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How far can a healthy teen walk in a day? Answered

Im kinda just curious. im 15 male i do xcountry and i was wondering if 40 miles for 10 hours a day for multiple days is very hard. Any personal experiences?




Best Answer 8 years ago

When I was about your age, I did 100 miles @ 20 miles a day cross country, carrying very basic kit.

20 miles a day was enough.

well said. I didn't' cover quite as much ground, but close enough.

Ya i think everyone was thinking hiking. I was thinking more of urban trekking. I forgot to think about hills which i realize now would lower the miles a lot.

Without some serious training, probably not.

An interesting test would be whether you could ride a bike 40miles a day, without training, as an active teen.

Even doing 20miles a day will wear on you after a coupe days if you haven't worked up to it.

40/day might be asking a bit too much, unless you *had to. I'd suggest that you consider 20-25/day a more reasonable goal, and work up from there if you're determined to achieve a 40 mile per day walk. Weather, fatigue, hunger, all need to be considered. I would strongly suggest that you not end each day ready to drop from exhaustion. I don't care what the sports coaches say, it's not good for you.

At your age, I routinely walked 15-20 miles when I went hiking, (which was quite often)  and I was just an average hyperactive, not a trained cross-country runner, so your mileage may vary.

In general carrying a load (a back pack weighing 40 to 80 Kg  -( 60 to 80 pounds) you can reckon on 4 MPH average over flat ground and about 2 MPH if it is up and down or rough.

On that basis a 10 hour day will see you 40 Miles away on say roads. BUT after about 10 miles your feet, legs and mental attitude will say enough!

Over broken or hilly ground about 16 miles a day is possible. Believe me even if you are fit you need a LOT of incentive to walk much more than 20 miles a day.

(Duke of Edinburgh instructor.)

 how far you want to walk its all up to you just dont get sunburned or dehydrated

Over what terrain? Carrying how much? How much training have you done? How good is your equipment (ie, can you afford expensive low-weight gear, or are you talking about trying to do this with gear better suited to car or base-camp camping)?

Suggestion: Contact folks who are already familiar with doing long through-hikes, such as the people who support hikers on the Appalacian Trail. They'll probably have _lots_ of experience with estimating how much is reasonable. Many colleges have student groups which organize that sort of thing; they too will be able to give you some advice.

(At my school, the group was known as the Outing Club, and they also covered activities such as technical climbing and canoeing.)

Another thought: Ask your local scout council, particularly the folks who run the explorer posts and/or folks up at the Eagle Scout level. They aren't guaranteed to have a clue, but they may.


8 years ago

There are a lot of variables to consider in your question.  First, I'll state upfront, 40 miles in 10 hours is tough, really tough for even an experienced hiker. Doing it for multiple days, increases the degree of difficulty exponentially.
Then you must factor in things such as your physical conditioning, the terrain, the weather, the amount of supplies you must carry with you, your general health, the chances of contracting an illness or injury, blisters, sprains etc. Proper nutrition and hydration are paramount for any extended hike.
All things considered, I'd would say that a normally healthy, but inexperienced, 15 year old would probably max out at about 25-30 miles the first day and that distance would drop considerably in each successive day.

I don't think you could do 40 miles in a day for several days.  Maybe you could build up to it.

I used to ride horses cross country and 30 a day was a good limit if you were riding several days in a row.