Multi day walking - HRS a day?

Discussion in 'Hiking Chat' started by explorecowal, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. explorecowal

    explorecowal Trail Blazer

    Just wondering what kind of time people spend walking in a day if on a multi day trip?

    I've chosen time over distances as terrain can vary.
    I've plotted some routes for a planned multi day walk, average is about 18 miles a day. Most of these routes are on forestry roads and trails.
    To me that's 6 hours solid walking, so with a break every 6 miles that's push it upto 7 hours, which I think isn't too bad.
    I think setting up a camp and having time to enjoying it is part of the experience.
    Of course there's a lot of variables such as weather, suitable stop off/overnight points and midgies!!! I'd rather walk for 18 hours than be feasted upon!

    7wave likes this.
  2. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    I couldn't say for definite either, it varies so much. Some days I'm happy doing 12. Average though I suppose is 6-7. Arctic winter trips are 4 hours max for safety reasons

    Longest day last year was 12 hours over 28 odd miles IIRC. 17-18 mile days are nice on average, that's what I'm planning for my Kungsleden trip later this year.
    explorecowal likes this.
  3. Shewie

    Shewie Chief Slackpacker Staff Member

    On a long route I try and make the most of the daylight hours, a steadier pace over a longer period is more sustainable for me. I'm not what you'd call an early riser so I'm rarely away at the crack of dawn, if I have to reach somewhere for a reason then I'm happy to beast out the miles if needed.

    I try and have a second breakfast on a full days walking, stopping after a couple of hours I find I can eat better than when I first get up. I'll have lunch and an afternoon snack plus brew stops as and when, then there's the photo stops and the nice places where it's just good to sit a while.

    Sometimes I'll pick out a campsite I'd like to stop at, depending on previous days that can mean an eight or twenty five mile day, I'm happy to stop early and enjoy the camping or walk until dusk to reach it.

    I tend to take more notice of hours rather than miles during winter, always mindful that mileages are going to be shorter and also once the sun dips it getting dark quickly.
    Mole and Teepee like this.
  4. suggdozer

    suggdozer Section Hiker

    15 to 20 miles a day is about doable dependent on time of year given daylight hours . truth is some days your up for putting in more miles than others ,Scotland forestry roads ie knockdamph to Oykel Bridge flatish not much incline miles seem to fly by obviously off road sections / hill climb ect less so pretty much down to endurance and stamina but as TP says 17-18 miles a days is a good average to cover on well trod trails as its love of taking in what's around you and not trying to be SAS we're out there for ain't it ,
    oh and ! :beaver::bear::panda::cat::penguin:
  5. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    As others say - variable. I reckon on about 4km/h, and tend to walk 17ish on multiday trips...fewer miles in Scotland or off-trail. How long in hours, again it depends. Helpful.

    I lose heart if I had to do too much forest track walking - I find it really hard on my feet for some reason - Glen Tilt being an example of that.
  6. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    pretty much what Shewie says. And Ed. It depends!
    I don't plan too much.... On TGOs you have to. I averaged 17miles per day. between 10 and 24.
  7. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    As others have said it really depends.

    If hiking here in summer then i really try to get up at the crack of dawn before the heat starts getting unbearable, but i'll also try and find some shade around mid day to have a couple of hours siesta.

    Other than that it really depends on what time i wake up, how knackered i am, the weather and how i feel.

    My average walking speeds vary dramatically as well, if hiking on steep ground with poor trails i'll be happy if i see 1kmh, if i'm on undulating ground with decent paths i can average 5kmh.

    Only time i've really struggled time wise was on last years Lake District walk with my bro, we were doing distances and ascents that i usually manage easily, yet on the second day i was really struggling to hit 1kmh average.
    This meant we had to cut sections short as we simply ran out of day light.
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  8. 7wave

    7wave Trail Blazer

    17 miles a day on average is good for me, but for really long hikes that changes IME. After 3 weeks or so you feel you fly by, so 22 miles/ 35 kms per day become feasible. On the other hand, starting out of shape and with gear problems, as i did on that trip, will make the first week tougher and slower. In the end, 17 miles average.
    I try to plan days by next stop point. 4/6 kms per hour sounds right, but you can't rely too much on that.

    First light is the best time to hike for me, also for spotting wildlife. Magic hour they call it, miles feel like nothing.

    That 40 day hike was on a cool spanish summer, sleeping in a bed most of the days. Under other circumstances, i'd expect different results.
    suggdozer likes this.
  9. suggdozer

    suggdozer Section Hiker

    40 day Hike 7wave respect is due for that budy , never done more than 12 ,

    on average say cwt two people walking most days 7 hours aprox with 2 breaks in the day or c to c walking 8 or more hours with around 3 breaks
    couldnt say what the average speed was but with four people pace tends to be dictated by the slowest person so average of three mph on the flat
    aprox that is
    7wave likes this.
  10. 7wave

    7wave Trail Blazer

    Thanks Suggdozer :) It was IrĂșn- Finisterre going through the Camino del Norte and Camino Primitivo in Northern Spain. I loved the experience, my feet disagreed sometimes though. Come to think of it was 20-5 til 3-7, so it was late spring, but quite cool for the season. Better for me, heat affects me quite a bit.
  11. suggdozer

    suggdozer Section Hiker

    Really like the sound of that route, looked at Camino de Santiago would love to do something in that region , kungsleden Sweden late August / sept this year can't wait for it Troodos mountains Cyprus in April but day hikes so not too strenuous
  12. explorecowal

    explorecowal Trail Blazer

    Great info folks, if not inspiring. I've walked distances before but just single day trips. Hopefully do this wee trip in May keeping to my local area, Cowal. Will need to start some kinda training carrying my gear, which is now just over half the weight of what I used to carry.

    I once walked 22 miles on forestry roads in my 4 season stiff soled boots.....that was almost the end of me!!! I want to arrive at my destination tired, but not broken.

    Teepee and suggdozer like this.
  13. widu13

    widu13 Ultralighter

    16-25 miles daily for me, usually covered over 10 hours.
  14. murpharoo

    murpharoo Section Hiker

    On multi day trips then about 15 miles but some days I'm just happy doing 10 or less and taking it all in. Generally walk for 7 to 12 hours but of course it varies enormously on the terrain. Knoydart miles are tough miles for example.

    The furthest I have walked in 1 day was 31 miles along the Worcestershire Way. It had 5500 feet of ascent and I knew about it at the end. Even the stairs at home were difficult the next day ! :dead:
    explorecowal likes this.
  15. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Terrain is a huge determinant; I'm planning some off-trail stuff in the US this summer and am budgeting around 80 miles in eight days as part of the trip - and I would expect those days to be very long. In those sort of conditions the mental fatigue can be a greater factor then the physical. When Teepee mentions four-hour days in the Arctic I wonder if issues like that are coming into play as well?

    A pretty picture example would be this ski-traverse route in the Pyrenees...lovely in winter no doubt...but for us around 3kms in three hours...

    suggdozer and Lady Grey like this.
  16. suggdozer

    suggdozer Section Hiker

    I'm pretty sure TP's four hour days were snow shoeing and cc ski in Sweden
  17. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    The largest factor in those short days are the daylight hours Ed, often at the trip start (end of jan) there are 6 hours of sunlight.
    In that time, camp must be broken, travel done with many kilos of supplies and camp made. Everything takes so much longer to do out there when the temps dive hard. Suitable camp sites need to be found well before dark and firewood/water/snow bombs/bear dens need to be identified and dealt with before dark sets in. It's incredibly physically draining-one lapse of concentration can see you with frostnip/fall through the ice/axe wound/Yogi's dinner/sweating and the energy burnt keeping warm is huge. It's non-stop. Everything must be methodical.
    Peter Lumsden, edh and suggdozer like this.
  18. 7wave

    7wave Trail Blazer

    Those routes were very enjoyable, as your plans sound to me. Enjoy them :)

    Probably coldest week in Sweden? That's tough stuff!
  19. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    I'm probably going to be sorry I asked....but how do you 'deal with' a bear den?
  20. theoctagon

    theoctagon Thru Hiker

    As others have said it varies massively for me, anything from a few miles to 50
    murpharoo likes this.
  21. widu13

    widu13 Ultralighter

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  22. theoctagon

    theoctagon Thru Hiker

    The 50 was a one off really, not something I plan to repeat on a regular basis!
    murpharoo likes this.
  23. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    That was my coldest trip unfortunately, -18c was the warmest temp in ten days on that. No word of a lie, freezers feel warm. Bad luck has seen heatwaves on every other trip. :( Northern Europe hasn't had it good for a few years.

    Very simply avoid them:D Falling into one is the only danger as they are asleep. You get tuned in to the surroundings and if something looks not quite right, avoid.

    Fair play Matt, that's a long way. How long did it take?
    suggdozer likes this.
  24. murpharoo

    murpharoo Section Hiker

    50 miles !! Yowzers! :jawdrop:
  25. Stuart

    Stuart Section Hiker

    Usual answer in general but one of my best days in the mountains involved about 30 minutes of walking when we took an unplanned break during a Pyrenees backpack to find a nice spot right on the border and stretch out with a book and lots of food. We had to move occasionally as the vultures were taking quite an interest in two prone figures below them.

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