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Estimating A Hike Duration

Back when I used to have time to go hiking, I was constantly amazed at how predictable my hiking speed was. This takes a little practice, but here are some rules of them. I didn’t invent them but everyone needs to tweak them a little bit to their own habits.

To calculate the time it will take to do a hike:

  1. Add 20 minutes for every mile
  2. Add 30 minutes for every 1000 feet of vertical

That’s it! So if you’re going on a 4.5 mile round trip hike that goes up 2000 feet and then returns to the starting point, that would be 4.5 miles * 20 minutes + 2  thousand feet * 30 minutes = 2.5 hours. You don’t need to count the down part. The 30 minutes that you add for going up takes the down into account.

The flat ground timing is extremely accurate. The elevation can be more variable depending on the steepness of the slope. And of course you need to factor in how much time you’ll spend enjoying the view at the top.

I wonder how this will apply with an 11 month old boy on my back?