How far can one walk per day?
This question will be essential during an evacuation without a vehicle. And the answer depends on many things!
First of all I would like to break the myth of walking at 5 km / h. Know that if you are not specially trained, you are a little busy and you walk a long time, you will never go so fast.Unless you want to hurt yourself. You know, no doubt, that before the revolution the league was used as a unit of measure.
It was clearly a period of much more walking than today. You may not know it, but the league was defined as the distance a man could walk in an hour. The value of the league has varied greatly over the centuries, roughly between 3.2 and 4.6 km, only! It is therefore more on an average of 4 km / h that it is necessary to plan its program.
Above 4.5 km / h you will already have the impression of forcing the step. At 3,5 km you will be quiet, But at this pace you will spend a lot of time traveling a long distance in a day! Personally, for the same distance, I prefer to walk a little faster (about 4.5 km / h) and walk less time than walk slowly and waste valuable time to set up his camp for example!
The importance of total walking time
You will not travel at all the same distance on foot per day depending on the total distance you have to go. What you have to think about is recovery: if you have only 80 km to go, you can do it in two days, you will be dead afterwards, but you will have arrived so you can rest.
If on the contrary you have to walk 200 km and you start 80 km in two days, you will not be able to rest, you will be broken and you will not make more than 15 km the next day: it’s moron!
Personally, I consider that a walk is long from about 5 days. Starting from five days you will need to take a reasonable pace if you want to hold, even if only mentally. For a long walk you can walk between 7 and 8 hours per day without problems. Moreover, in general, if you go walking longer, you will also have a heavier bag, which will slow you down.
If you have less distance to cover, you can force: I have friends who made 90 km less in 48 hours. It was hard, of course, but it’s doable in an emergency! At that time you will spend 11-12 hours walking each day. Basically you will walk as soon as you do not sleep and you considerably reduce the breaks.
The importance of relief
I have already had myself once, do not underestimate the relief, it will slow you down enormously. With a bag of 15 kg in plain, at a rate of 7 hours of walk per day at 4.5 km / h, you will travel without too much problem 30 km / d. On the other hand, in a hilly landscape you will go less quickly.
The climbs will slow you down and the descent will break your legs. Bet instead on 3.5 km / h. In the mountains, if you make a lot of difference in altitude, your distance per day will fall completely: walking 7 or 8 hours a day, you probably will not be able to travel more than 15 to 20 km per day.
Average distance traveled in one day (at a good pace)
The importance of the season
First of all, the sun is a key factor in walking: it is free heat and light. At the summer solstice, at the end of June, there is more than 15 hours between sunrise and sunset, which leaves you plenty of time to walk and to set up a bivouac. In summer avoid walking at lunch as it is generally very hot.
At the winter solstice, at the end of December, you will have less than 9 hours of sun per day. If you walk 8 hours / day and you need an hour in total to dismantle the camp in the morning and install it in the evening you see that there will be no sun. In practice counting breaks and eventual unexpected, you will often end your day walking at night which is quite unpleasant. It is also harder to find a good place to settle and find wood to the headlamp than in the sun!
Organize your day of walking
It is also very important to clearly define your schedule for the day of walking. Personally, I like to cover the maximum distance in the morning, because I know that in case of glitch, I will have more time to remedy it in the afternoon or evening.
In general I get up at the same time as the sun (it makes it easy to see if you do not forget anything by dismantling your encampment) and I try to walk five hours before lunch. It is very reassuring to know that you have already covered half of your daily distance at noon.
In the afternoon I try to leave early, to arrive as early as possible in the evening and to be able to settle most comfortably for the night. Avoid too many breaks and long breaks. A break every two hours may be enough.
Avoid sitting during breaks: Remove your bag, eat a little trick, drink a little and you will already feel much better. If you have a stroke of slack during the walk you can also eat or drink a little, without stopping, it will require you. And it saves you the small drop in morale at the moment to leave after having a break.
That, in my opinion, is essential! After that you have to know how to adapt to the situation, to your cargo, to the people with whom you are traveling, to possible handicaps etc … I just wanted to give you an idea of what can be done in normal times.
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