Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 
Backcountry Gear Clearance and Sale

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance


 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

Stay Healthy--Eat Well

MARY JANES FARM ORGANIC MEALS

Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals

NATURAL HIGH GOURMET MEALS

Natural High

 

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#133687 - 05/13/10 09:31 PM Some Level Headed Opinions, please
JimmyTH Offline
member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 59
Loc: Indiana
Here's the link:

http://appalachiantrail2010.blogspot.com/

The three people doing this blogging hike are in their twenties, and according to the post I read they decided they were getting a little behind schedule, so they just did 26 miles a day for two days and then the next morning ran for 12 miles to get to the next post office before it closed. All that with 35 pound packs on their backs.

OK, I'm not twenty something by a long shot, but I'm thinking that would have been a bit of a stretch for me even when I was. I recall doing that in the army with a full pack and a weapon and not wanting to move the day afterward at all. I think the writer said they traveled marathon distance for two days, not saying 26 miles so maybe I misunderstood that, but I don't think so. I've traveled only a few miles of the AT myself, am not familiar with the route (I haven't wanted to stay in the shelters and I understand that's required) but 26 miles a day still seems like a lot.

Anyone have a guess as to whether this is real and I just got born into the wrong species or something? If these people are eating something special I'd like to know about it. I'm all confused now, maybe I should listen to the people who say blue jeans hold you back. Or, if it's that easy, maybe I'll give it a shot in spite of having to shelter up with people.

JimmyTH

Top
#133689 - 05/13/10 09:46 PM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: JimmyTH]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2838
Loc: Portland, OR
26 miles a day still seems like a lot.

It is a lot. But these types of mileages are pretty common among thru-hikers.

At 2650 miles, with a weather window that starts closing in mid-September for northbound hikers, thru-hiking the PCT cannot be done without averaging something like 20 miles a day for about 150 days. (Yes, I know this adds up to 3000 miles, but there are inevitably many "zero" days on a thru hike, when you make no progress on the trail because you are resupplying).

I also know that PCT thru-hikers who get to Oregon often start logging 35 or even 40 mile days! By then they are in great shape and the Oregon PCT seems like a piece of cake.

BTW, this is one of the reasons I am not considering a thru-hike. I'm just not cut out for that kind of months-long daily marathon. wink

Top
#133690 - 05/13/10 09:59 PM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: aimless]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
What's the record for the PCT, 60-70 something days?

Top
#133691 - 05/13/10 10:13 PM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: JimmyTH]
Bearpaw Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 1732
Loc: Tennessee
It's doable for someone who has been hiking most every day for a couple of months like this group, particularly in this part of Virginia. I was doing 15-19 miles a day on this section when I thru-hiked and considered it a casual pace.

Plus this group is pretty well set for creating publicity for themselves, so this is in character for them.


Edited by Bearpaw (05/13/10 10:15 PM)
_________________________
http://www.trailjournals.com/BearpawAT99/

Top
#133697 - 05/13/10 10:34 PM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: Bearpaw]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I know people my age (41) who can do those kind of miles - with packs - especially in "easier" country like the AT. They also run daily, do marathons, and are hardcore fitness buffs as well as very serious backpackers.

So yes, it is doable, but depends on the person.

I am not such a person smile I don't run in church wink
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


Top
#133698 - 05/13/10 10:42 PM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: JimmyTH]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
These types of numbers are not uncommon. I remember Andrew Skurka completing the CT in 15 days, which is an average of 31miles per day.


Top
#133701 - 05/13/10 11:20 PM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: ChrisFol]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Do most people do those kind of miles?

No.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


Top
#133706 - 05/13/10 11:49 PM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: phat]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
My appologies.


Edited by ChrisFol (05/14/10 12:31 AM)

Top
#133707 - 05/13/10 11:49 PM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: phat]
JimmyTH Offline
member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 59
Loc: Indiana
Well, wow, then. I haven't ever hiked long distance on trails that run the crests, for me it's usually been a few days of up and a few days of back down so that's my frame of reference. I've done pieces of the Pacific Crest and I do remember that once I got up there it wasn't too bad.

I don't think I'll put that AT marathon pace on my list of things to do, though. If I get the time to do something like that I can see maybe 15 to 18 miles daily in my future, if the majority of the trail is like the trail I know from the Blue Ridge. Twenty six seems too much like punishment.

Makes me feel old, whatever happened to athletes who smoked cigarettes? I'm from the days when it was a healthy habit.

JimmyTH

Top
#133708 - 05/14/10 12:15 AM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: ChrisFol]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
My reply wasn't intended to diss yours Chris, sorry if it looked that way - it was merely a more general warning for the perhaps uninitiated.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


Top
#133709 - 05/14/10 12:30 AM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: phat]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
Originally Posted By phat
My reply wasn't intended to diss yours Chris, sorry if it looked that way - it was merely a more general warning for the perhaps uninitiated.


My mistake. It was just that you clicked "reply" to my post. So it appeared as if you was responding to me.

Consider my last post retracted.


Edited by ChrisFol (05/14/10 12:32 AM)

Top
#133729 - 05/14/10 11:56 AM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: JimmyTH]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Even if they did do that kind of miles I remain completely unimpressed. What fun is there in that?

I've driven through Colorado and Denver six or eight times and never stopped for anything but gas, so when people ask me if I've ever been to the Rockies or Denver I answer "No, only passed through".

When I was a teen I did a 23 mile hike in and out to a campsite in the Sequoias. I only carried a light daypack, a helicopter brought in our gear for the 2 week stay. I remember well the campsite, and places I hiked to from there, but the 23 miles of trail I hiked to get there and back I barely remember at all.

Bill



_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



Top
#133732 - 05/14/10 12:14 PM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: billstephenson]
JimmyTH Offline
member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 59
Loc: Indiana
I'm in agreement with Bill on this, I was surprised that so many people apparently think it's important to get over the trail on schedule and quickly. Schedules? Setting records? I just don't go hiking for those reasons. How much of the Appalachians do you really get to experience if you're traveling at that rate? I like to look around and stop in nice places to brew a cup of tea, get the feel of things. I go back to the same places over and over just to get to know places better, and learn new things every time. I'd probably never finish the AT, I'd find a nice spot and enjoy it.

JimmyTH

Top
#133737 - 05/14/10 01:15 PM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: JimmyTH]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2838
Loc: Portland, OR
A discussion of thru-hiking is probably more apt to the Long Distance Hiking Forum than here, but I often listen in on thru-hikers and what they say about the experience -- and those who complete the trail (or any very long segment of it) contend that they see and appreciate most of their surroundings as they walk. They just start walking earlier in the morning than most hikers, and walk until much later in the day. Mid-days, they still take breaks and lollygag around.

Mainly, those who don't appreciate being in the wilderness for months on end, quit early on. The finishers are a self-selected group who love to hike. And hike. And hike. wink

Top
#133740 - 05/14/10 02:05 PM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: aimless]
skippy Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/09
Posts: 129
Loc: CO
Originally Posted By aimless
They just start walking earlier in the morning than most hikers, and walk until much later in the day. Mid-days, they still take breaks and lollygag around.

Mainly, those who don't appreciate being in the wilderness for months on end, quit early on. The finishers are a self-selected group who love to hike. And hike. And hike. wink


Aimless just nailed it. The people that do this are also driven people and know how to push themselves. I compete in endurance cycling races and it is a mindset of pushing yourself and enjoying it. Eventually you get to the point where what most people consider a radical distance is not a big deal as you've pushed your limits and know that you can easily do that distance. Hiking is the same way.

-Skippy

Top
#133750 - 05/14/10 04:31 PM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: skippy]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
With most of my trips, if I went that far I wouldn't even need a pack cause I'd be back home. smile
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

Top
#133755 - 05/14/10 07:04 PM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: aimless]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By aimless
those who complete the trail (or any very long segment of it) contend that they see and appreciate most of their surroundings as they walk.


Still, it reminds me of when Chevy Chase took the family to the Grand Canyon on their "Vacation".

As a "Sport", I can understand the attraction of long distance endurance backpacking, but that's not what attracts me to getting out. I've always regretted not stopping for a few nights in the Rockies. I'm sure I'd feel no different about racing along a trail in the forest.

You may see and appreciate the view, but you'll never really get to know the place intimately.

Bill
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



Top
#133757 - 05/14/10 08:22 PM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: billstephenson]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 654
Loc: Upstate NY
I regularly do trips which involve days in excess of 20miles. Since I arise usually before the sun, I am often eating breakfast after already hiking 4-5 miles. I usually take long lunches which often include a nice siesta in my hammock. I am not a fast paced hiker by any means, just long hours when the trip calls for it. My body has started to tell me that 20 miles is when I should quit for the day regardless of the hours of daylight left. Thus it doesn't surprise me that others who are likely in better shape than I can do 26+ mile days without issue. I have no doubt they are enjoying the hike and not simply rushing it. HYOH
_________________________
http://ducttapeadk.blogspot.com

Top
#133818 - 05/16/10 02:42 PM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: billstephenson]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2838
Loc: Portland, OR
You may see and appreciate the view, but you'll never really get to know the place intimately.

I seem to be the sole volunteer to state the thru-hiker's POV, since I do section hikes and therefore seem to be the nearest equivalent to a thru-hiker hanging out here.

Anyway... a thru-hike for most of the folks who do it is a once-in-a-lifetime event. They'll have decades of their lives to devote to knowing some place intimately. I'm pretty certain most of them do (or, in the case of oldster thru-hikers, did) that. So, while they are two different things, they not mutually exclusive in the course of a hiking "career".

Top
#133844 - 05/17/10 12:27 PM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: aimless]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Point well made. I can see the attraction.

Bill
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



Top
#133848 - 05/17/10 02:47 PM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: aimless]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
Originally Posted By aimless
You may see and appreciate the view, but you'll never really get to know the place intimately.

I seem to be the sole volunteer to state the thru-hiker's POV, since I do section hikes and therefore seem to be the nearest equivalent to a thru-hiker hanging out here.

Anyway... a thru-hike for most of the folks who do it is a once-in-a-lifetime event. They'll have decades of their lives to devote to knowing some place intimately. I'm pretty certain most of them do (or, in the case of oldster thru-hikers, did) that. So, while they are two different things, they not mutually exclusive in the course of a hiking "career".


I agree.

Thru-hikes take weeks and often months to complete, and the majority of people simply don't have such luxury of time and thus are unable to extend their thru-hike any longer than necessary. For example, the CT is 485miles and if I did an average of 10miles per day it would take me almost 7 weeks to complete. That doesn't include any days were I may be tied down due to inclement weather. Even as a college student, I didn't have this amount of time off, even during the summer. So to complete a thru-hike in such a limited amount of time; one needs to hike more miles per day.

I can always come back another time and spend 7-10 days hiking just a few sections of a trail that I loved and get to know it intimately.

Top
#133895 - 05/18/10 10:44 AM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: JimmyTH]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Others have touched on the "speed hiker" mentality - then there is the other kind, the once-in-a-lifetimer who must do it now because there will be no other opportunity, and has only x days to do it in...

I have mentioned (I think) before that people who half kill themselves to get to Half Dome bemuse me. Prolly 95% of the folks who do it are not hikers, just tourists who spent the previous few days of vacation wandering around the valley and riding shuttles up to see the sequoias. They will hike a 16 mile round trip with difficult (even for a hiker) elevation gains over rough (livestock pounded, broken asphalt) trail, in whatever shoes they are wearing. They aren't backpackers or day hikers, just people in dress shoes and slacks, or skirts and sandals... I've seen monks do it, and little mennonite ladies in dresses with Nikes under their skirts. They could easily do the 2 miles to Sentinel Dome and be within spitting distance of the same elevation as Half Dome. They could do the 8 mile round trip with less elevation change to North Dome and get marvelous views. The relatively level hike to Dewey Point or any other point along either rim would be easier. But it's something on everyone's life list, apparently. So it is with the JMT or the PCT or any other generally known landmark trail - they just want to do it, not to hike or enjoy, just say they did it.

Someone asked me if I would do the JMT with them in a week. Why? They have a week off. I rolled my eyes and said no, if you go with me, we do eight mile days and take pictures. I'll catch you a fish for dinner. I've been doing it in sections because I don't want to shortchange myself on the experience. Also, I looked at him, and knew I would outhike him - while I'm reasonably certain I could do a 20 mile day (not happily, not without some soreness, but I could plod that long), I could tell he wouldn't. I don't like hiking with suffering people.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

Top
#133966 - 05/19/10 08:12 PM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: lori]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1719
Loc: Napa, CA
I do make fun of "speed Hikers" on our website, but I understand the through hiker mentality. When I am not backpacking, I am often on a road bike. Some days I am a tourist, just admiring the view and pedaling along. But when I ride a century, I have the hammer down and don't stop to smell the roses.

If it works for you, and gets you out on the trail, go for it!
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

Top
#133976 - 05/19/10 08:53 PM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: JimmyTH]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I do not consider myself a "speed hiker". I see a lot of emotional responses above. Let's put some real numbers to this concept. A hiking pace of 2 mph carrying a light to moderate pack is very reasonable for an experienced backpacker. This even includes about 5 minutes per hour for a short rest stop. Now add 1 hour extra for each 1000 feet elevation gain. Once aclimated, nearly everyone can beat this very conservative figure. Thus a 10-mile day on the flat is 5 hours of hiking. A 10-mile day with 3,000 feet elevation gain (really a lot - most days in the mountains are more like 2,000 feet gain). This amounts to an 8-hour day. If you get on the trail by 8AM (really easy to do) you will get into camp at 4PM. In the summer the sun goes down about 8PM or later. That leaves 4 hours of daylight! I really do not agree that a 10-mile day is speed hiking. My average on-trail hiking day is 12 miles and I have plenty of time to relaxe in camp and fish. I also am able to take tons of photos and look around while hiking. (My average difficult off-trail milage day is 7 miles - but I think this post is about trail travel). Most of my hiking is high altitiude, with an average of 2,000+ elevation gain. And I am not any spring chicken- over 60 Grandma, I am. People who backpack a lot and who through-hike are VERY effiecient campers, able to set up and break down camp in less than an hour. Most PCT hikers I have talked to average 20-25 miles per day, and it is not that they "bust butt" to do this - it just is what they do after weeks of hiking. They say it is not that hard. They often get bored doing less!

Top
#133989 - 05/19/10 11:40 PM Re: Some Level Headed Opinions, please [Re: JimmyTH]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
I've been a competitor since I was 10. I'm goal oriented. I like a challenge. So when I hike or backpack I "compete" against the terrain. That's what gives me satisfaction. That's what makes me happy. The scenery is just an added bonus. Yes, I suffer and I like the feeling of being totally spent at the end of a hard day. No one will ever make me feel guilty about this.

That being said, I can fully understand how other people feel that they see more by covering less ground. I will never take issue with anyone who does. There is no right or wrong way to backpack, just whatever suits the individual.

Whatever happened to "hike your own hike"?
_________________________
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Bivvy Sack combo Arrangement
by Jim M
10/18/17 01:58 AM
what is the lightest framed backpack around 40L
by toddfw2003
10/16/17 07:23 PM
a worthy challenger to the msr pocket rocket2
by the-gr8t-waldo
10/16/17 01:28 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Backpacking/Camping Near Savannah, GA
by Sean&Brit
Yesterday at 08:27 PM
Napa Fires
by balzaccom
10/11/17 07:43 PM
Backpacking the Ouachita Trail thanksgiving
by toddfw2003
10/05/17 11:54 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
lightest grommets to use
by toddfw2003
Yesterday at 06:13 PM
alcohol stove comparisons
by Bike_packer
10/03/17 08:56 PM
Can footprint plasticizer harm tent ground-sheet?
by Weston1000
09/10/17 02:24 AM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
1 registered (), 26 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Sean&Brit, Blackbuzzard, LivelyLiz, Weve, Tones21
12425 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
HOME
Backpacking.net
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum.com