View Full Version : How far does a thru hiker really hike?

Lemni Skate
05-09-2009, 13:44
I know 2176, but that's if you don't take a step off the trail. Thru hikers take side trails to shelters, springs, overlooks, etc. Thru hikers hike into towns for supplies. I wonder how many extra miles a thru hiker puts in before finishing the trail.

05-09-2009, 14:23
Umm, a lot. :)

05-09-2009, 14:31
i don't know but let me know when ya find out?????

05-09-2009, 14:32
According to my journals for the lower 500 or so miles of the AT, it works out for ME at least to about 0.5 miles or so per day. IN Damascus I likely hiked about 5+ miles on my "off day" and Damascus is very hiker friendly: From the Place to MRO, to the dollar store, to the Place, to the laundry, to Cowboy's to the laundry to the dollar store (I forgot something) to the place (to get towels) to the laundry for my stuff & put towels in to the Place, to MRO (forgot fuel) to the dollar store (again) to the place. WHEW! AND, to the laundry for the towels then back to the Place.

Water for some of the shelters or just along the way is as far as 0.5+ ONE WAY.
The water for the Vandeventer shelter is 47.9 miles away. At least that's what my legs claimed after climbing back up.

If you don't get hitches:
Blueberry patch is 7 miles round trip off the AT
Greasy creek is 0.6
Kincora is 0.5 off the trail.
Jerrys kitchen is 2.0
The phone for ordering Pizza at Partnership shelter is 0.2 round trip, plus about 0.1 RT further to the road to get the Pizza.

05-09-2009, 15:39
Kincora is only .2 off the trail. And if you are walking down to the road for pizza at Partership, you are still on the trail. It crosses the road right there. Counting every step, touching every blaze... seems just a little too OCD to me. Enjoy the fantastic views, seeing wildlife, meeting great people etc... seems much more important than counting every step. That just me. If you prefer to count to 10,172,658 knock yourself out. Just try not to let all that counting get in the way of your trail experience.

05-09-2009, 15:51
I've kept mileage records for all of my AT sections, and I average between 0.3 and 1.2 miles per day off-trail for my various sections, with an overall averaage of about 0.7. Much of that mileage is hiking to/from a town at the start/end of a section or for a resupply.

05-09-2009, 15:57
I once heard around 2,400 miles, which would make sense.

"zero days" simply mean no actual trail miles walked. You would be surprised how much walking a hiker does in towns. Lots of chores to be done on those zero days.

Pedaling Fool
05-09-2009, 16:27
The next rainy day I'm going to add up all the blue-blaze trails to all the shelters, that'd be a start in coming up with a guesstimate.

05-09-2009, 17:33
1,000 miles off trail walking is what wingfoot used to say. early on in a hike you won't go a half mile off the trail for anything! later on in the hike it will happen often! i still have never took the trip to whitley gap shelter GA. 1.2 miles off the trail. but i've hiked down to greenleaf hut in the whites 1.0 mile because of a rumor of lemonade and day old bread!(they both sucked alot more than the climb back up to the ridge) alot of water trails and deli's, town walking,site seeing?

05-09-2009, 17:46
1,000 miles off trail walking is what wingfoot used to say.

Sounds way too much. If you hiked 12 trail miles a day on average it would be an extra 5 miles per day.

I'd say about a mile a day extra or about 150 for the trail.

05-09-2009, 17:47
sounds Way Too Much. If You Hiked 12 Trail Miles A Day On Average It Would Be An Extra 5 Miles Per Day.

I'd Say About A Mile A Day Extra Or About 150 For The Trail.
Ya Might Be Right

05-09-2009, 17:49
Ya Might Be Right

That was too easy. ;) Maybe 300 miles extra tops!

05-09-2009, 17:52
That was too easy. ;) Maybe 300 miles extra tops!
i'm thinking i walk 150 miles,just in the trail towns!
then add up all the water sources offtrail. crapping,siteseeing. that 300+ sounds better to me.

05-09-2009, 20:03
I kept a journal each day and logged official trail miles plus a best estimate of blue-blaze and town miles. I had about 200 extra miles, give or take 10%.