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  1. #1
    Registered User medicjimr's Avatar
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    Default Miles Hiked in a day ?

    Just out of curiosity what are the average miles does a person hike I know weather elevation can come into play. I am not a thru hiker don't have the time to do so. So I do allot of 30 plus mile hikes and average between 12-14 miles take a 10 minute break every 4 miles and lunch somewhere in middle for 30 minutes or so . What is everyones sweet spot when in comes to miles in a day how often do you break. I also realize mileage decreases in fall and winter due to limited daylight hours so theres another curve .
    Please remember the brave men and women of our armed services Without them we would not have the freedom to walk across this great nation.

  2. #2

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    This figure is nothing but a wide ranginin variable between an individual hiker and the day in front of them. . . . anything else is dissecting a vibrant experience. . . . let the day and the trail come to you as it will . . . . .

  3. #3
    Registered User mountainman's Avatar
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    Default miliage

    I did 30 last Sat north of Mt. Rodgers, but 20 - 25 is more normal for me.
    I average 2mpr including breaks, so that isn't really fast. I like to hike till just before dark, so really 25mi just means you have to kept moving.
    i drink gatoraid every 30 min eat every 2 hrs. with a couple bites of something while walking in between hrs.
    My water breaks or 1min ,food maybe 5min.
    Mountainman

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainman View Post
    My water breaks . . .
    Bad time to be hiking. .. . . . .

  5. #5
    GA-ME 2011
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    I use to try to do "X" number of miles a day. What I learned after beating my feet up and being miserable a few times was that the trail decides how far I will walk on any day. Terrain, weather, elevation, how I feel, pack weight, etc. all play a factor. I just walk at whatever pace feels comfortable. I do like to stop about once every two hours for a break.

  6. #6
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    I should stop at 15, but I tend to push it closer to 20. (This does not include the Whites). I walk all day and stop for lunch.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Why not do a sampling of the "stat" pages on a variety of trailjornals.com pages?

    In fact, it would be kind of cool if the sight had one page dedicated to capturing the metrics for all the journal stats based on the trail hiked!

  8. #8
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    Default Darn Keyboard.......

    Quote Originally Posted by Spokes View Post
    ....

    In fact, it would be kind of cool if the sight ....
    Yikes! Meant to type "site"! Sorry.

  9. #9
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Default

    Definitely depends on daylight hours (time of year) as much as terrain, weather, etc. My "sweet spot" seems to be around 15 miles per day, but varies widely.

    RainMan

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  10. #10

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    At least 15 miles a day for an average. I like to stop to eat in the evening to eat and then hike a bit more so I don't sleep where I ate.

  11. #11
    Registered User prain4u's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warraghiyagey View Post
    This figure is nothing but a wide ranginin variable between an individual hiker and the day in front of them. . . . anything else is dissecting a vibrant experience. . . . let the day and the trail come to you as it will . . . . .

    I agree! No need to compare yourself to others. Just go out there and walk. Walk as long as you want and get as far as you get.

    However, to answer the original poster's questions:

    I tend to hike 8-15 miles per day (generally 12-14 miles would be my "average" if walking on terrain with lots of hills to climb). I have hiked as little as 1-2 miles--and twice I have done over 30 miles in a day.

    I tend to pace my breaks based more upon time elapsed--than distance hiked.

    I stop every hour for a couple minute "water break" and to put a small amount of food in me. (Trail mix, GORP, Jerky, or a part of a power bar). It is important that a hiker stays hydrated and well nourished. I find that I do better if take more frequent (but shorter) breaks. I use those breaks to keep my hydration levels and nutrition levels fairly steady and "consistent". That seems to improve my hiking stamina.

    My breaks are literally just 2-3 minutes long--and I usually take them standing up. If my breaks are longer than 2-3 minutes--or if I take off my pack or sit down--I find that my muscles stiffen up and I have trouble "getting going" again (both physically and mentally).

    At lunch, I tend to take a 30-45 minute break. I sit down (or lay down). I eat some of the types of food that I mentioned above. I often take my shoes off and air out my feet, shoes and socks. I will try to partially replenish my water supply if water is near.

    Sometimes (especially on HOT days), I will take a couple hour meal break at midday. I will actually heat water and eat my biggest meal of the day. I may even take a nap in a shady place. (No need to exert myself in the hottest and sunniest part of the day).

    I will then start hiking again in mid-afternoon and hike into the cooler evening hours. (My evening meal will be something that requires no cooking-because I already had my big meal. Thus, I can hike later in the day before stopping).

    In summer, I will hike until 4:00-6:00 pm if I still need to prepare a meal. If I had my big meal at midday, I will hike until 7:30 or 8:30 pm
    "A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world." - Paul Dudley White

  12. #12

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    15 miles feels good on my feet, but I like to go further. However many miles I can fit into a full, 12-13 hour day in summer.
    Some knew me as Piper, others as just Diane.
    I hiked the PCT: Mexico to Mt. Shasta, 2008. Santa Barbara to Canada, 2009.

  13. #13
    Saw Man tuswm's Avatar
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    I average about 2 miles per hour while hiking with a group and about 2.5 mph solo. With a group I tend to take an hour or more leaving camp in the morning.

    when hiking solo I tend to hike longer days since there is nothing to do but eat and go to bed once I get to camp.

    In winter in a group a 10 mile day feels kind of rushed and 8 miles feels about right.
    But I did an April hike and averaged 21 miles a day over 3 weeks.

    One time with a friend we decided who ever put on the head lamp first was a city boy. It was a full moon and the next thing we new it was dawn and we kept going till about 7 PM the next day. We covered 70 miles between camps. But then we were so sore we took a double zero and eat all out food.

  14. #14

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    Gotta go with what the body tells me.

    Once I'm well into a thru, i like to walk from sunup to sundown with a few breaks during the day.

    Mileage mostly depends on what kind of trail (or bushwhack) I am on.

    Does it matter? How many miles a day?
    I guess for planning purposes it does but you should throw out the schedule once you start the hike.

    In comparison to others, I tend to hike: more miles than some, less than others.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  15. #15

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    10 to 15. I like to stop and smell the flowers.

  16. #16
    Registered User The General's Avatar
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    I did a 40 mile day in 2008 from Watauga Lake Shelter to Damascus, It was a moment of lunacy that I likely would not repeat, but at the time it was a means to and end. A more realistic day was around 15-18 miles with my overall average for the 2008 Thru being around 14.7 miles per day.

    My advice dont count the miles just hike and enjoy the miles will pass under your feet naturaly and you will be back to the real world faster than you would like soon enough.

  17. #17
    Baron
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    I don't think I've hiked much more than 10 miles a day with something like a full pack since I was in the Scouts prepping for the summer "trek"(the more senior scouts did a 50 miler in the Sierra Nevada in lieu of going to someplace like Philmont).

    Many moons later I may blast through something in the neighborhood of 12 miles...but only if it's a day hike.
    ‎"You know your camping trip really isn't going well when you find yourself hoping to stave off sepsis with a six-pack of Icehouse. "

    "Age is not an accomplishment, and youth is not a sin."

  18. #18
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    I think there is a difference when you are not hiking shelter to shelter. I am not ready to end my hiking day based on a shelter. I don't plan my day and I just pitch at the end of the day. I generally hike 2 miles/hr. Just because someone gets in a 20 mile day doesn't mean they don't take time to enjoy what is around them. In my case, it just means that I don't spend alot to time with activities around camp.

  19. #19
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    Here's what I've learned over many section hikes:
    • It takes me 3 days to get my 'trail legs', so trying to do big miles early on just feels difficult, even though it doesn't necessarily take me much longer to cover the distance.
    • Keeping my total pack weight below 30 pounds, plus wearing orthotics, allows me to cover 20-or-so miles without being totally wiped at the end of the day, and ready to go first thing in the morning.
    • The unevenness of the trail surface has a greater correlation to my speed than elevation change. A lot of little rocks or roots, boulder hopping, and slick downhills all slow me down tremendously, while the relatively smooth trail you get for long stretches down south allows me to maintain a 2.3-3.0 mph stride.
    • Heat and humidity also slow me down a lot, which is why I try to hike in the shoulder seasons. Snow depths up to 8" don't seem to impact my pace much at all.
    • I get up early, but it takes me an inordinate amount of time to break camp the first 3-4 days. I tend to walk all day, and in the May/June timeframe I like to have an early dinner, say about 5 pm, and then walk until dark. Keeping hydrated and maintaining a good calorie intake really helps me keep going.
    • I only take breaks every 2-3 hours, with a boots-off break once or twice a day, depending on the heat and precipitation. I've started moving to longer breaks every 2 hours, which seems to help me re-energize.
    • With recent knee issues, I've had to concentrate on moderating the length of my pace, so if I want to walk faster I need to move my legs faster. In reality, I'm trying to moderate my pace to avoid end-of-day swelling.
    Last edited by Kerosene; 05-21-2010 at 09:31.
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  20. #20
    Garlic
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    I'll give you my perspective when I'm on a thru hike. I'm a goal-oriented person who tends to set schedules, especially if I have the goal to hike a long trail in some kind of time frame, like between snow melt and snow fall. I know I can sustain a seasonal average pace of 20 miles per day (more in midsummer, less in spring). For me, that's starting walking at first light and a short break every two hours and a longer rest mid-day, and hiking past dinner time often until dusk. That's many long enjoyable days of doing exactly what I like to do, so it's not a chore. There's definitely a "schedule", but only because I enjoy succeeding at long-term goals.

    There was a good tip from Spokes above about checking out hikers' stats at trailjournals.com.
    "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

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