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  1. #61
    Registered User cutman11's Avatar
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    piedmont NC


    Hey B Jack, since you have weighed in on this most interesting thread, I would ask you for a prediction of the results of my request made earlier in the thread to map man regarding most common zero day stops along the trail. I had the impression 20 - 25 zeros were likely the most common, but which towns will have the highest likelyhood for being a zero day? He indicated he would try to generate the data next winter when he has time to go over the journals again, but from one who has your breadth of experience, what would you predict his data will show?
    GA>ME 2000>2010..... Purist thruhiker in spirit, just with a lotta zeros during townstops;)

  2. #62



    In re. to zero days, everyone is different. Some folks go thru the whole Trail and take hardly any; some have as many as 30 to 50.

    I'm not sure what the average would be.

    But off the top of my head, people seem to take more in the first half of their trip, partly because they seem to need them more, and partly becase there are more facilities. Of course, there are other factors, like one's budget, whether one is a partier, etc.

    So here goes.....

    *Some folks will take a day off as soon as Neels Gap or Helen, but these are usually people who are out of shape, are hurting, etc.

    *Quite a few folks take a full day off in Hiawassee, especially if the weather has been rough (Keep in mind that the earlier one starts a Northbound thru-hike, the greater the likelihood of encountering bad weather, and the more days off one is likely to take.)

    *A lot of folks have been zero-ing in Franklin, especially since folks like Ron Haven have made itsuch a hiker-friendly town.

    *Some folks will zero in Fontana Dam, tho the R&R facilities (lodging options, restaurants, etc., are limited).

    *Many folks take a day off in Gatlinburg, especially if they've had a rough stretch in the Smokies.

    *I'll zero at Standing Bear Farm as it's such a cool place.

    *Lots of folks zero in Hot Springs, not because there are a lot of facilities (there aren't) but mainly because it's such a friendly little town.

    *A great many people zero at Erwin, especially if they stay at Miss Janet's.

    *Some zero at Kincora, but most continue and take time off in Damascus.

    After arrival in Virginia, people seem to take less time off-----they're healthier, fitter, have lighter packs, and are covering distances between towns sooner. Also, the weather is more co-operative and folks simply seem to need less rest time.

    *Some folks, but not a lot, will zero in Bland or Pearisburg. Likewise, Daleville/Troutville. But many won't take a full day off til Waynesboro which is spread out, but has great facilities. Before Waynesboro, some hikers will take some down time at Rusty's, but lots fewer than did in years past.

    *Some folks, but not a lot, zero in Front Royal or Harpers Ferry.

    By now, for most folks, it's getting close to the 4th of July. Most hikers take some time off at this point, especially if they have friends or relatives that live nearby. Many take time off in Trail towns (Duncannon or Delaware Gap; others may go into such places as Philly or New York).

    *Zeros in New Jersey, New York, or Connecticut are few and far between for a lot of folks. Facilities are limited and more expensive than ones in the South.

    *In Massachusetts, some folks will take some time off in Great Barrington, Lee, or Dalton, especially if it's been really hot. I zero in Williamstown because I really like the place.

    *Not a whole lot of stops in Vermont, tho some will take time down in Bennington, Manchester Center, or especially Rutland.

    *People don't zero in Hanover as much as they used to, now that the Dartmouth dorms have pretty much stopped taking in hikers. But it's still a great place to take some rest. Of course, I'm biased, as I live here.

    *Some, but not many folks zero at the wonderful hostel in Glencliff, or in Noth Woodstock, especially if the weather has been rough.

    *Many folks zero in Gorham, as they've just left the White Mountains and are about to hit the toughest parts in Maine.

    *Lots of folks take time off in Andover, as the hostels there are great.

    *People might overnight, but in most cases, not zero in Stratton, Rangeley, or Caratunk, unless the weather's been bad or they're a bit banged up.

    *About fifty per cent of hikers will take a last zero day in Monson before hitting the last stretch.

    Hope this answers some of your questions.

    But off the top of my head, around 20-25 seems about right for most folks. It works out to roughly one day off a week for most folks.

  3. #63
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sterling, VA


    I kind of took it like a work week, with one or two nero or zeros per "week". Mabye a one week "vacation" (trip home or something...theres often a wedding or a funeral or the like that has to be attended...) as on weekends at home, these times were for partying and resting. I'd say 30 or so zero days is just about right especially if preceded by "nero days" plus slack packing etc. It's important to have a good time and not wear yourself out, or else you'll lose motivation. Some of those places mentioned by jack might suck you in for several days of slackpacking and mental regeneration ... don't resist an offer of a good thing or a slackpack too much...they may not pass your way later, so take them when offered/available! # 1 priority is to enjoy the hike! Some forget to do this....

  4. #64


    I'm going to jump on the bandwagon for a moment. I was thinking that Map_man's proportionality argument was very insightful. It lead me to thinking some and I came up with an interesting formula. Before I state it, I don't want any credit for it as, without reading through this thread for the 10th time, I think am simply rephrasing/rearranging some of Map_man's ideas.

    Here's the formula. Take the amount of time it takes to hike from Fontana Dam to Damascus and multiply it by 7 (6.9 to be more exact). That's how long the hike will take. If you like it and it works call it the M&M formula.

    Map_man presents the mean percent of time in each section in his post 56 Table F. After I plotted the profiles for the start date groups, I really wondered why the groups were proportional like that. Since Map_man said the years and hiking speeds were too (nearly), it would mean that something else was potentially the main agent.

    I took the miles for each of his sections and figured out what percentage of the trail the section accounted for. For instance, from Springer to the GA border is 77.3 miles, and (77.3/2175)x100~3.6%. I deconstructed his table F to % time in each section, instead of cumulative % time in each section. The mean % of time spent by TJK's in the GA border section is 4.7%. I did this for all of the sections and it's in the percentage sheet in the attached xls file. If you look at chart 2 in this file, you will see that TJK's mean % hiking time nearly mirrors the % of miles in the section. Early on it seems that hikers spend a little more % of their time in GA then there are % miles. That's completely understandable. Then a near parallel, with some change in the Glencliff to Gorham, and Gorham-Stratton sections. Map_man mentions one of these in his first post.

    The correlation between mean % time in a section and % of miles in a section is 0.987. That's nearly 1:1. So, I picked the Fontana-Damascus section mean % time in section-14.5%, % of miles in section-13.7 because it is early in the hike, but has allowed enough time for hikers to get their trail legs. 100/14.5~6.9 or 7.

    Now I'm taking a foot off the bandwagon for a moment. In table C, post 29, the difference between group 2 hikers (dates) and late hikers (date) is 18 days. This is a second observation about potential group differences. The first was the difference in completion times by year. It was 14 days.

    Did this have a big influence on what I stated above. I doubt it. Why? There's a strong relationship between the mean percentage of time spent in a section and the % of miles in the section. Since it's percentages and not the actual hiking rate, year to year and start date differences in number of days is not important. Any bias I protested will be incorporated into an average number of hiking days which becomes an average hiking rate, which determines the time in a section, but the time becomes a percentage. I don't see any bias mucking things up.

    Expansion of the formula. Multiply the number of days spent in the Fontana-Damascus section by 6.9. That's the total hike time. Then, either use the mean % of time spent by hikers spent in that section, or simply find the percentage of miles in the next section as a % of the total trail and multiply this by the hike time.

    Example. 20 days to get from Fontana to Damascus. Total hike 6.9x20=138 days. How long to go 217 miles? (217/2175)x138~14 days.

    Two feet off the bandwagon. In order to prove this conclusively, a random sample would surely help .
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  5. #65


    My hiking partner and I plan a different strategy on our 2007 Thru Hike. We'll be hiking by "hours" rather than miles. It should prove interesting and maybe helpful for the Thru Hikers in following years. We plan to start hiking six to eight hours a day and increase the time hiked until we're hiking twelve or thirteen hours a day. What I propose is that we won't need zero days because we won't be having 'high mileage' days to wear us out. We'll take a long middle of the day break to eat our big meal and rest and recuperate and then hike the remaining 'time' for that day.

    This also means that we have to be cognizant of where water and camping spots are and maybe can't be used in the Smokies due to the restrictions there.

    I'll post an article after our Thru Hike explaining hours & mileage and how it all worked out. (Possibly our data will be very close to the information in this article.)
    Priority Change in 2007
    If the weather cooperates!

  6. #66


    I got back this weekend from a week's hike on the Superior Hiking Trail and saw there had been a number of new replies to this article.

    First off, thank you Jack Tarlin for the very kind words. If the hiking rates in my study for the various sections really do come pretty close to what you've seen through all your years of hiking and observation, I'm really encouraged. Thanks again.

    Alligator, I have indeed taken your reservations about grouping together different years and starting times for the total time to hike different sections and the entire trail, and pretended they applied to the proportions between sections for these different years and starting times. You caught me red-handed! However, I will say that it was largely your concern about the discrepencies (for instance, the fewer days it took my 2005 group to thru than my other years) that was on my mind when I decided to check to see if the proportionality between sections really held up for the various sub-groups based on start date, year, and hiking speed.

    Your interest in looking at the time to hike a particular section of the trail (you used Fontana to Damascus) to project a likely total time to hike the whole trail is indeed something I've thought about. In fact, I'd even thought about Damascus as a useful place for a hiker to think about this, although I was thinking in terms of the total time from Springer to Damascus (since all hikers seem to have the date they started from Springer pretty firmly in their minds, while other intermediate dates often get a little hazy). If the entire trail up to Damascus was used the multiplier would be 4.2 instead of your 6.9 (based on Fontana to Damascus). Of course, if any hiker needed to take two weeks away from the trail at Hot Springs, both of our numbers would end up out of whack. You and ARambler have mentioned more than once that this sort of thing is why using calculations based on "hiking days" rather than total days would be a more accurate barometer.

    And this illustrates the balancing act that's at play in the article. On the one hand is the statistical integrity of the numbers in the study. On the other is the intuitiveness, understandability and usefulness of the numbers in the study. So in this case, a hiker keeping track of "hiking days" would definitely be more likely to be able to project accurately total hiking days for the whole hike based on the hiking days for a section like Fontana to Damascus, instead of using total days with all the variability that zero days bring to that number. But of course at any given point on the trail most hikers know what date it is and know what date they started their thru-hike, but it seems like most hikers are less likely to be able to remember exactly how many zero days they've taken, especially the further along the trail they get. That's one reason I use total days and not "hiking days" in Table 1 in the article, the table that shows the number of days TJKs took to get to various landmarks on the trail.

    I realize you didn't even raise the "hiking days" vs. total days issue when you talked about projecting hiking time for the entire AT based on hiking time for a section. It was just something I've been thinking about.

    Finally, cutman 11 and Jack Tarlin are making me more and more curious about what trail towns will prove to be the most popular for zero days when I do go back to the journals and figure that out. My money is on Damascus to top the list.

  7. #67


    I agree that Damascus is at the top of the list for zero days, and would be even if one didn't count days taken off for Trail Days. It's simply a great place to take some down time.

    Following Damascus, I'd say Hiawassee, Franklin, and Gatlinburg are way up there, partly because they come so soon in the trip, partly because there are lots of facilities/lodging/dining options, and partly because a lot of folks are wet, tired, and kind of banged up when they get there.

    Erwin is way up there, too, espececially if you stay at Miss Janet's. For a lot of folks, this is a tough place to leave.

    Pearisburg gets more folks than you think, especially if the weather's been bad.

    Waynesboro gets more popular every year.

    Duncannon is more popular than it used to be, especially since Pat and Vicki took over running the Doyle.

    Still not a lot of zeros in the mid-Atlantic states or Southern New England as the towns are small, facilities few and far between, and the hotels expensive.

    More folks are starting to zero in Dalton and Rutland now that there are places for them to stay.

    Fewer folks seem to stick around Hanover anymore, for the simple reason that there's no cheap place to lodge since the dorms essentially stopped talking in hikers. Too bad. In the old days, folks would frequently layover here for two or three days.

    Likewise, Gorham isn't as popular as it once was. Most folks stay one night.

    The big surprise, seeing as how tough it is, is that most folks don't zero much in Maine. The most popular spot for a day off in Maine is the Cabin in East Andover, tho most folks don't actually zero there, but instead slackpack for a few days and return to the hostel in mid-afternnon. Also, a lot of folks are getting on a tight budget once they're this far north, and while many folks wouldn't mind taking a day off in Stratton or Rangeley, they simply can't.

    And lastly, of course, a lot of folks stay an extra day in Monson, especially now that the word on the new folks at Shaw's boarding house is overwhelmingly positive.

    And as far as zero days not actually spent in towns, I'd say the NOC, Fontana Dam, and Kincora are at the top of the list.

    (And my own personal favorite is a zero spent in the middle of nowhere, say OverMountain Shelter or Grayson Highlands Park).

  8. #68
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sterling, VA


    I think I zeroed or slacked in each of the places you mentioned, Jack.

  9. #69

    Default popular towns to take zero days

    Cutman11 suggested looking at the group of hikers in this study and figuring out which towns were the most popular to take zero days in. I was originally going to wait until the hiking season was over to tackle this, but I came back from a one week hike in early August with badly blistered feet, so I wasn't going to get anymore hiking done soon, anyway, so I set to work looking at the 240 journals in the study and compiled this list. So first off, here are the towns on the AT, in order of popularity, where the largest percentage of these NOBO thru-hikers (classes of 2001 thru 2010) took their zero days (this list is confined to the towns where at least 20 percent of hikers zeroed):

    84%.....Damascus VA
    61%.....Hot Springs NC
    51%.....Pearisburg VA
    50%.....Waynesboro VA
    50%.....Harpers Ferry WV
    44%.....Gorham NH
    40%.....Erwin TN
    38%.....Daleville (and Roanoke etc.) VA
    38%.....Fontana NC
    35%.....Delaware Water Gap PA
    32%.....Monson ME
    28%.....Hanover NH
    27%.....Duncannon PA
    26%.....Franklin NC
    23%.....Manchester Center VT
    22%.....Hiawasee GA
    22%.....Gatlinburg TN
    20%.....Dalton MA

    More details on how I counted these towns: If someone got off the trail in Front Royal and hitched a ride back to Damascus to attend Trail Days, I credited both places with zero days. This differed from how I counted zero days in my original study. In that study, when figuring out how long it took to hike each section of the trail, all these zero days would have been counted in the Waynesboro to Harpers Ferry section since that's where the hiker got off the trail. When counting places popular for zeroing it seemed wrong, though, to neglect counting either town. If that hiker left the trail in Front Royal to tour Washington DC for a couple days, however, for obvious reasons I don't consider Washington a "trail town" so the only town credited with zero days would be Front Royal.

    Also, in my original study I don't count it as a zero day no matter how few miles were walked on the trail. So if a hiker credited herself with hiking just a few tenths of a mile to get from one part of Fontana to another, for example, I didn't consider that a zero day. In this project, however, since that hiker would have spent at least one complete day in Fontana, I chose to count it as a zero day for Fontana.

    OK, so here's a longer list that shows the percentage of zero days for each trail location that had at least 5 percent of hikers zeroing there. This list goes from south to north, following a NOBO on the trail. For most locations I give a town name and the place where the trail was exited, but in some locations in the White Mountains, for instance, there were places where at least 5 percent of hikers got off the trail but it's difficult to generalize about the town where the zero was spent. It's just a place, like Crawford Notch, where hikers exited the trail at a road crossing.

    Neels Gap GA (US 19, 129), 8%
    Helen, Unicoi Gap GA (GA 75), 7%
    Hiawasee GA (US 76), 22%
    Franklin NC (US 64), 26%
    Nantahala Outdoor Center NC (US 19, 74), 18%
    Fontana NC (NC 18), 38%
    Gatlinburg TN (US 441), 22%
    Standing Bear Farm NC (NC 284, I 40, Waterville School Road), 8%
    Hot Springs NC (US 25, 70), 61%
    Erwin TN, 40%
    Elk Park NC, Roan Mountain TN (US 19E), 6%
    Kincora Hostel, Laurel Fork Lodge TN (Dennis Cove Road), 13%
    Damascus VA, 84%
    Troutdale VA (VA 16), 6%
    Atkins VA (US 11), 9%
    Bland VA (US 21/52), 7%
    Pearisburg VA (US 460), 51%
    Catawba VA (VA 311, 624), 10%
    Daleville, Roanoke, etc. VA (US 11, 220), 38%
    Waynesboro VA (US 250, I 64), 50%
    Front Royal VA (US 522), 16%
    Harpers Ferry WV, 50%
    Pine Grove Furnace State Park PA, 5%
    Boiling Springs PA (PA 174), 7%
    Duncannon PA, 27%
    Port Clinton PA, 15%
    Palmerton PA (PA 873), 10%
    Delaware Water Gap PA, 35%
    Unionville NY, 5%
    Vernon NJ (NJ 94), 7%
    Bear Mountain NY, 10%
    Pawling NY (County 20), 5%
    Kent CT (CT 341), 14%
    Salisbury CT (CT 41), 6%
    Great Barrington MA (MA 23), 6%
    Upper Goose Pond Cabin MA, 5%
    Dalton MA, 20%
    North Adams MA (MA 2), 7%
    Bennington VT (VT 9), 6%
    Manchester Center VT (VT 11, 30), 23%
    Killington, Rutland, Inn at Long Trail VT (US 4), 19%
    Hanover NH, 28%
    Glencliff NH (NH 25), 13%
    Kinsman Notch NH, 5%
    Franconia Notch NH, 15%
    Crawford Notch NH, 13%
    Pinkham Notch NH, 10%
    Gorham NH (US 2), 44%
    Andover ME (East B Hill Road, South Arm Road), 15%
    Rangeley ME (ME 4), 14%
    Stratton ME (ME 27), 15%
    Caratunk ME (US 201), 7%
    Monson ME, 32%
    Baxter State Park and vicinity ME (Abol Bridge, Millinocket etc.), 14%

    Again, thank you to cutman11 for suggesting the idea of using my earlier research to trace zero days to particular trail towns.

  10. #70


    Very interesting stuff.

    Query: The Damascus figure seems high. Does this include Trail Days zero days or does this refer to people who took time off in Damascus NOT connected to Trail Days?

  11. #71


    Jack, the Damascus figure includes both. If a hiker zeroed in Damascus in the normal course of the hike, that's counted. If hikers interrupted their hike to travel to Damascus for Trail Days, that's counted in the Damascus total too (I only count Damascus once, though, for each hiker). Same goes for other trail towns that sometimes get hikers traveling from a different point on the trail to stay at that trail town (Gorham gets hikers from different road crossings in the Whites; Waynesboro has hikers travel there from Rusty's and other places, etc.).

  12. #72


    Jack, as near as I can tell from my notes listing the zero day locations for each hiker, if only the zero days taken in the normal course of the hike were counted for Damascus (excluding trips from points elsewhere on the trail for Trail Days) the figure would be 71% instead of 85%. The balance (14%) spent zero days in Damascus for Trail Days, making a special trip, but did not zero there when they passed through Damascus in the normal course of their hike. (The numbers above were calculated when I had only the 2001-2006 info at my disposal.)

  13. #73


    sounds great, keep up the good work

  14. #74

    Default new here- this is great stuff

    I was referred to this site from bper, seeking AT info- in preparation for an 07 thru. I must say I am duly impressed! I do have a couple angles I would like to cover in regards to all these stats. Also, please bear with me if I missed something, as I'm an engineer(Northwestern University, M.E.)- and have not been exposed to stats since high school.

    I saw that someone mentioned breakdowns by hiker age, and hiking hours- and that this information was not available. There are many categories along these lines, though probably not available, that would be equally significant- such as pack weight, fitness level(though probably too subjective to measure), caloric intake(big eater, or the ramen noodle bunch), etc.

    However, there is a potentially useful category yet untapped- delta elevation/ hiking day. I think this might shed light on the progession of the fitness of the hikers better than miles/day..mainly because elevation is related to work (in the physics sense- PE=mgh) and totally independent of horizontal distance. Granted, this neglects differences in trail conditions...blah blah blah, but obviously we cant (nor would likely be more useful..to the average hiker) factor in the infintismal number of variables.
    To me, this would be most beneficial for training for the AT- since I could then take my gps to the local hills and know my own delta H for the day.

    I'm sure there's a way to figure out the exact delta h with mapsource software- and I have some- I just haven't figured out how to do that yet(just got it- for my garmin 60csx). If someone else is already proficient with it and would like to crunch the numbers, that'd be great. Otherwise, I'm sure I'll get to it.


  15. #75


    Hey Scott, to WhiteBlaze and I'm glad you found this article interesting. Now, to address what you are saying about tracing elevation gain and loss on various sections of the trail in order to get a more complete understanding of the changes in miles per hiking day in this article for the different trail sections (specifically, how much the increase in miles hiked in the early sections of the trail might be due to increased fitness, and how much might be due to a flatter trail):

    I know that elevation change info is out there -- otherwise the organizations that create maps for the various trail sections could not create the graphic elevation profiles they include with their maps. And I know the GPS info is out there and could be found in multiple places, I'm guessing, by googling "GPS" and "Appalachian Trail" or other related search terms. Of course, in order to get entirely accurate elevation change numbers the GPS equipment would need to be very exact and every single point on the trail where falling ground changed to rising ground and vice versa would need to be logged -- one heck of a lot of data points! -- and I'm just not sure if it's been done that thoroughly yet. Others here on WhiteBlaze know a lot more about this than I do, and there have been several threads discussing GPS and mapping software.

    The form I would find most useful for this information to take would be elevation gain and loss, in number form (not elevation profile) between every AT shelter and road crossing on the trail. It could be useful in planning and also useful to refer to while hiking when deciding whether to hike on to that next shelter toward the end of the day. If that info could be put into a format like the AT Data Book -- or crammed into the Data Book itself (I don't care how small they had to make the print!) -- I would be in hiker nerd heaven.

    Now, applying that info to this study: you've already noted that there are other factors as well as elevation change (one that I've found to be a big deal is the rockiness/rootiness of the trail -- makes hiking on flats much harder and, ironically, makes hiking on significant slopes often easier), but elevation change undeniably affects hiking progress and is easier to quantify than those other various and sundry factors, so it makes sense to look at that. In fact, if the elevation change info was in detailed format and one easy for me to understand, I'd be interested in applying it to my study. My article as it stands deals with two variables: time and horizontal distance (with the chronology of the order one hiked the sections thrown in as well -- after all, I did limit the study to NOBOs). In simple terms, looking closely at elevation gain would add a third variable: vertical distance taking the form of elevation change both up and down.

    If any WhiteBlazers know if this elevation info already exists in the detail I'm talking about, please post a link here. And Scott, thank you for bringing this up -- it might just give me something more to work on!

    Edit: on rereading your post I see that part of your interest is in knowing how much elevation rise and fall there is on the trail in order to help in training. I believe that for the entire AT the elevation gain per mile is somewhere between 200 and 250 feet per trail mile (some sections more, some less) -- I'm sorry I can't remember where I saw this or the exact number -- I'm guessing others here can direct you to that exact number. Anyway, this means that over the course of a thru-hike one is likely to average between 2000 and 4000 vertical feet a day, depending on hiking speed. I know that when I was preparing to hike the Superior Hiking Trail I hiked in a local state park that had a known elevation change of 150 feet from valley floor to rim (and it was tough here in central Iowa to find even that much!). I made a point of going up and down the valley between 15 and 20 times with a full pack so I would get around 2500 feet in elevation change, and I did this on a few weekends before I hiked. I think it really helped me.

  16. #76


    what about legal zero days---everybody knows that it is illegal to hike on thursdays!

    great info.


  17. #77



    I'm pretty sure there's a way in my mapsource software to follow a predetermined route (ie: trail) and log the elevation change. I know my gps logged elevation change for the trip when I was out in SNP this fall.
    I'm working on figuring out the delta h between your landmarks now.

    Oh, and I'm just as interested in the numbers, for the numbers' sake, as you are- I just gave 'training' as a use for the numbers, so I didnt feel quite so nerdy. Oh well, I'm over it now.

  18. #78


    You know, it occurs to me now that for purposes of this article, the most useful thing for me to know is vertical gain/loss per mile for the eleven distinct sections I chose. If I recorded that info in one of the tables in the article, say Table 2 where miles per day and miles per hiking day are listed, that would let people judge for themselves how much they thought trail ruggedness (in terms of vertical rise and fall) was influencing the changing distances hiked per day in the different sections, and how much was increasing fitness. Do I understand you correctly, Scott, that you think that might be something that can be calculated using your map software?

  19. #79


    Map man,

    As of yet I haven't been able to figure out how to do it, but I just got this gps and software, and haven't had one before so I don't really know what I'm doing. I'll keep working on it though.

  20. #80

    Default article updated with 2006 info

    I just finished updating this hiking rates article, recalculating all the values after having added in the data for 2006 hikers. That means the info is now based on six years' worth of hikers (a total of 143 now) keeping journals at Trailjournals.com. (And I have since added data for the 2007-2010 classes as well, totaling 240 hikers.) I've also updated most of the supplemental information contained in Post #28, and the info on which towns hikers tend to spend their zero days contained in Post #69. There are no dramatic changes in the results, though some of the figures for the percentage of zero days hikers spent in a particular trail section did change some.

    And I now have a new bit of information: since there are now over forty journal keepers in the study who are female, and over thirty journals for a male and female hiking and journaling together, I thought I would go ahead and break the hiking rates down by gender, as a few members have been requesting. (The following numbers have been updated since to incorporate the 2001 through 2010 hiking classes.)

    The 165 male hikers have taken a mean 164.5 days to complete (median: 167) with 20.3 zero days (median: 18).
    The 42 female hikers have taken a mean 179.7 days to complete (median: 184) with 21.2 zero days (median: 22.5).
    The 31 M/F couples have taken a mean 178.8 days to complete (median: 180) with 22.1 zero days (median: 22).

    The number of hikers in the latter two groups is still low enough that I'm not confident enough about the results to include a gender breakdown in the main article, but I figured I'd mention it here for you members who have been curious.

    And thank you to attroll for enabling the edit function for the article and my posts on this thread so I could get all these changes done.

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