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Trip Planning Help


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Viewing 24 posts - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)
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  • #3803644
    Noah
    BPL Member

    @genoah77

    Locale: Alberta

    Hi there,

    I am doing an 8 day through hike in August in the Canadian Rockies. Three of those days involve 20 mi days with just under 3000 ft of total elevation gain; that’s how the reservations shook out (it’s in a high demand area). For three 30-year-olds in average (but not perfect) shape, approximately how many hours (including lunch and breaks) do you think it would take to hike that in one day?

    #3803646
    Terran Terran
    BPL Member

    @terran

    Around 7 to 10 hours if you’re acclimated.

    #3803649
    Kevin Babione
    BPL Member

    @kbabione

    Locale: Pennsylvania

    If possible do a 2-3 trip with them between now and your big trip to give you a better idea of how you hike together.  I’ve found my average speed to be almost exactly 2 mph including breaks and lunch.  Also – you should expect to slow down a bit in those last 4-6 miles of your 20-mile days, so 10-12 hours might be likely on those days.

    Here’s something we’ve done on longer days and it helps…Get up and go first thing in the morning and stop after 2 hours for breakfast.  Eat a bar or something if you need to before you set off, but the day seems to go much faster if you can cover 5 miles before breakfast.  In my world, that means I have a “normal” 15-mile day between breakfast and camp.

    #3803650
    Bill Budney
    BPL Member

    @billb

    Locale: Central NYS

    Naismith’s Rule: 30 minutes per mile plus 30 minutes per 1,000 feet elevation = 11.5 hours. YMMV.

    One long day is relatively easy; several in a row can take a toll. If you’re in decent shape but do not regularly hike those distances, I would add some for the 8 days in a row, and a little more for days above 10-15 miles. Expect some long days. Prevent blisters.

    Trail quality makes a big difference. It’s quite a bit easier to walk fast on well-groomed trails than it is on rough trails over rocks or roots in a forest. The group can only move as fast as the slowest hiker.

    Some experienced ultra-lighters do long days like that routinely. “Average” people not so much. You might want to prepare by doing some long-distance day hikes (or weekends) so that you will have a better idea of what you’re in for.

    (whoops; partially ninja’ed by Kevin)

    #3803651
    Dan
    BPL Member

    @dan-s

    Locale: Colorado

    10-ish hours should allow you to hike 20 miles at a modest average pace, which may be necessary given the elevation changes. And during the summer at that latitude, you’ll have plenty of daylight to hike for 10 hours, even with leisurely breaks. That’s a long day for people twice your age, but shouldn’t be too bad for young people in their prime. Especially since the Canadian Rockies aren’t at such high altitude, relatively speaking. And if it’s a “high demand” area, I assume you’ll be on maintained trails, which means you’ll really be able to motor on the flats, and you won’t be spending time navigating or traversing difficult terrain.

    You will probably be tired, but I don’t think it will wipe you out, and you will recover. I can remember hiking 20 miles off the couch easily when I was in my 30s. Now … not so much.  :-)

    Obviously you should prepare as much as possible with some warm-up hikes and training with a pack. And as noted above, your feet may limit you more than your fitness, so make sure that you have your footwear dialed in and you’re prepared to treat hotspots and blisters.

    #3803652
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    Starting somewhat out of shape, I can do more miles the second day

    That first day will “get me in shape” some

    I used to be able to do 2 miles per hour, now, maybe 1.5

    #3803657
    Noah
    BPL Member

    @genoah77

    Locale: Alberta
    • Great advice, thanks! I use the Trails NH hiking time calculator, which uses Naismith’s rule, plus other variables like pack weight, speed, and terrain difficulty.

    the first few days are actually in an incredibly remote area with barely any trail (par for the course for my area in Alberta). The last 20 mi day is on a lovely, easy trail. But the first two 20 mi days are back to back on some tough terrain.

    I find the Trails NH calculator to be decently accurate, but I never know exactly what “rough” terrain or “very heavy” pack weight means. If anyone has been able to find definitions for these terms on Trails NH please let me know.

    I was getting 12-16 hours on the calculator depending on the parameters I set so I wanted to get a second opinion. Sounds like maybe the calculator is overestimating the difficulty?

    #3803658
    Bill Budney
    BPL Member

    @billb

    Locale: Central NYS

    Sounds like maybe the calculator is overestimating the difficulty?

    Without knowing what parameters you used, and allowing for the wide variations that might be considered “average”, plus some rugged terrain, it sounds “about right” for a conservative estimate. Maybe you will be 50% faster. Maybe not.

    There’s no way to know with any precision until you get there. Practicing long days is the best way to know how fast your group travels.

    #3803668
    Noah
    BPL Member

    @genoah77

    Locale: Alberta

    Fair enough. We will definitely do practice days.

    Here’s the link with parameters added below for 20 miles and 3000 ft: https://trailsnh.com/tools/hiking-time-calculator.php

    If I set the parameters conservatively to  have the maximum time, I pick “slow,” “tough,” and “very heavy.” The site takes the Naismith’s Rule and Book Time, then adds “105%” to the time, resulting in 16 h 18 minutes for moving time. That seems like a lot.

    If I set the parameters to “normal,” “rough,” and “regular,” it instead adds 30% to the Naismith and Book total, resulting in 10 h 20 minutes for moving time.  Adding 150% compared to 30% is a huge difference. This seems more reasonable based on everyone’s comments above.

    I like the calculator concept, but I wish the parameters were defined clearly.

    #3803678
    Bill Budney
    BPL Member

    @billb

    Locale: Central NYS

    From the POV of the app developers, it makes sense to be conservative. Especially for tough terrain with a heavy pack.

    Recovery also matters. Your group might be fast the first time you do 20 miles, but after 60 miles in three days, it can add up.

    Shrug… none of us can guess any better than we already have. Furthermore, what does it matter? You have the schedule you have because of limited permits, and you can probably achieve the required daily pace as long as nobody gets injured (including blisters).

    Weather can make a difference as well.

    It doesn’t matter much whether you finish your day’s hike in 8 hours or 15. You still have an hour to make/break camp and eight hours to sleep. The main difference is how much free time you will have for relaxing.

    In the worst case you might have to hike in twilight and make camp in the dark. Bring headlamps and batteries or a way to charge.

    Enjoy the trip. The Rockies are magnificent.

     

    #3803693
    Dan
    BPL Member

    @dan-s

    Locale: Colorado

    I have to agree with Bill. Nobody can predict with precision how long your hike will take, especially with so many uncertainties and relatively vague information. Even for myself on a known route, I couldn’t make a perfect prediction; things can vary from day to day based on how I feel, the weather, etc. With multiple people and unknown terrain/conditions, things are even less predicable.

    So don’t overthink it. It’s not a crazy distance, you have plenty of daylight and a trail to follow, the elevation isn’t extreme, and 3,000 feet over 20 miles really isn’t a lot in the context of the Rockies. Just get an early start and make steady progress at a consistent moderate level of effort. Care for your feet and make sure you eat and drink regularly. You are going to have a great hike!

    #3803697
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    Dan nailed it in his last post. This sounds like a spectacular hike! Personally, I’d worry more about developing a blister than meeting the itinerary. And even then, if you have the proper treatment (essential!!) that includes Leukotape and Moleskin and yes, Band-aid blister treatment, you’ll be fine.

    No one’s ever been sent to prison for taking an extra day on a backcountry hike. So no worries!

    #3803699
    Noah
    BPL Member

    @genoah77

    Locale: Alberta

    I am a classic overthinker. Thanks everyone! I am excited for sure.

     

    I actually got a blister the day before hiking the GR11 in Spain this summer. I had plenty of leukotape but ran out very quickly after an all-day rainstorm, then snapped my tent tie-out and got the flu. All the pharmacies were closed (due to an all-week festival), so my trip was very different than I planned for but a lot of fun as I got to know the culture of a few historic towns. I’ll have to go back because I didn’t get as far as I’d hoped due to all those logistical problems.

    I tried using barefoot shoes I had been wearing for about year to acclimate my feet (vivos), but I am not sure I would try a through hike with barefoots again. Hoping to take better care of my feet this summer!

    #3803701
    Noah
    BPL Member

    @genoah77

    Locale: Alberta

    No one’s ever been sent to prison for taking an extra day on a backcountry hike. So no worries!

    Maybe not, but Eric Hanson almost did haha: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCcXt6XZrdw

    #3803908
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    1) make sure everyone is wearing the shoes they’ll hike in as their everyday shoes for weeks in advance.  If their shoes are too heavy or bothersome or uncomfortable to wear to school, the store, and work, they shouldn’t hike in them, ever, and especially not when the party has some miles to do.  If you have someone along who insists on traditional, heavy ankle-high boots, insist they have been wearing them 12 hours a day for weeks in advance.  Better yet, leave that person behind.

    2) do ten minutes of actual stair climbing actual stairs each morning before your shower.  Unlike a stairclimber at the gym, you’ll be raising AND LOWERING your full body weight up and down with each flight of stairs.  After a week of that, add a gallon jug of water.  Add a second jug of water the third week.  In your 30s, three weeks of such prep is more than enough.

    3) 10 pound baseweights and 1.5 pounds of food per person per day.  Checked on a scale with the extra stuff left in the car.  Everything – the miles, the vertical, the long days – is easier with less weight on your back.

    4) if your long days are early in your trip and high in elevation, arrive a few days early to partially acclimitize to the elevation.  Or spend the days prior at some other high elevation (e.g Mammoth or Toulemne Meadows prior to Mount Whitney).  I’ve debated if time spent in an airplane at 33,000 feet (jet keep cabin pressure around 8,000-foot density elevation) helps a bit – some months that’s most of my time above sea level.  Easy hiking at 8,000 feet is better and far less likely to develop to DVT and throw a clot.

    #3803926
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    I tend to get any hot spot on my feet very early in a hike. Often within a half hour. It’s crucial to deal with it right then. The thing is, since the OP is worried about covering miles, the tendency is to just press on. It takes time to take off boots/shoes and address a hot spot. Sometimes you might have to stop twice if the problem persists.

    Just do it. Blisters can be a bummer.

    I tend to double wrap Leukotape around my feet. As a result, even if my feet get wet, the tape lasts for days.

    #3803955
    Sarah Kirkconnell
    BPL Member

    @sarbar

    Locale: Homesteading On An Island In The PNW

    I hike 2 miles an hour no matter my shape, or condition. By planning that much time in, then I can surprise myself. Lol. And yeah, some times I do 3 mph. But hey, summer in the north you have all day to hike – literally. It’s daylight at 4 am dark at 10 pm……

    20 miles in a day isn’t the time to be Super Walker. Take your time. Take your boots off every couple of hours to cool and air out. Enjoy the scenic nature.

    #3804019
    Noah
    BPL Member

    @genoah77

    Locale: Alberta

    1) make sure everyone is wearing the shoes they’ll hike in as their everyday shoes for weeks in advance.  If their shoes are too heavy or bothersome or uncomfortable to wear to school, the store, and work, they shouldn’t hike in them, ever, and especially not when the party has some miles to do.  If you have someone along who insists on traditional, heavy ankle-high boots, insist they have been wearing them 12 hours a day for weeks in advance.  Better yet, leave that person behind.

    2) do ten minutes of actual stair climbing actual stairs each morning before your shower.  Unlike a stairclimber at the gym, you’ll be raising AND LOWERING your full body weight up and down with each flight of stairs.  After a week of that, add a gallon jug of water.  Add a second jug of water the third week.  In your 30s, three weeks of such prep is more than enough.

    3) 10 pound baseweights and 1.5 pounds of food per person per day.  Checked on a scale with the extra stuff left in the car.  Everything – the miles, the vertical, the long days – is easier with less weight on your back.

    4) if your long days are early in your trip and high in elevation, arrive a few days early to partially acclimitize to the elevation.  Or spend the days prior at some other high elevation (e.g Mammoth or Toulemne Meadows prior to Mount Whitney).  I’ve debated if time spent in an airplane at 33,000 feet (jet keep cabin pressure around 8,000-foot density elevation) helps a bit – some months that’s most of my time above sea level.  Easy hiking at 8,000 feet is better and far less likely to develop to DVT and throw a clot.

    Great suggestions, David! I have recently purchased the Topo Pursuits. I am hoping they give much more support than my Vivos and have more durability than Lone Peaks. Anyone use those yet?

    I’ve been doing the stairmaster with Chase Mountain’s mountain proof knees program, but I’ll add descending stairs now as well.

    My friend is obsessed with his Jetboil, so I guess I’ll let him bring it instead of my lightweight/less bulky setup. Anyone have suggestions on how to convince your hiking partners to ditch heavy or bulky gear, especially when you have something lighter? I’m not one for conflict; I usually let people hike their own hike but I know a trip like this requires more coordination and efficient packing to avoid someone getting blisters or having a bad time with a needless injury that could’ve been prevented. Maybe I’ll just have to buckle up and enforce packing light as the trip leader.

    We live 2.5 hours from the trailhead and are fairly acclimated to higher elevations, but the first day is a huge elevation change (we are doing the GDT Section E).

    #3804070
    Sarah Kirkconnell
    BPL Member

    @sarbar

    Locale: Homesteading On An Island In The PNW

    “My friend is obsessed with his Jetboil, so I guess I’ll let him bring it instead of my lightweight/less bulky setup.”

    Sooooooo….don’t say anything. Just let him be happy with what he likes. If he is carrying it, then life is grand. And honestly, I have always carried my own gear, no matter who I hike with. Carrying solo setups, but hiking with others works well. You are never dependent on anyone else, never waiting on them. You eat when you want to eat.

    Instead….pack the expensive Band-Aid brand blister wraps and if someone gets a blister, put one on. And keep moving. Pack weight doesn’t equal blisters. Sweat management, proper fitting shoes and socks are what keep blisters at bay. Even at my most UL I used to get awful blisters. Then I started wearing shoes with a wider toe box and Injini toed socks…and zero blisters in 15 years. And my pack is heavier since then.

    Leaving a Jetboil at home because you shamed him isn’t going to stop blisters.

    #3804073
    Noah
    BPL Member

    @genoah77

    Locale: Alberta

    Good suggestions, Sarah. I’m usually very careful with blister management (Leukotape, tincture of benzoin, colloidal bandaids, airing out feet often, etc.), but I overdid it and got careless with walking around touristing on hard pavement with barefoot shoes and a heavy pack before I started my last thru-hike, then had wet feet from an all day rainstorm, which made the blister much worse. I really like Silverlight socks, but I think it’s time to give Injinjis a try; socks seem to be underestimated in terms of their contribution to friction.

    He suggested I bring my BRS as a backup, so I will maybe do that and bring a canister and windscreen setup of my own.

    Looking forward to using some of your recipes. We are considering dehydrating our own stuff.

    #3804576
    Steve Thompson
    BPL Member

    @stevet

    Locale: Southwest

    I’ll average about 2 miles per hour hiking solo, a bit slower with a group.  For the 20 mile days plan to be on trail 10+ hours those days.

    A prime consideration for me is fuel.  I don’t bring a lunch per se, rather a mix of bars, nuts, nut butters, beef sticks, etc and adhere to a 200 calorie snack every hour on the trail – so I carry more for the long days.  And, when I push beyond my daily graze I’ll stop and eat dinner and then continue hiking vs powering through the last few miles on an empty tank.    I’ll also down about 1/2 liter of water every 30 min.

    Sounds pretty anal (I prefer “disciplined”), but it was the fueling/hydration method that enables me to R2R2R Grand Canyon and not crash & burn, and porting this to my backpacking has allowed me to likewise lengthen my hiking days.

    However it works out for you, enjoy your hike and post some pics when you get back.

    #3804612
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    “And honestly, I have always carried my own gear, no matter who I hike with. Carrying solo setups, but hiking with others works well. You are never dependent on anyone else, never waiting on them. You eat when you want to eat.”

    Yes to this. No issues, no aggravation, no resentment. Everyone hikes their own style.

    Jetboil? Not for me.

    #3805023
    Maria B
    BPL Member

    @mber

    Only thought I have to add is that I travelled to the Rockies from the Midwest last summer and did a 20 mile day hike in glacier (couldn’t get a permit + didn’t want to sleep out in heavy smoke) followed by a 20+ mile overnight backpacking trip in banff two days later with dayhikes, etc between. The glacier hike went great and I got back almost 4 hours prior than I expected. The banff hike, while I did it in the time expected or slightly less, hurt and took a lot of attention. It was almost straight up and scrambling at places, scarier than I expected, so that’s part of it. But also banff is at a higher elevation and the miles were steep, wayfinding was more complicated, and I was worn down from days at elevation and lack of sleep. I had run a sub-4-hour marathon a couple months prior. You can definitely do this and I wouldn’t stress too much about the hours, but good mental preparation for altitude, good nutrition and hydration,  accepting long days including possibly hiking in the dark, and taking care of yourself/resting on the shorter days as much as possible will be important for morale. I’m glad you’re starting with the hard stuff and can look forward to clearer trails when you’re tired. Have fun and enjoy the prep and the journey!

    #3805430
    Noah
    BPL Member

    @genoah77

    Locale: Alberta

    Thanks, Maria. That gives good perspective…Alberta/BC trails are often much more rugged, bushwacky, and unkempt than trails down south, so we will factor that in.

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