.

Give it a 5 or 10 on day 1... there's always some fuddling around getting to the trail, playing with last minute crap at the car, or stopping for a bite that leaves you not quite rolling early as planned.
I know Ohio isn't California... but you may be a bit burned out from driving too on day 1. On Day 3... you may want a bit of time to get cleaned up, grab a meal, and get on the road at a decent time too.
Look ahead... if you do feel great and want to stretch... what could make sense on day 2.

The AT has lots of 5-7 mile increments that can be mixed and matched on the fly.
Go ahead and plan a 5/10/15 MPD set of routes. That will get you familiar with your options.
If'n you and junior are sitting there twiddling your thumbs and he's bored out of his mind- then feel free to run each other into the ground. ;)

That there is some great advice.

I am also from Ohio and did a 3 week section last summer starting at Harper's Ferry. I'm not sure what mode of transportation you have planned, but if driving, I would consider using Amtrak. I was able to travel for less than $50 last year and it arrives before noon leaving plenty of time to hike day 1. You could start the trip better rested and it beats the stress of driving in my opinion. I'd imagine that it would not be difficult to arrange a shuttle back to Harper's Ferry at the end of your trip but it would depend on where you finish.
I would also add that I would plan to make day 1 your shortest mileage day. Between travel to the trail head, Harper's Ferry and Gathland State Park (if you do plan on staying on Crampton Gap Shelter), there is a lot of history to see, read and explore in the first 10 miles. Also, there is 3 water spigots that I can remember in this section which can help save you time and weight on your back. Gathland State Park, Dahlgren Campground and Pen Mar Park all had spigots running when I passed through last July.

Christoph
08-17-2018, 17:39
Don't get too hung up on doing "miles per day". Some days you'll feel great, the trail is flat and kind, and you knock out a 25-30 mile day (my longest was 33.7). Other days, you'll feel like crap, things are sore/chaffing, sick, trail is tough going, and you "might" get 5-10. I'd look into the overall average (including days off) instead of day by day. I averaged just over 16 miles per day, only took a handful of zero days , nero's were anywhere from 5 to 10 miles, and on good days knocked 'em out of the park. Saw everything I wanted to see and made it the whole way in 132 days.

Durwood
08-17-2018, 19:16
+1 and +1. Just Bill and DW leave the longest threads ever...but they have it right.

swisscross
08-17-2018, 19:50
The OP is only going out for three days. I say crush it.
Will you be sore, sure, but you are use to the pain game.

Things to consider are start and completion times as well as daylight hours and pack weight. adjust distance according.

I myself can knock off 16 mile days during the shortest days of the year.

Reference point is that I am 50, a good 40 lbs over weight, smoker and drinker. I like to walk not camp and try to get to camp at sunset.

I see no reason why you and your son cannot push the miles.

swisscross
08-17-2018, 19:50
The OP is only going out for three days. I say crush it.
Will you be sore, sure, but you are use to the pain game.

Things to consider are start and completion times as well as daylight hours and pack weight. adjust distance according.

I myself can knock off 16 mile days during the shortest days of the year.

Reference point is that I am 50, a good 40 lbs over weight, smoker and drinker. I like to walk not camp and try to get to camp at sunset.

I see no reason why you and your son cannot push the miles.

tdoczi
08-17-2018, 20:18
ive told part of this story in some detail before, but i'll say again and go more into it.

my first multinight backpacking trip was hiking north from harper's ferry. i had done plenty of dayhiking and several overnighters, including back to back 20 mile days maybe on two occasions.

i got a late start and didn't get to HF until 11am. it was june and nearly 100 degrees out.

my plan for day 1 was to make it dahlgren, 18 miles away. i finished the day at pine knob shelter, 23 miles away, at around 8pm at night.

is this because i'm some super human hiker? no, its because that trail is ridiculously easy. there is no other stretch on the AT i have ever seen that even comes close.

sure, there seems to be wisdom in the plan for short and go further if you can suggestion. but if theres car spotting and shuttles involved thats maybe not that easy if your estimates are that far off.

on that section of trail, planning 8-10 miles a day figuring you can go further if youre feeling up to it is how you end up turning a 4 day hike into a 2.5 day hike and/or just sitting around so that you don't finish crazy early.

on day 1, if you dont stop and see the historical sites or something you're probably going to be done with 10 miles by 1pm if you get anything like an early start.

Durunner
08-17-2018, 23:29
I came from a running background to backpacking. I actually did ultras, a bunch of 50ks, a 40 miler and one 50 miler. First trip was the local PA AT. Only hard and slow thing was the rocks. Started at noon on a Friday. Did 10 miles that day. The only full day of the trip, day 2, I did 19 miles. That was hard though. I actually got to the shelter and couldn't even get myself to move for at least half an hour. I was so beat. I'm not sure I could have even hiked a full day again that third day. Luckily, I only had 7 miles to go.

I've done numerous trips and still had not gone over 19 until this past early spring. I usually still go about 12-15 miles. Doing 8 or 9 hours on the trail is enough for me. Sometimes 10 hours, but that's rare. The spring trip, I planned on 16, 16 and 8. The terrain had be easier than expected and I didn't like the camping sites at 16. So I went up the ridge. I knew the shelter was at 22.6 miles. The last 1.5-2 miles were very slow and ugly. I did 17.5 miles the following day, which was again hard. I only did that much because I knew I'd be done if I put that long of a day in.

Just go out and enjoy yourself. At least it sounds like your terrain is easy. Sometimes, you go faster than you expected, other times slow. I was down in NC last year. One day, I planned 15 miles or so, but only made it 12. I was so frustrated to only make it that far and be behind schedule. Then, the next day was flat and very easy. By 3 PM, I already had my 12 miles in and I got to like 16 that day and finished back on schedule.

Have a plan, but also always have a fall back idea or a spring forward idea too. You just never quite know if it is a new trail, even if you are an experienced hiker. Some times, that big climb on the elevation profile isn't too bad. Other times, you didn't even notice the little bump on the profile and it seems like a massive climb.

franky
08-18-2018, 06:46
In scouts when I planned routes we shot for a 3 route plan... high, low, medium.
;)
Our troop would have let the older boys set off on Friday after school and then the younger scouts would leave for the trail early Saturday morning. I guess we'd meet up wit the older scouts that evening. Depending on which section we were hiking, the AT was within an hour or so. This was New Jersey, and every year we'd hit a different section. I think I remember doing 12 miles on Saturday and then finishing it off wth 8 miles on Sunday. It was like a shock to the system! I remember using my uncle's external frame back which was a tad too big for me. Damn it was probably 1982...

Dennis Schaub
08-23-2018, 21:25
Hey everyone, we made it! Totally changed up the plan last minute because of rain. We did 15 miles out of Harpers Fairy, I canít remember the shelter name, then it rained all night, didnít get much sleep, was raining in the morning, so we hiked out 4-5 miles to the Washington Monument State Park, then went back to the hotel, cleaned up, ate and regrouped. Went to a spot further down the trail in PA the next morning and did another 11-12 miles. Overall went okay, I am definitely a hiker not a camper! Lesson learned.

Berserker
08-24-2018, 10:28
Hey everyone, we made it! Totally changed up the plan last minute because of rain. We did 15 miles out of Harpers Fairy, I canít remember the shelter name, then it rained all night, didnít get much sleep, was raining in the morning, so we hiked out 4-5 miles to the Washington Monument State Park, then went back to the hotel, cleaned up, ate and regrouped. Went to a spot further down the trail in PA the next morning and did another 11-12 miles. Overall went okay, I am definitely a hiker not a camper! Lesson learned.
Thanks for reporting back. Sounds like you had fun...I think.

tdoczi
08-24-2018, 10:58
Hey everyone, we made it! Totally changed up the plan last minute because of rain. We did 15 miles out of Harpers Fairy, I can’t remember the shelter name, then it rained all night, didn’t get much sleep, was raining in the morning, so we hiked out 4-5 miles to the Washington Monument State Park, then went back to the hotel, cleaned up, ate and regrouped. Went to a spot further down the trail in PA the next morning and did another 11-12 miles. Overall went okay, I am definitely a hiker not a camper! Lesson learned.

"harper's fairy" man, is that a funny typo.

i'm not a camper either. a good number of people find it weird that i would go backpacking but hate sitting around in the woods not doing much of anything.

how long did the 15 out of the fairy take you? i'm going to guess no more than 6 hours.

Dennis Schaub
08-24-2018, 13:24
"harper's fairy" man, is that a funny typo.

i'm not a camper either. a good number of people find it weird that i would go backpacking but hate sitting around in the woods not doing much of anything.

how long did the 15 out of the fairy take you? i'm going to guess no more than 6 hours.
Ha, whoops, spelling is optional right?! We left at 9 AM and we finished around 7 PM, so 10 hours-ish. We didn't rush, stopped to check out the sites, etc. I should have tracked our speed the third day, it was some pretty boring hiking, so we didn't spend a lot of time stopped. I imagine we average 1.5-2 miles per hour. Looking back on it all, I think I would much rather travel to the "highlights" hike a day or two at each, then travel to the next. I can't imagine spending a week in "the green tunnel" just logging miles for the sake of saying I did it. I'm sure that will upset many people, but it's the way I feel, especially with two young sons, two businesses, etc. I think I would rather experience the AT and other trails and other national parks in the 6 monthes it would take to hike the entirety of the AT. Just thinking out loud..

tdoczi
08-24-2018, 14:30
Ha, whoops, spelling is optional right?! We left at 9 AM and we finished around 7 PM, so 10 hours-ish. We didn't rush, stopped to check out the sites, etc. I should have tracked our speed the third day, it was some pretty boring hiking, so we didn't spend a lot of time stopped. I imagine we average 1.5-2 miles per hour. Looking back on it all, I think I would much rather travel to the "highlights" hike a day or two at each, then travel to the next. I can't imagine spending a week in "the green tunnel" just logging miles for the sake of saying I did it. I'm sure that will upset many people, but it's the way I feel, especially with two young sons, two businesses, etc. I think I would rather experience the AT and other trails and other national parks in the 6 months it would take to hike the entirety of the AT. Just thinking out loud..

i have thoughts like that regularly, but at this point i'm so close to done stopping would be weird.

what makes the "green tunnel" areas for me more interesting is hiking them in big chunks. theres some sort of satisfaction i find from truly traveling by foot, covering over a hundred miles, really getting from point A to some far away point B just on your two legs. its an experience of it's own kind, even if the literal hike is on the boring side.

some of my least favorite hikes have been spending 2 or 3 days hiking somewhere nondescript and not being at it long enough to feel like i actually left the place i started in. at some point i mostly stopped doing hikes like that. it meant skipping to somewhere more interesting if was only looking to hike for 3 or 4 days but it makes it seem more worthwhile somehow.

FreeGoldRush
08-24-2018, 14:31
Ha, whoops, spelling is optional right?! We left at 9 AM and we finished around 7 PM, so 10 hours-ish. We didn't rush, stopped to check out the sites, etc. I should have tracked our speed the third day, it was some pretty boring hiking, so we didn't spend a lot of time stopped. I imagine we average 1.5-2 miles per hour. Looking back on it all, I think I would much rather travel to the "highlights" hike a day or two at each, then travel to the next. I can't imagine spending a week in "the green tunnel" just logging miles for the sake of saying I did it. I'm sure that will upset many people, but it's the way I feel, especially with two young sons, two businesses, etc. I think I would rather experience the AT and other trails and other national parks in the 6 monthes it would take to hike the entirety of the AT. Just thinking out loud..
I also hike with my 13 year old son. Goal setting and involving him in the plan is important, otherwise boredom sets in fast. I enjoy the big miles and physical challenge. Keeping the mind occupied takes discipline. Seeing only the highlights is one way to keep the goals simple and avoid the boredom factor, but you never really feel like you are in the wild in those areas. They are frequented by day hikers that parked their car not far away. There's something about that kind of hiking that feels more like being a spectator than a participant.

Dennis Schaub
08-24-2018, 16:45
I also hike with my 13 year old son. Goal setting and involving him in the plan is important, otherwise boredom sets in fast. I enjoy the big miles and physical challenge. Keeping the mind occupied takes discipline. Seeing only the highlights is one way to keep the goals simple and avoid the boredom factor, but you never really feel like you are in the wild in those areas. They are frequented by day hikers that parked their car not far away. There's something about that kind of hiking that feels more like being a spectator than a participant.

I agree. Nothing against day hikers, but it kinda steals your thunder when you are on a multi-day hike seeing them. It's all good though, I don't want to come off as too negative.

DavidNH
08-24-2018, 17:53
this question really can't be answered without knowing what part of the AT you plan to hike and thus what the terrain will be like. In Shenandoha National Park 15-20 mpd is realistic. In the white mountains that would be a death march. It also depends on what kind of shape you are in, your hiking experience, age of child etc. do NOT use thru hiker's mileage as a guide. They are in way better shape cause they are hiking so long.

shelb
08-28-2018, 22:17
this question really can't be answered without knowing what part of the AT you plan to hike and thus what the terrain will be like. In Shenandoha National Park 15-20 mpd is realistic. In the white mountains that would be a death march. It also depends on what kind of shape you are in, your hiking experience, age of child etc. do NOT use thru hiker's mileage as a guide. They are in way better shape cause they are hiking so long.

So True! And, the OP followed that! Dennis Schaub, Harpers Ferry to PenMar was my first AT hike - and had my 10 and 12 year olds sons with me! Our next hike was to complete SNP - from Rockfish Gap to Front Royal. I highly recommend that one with kids - got to give them a "treat" every couple of days (burger at Big Meadows, breakfast at Skyland, shake at Elkwallow Gap...) lol

nsherry61
08-29-2018, 09:16
Two thoughts on this thread:

1) With all the advice given and all the planning done, the end result was still completely different than anyone considered in the discussion. Geez, how often it seems that is the case, especially when starting out.

2) I was surprised not to see anyone bring up sleeping in and breaking/making camp as time consuming and thus potentially significant distance limiting actions to consider when planning.

lonehiker
08-29-2018, 10:16
Two thoughts on this thread:

1) With all the advice given and all the planning done, the end result was still completely different than anyone considered in the discussion. Geez, how often it seems that is the case, especially when starting out.

2) I was surprised not to see anyone bring up sleeping in and breaking/making camp as time consuming and thus potentially significant distance limiting actions to consider when planning.

The OP originally had planned 20 mile days. Most, including myself, told them that kind of mileage was a bit aggressive and they should scale it back a bit. If you look at what they actually did then the advice given to them was spot on.

nsherry61
08-29-2018, 10:30
. . . If you look at what they actually did then the advice given to them was spot on.
Don't get me wrong. I think the advice given was spot on also and I quite enjoyed reading it. In my above post, I was just pointing out that even with all the advice and speculation, what actually happened was still yet a different scenario than was discussed by anyone . . . and that is surprisingly not all that surprising.

trailbird85
08-29-2018, 10:56
in April of 2017 I was able to do a 17 mile day with about 65 pounds give or take on my back spanning Little Tinker Cliff, McAfee's Knob, and Dragon's tooth- I found this to be quite grueling- I wasn't in the best shape of my life- I was 31. Weight obviously plays a critical role- I would say that if you are in decent shape and are willing to start on the trail by 7:30 am;
you would be able to cover between 12-15 miles in a day without pushing it too much; but this was based off of my personal experience.

MuddyWaters
08-29-2018, 22:35
Theres times to really lay down miles
And
Theres times to enjoy yourself

Dont confuse it

Going out for 3 day hike with kid
You should be enjoying self
Nice campsites
Good food
Moderate mileage
Etc

Back to back to back high mileage days take toll
Cold early starts, late finishes, crappy campsites, sore body.

I do 20-25 all time
I prefer about 17 or so with 12 hrs daylight
It leaves a relaxed day with breaks
Breaks to eat and drink enough
The last 5 mi is harder on you than the first 15

Muscles get tired, you get sloppy, chance of injury goes up sharply.