Forum Index » Philosophy & Technique » Distance : miles or time ?

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 Ryan Smith (ViolentGreen) - M Locale: Southeast Re: Distance : miles or time ? on 05/08/2012 17:38:55 MDT 15 miles.Ryan
 Mike M (mtwarden) - MLife Locale: Montana Re: Re: Distance : miles or time ? on 05/08/2012 17:51:04 MDT 15 milesMike
 Barry Cuthbert (nzbazza) - M Locale: New Zealand Re: Distance : miles or time ? on 05/08/2012 19:20:40 MDT 12 hours plus
 Piper S. (sbhikes) - F Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane) Re: Re: Distance : miles or time ? on 06/02/2012 20:16:45 MDT Well, if someone asks me, there really isn't a right answer. I've found that with many people, if you tell them how far someplace is in real distances, they actually have no idea how far it actually is. Most people think a quarter mile is a whole mile. If you tell someone some place is a mile away to them it's really more like 2 or 3 miles because they just have no concept and think everything is way farther than it really is. So I try to tell them as accurately as I can the distance to some place but I will also tell them how long it might take, trying to do my best to guess how long it might take them compared to me (I'm not the fastest hiker in the world, but I'm faster than some guy with 50lbs on his back and a couple of kids.)
 Ken Thompson (kthompson) - MLife Locale: Eel River Valley Re: Distance : miles or time ? on 06/02/2012 20:29:13 MDT Miles are fact. Time is way too relevant.Though I do see the usefulness of incorporating an average time.
 David Thomas (DavidinKenai) - M Locale: North Woods. Far North. Time. Usually time. on 06/02/2012 22:56:33 MDT My experience matches Piper's. If I tell people distances, they don't seem to have any sense of what that means. I wonder if a lot of people are wondering for a qualitative answer ("not far") or hoping for some unrealistically optimistic answer ("just around the corner"). I watch my watch a lot for many reasons, but it also allows me to give my version, "It took me 40 minutes." If there's a huge discrepancy between my fitness and their's, I might forego my time and estimate their's, especially if I've noted their pace as they approach me "at your pace, about 2 hours from here." That seems most useful if they are debating snacking, water, or just trying to pace themselves.
 Gross Bob (redmonk) - MLife Locale: Bay Area Distance : miles or time ? on 06/02/2012 23:22:40 MDT I giverelative answers, 'I left there about a half hour ago", 'real close', 'good ways to go', 'bout half way there', 'maybe 40 minutes after you hit the pass', 'your going to cross the stream twice, and then it's 20 minutes uphill after that. Everything scaled to what I perceive to be average vs my speed on the trail. '
 Roger Dodger (RogerDodger) - F Locale: Wess Siide Re: Distance : miles or time ? on 06/03/2012 11:23:03 MDT I carry extra map print outs, with mile markers highlighted, I often return home with only my laminated map, having given away my extras for people asking for info. Its just paper doesnt weigh much. The original post is Time OR Distance. Why not both?I say something like its 2 more miles uphill, but at altitude it might take an hour for each mile. The downhill will be faster.
 Justin Baker (justin_baker) - M Locale: Santa Rosa, CA Re: Distance : miles or time ? on 06/03/2012 12:52:39 MDT I always tend to underestimate how many miles something has been. When I tell my friends how many miles something is, they always ask "Is it 2 miles, or is it 2 Justin miles?" And usually its more like 4 miles. On the other hand, sometimes they seem to have no concept of distance and think we have gone 4 or 5 miles when it's only been 1 or 2.
 Mary D (hikinggranny) - MLife Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge Distance : miles or time ? on 06/03/2012 13:04:49 MDT If asked, I give both. However, speed is a very individual thing. Mine is slightly faster than that of our Oregon slugs, so if someone gives me a time estimate I automatically double it. I would rather give the distance when asked and maybe mention the major obstacles that will cause a slower pace. Or I might say "Two hours for me, but I'm a pretty slow hiker." That way they can't blame me if it takes them only an hour!
 Daniel Cox (COHiker) - F Locale: San Isabel NF Always Distance on 06/03/2012 13:24:55 MDT Time is far too variable a thing to suggest for a stranger. Neither of us knows how fast the other walks, or how often they need a break. Distance never changes.My opinion is: I'll tell you it's X miles to destination Y. A major part of wilderness activities is being able to estimate distance (as well as gauge hours of daylight left by the sun). It's not my fault if you can't gauge for yourself if you can make it before dark or not.Edit: Maybe I was a bit flippant- I'm not at all opposed to telling someone 'It's about 4 miles to the pass, probably need more than an hour unless you're fast.' But I still feel that 'an hour from here' leaves far too much assumption. Edited by COHiker on 06/03/2012 13:30:51 MDT.
 Nick Gatel (ngatel) - MLife Locale: Southern California Another point of view, as usual... on 06/04/2012 19:05:47 MDT In 1998 I was in a bar near Green Valley, Az. I was planning a trip to Organ Pipe National Monument and was asking some of the locals for directions and other information. An 'old timer' in the bar recommended that after my hike I travel down to Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco), Mexico for some relaxation and great food. When I asked him how far Rocky Point was from Green Valley, he hesitated, then answered, "About 6 beers."Where I often hike I measure my trips in time between water sources. Of course time is dependent upon terrain and weather. Sometimes I may only hike 6 hours so I can tank up on water and leave in the morning with a full load of H20, for a longish trip to the next water source.
 Mike M (mtwarden) - MLife Locale: Montana Re: Another point of view, as usual... on 06/04/2012 21:40:16 MDT Nick- what were you doing in a bar?:)
 Greg F (GregF) - F Locale: Canadian Rockies Elevation is Critical on 06/05/2012 11:47:03 MDT I think Miles is almost useless without elevation gain or loss. Its easy to do 4 miles an hour on flat terrain. You can do it without thinking. But add in a 10% grade and I have to work hard maintain 3. Steapen up the grade more and it makes more sense to give distances in terms of elevation. For example going up scree slopes elevation is a far better measure as I can probably hike 300m an hour at an easy pace regardless of the slope of the scree.The key when communicating information is to provide lots of data. Distance, Time, Elevation, and fitness level being the key factors.
 Roger Dodger (RogerDodger) - F Locale: Wess Siide Re: Elevation is Critical on 06/05/2012 12:27:02 MDT +1 to Greg.While considering your audience.data communication is useful when it is converted to information.now I'm talking like that psycho babble PSY101 & COM101 classes I aced in college.
 Diplomatic Mike (MikefaeDundee) Locale: Under a bush in Scotland Naismiths Rule. on 06/05/2012 12:55:39 MDT Stephen mentioned this earlier in the thread, but it is a pretty good tool.a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naismith's_Rule">HERE
 M B (livingontheroad) - M time on 06/10/2012 20:18:10 MDT My daughter plays travel softball. So every weekend in summer we are gone somewhere. When we speak of how far it is to XYZ city where they will be playing, we speak in terms of "hours". 5 hrs, 8 hrs, 10.5 hrs, 15 hrs, etc. NEVER does anyone say "its 547 miles" The distance is irrelevant, and speed is about same, 60-65mph avg including stops, for most people.When we plan hiking trip distances, I think and talk in terms of "days" on the trail. 3day, 4 day, 5 day, etc. Mainly because the food and fuel we carry is oriented around days, not miles. However, you have to know what kind of mileage you expect to make to plan that. When you travel point to point, that day may be 8 hrs, or may be 12 hrs, depending, but if you want to stay on schedule, you have to keep moving till you get there.
 Barry Cuthbert (nzbazza) - M Locale: New Zealand New Zealand track times on 06/10/2012 22:43:46 MDT There has been an interesting article recently about how times along hiking tracks have been determined by DOC (the government department responsible for conserving the New Zealand's National Parks, forest parks reserves etc. amongst other things). The most interesting fact to come out of the article was the range of approaches used by different regions, and the lack of a common nationwide standard. Another point of note is the lack of taking into account the range of fitnesses and experience that a group of people would when using a particular track.Approaches range from simply finding out what time other people have walked the track in, having someone walk the track, to using rules like Naismith's and applying weightings based on track type and terrain and the "typical user". All methods have their pro's and con's as you would appreciate.One personal observation is DOC track signs are now starting to show both distance and time so you can at least get an overview of what to expect. For example from my trip in the previous weekend, one sign on a good track up a ridge with 600m elevation gain showed distance of 1.8km and time of 2hrs, which was spot on for my 9 years old daughter. The reverse trip down was signposted at 1:15, again worked out about right. Another signpost in the Atiwhakatu valley (the one that inspired the information request that led to the article) showed 2hrs for 2.5km along a flat smooth walkway beside a stream, which my daughter and I (me trailing somewhat as I promised chocolate to the first person to the end of the track) completed in 30 mins.Links:http://www.wildernessmag.co.nz/view/page/articles/read/no-simple-rule-for-track-times/http://www.windy.gen.nz/index.php/archives/725
 Susan Papuga (veganaloha) - M Locale: USA Re: Elevation is Critical on 06/12/2012 03:38:06 MDT +1 for Greg.After years of endurance sports and racing, I'm always "on my watch," anally calculating, time, distance, pace, effort etc. Even in every day life chores. Just habit LOL.But most important for me is my effort, or heart rate and level of exertion. Greg hinted at this with his notes on elevation and trail conditions. For me, the key to distance running has been to just keep (steadily) putting more behind me than I have in front of me. For long distance events on the road, ie marathon, my mantra has always been "you take care of your pace, the miles will take care of themselves." For off-road trail running, I just subsitute "effort" for "pace." Bottomline, force of habit, I do this for hiking and backpacking as well. I can really drive other people nuts at times!So when people I meet on the trail ask me how far away somthing is or how long it will take, if it's more than just around the corner, I usually ask them something about their pace, ie where they started from or at what time. This helps me offer any advice in terms of what they are doing.
 Lynn Tramper (retropump) - F Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna Re: Distance : miles or time ? on 06/26/2012 15:56:52 MDT I never consider distance. It is irrelevant in NZ terrain. Time is everything, and if someone asks me how far I've come, I will tell them how long it too ME to get from point A to point B. But I also give any other info I have, like "that was the time taking a high flood route, you may be able to do it quicker if you just ford the river", or "we slowed down at the pass due to white-out conditions, but if the pass clears it may not take that long". Both the size of the group and fitness of the slowest person will also have big impacts on time. If I'm hiking by myself with a light pack, and pass a larger group with young or overweight people with heavy packs, I will take this into consideration too. I especially err on the conservative side if the people asking have no camping gear and are reliant on making it to the next hut before dark. Since I always carry camping gear, I can afford to take more risks with my time estimates.