Hiking is a wonderful endeavor to embark on. Whether you’re new and going on your first hiking trip, someone who wants to start hiking regularly, or a full-time hiking junkie, it is a great way to break a sweat and reap the benefits of a huge release of endorphins while soaking in breathtaking views from atop your newly conquered mountain.
But for those of you who are just starting out, I know there is a question running through your mind. It was definitely a question I kept wondering when I first started hiking – and that is, how long does it take to walk a mile? It’s a simple question but it can give you a guideline as to how long it would take you to hike the trails your looking at completing. So let’s figure it out and learn some cool things about hiking and walking in general.
The Average Person
How long it will take you to walk a mile would of course depend on how fast you are actually walking. According to Reference.com, an average person walks at a speed of about 3.1 miles an hour. This means that on average, it would take about 19 – 20 minutes to walk 1 mile, if you’re walking at an average pace.
Wikipedia mentions however, that a person can even walk up to 5.6 miles per hour, but this is a fast walk so people don’t typically choose to walk at this pace.
2,000 steps to 7 years
If you translate that 20 minute walk into steps, it turns into about 2,000 steps. If you walk that much everyday, new research has suggested it can even add 7 years to your life, as talked about by Dr.Mercola in his article on Fitness Peak.
He even has a video on YouTube which you can watch the Doctor take his daily walks around Florida. It seems like a pretty good deal – 20 minutes to add 7 years!
Let’s go back to hiking. If you are thinking about taking the longest hike in the U.S., which is the North Country National Scenic trail at 4,600 miles long, and you walk at the average person pace and without stopping for 24 straight hours, it would take you almost 62 days! But of course, no one walks for that long consistently, but it’s still interesting to think about. So let’s compare it with two other trails.
If we lessen the miles and take it down a bit to the length of the hiking trails of the Glacier National Park, it becomes 734 miles. With the same speed and same criteria, it would take around 10 days to complete.
If we take it down even further, you can hike the Sierra High Route in Nevada, which is 195 miles in almost 3 days, again, with the same 24-hour non-stop walking. But putting it in perspective in the reality of things, Outside Online suggests walking 6.5 miles a day if you want to complete the trail in 30 days. That’s just a little over a 2-hour walk a day, which is quite easily achievable for beginners.
Their article actually lists a few other trails which you can choose from as well as the pace you will need to keep up if you want to complete those trails in 30 days. It has other information about the trails as well.
Walk, it’s good for your health
Besides breathtaking views and the feeling of great accomplishment if you choose to go hiking, taking the walk can actually help you with your health. There are so many benefits of taking a walk such as helping you loose weight, de-stress your mind, lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of diseases. You can check out this article from Prevention.com on the benefits you would get from just walking for 30 minutes every day.
Let’s not forget the other benefit of getting a good walk. One hour of non-strenuous walking will burn anywhere from 120 calories according to Livestrong. When you step it up by hiking, Adventure Parents on the other hand, mentions that a woman can burn up to 440 calories and a man can burn up to 517 calories just by hiking for 1 hour.
Now that you know all this, it’s time for you to embark on your hiking journey, or even your daily walking journey to better health. Remember that walking is good for your health and hiking is good for your soul. Select your trail with the knowledge that an average person’s pace is again, about 3.1 miles per hour, and it would take you about 20 minutes to walk that one mile. Be sure to pace yourself and enjoy the benefits of taking a nice walk or conquering that trail.