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  1. #1
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    Default Stupid questions but want serious answers...

    With all the self promotion out there on these speed demons (well jsut a few of them really) Ii have what might seem two stupid questions but I would like honest serious answers...its not a contest just information.

    For a regular hiker..that is your average joe the hiker, with what a seems a reasonable pack load of 30# what is your normal milage in an average day of hiking?

    How many hours do you actualy spend hiking in a day..no including lunch etc...?
    Take almost nothing I say seriously--if it seems to make no sense what so ever it's probably meant as a joke....but do treat your water!

  2. #2
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    There's no such hing as an "average hiker" - we're all like little "experiments of one".

    Rare is the day I don't hike 20 miles. Almost always 24-27. I don't hike fast but I start early, don't take a lot of breaks and hike until almost dark usually.

    I usually hike 12ish hours out of 24, the remaining 12 go for lunch, breaks, camping, water stops, etc. etc. etc.

  3. #3

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    In weekend warrior mode...8 hours hiking at 2mph equals 16 mile day. And thats pretty much max...if a nice campsite is at 14 miles that's where I'll stop with no regrets.

  4. #4

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    What trail are you talking about? A decent hiking day for me on the PCT is about 25 miles. In the Los Padres National Forest, about 11-13. On the AT, I don't know, but people have told me that if I regularly did over 25 miles a day (which I did) then 20+ mile days on the AT wouldn't be a problem.

    P.S. My pack was closer to 15lbs.
    Some knew me as Piper, others as just Diane.
    I hiked the PCT: Mexico to Mt. Shasta, 2008. Santa Barbara to Canada, 2009.

  5. #5
    2000 miler Doc's Avatar
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    If you check some of the journals you will get a good cross section of what is actually hiked. For me I start hiking around 7:00 and quit about 4:00 P.M with 1 to 1.5 hours out for snacks, water fill ups, nature calls, looking at the view, etc. That's about 8 hours and I average 2 miles per hour on level or almost level trail. When hills arrive I gear down to 1 mile per hour. This is mildly optimistic for the first week or so and very conservative after the first 100 miles. While I'm a "mature" hiker I was never much faster than this. The young folks seem to blow by me easily on the trail but I take fewer days in town drinking beer so I keep up. You will find that seasoned hikers can easily do 3 mph for hours at a time. Hope that helps. Keep in mind the old adage "your mileage may vary."

  6. #6

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    Slightly obese, mid forties, male, typical weekend warrior

    I enjoy doing about 8-10 miles with frequent stops for taking photos.

    I find its the elevation gain/loss that sets my pace, not the mileage.

  7. #7
    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    My mileage would vary , but I usually average 12-15 miles a day , 2.0 mph at roughly 6.5 - 7.5 hours over typical elevation changes seen on the AT .
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  8. #8
    Wanna-be hiker trash
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    As a section hiker, I usually hike anywhere between 11 - 17 miles a day on the A.T. during a three season hike, winter numbers are much lower of course.

    I usually do less miles per day if I'm out for an overnight than if I'm on the trail for a week or two. During an overnight trip, my mentality is that I'm out to relax and have enjoy myself, I usually have a little more camping gear (and maybe a little whisky) with me, and I will hike for only six, maybe eight hours in a day.

    When hiking for more than a few days, my mindset changes a little bit, my pack is a bit lighter and I'm out on the trail to hike more than camp. For these sections, I may hike for eight to twelve hours in a day and start to average closer to 15+ miles a day. I go slower and take more breaks, unfortunately I've found that even after two week long sections I really don't have full on trail legs.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  9. #9
    Garlic
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    From what I've seen, the average AT thru hiker takes between five and six months to complete his or her hike, giving an average of between 12 and 15 miles per day. As said above, you can look at the individual hikers' stats pages on trailjournals.com to get an idea of the range. If you read the journals, you'll also get an idea of what those hikers' days are like, whether they're pushing hard, partying a lot, taking lots of zeros, how many hours per day on trail, etc. There's a really wide range of hiking styles.
    "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

  10. #10
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    I agree with others. It depends. I averaged 16 miles per day on my thru. My longest day was 28.4 miles and the shortest 1.4 miles.

    I tended to get up really early (4:30ish) and start just before dawn so I usually ended my day early. The young bucks slept in and usually hiked until well past dusk. To each his own.......

    One thing's for certain, you will develop your own natural hiking day rhythm.
    Last edited by Spokes; 11-15-2011 at 00:50.

  11. #11

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    I haven't thru hiked, but I train in NH. Hell, I'm happy with 1.5 mph. Of course, most of the mountains seem like they gain 1000' per mile here. Can't wait to see what I can hike with some real trail experience.
    Quilteresq
    2013, hopefully.

  12. #12
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    I generally bank on covering about 2.75 miles per hour, this includes all normal breaks (food, water, patch blister, change insoles, bathroom, etc). I don't take a lunch break in the normal sense of the word, ie sit down and chill for an hour, I take shorter breaks at more frequent intervals. For me, in shape on a long-distance hike on the AT...I would say my average day would probably be right around the 20-24 mile mark, so that would take me about 7.5 - 9 hours of walking. Earlier in my hiking days I preferred 12-15 mile days, I find nowdays I get anxious and bored sitting around camp waiting for it to get dark.


    As a rule I try to do big days out of town, like 25-27, and shorter days into town when I'm staying overnight. My pack usually weighs about 23-24lbs on the trail, including food and water, that's for about 3.5 days food which I generally never exceed, sometimes I take less food from town and I have no idea what my pack would weigh but obviously less. I try not to carry too much water, about a half-liter to a liter. However if I come to a great swimming hole everything stops! Swimming holes and pizza, everything stops for those two!

  13. #13
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    I generally bank on covering about 2.75 miles per hour, this includes all normal breaks (food, water, patch blister, change insoles, bathroom, etc). I don't take a lunch break in the normal sense of the word, ie sit down and chill for an hour, I take shorter breaks at more frequent intervals. For me, in shape on a long-distance hike on the AT...I would say my average day would probably be right around the 20-24 mile mark, so that would take me about 7.5 - 9 hours of walking. Earlier in my hiking days I preferred 12-15 mile days, I find nowdays I get anxious and bored sitting around camp waiting for it to get dark.


    As a rule I try to do big days out of town, like 25-27, and shorter days into town when I'm staying overnight. My pack usually weighs about 23-24lbs on the trail, including food and water, that's for about 3.5 days food which I generally never exceed, sometimes I take less food from town and I have no idea what my pack would weigh but obviously less. I try not to carry too much water, about a half-liter to a liter. However if I come to a great swimming hole everything stops! Swimming holes and pizza, everything stops for those two!

  14. #14
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    Sorry don't understand why the double post...apologies

  15. #15
    Registered User moytoy's Avatar
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    I'm 64 and in reasonable condition. 5'9" 180 lb. ...ding... I walk 6 miles nonstop every day at about 3.2 miles per hour. When I'm hiking in the mountains I can do about 15 miles a day but my body likes 10 much better and that is what I usually do.
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  16. #16
    Registered User joshuasdad's Avatar
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    I hike pretty much the same as Sarcasm the elf -- 11-17 mile average with about a 15 pound pack (but in my case, + also at least a 15 pound "spare tire"). I'm starting to hike six mile stretches at 3 mph over easy terrain, but average closer to 2 mph at the end of a typical 8 hour day. But on occasion I will go long and slow, for example, I did 20 miles over the rocks near Lehigh Gap, PA (Knife Edge, Bake Oven Knob, vertical climb from Lehigh River, etc.) from before sunrise to after sundown, a 14 hour day. As winter approaches, I am picking up the pace to use the available daylight -- hoping to do 12 mile (6-8 hour) days in Vermont and Massachusetts over Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks, respectively, but am fully expecting to run into snow and ice.

    So my answer also...it depends...

  17. #17
    Registered User backtracker2's Avatar
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    On the AT I usually start out doing about 8 to 10 miles a day. After I am out there for a few days I will bump that up to 14 to 16 miles a day. My mileage mostly depends on the area, distance between resupply, weather, and if town food is calling me.

  18. #18
    International Man of Mystery BobTheBuilder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Murphy View Post
    Slightly obese, mid forties, male, typical weekend warrior

    I enjoy doing about 8-10 miles with frequent stops for taking photos.

    I find its the elevation gain/loss that sets my pace, not the mileage.
    +1 on that, although the last day of a hike with a hotel bed and restaurant in my mind, I can sometimes double that.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the answers folks...i'm just trying to see where I fit in the spectrum of hikers.

    Yeah I could have plowed through a bunch of journals but I figured this would get a wider selection. It's not just a thru hiker question...but more of a general question for everyone.
    Take almost nothing I say seriously--if it seems to make no sense what so ever it's probably meant as a joke....but do treat your water!

  20. #20
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    Map man has a most excellent article on hiking rates (per day, per section, etc)
    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/content.php?44
    but for some reason, I can't seem to access it now???

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