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[at-l] daily mileage
Kristin asked, " What is the average mileage that thru-hikers get? I
mean, 10 milesish
a day? I know that I can push hard when I section hike, as I've done a
fair portion of the trail in sections, but those hikes NEVER last more
than a week, tops, and I'm wondering how endurance changes with time.
Perhpas a better question would be about average mileage per state..."
Kristin - as you note - it depends partly on your level of conditioning and
partly on the area. Most people start out fairly slowly -about 10 mpd in
the far south. Georgia and N. Carolina have a surprising amount of up and
down. (If you are in good condition, you might be able to do 12-14 mpd.) By
Virginia this increases as you get in better shape to 13-17 or so miles a
day. Then in Pennsylvania, NJ, NY it increases again with a lot of fairly
flat ridge walking to 15-20 or so, Then comes hilly Mass. and VT and it
begins to drop. In the Whites in NH, you are back to 10 mpd. Maine it may
go up a little, but not a lot, because by that time 1- you don't want it to
end, 2 - your knees are not willing to do long days any more 3- you've used
up a lot of your fat/energy reserves.
According to Rolly Musser - who has spent several years studying
thruhikers-- southbound hikers are more consistent than northbound hikers.
I think I remember him saying that the overall average northbound is about
12 miles per day, while the southbound average is more like 14 or 15. A
lot of the older hikers tend to be more consistent too. The younger hikers
will do a lot of high mileage days followed by several days off - while
the older hikers will do 12 miles every day, never do a 20 mile day, and
arrive about a month before the young hikers they started with in Springer.
It can be fun to test your limits, but it isn't a necessity to do the high
mileage days unless you want to, as long as you don't take too much time off.
Ginny 'Spirit Walker'
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