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Shoalhaven Bushwalkers Inc.

PO Box 403
Nowra NSW 2541

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How Long will it take to Walk from A to B? - by Russ Evans

In planning a walk, to find out from the map the number of kilometres between specific points is fairly easy but estimating how long it will take to walk them is another matter. There are several bushwalking publications, which provide guidelines on how to estimate travel time in different types of terrain. Some use quite complicated charts and graphs - but these are best left to those who enjoy these things. For the pragmatic walker, Paddy Pallin's book 'Bushwalking and Camping' has a simple set of guidelines which are easy to follow and can be adjusted to suit individuals once they have checked their own rates of progress against the norm. Figures are based on an 'average' walker carrying a 'medium' pack - whatever these mean.

1. Allow 1 hour for every:
* 5km of easy going (presumably tracks on fairly level ground etc)
* 3km of easy scrambling (presumably where vegetation is fairly light etc)
* 1.5km or less in rough country, deep sand, soft snow or thick bush.

2. In addition - allow 1 hour for every:
* 500m of height gained (range 300m to 700m)
* 1000m of height lost.

Further factors to consider are temperature (particularly heat), fatigue, condition of party etc. Why not work out your own performances tables and see how they compare with these of Paddy Pallin and other experts.

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