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  1. #1

    Default Question: How do you keep track of distance covered on a long distance hike?

    I am almost entirely ready to start a sobo of the AZT. The one last thing I haven't addressed is how to track daily mileage. I am certain it is important to do on a trail such as the AZT. But, I also want to limit my phone use as much as possible. I was thinking maybe a simple pedometer and/or watch.

    How do you track mileage and time on the trail?

  2. #2
    Registered User KDogg's Avatar
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    They have an app on the website that will use the GPS on your phone to track distance. Maps with waypoints will work as well.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by KDogg View Post
    They have an app on the website that will use the GPS on your phone to track distance. Maps with waypoints will work as well.
    I have the app. It is awesome. I just was thinking of trying to limit pulling out my phone and also in the event my phone gives out or dies.

  4. #4

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    I don't see how this is a worthwhile thing. If you want to avoid pulling out your app, then you may also want to avoid seeing your mileage every 10 minutes on a watch.

    Just check your map or app every so often. Everyone spends time knowing their distances in camp in the evening anyway and figuring out how far they're going. You'll know exactly how far you've gone at various trail points, etc

    time on the trail? I left at 7 am, I got in for lunch at 12. That's 5 hours. I went 14 miles. End of stats. Repeat after lunch... add the 2. done!

    Walk, evaluate your progress every so often

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hikingjim View Post
    I don't see how this is a worthwhile thing. If you want to avoid pulling out your app, then you may also want to avoid seeing your mileage every 10 minutes on a watch.

    Just check your map or app every so often. Everyone spends time knowing their distances in camp in the evening anyway and figuring out how far they're going. You'll know exactly how far you've gone at various trail points, etc

    time on the trail? I left at 7 am, I got in for lunch at 12. That's 5 hours. I went 14 miles. End of stats. Repeat after lunch... add the 2. done!

    Walk, evaluate your progress every so often
    Cool, that is all I needed.

  6. #6

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    I can pretty much know how far iv'e walked by keeping track of time, scary accurate really. One mile is anywhere from 18-22min. With my average right I the middle, 20 min...for flat terrain. Once you learn yourself, it really is scary accurate.

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    Registered User ChuckT's Avatar
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    Keeping track of distance covered? That's situational awareness I think. And you'd better have that for several reasons. But I also think that the only time it's really necessary is in an emergency (hope that we never have that happen, but prepare for it never the less) or when you're on a schedule - "I've got to be _here_ by 1 o'clock on the 17th or miss my ride/family/re-supply". The rest of the time? Don't sweat the small stuff. Keep a Journal, make notes on a map, turn you GPS or cell on (and off again) and enjoy. How far, how long, how cold, how high, it's all bragging rights and no more than that.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk
    Miles to go before I sleep. R. Frost

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rybir View Post
    I am almost entirely ready to start a sobo of the AZT. The one last thing I haven't addressed is how to track daily mileage. I am certain it is important to do on a trail such as the AZT. But, I also want to limit my phone use as much as possible. I was thinking maybe a simple pedometer and/or watch.

    How do you track mileage and time on the trail?
    Asking this question tells me you are NOT ready to start a SOBO of the AZT because you obviously don't have the AZT topos which indicate mileage on them, have not assimilated the Arizona Trail Association's Water Sources info page that locate these sources by mileage, don't have the Arizona Trail Data Book, have not seriously considered resupply locations, and likely have done little to seriously prepare yourself for a 800 mile hike.

    This is rudimentary prep Rybir and you demonstrate no knowledge of it. Thru-hiking is not free...you have to invest yourself, your resources.

  9. #9

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    Pedometers are horribly inaccurate. I wore one over a known section on the AT over New Years this past year and most every distance it calculated was at least 50% over the actual distance. One time I checked it was double the official mileage.

    However, I do have to give credit to the Apple watch. Just got one and wore it up Blood Mtn this week. 2.1 miles is the official stated mileage. From the parking lot to the top it measured 2.15 miles. Not the GPS model either, this was from the pedometer function alone. That is very accurate for non GPS.

  10. #10
    Registered User StubbleJumper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Asking this question tells me you are NOT ready to start a SOBO of the AZT because you obviously don't have the AZT topos which indicate mileage on them, have not assimilated the Arizona Trail Association's Water Sources info page that locate these sources by mileage, don't have the Arizona Trail Data Book, have not seriously considered resupply locations, and likely have done little to seriously prepare yourself for a 800 mile hike.

    This is rudimentary prep Rybir and you demonstrate no knowledge of it. Thru-hiking is not free...you have to invest yourself, your resources.

    +1, and thank you for writing that. It might be possible to fly by the seat of your pants on the AT because there's water virtually everywhere, there are frequent road crossings, cell service is pretty reliable, and there are numerous other hikers who can help you if you get in a jam. But a fall SOBO on the AZT is another ball of wax. Prep work is essential, and if you screw up, there's no help available.

    PS, the maps make it completely obvious where a hiker is at. In the worst case in the desert sections with no obvious geographic features and no recent road crossings, you still hsould know where you are (plus or minus a mile).

  11. #11
    Registered User -Rush-'s Avatar
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    If I want to keep track of mileage without babysitting or looking at a device, I turn on GAIA before each track and it will inform me incremental mileage. This is an audible voice alert that lets you know the distance traveled so you never have to look at the phone. It will start counting at whatever interval you set (.25, .50, 1.0). If you've set up routes correctly with good waypoints, you'll know where you are at any given time based on the distance covered and whatever waypoints you've reached.
    "Though I have lost the intimacy with the seasons since my hike, I retain the sense of perfect order, of graceful succession and surrender, and of the bold brilliance of fall leaves as they yield to death." - David Brill

  12. #12

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    Are you prepared for snow travel and camping?

  13. #13
    Garlic
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    Ditto the watch. I use my watch for navigation far more often than a compass. Use the AZT data sheets (maybe more updated since when I did it, prior to apps being available and I don't hike with a phone anyway) and track your time and soon you'll get an idea of your speed in varying terrain and conditions. Two minutes per 0.1 mile works well for me for short distances (between breaks).

    Sometimes, especially off trail (the AZT is finished now, so that probably won't happen), I set my watch to chime every hour, and I mark that time and location on the map. Do that for a few days and you'll have a good graphic of your pace.

    I agree that if you don't know these basics, be very cautious of hiking the AZT. It can be a difficult route at times. And yes, pay attention to weather, and don't hike into a storm in the high country or on the "sky islands." Blizzards in AZ can really get your attention. Budget money and time to sit them out.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Asking this question tells me you are NOT ready to start a SOBO of the AZT because you obviously don't have the AZT topos which indicate mileage on them, have not assimilated the Arizona Trail Association's Water Sources info page that locate these sources by mileage, don't have the Arizona Trail Data Book, have not seriously considered resupply locations, and likely have done little to seriously prepare yourself for a 800 mile hike.

    This is rudimentary prep Rybir and you demonstrate no knowledge of it. Thru-hiking is not free...you have to invest yourself, your resources.

    I actually have all that very down. It was a question of preference more so in an effort to limit cell usage. But thank you.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rybir View Post
    I am almost entirely ready to start a sobo of the AZT. The one last thing I haven't addressed is how to track daily mileage. I am certain it is important to do on a trail such as the AZT. But, I also want to limit my phone use as much as possible. I was thinking maybe a simple pedometer and/or watch.

    How do you track mileage and time on the trail?
    Addition....

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