How To "Time" A Tough Hike
A ready response for when someone asks, "Aren't we there yet?"
Steep terrain can slow your progress to a crawl, and shrink daily mileage totals
to single digits. That can put you in a bind if you have to make up lost time,
or get back to the trailhead at a specific time.
By knowing the upcoming elevation gain and distance you'll travel, you can
estimate what your hiking time will be through the tough sections.
Several rules of thumb apply. The typical backpacker travels at 2 mph on a level
surface, and expect to add 1 hour of hiking for every 1,000 feet of vertical
gain. Here's how this simple formula looks:
miles traveled / 2 mph + elevation gained / 1,000 = travel time
So, using the King Ravine Trail in New Hampshire as an example, here's how to
figure travel time to the top:
.5 mile/ 2 mph (15 minutes) + 1,100 / 1,000 (1 hour, 6 minutes) = 1 hour, 21