How far have you hiked in a day?

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by froldt, Apr 27, 2015.

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  1. froldt

    froldt Scout

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    Three of us tried to condense a long hike into a long weekend and decided that we over-estimated our abilities/training (though we still covered more than half of the 59 miles and quit with a full day to go). We had a friend shuttling gear with us so we only carried lunch, water, rain gear, and first-aid supplies with us. My wife and I were debating and are pretty sure we still hit a personal best at 26.4 miles hiked in one day.

    This made me curious - what's your longest hike? And what were you carrying - nothing, day packs, or full backpacks?
     
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  2. Salts

    Salts Tracker

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    I've never been a speed hiker so the most I've done has been 8 miles in a day. That was with a full pack weighing about 35 lbs.
     
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  3. BigFootSurvival

    BigFootSurvival Guide

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    I did 25 miles once with a 5 day pack. I prefer 8-12 mile days.
     
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  4. ChrisB

    ChrisB Tracker

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    27 miles with a backpack, @ 50 lbs, in the Dolomites.
     
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  5. RangerJoe

    RangerJoe Bushwhacker Bushclass II

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    right around 20miles with 30lbs....long day
     
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  6. scottyc

    scottyc Scout

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    23 when i did the AT.. Now being old i do about 5 to 8 every weekend
     
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  7. BCSteel

    BCSteel Banned Member Banned

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    In my younger, more athletic days I would routinely do in the 30 km range each day on 2 to 4 day trips.
    Now, I'm much more into the journey than the destination and around 20 kms is enough. Can I do more, sure. Do I want to do more? Not usually lol. Although my wife does have a 140 km hike over 6 days planned for us through the mountains this year so we'll see how that goes.
     
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  8. Hawkcreek

    Hawkcreek Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    If forced ruck marches count I've done to much! Hiking on my own I get distracted and go investigate things so I end up moving down the trail at a pretty slow pace.
     
  9. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I'm going off memory, but believe our personal "record" for one day is ~12 miles. That's with a full pack, 5 days worth of gear/food/water. Never weighed my pack full but guessing around 35 pounds, maybe more at the start with water bottles/bladders full.

    To be honest, I see no need to really go much beyond that for practical and enjoyment purposes (only speaking for myself here). If it were necessary to do more in a day, consistently, then either the trail choice was too long or duration of planned trip too short.
     
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  10. RangerJoe

    RangerJoe Bushwhacker Bushclass II

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    I think one has to figure out the point of a trip beforehand, is your goal to put in miles?, see scenerey you don't get to normally?, try out camping gear, and or tricks, tips.?
    All have their benefit, and should not be overlooked, but instead figured out while planning the trip.
     
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  11. egricheson81

    egricheson81 Scout

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    15 klicks full combat load.
     
  12. t.darrah

    t.darrah Guide

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    Going light, long and hard can be a challenging and rewarding goal. I've done the TRT on multiple occasions with a goal of finishing in under four days which requires 40+ miles per day. I'm hoping to return this fall and do it again counter clockwise as earlier efforts were all clockwise.
     
  13. Gerald_G

    Gerald_G Scout Bushclass I

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    Myself and two buddies hiked the Chilkoot trail through from Dyea in one day. It was early spring (May I think), and the train was not running, so we also had to hike the tracks back out to the car (at Log Cabin - as it's called). Over all, very close to 60km (40miles) over some tough terrain. Day packs only, not full gear. We added a detour of unknown length when we lost the trail in deep snow, and at least 10 maybe 15km was post-holing in said deep snow. My personal record.

    http://www.yukonhiking.ca/chilkoot.html

    Google some images - very spectacular place.
     
  14. ANFwoodsman

    ANFwoodsman Supporter Supporter

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    My longest mile day was 35 miles with a day pack. I did some 18 and 19 mile days on the AT with a full pack but all those days were in my early 20's. Now I like my backpacking days to be 8 to 12 miles max or it feels too rushed and beats up my knees.
     
  15. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I'll just add that for me, terrain also plays a big part in how much mileage my body is up for. Hiking 10+ miles on mostly flat, well maintained trail isn't hard. Walking 10 miles when large portions are extremely rocky with significant and sharp elevation changes (up or down) can quickly make 10 miles feel like 100.

    But I don't backpack to set any records or impress anyone else. It's nice that my regular backpacking group all share that mindset.
     
  16. GunGoBoom

    GunGoBoom I'm not lost, I've just misplaced myself. Supporter Bushclass I

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    I was thinking the same thing. If we are talking voluntary recreational hiking probably no more than 5 or 6 miles (not including an instance of being "misplaced"). If we are talking about walking in the woods with a pack in general, I put some miles in around Fort Knox.
     
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  17. Jean

    Jean Guide

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    The Zion Narrows from the Kolob Plateau was a 15+ mile day hike, but it was all "downhill".
     
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  18. dRobinson

    dRobinson Guide

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    I'm not big on long-distance backpacking / putting in more than 6-7 mi per day, though I enjoy it on occasion. The most I have done in a day is 13 miles, starting around 10am and finishing around 4pm. That trip was actually just a few weeks ago (mid March) in the Grayson Highlands / Mt Rogers area of VA on the AT. In all we did 20 miles in two days with nonstop rain and wind. It was pretty tough on me as I did a poor job with packing and took much, much more than I needed.

    I agree with HeadyBrew completely concerning terrain. Plays a huge part in my planning / choices.
     
  19. Timberdogz

    Timberdogz Supporter Supporter

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    Once, in my misguided youth, I did a 29 mile hike out when the jeep died...then another two or three miles until I got to a phone and called for a tow from a friend! These days I like to keep the hikes under six miles so my knees don't get a restraining order against me!
     
  20. Easy_rider75

    Easy_rider75 Bushwhacker

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    Farthest years ago with a pack had about 40lbs I think was about 20ish? I do long day walks farthes was a 12 miler that was round trip
     
  21. herpingmad

    herpingmad Supporter Supporter

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    biggest weight to distance ratio, 28km with 50+pounds, furthest distance, somewhere between 33-35km. All in the rockies scrambling (a LOT of elevation increase, no flat land here)
     
  22. ra2bach

    ra2bach Bushmaster

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    22 miles with a daypack with sandwich and an apple for lunch, water, raingear, first aid and spare socks...
     
  23. RavenLoon

    RavenLoon axology student Supporter

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    I did 25 miles on Isle Royale with just a daypack with water, lunch and raingear. I was looking for moose as part of a research project. I crossed Greenstone ridge four times then going down to Lake Superior on different trails. That was 40 years ago. I'm reasonably certain I will never go that far in a day ever again.
     
  24. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

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    I hiked a section of the PCT in 1972. I think my longest day was around 18-20 miles. The scenery was what kept me on a slow pace. The Sierras are beautiful.

    Steve
     
  25. dustinf

    dustinf Guide

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    I did 16 miles at work the other day.
     
  26. livetosurvive

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    The way I see it, there are two kinds of backpacking: Living in the bush, or running through the bush.
    I saw last year, a women set the record for the AT averaging 38 miles per day. She ate granola bars, barely slept the whole way, with as much support from her husband as possible.
    We live in the bush; cook, wash up, pick berries and look at interesting rocks. We have old style gear, but still not over 25 pounds with three days food. For us, (I am 60, my wife is 54) 12 miles a day is maximum.
    Terry
     
  27. MASC1104

    MASC1104 Old Dominion Resident Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Many years ago, 20-25 with 2 nite loadout
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
  28. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    My Army hikes don't count... Longest worth mentioning was 16 miles in the Smokies with a roughly 35lb pack.
     
  29. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    The most that I've ever done was a bit over 15 miles with about 2,500' vertical years ago somewhere out around Snoqualmie, WA. That didn't include walking across the U District to catch an early bus out to Snoqualmie pass, walking/hitchhiking to the trailhead as well as hitchhiking back to the bus stop, then back to the apartment at the end of the day. And this after being on a fishing boat for almost four months.
     
  30. marsturm

    marsturm Tracker

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    I did 32.5 miles in one day, The Kelso Endurance Hike, while a scout leader in my son's Boy Scout Troop. Carrying only a butt-pack with water and snacks. The majority of scouts and adult leaders completed the hike. A sag wagon followed the course picking up those that were unable to complete the hike.
     
  31. loose bolts

    loose bolts Tracker

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    22 miles with a old Swiss rucksack (not a good idea) i was a rookie out with a few diehard guys that wanted to see what i was made of, hazing ritual of sorts. unless a yeti is after me i prefer shorter trips and take my time.
     
  32. hdlv

    hdlv Treen Machine

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    A friend and I did 23 miles section hiking the AT, the pack was about 26lbs to start. We averaged about 18-20 miles over the corse of five days and boy did our feet regret it afterwards.... for weeks. Next time there will be a bit of warming up.
     
  33. rocketbomb

    rocketbomb Guide

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    Longest day wasn't that impressive for distance (18 miles according to Google Earth, two of us measured the hike afterward and came up with the same result expecting it to be a lot longer) but it took us 13.5 hours with all the snow, difficult route finding, climbing, and off trail work. Sourdough Glacier area to the Green River trailhead via Lost Eagle Peak in the Winds. Not entirely sure I've done anything longer distance wise, but have done a few days up there. Nothing that tough though.
     
  34. OntarioClarence

    OntarioClarence Tracker

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    41 kms (25.5 miles) with a full day pack. It weighed roughly 30 lbs, most of which was gear for just in case we needed to camp overnight, but we didnt. It took us 14 hours with 2 short snack breaks, 2 full meal breaks, and some sight seeing. We walked the full Elgin Hiking Trail in Southwestern Ontario. It was amazing and i am looking forward to doing it again very soon.
     
  35. Izzy

    Izzy Deceased.

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    21 in 11 hours. A High Peaks 46er hike that conquered 5 peaks.
     
  36. Chazzle

    Chazzle Wandering Teacher Supporter

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    My brother and I did 14 miles with a full 40# pack in a day.
     
  37. canoecanoe

    canoecanoe Tracker

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    About 22 miles with no gear. Down the Bright Angel trail all the way to the Colorado River and back out in one day. Thought I was going to die! But I didn't.

    Grand Canyon, of course.
     
  38. azb

    azb Scout

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    On a fairly flat section of the AT in Maine, I've hiked 22 miles with a 70lb pack. I've hiked the Stekoahs in NC from Wesser to Fontana dam, a very hilly section of the trail 16 miles long, and was done shortly after noon. If you count hiking down into Fontana and back to the dam, it was probably pretty close to 26 miles.

    These days in the mountains I carry far less weight and take my time. If I keep moving, 15-18 miles is doable, but 11-13 is more typical. I generally do much more bushwhacking than trail hiking and that cuts mileage in half.

    My daughter did the Rachel Carlson challenge last year, that was 34 miles. Only a small pack.

    But it's not really about the miles, although it is good to know your limits.

    Az
     
  39. DeseretPatriot

    DeseretPatriot Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I do rim to rim of the Grand Canyon in a day about once a year. 24 1/2 miles
     
  40. canoecanoe

    canoecanoe Tracker

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    I am duly impressed, sir.
     
  41. DeseretPatriot

    DeseretPatriot Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Haha, don't be. I pay for it for about a week afterwards every time. The older I get the more I say to myself "man, I really should start preparing for this". The key for me is water, water, and some more water.
     
  42. bobc

    bobc Scout

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    about 9-12 miles per day with a full pack....of course, that's when i as younger and in shape!...my philosophy is set your pace so you can have a conversation on the trail....and stop and smell the roses!!!

    bob
     
  43. boomchakabowwow

    boomchakabowwow Guide

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    25 miles in the Gila national forest. not fun for everyone. the fitter hikers should have been more considerate.

    now? i bet i can still do it, but i wont.
     
  44. Strngwlkr

    Strngwlkr Scout

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    Ha- that's what I was thinking!
    We did a 36 mile day with full load (~70lbs)! Got us a 4 day weekend...course most of us used the 1st two days to recover! And hell, we were all batwing 19-25.
    Nowadays I keep it to about 5-8 depending on terrain....on a trail or TT, I CAN DO 10-12 but I am not enjoying the vistas much
     
  45. rdec

    rdec Guide

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    In my prime (some time ago) unladen on reasonably level terrain I averaged a 10 minute mile. As a survey officer in the army I would put in 20-30 miles/day with belt gear without any real effort. For the most part, though, I never kept track. Whether afoot or in a canoe I don't go out to set speed records. FWIW: The army estimates foot marches with field gear and reasonable terrain at 1 MPH. That is 50 minutes walking and a 5-10 minute break every hour.

    On marked trails, shelters are often set 1 day apart for the average hiker.

    When you get down to it, what is the worst thing that can happen if you underestimate your speed? You spend some extra time in camp - and isn't that one of the things you are there for?
     
  46. Brownie

    Brownie Supporter Supporter

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    Overnight backpack mode...about 5 miles a day ;)

    Usually it's at higher elevations and seems to always be going uphill
     
  47. manitoulinbound

    manitoulinbound Apple Fritter Lover Supporter

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    46 miles is my personal, albeit stupidest "best", with about a 20 pound pack. Some of it was in the dark and much of it was a goat path. It didn't seem like that big of a deal when I did it but looking back I realize how unsafe it was, even though I did leave my trip details with folks at home. I consider myself a speed hiker who is more concerned with getting to the destination then taking time along the way and I understand that will baffle many of you, it's just always how I've done things. I now limit myself to 20 miles per day now, give or take, to enjoy the scenery, but to also force myself to take my time.
     
  48. Outdooraddict

    Outdooraddict Tracker

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    I've logged over 20 miles while put hunting. Most of my camping includes a good portion of the travel being via water ;) I prefer it that way
     
  49. Grits

    Grits Guide

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    22 miles with a 3-day, 2-night pack. 27 miles on a dayhike with about 12 pounds of gear.

    That said, those were simply personal challenges. Most of the time, I like to go in the 3-9 range, as I much prefer to investigate the many diversions (game trails, creeks, cliff-tops, old homesteads, etc.) and spend time hanging out in camp.
     
  50. Long Hunter

    Long Hunter Scout

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    22mi on the AT carrying over 50lbs. I played ball in high school and college and was always the guy designated to take "a little bit" of gear from everyone else (my gear loaded out was about 39lbs). That was 25 years, 3 knee surgeries, 1 Achilles tendon full rupture, 1 rotator cuff tear, 3 broken vertebrae, 4 broken ribs, 1 broken ankle, 1 dislocated femur and 1 broken pelvis ago. Now 8-10 miles with 30lbs - less if any real elevation gain.
     

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