How far can you hike in a day? 

How far can you hike in a day? 

How far can you hike? one curiosity that every hiker has in them. So, if you are the one, then stick to the blog and you will know how far can you hike in a day.


  • Factors affecting
  • How can you hike more in a day?
  • Calculate the speed of your hike
  • How calculation goes wrong

How far can you hike in a day?

An average hiker with normal speed can hike 16 miles a day in a time frame of 8 hours on an easy-medium trail, which also depends on your fitness level. So it means the average speed of the hiker is 2 miles/ hour. For a more fit hiker the no. goes up to 3miles/ hour which means 24 miles in 8 hours.

But it is not always accurate there are more factors that decide how far you can hike in a day. Let’s understand these factors and know-how you can hike faster and cover more distance in a day?

Factors affecting how far can you hike in a day?


Health is one factor that makes a huge difference between how much distance you are going to cover in a day. If you have a history of health problems or any injury, then it takes you more, sometimes twice the time of a normal hiker. But by planning and setting the minimal short goals through your hike, you can spike the distance covered. We will discuss below how can you increase your speed.


Most of the hikers fall in the normal speed category but some are faster than others. There could be many reasons for this, some are – genes, regular cycling or running, weight, perfect stride length.


Stride length is the distance between your both feet when one is behind of other. Let’s understand this by example –

  •  step your left foot forward.
  • Then step your right foot forward in front of your left foot.
  • The distance covered during this process is your stride length.
You can calculate this by formula

[Stride length=distance in feet ÷ strides] Here distance in feet is the distance you cover in feet for ex- you covered 30 feet and you took 25 strides to complete this distance.


Experience plays a huge role in setting the target, breaks, or intervals between hikes. You may be the fastest of all hikers but if you don’t have the experience, you may either overestimate or may overpush yourself which results in injury or more time.

Elevation gain

Elevation gain is the most important factor in analyzing the distance you can cover in a day. An average person covers 12 Miles in 8hours on a high elevation gain trail. But with high elevation, you get tired easily, and if you are hiking 14000 feet then it takes a lot more time to hike it because it reduces the oxygen level which in return decreases your energy and leads to breathing imbalance.

With high elevation, you also burn more calories and have to take regular rest breaks after a few minutes. If you are hiking an up high trail then it is a must to take a break after every hour because the blood flow to your ankles is restricted due to the Position of the foot i.e heel up and toe down which slow down the blood circulation and if you keep hiking for a longer period without any break, you may get injured or out of balance.


weather largely affects how far can you hike in a day. There are two important factors that count – weather conditions and light.

Weather conditions- you can hike more if the weather is normal i.e not too hot or not too cold. The hiker covers less in rain conditions because everything gets slippery and each step needs to be perfect or the injury chances increase. If the Strom hits then it becomes impossible to hike which is normal in winters.

Light – Light can be any light but here it is sunlight. The longer the sunlight stays the farther you can hike in a day. Winter season hikes tend to be less far hikes if compared with summer hikes because the sun is up longer in summers. In winters a person can only hike for 6 to 7 hours maximum, which means an average hiker will cover 12 miles in a day or less on a medium trail.

Backpacking weight

The weight you carry with you can make a huge difference in how far can you hike in a day. Not only does more weight slow down your speed but you have to spend more time putting down your backpack again and again after breaks.

The weight you carry also depends on the season which means if you hike in the winter season, then you may carry extra items with you for warmth. This also means in winters it’s difficult to hike longer than in summer or spring.

How can you hike more in a day?

Reduce unnecessary weight

The first thing you can do is reduce the weight of your backpack, and if you can hike in trailers go for them instead of using heavy trekking boots. But before selecting trailers over boots, make sure the trail is not filled with snakes or poisonous insects, ask for information if you have to. But by cutting down the weight of your boots you can hike faster and more in a day.

Decide intervals

Before starting your hike, calculate the breaks or intervals between your journey. Decide after how many hours you will take a break and how long the break will last. The best way is to take a break after 1 hour of hike, which lasts for 10 minutes. This way you will hike more in a day even without getting tired or getting any injury.

Maintain Stride length

The stride length of your feet can increase how far can you hike in a day. The longer stride length or longer footsteps will take your more energy and you will get tired in no time easily. The best way to hike the straight-up hikes is to take short footsteps which also decreases the stride length and you can hike longer without getting many breaks.


Follow the rhythm in speed, breaks, and time. If you change the pace of your speed from medium to high to low then it will result in an unbalanced rhythm which will push you to take breaks after small gaps. Also keep the balance between breaks you take to save your time, keep an equal time gap between each break and hike.

Practice hike

If you want to hike more or increase your speed and endurance then the best way is to practice hike. Besides any gym or exercise if your goal is to hike fast and long then the best way is to practice hike. This way not only do you build endurance but your body will also get used to less oxygen and be able to tolerate the pressure on your legs and ankles.


If you are hiking the particular trail the first time, then the first thing to do is getting the map or information about routes- is it up the down or inline path. After knowing this, it becomes so easy to distribute the time and set the limits.

Calculate the speed of your hike

You can calculate the speed by knowing the distance covered and how much time you took to cover it= {Speed =Distance/Time}.

You can also calculate it with a pedometer.

The calculation goes wrong how far can you hike in a day?


The calculation goes wrong when you overestimate the hike. The overestimation occurs usually when you don’t know about the trail, which means you don’t know the routes clearly. The second mistake that may happen is when the trail is up and down and does not follow the same trajectory.

Sudden weather change

You are going with calculation and everything is perfect but suddenly raining starts or storm hits then it breaks the algorithm. If it is raining then you have to recalculate everything because everything from stride length to distance covered by you in hour changes.


Regular hiking for several hours will lead to injury, oftentimes it is an ankle injury. The injury only occurs when you don’t take breaks in between or the trail is slippery.