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  1. #1

    Default How long will it take me to hike the AT?

    A common newbie question- if only there was an answer...
    It occurred to me that the speed hike sheet I made earlier might work with a little tuning- and it did.
    Of course if you're a noob you don't know what I'm talking about. Your good pal and mine- Map Man did some very exhausting and tedious work reading journals and documenting progress of past hikers- all of which resulted in some excellent articles and findings posted on the articles tab at the top of your screen. I took his average numbers and with his help and Odd Man Out we tinkered a bit to create a speed hike calculator. But remove the speed hike part, tinker a little and it works for regular hikes too.

    Here's how-
    Open this excel sheet (maybe I can get some help making it a google or other open format?) The reason I stuck with excel is I can lock all the cells so you can't accidently type over the formula. So open it up and you will see a NOBO and a SOBO tab. Map Man created some sections to go with his Data, and you will see those there. The sheet is saved in 97-2003 compatibility mode- so it should work for most of you. I believe you can open excel sheets like this in google docs and in Apples spreadsheet software.

    Say you went on a section hike, or are familiar with one section of the trail and have an idea how fast you will go on that section. Simply plug in your expected Miles Hiked Per Day (MHPD). This number is not your average, but how far you hike on a full day (don't count zeros or neros). Pick a section, put your mileage in the dark green cell (it's the only cells you can type in) and the sheet will do it's magic and tell you how long it will take.

    It will also tell you an overall average, and the total hiking days to complete.

    Never touched the AT in your life?
    The DWG to Harper's section is a pretty plain jane average hike- so even if you are a flatlander like me you can plug in your local numbers into that section and get a decent idea.

    What about zeros?
    Just look down a bit lower and you will see a zero day schedule. A few common hiking styles are laid out for you to pick from. Don't like them- just take the no zero day number and add your own.

    Remember- like any spreadsheet- garbage in, garbage out. Put a bad number in and you'll get bad results.

    Is it accurate?
    It's average, but since you are adding a number, it's an adjusted average. Although plugging in a few known times, Matt Kirk and JPD- clearly extreme examples, it still comes out within a few percent. 55.4 days for Matt (actual 58.5), 45.9 for Jen (actual 46.3). However- they showed up WITH trail legs. Map Man's numbers reflect the fact that most of you will not show up in record breaking shape, so you won't exactly kill the first section. So really- it's probably pretty damn close. It won't take into account the week you'll be off trail at your brother's wedding- so use a little common sense.

    Why do you want to know?
    Mail drops, resupply, budget, gear selection and pretty well every phase of planning revolves around how long it will take. Even what day to start is affected. You want to know.

    Thanks to Map Man! Good luck planning your trip.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2

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    Forgot to type it (impossible I know with such a long post)
    If you non-noobs would be so kind as to perhaps check the calculator against your hike? It should be pretty close, like any average they'll be a few of you that come up outside the numbers- BUT- if it does work (or it's close) maybe we can make it a sticky and avoid some (you'll never get them all) of the constant how long questions.

  3. #3

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    using your reasoning i figure its gonna take me 5 months to put my spreadsheet together.

  4. #4

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    Perhaps together we can create a spreadsheet to calculate spreadsheet calculations, Woo would need to build us a solar charger for the on-trail computer. I'm not sure where to input the toast, jelly, or butter variables. Of course we'd need to call Andrew Skurka for that but it might work. Perhaps Jeffmeh could graph it so we can approach the problem visually.

  5. #5

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    im still trying to figure out how much whey weighs so i can calculate my whey weight.there must be an easy way to weigh whey.what whey weigh ways do you know of?
    Last edited by hikerboy57; 10-14-2013 at 21:29.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerboy57 View Post
    im still trying to figure out how much whey weighs so i can calculate my whey weight.there must be an easy way to weigh whey.what whey weigh ways do you know of?
    Having whiled away way way to much time weighing ways to weigh whey , I am going away. Way!

  7. #7

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    all kidding aside, just bill, you did a nice job.
    for me, always, the best plan is no plan

  8. #8

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    I am still building the whey weight calculator. It is very tricky considering which whey you go on trail, prevailing winds (affects whey lost when pouring), weight of the hiker when starting the trail, weight of the hiker when finishing, and several other wheys involved, including which whey to input the data into the protein dilation tables (don't even ask).

    Either whey- it was giving me a huge headache so I just came up with this spreadsheet instead.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerboy57 View Post
    all kidding aside, just bill, you did a nice job.
    for me, always, the best plan is no plan
    Well that choice clearly reflects your level of expertise. A proverb from the construction management industry.
    A novice will devote all their energy in an attempt to plan, but fail in the process.
    An experienced person will devote their energy to come up with a good plan, which likely will fail.
    An expert wastes no time or energy planning, and instead devotes their energy to correcting the failed plans of others.

  10. #10

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    I see what you're doing with the last couple threads you started, helping out newbies is your whey

  11. #11
    Registered User Old Hiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    I am still building the whey weight calculator. It is very tricky considering which whey you go on trail, prevailing winds (affects whey lost when pouring), weight of the hiker when starting the trail, weight of the hiker when finishing, and several other wheys involved, including which whey to input the data into the protein dilation tables (don't even ask).

    Either whey- it was giving me a huge headache so I just came up with this spreadsheet instead.
    Whey, whey over MY head. I'm just gonna walk. Wah.
    Old Hiker
    AT Hike 2012 - 497 Miles of 2184
    AT Thru Hiker - 29 FEB - 03 OCT 2016 2189.1 miles
    Just because my teeth are showing, does NOT mean I'm smiling.
    Hányszor lennél inkább máshol?

  12. #12

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    in reality i kinda overplan. ive already had the maps out for the bmt next year, expect i'll have a pretty good idea what im walking through. planning helps give you flexibility.when i hiked this spring, i planned on hitting damascus by the end of april, walked into town may1.but when i was on the trail, i only took it one day at a time.i had pre-planned not to push too hard, and let my body tell me how far to hike every day.the miles came anyway.i didnt do mail drops, and dont intend to next year, so i wont be hiking with a timetable.i know ill leave with sufficient time to get to katahdin before it closes, the rest i'll just take a day at a time.
    planning is good. but once you're on the trail, frequently the plan goes out the window.
    the spreadsheet you provide is def. useful for those who have no idea how long it will take.

  13. #13

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    Yar- You need a plan. Then you need to realize the plan is an average, and isn't set in stone. Some days is good, some days is bad. Some days is no miles but good, some days is high miles but bad. Day to day, toss that plan out the window, week to week- keep an eye on it. It all works out.

    The usual trouble is when you got time you got no money, when you got money you got no time. Best reason for a plan is a budget.
    I hate to say it, but money truly is freedom on the trail. Thankfully not millionaire money, but still a good chunk of change for the average hike.

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