The people who love going to different places always get the best adventure and experience. And one adventurous way to roam around and experience different destinations is to go hiking. As an avid practitioner of hiking, I can say that the real hikers can’t just get enough of the experience as they always seek to go and find new places and destinations. But the truth is, there are always limitations on the capability of every person when doing some hiking activities.
Which led me to this question: how far can you hike in a day? If you are a regular hiker, I bet that you have also asked this question previously. There is no concrete answer to this question as it all depends on several factors that are related to you and the outside environment. It all depends on the hiker and the outside factors which will be discuss as we go through with this article.
Factors to Consider During the Hike
They say that on average, a lot of people can walk at a rate of 4 to 6 kilometers per hour. However, some can do more at a faster pace and others do it slowly. How long does it take to hike in a day for an individual depends on several factors that all contribute to the pace and distance traveled. The hiker’s age, fitness level, and experience can all affect the distance as well as the altitude, terrain, and the type of track that the hiker is navigating. Based on my experience, all of these factors and a few more can all affect the distance that a hiker can cover in a single day.
Experience and Fitness Level
A newbie who is not accustomed to hiking longer distances usually has limited coverage during his first days of hiking. The more you gain experience and develop your fitness level, the longer the distance a hiker can cover in a single day. On the other hand, when a hiker can have more experience navigating the different types of trails in different seasons, it is more likely that he can move at a quicker pace compared to when he was still new.
Meanwhile, building your stamina can help in increasing the distance of your hike. Working on your physical fitness can do wonders in building your stamina and help you sustain the hiking activity for more hours than normal. When I was just starting, I started making small goals such as hiking for short distances in a day. I gradually increase once my body was able to do longer distances until such time that I cover more distances similar to that of experienced hikers.
Type of Terrain
The type of terrain can have a major influence on the distance you can hike in a particular period. In other words, if you ask me how long does it take to hike stone mountain, my answer will be different when I am hiking on flat terrain. The difficult terrain with rocky ground usually uses a lot of your energy and makes your pace slower compared to the flat one. Another similar situation is climbing uphill also takes more effort that usually slows down your speed during the hike.
The Altitude of the Trail
Another factor that can have a major impact on the distance that can be a hike in a single day is the altitude of the trail. When the altitude is much higher, the level of oxygen decreases which can have a great effect on the hiker’s ability to hike longer distances. Once the hiker hits 8000 meters above sea level, it is expected that the body will be working hard due to the low level of oxygen which can directly impact the speed of hiking. Therefore, the altitude should be a big factor to consider when planning to hike in a single day.
Type of Weather and Season
The weather, whether it’s sunny or rainy can affect the hiker’s ability to cover long distances in a single day. When the hiker is dealing with either too much hot or cold conditions, all have a bearing effect on the hiker’s ability to cover long distances. This is the same when the trail has full of snow wherein it will be difficult for the hiker to increase his pace with this type of condition.
For me, the perfect weather condition is not too hot or cold, no rain and with just enough sunlight because this type of weather does not make me tired immediately. Meanwhile, the type of season can also relate to the impact of the weather on your hiking activity. The summer season usually longer days and sunlight while the winter season will have fewer hours of sunlight coupled with the cold condition.
When I say belongings, I am referring to the backpack and the gear that the hiker will bring during the activity. The weight of the backpack and the gear can greatly affect how long does it take to hike a mile or more distance within a single day. The weight of these belongings and the ability of the hiker’s body to carry the weight will affect the pace of the hiker when navigating the trail. My advice is to bring a backpack that is just enough for your body to carry to be comfortable with your pace and speed during the hike.
The Hiker’s Mood and Desire
In my experience as a hiker, the more happy and comfortable I am during the hike, the faster I walk and cover longer distances. I believe that the hiker’s mood during the day and his desire to last longer can contribute to hiking longer distances in a single day. When you are determined to hike a particular distance at a shorter period, the more likely you will achieve it. It is more about the attitude and the desire to cover a particular distance by the hiker in a given day in achieving his hiking goals and target.
As you can see, several factors directly impact how far can you hike in a day. Normally, when you are new and just starting, you will cover a short distance compared to the more experienced hikers. However, the longer you hike and gain experience, the longer it is for you to hike in a single day taking into consideration the different factors we have just mentioned. Have happy and adventurous hiking!