How Long Does It Take To Hike 18 Miles?

If you’re planning an adventure and have set your sights on an 18-mile hike, you may be wondering just how long it will take to complete it. In this post, we will provide insights into the variables that can influence the time it takes to hike 18 miles, offering a general guideline for hikers of various abilities. Let’s get started.

How Long Does It Take to Hike 18 Miles? (According to Naismith’s Rule)

Naismith’s rule is a formula used to estimate the time it takes to hike a certain distance based on the distance itself and the elevation gain.

According to Naismith’s rule, the time it takes to hike a specific distance is calculated by adding one hour for every 3 miles plus one additional hour for every 2,000 feet of ascent.

Therefore, for 18 miles, we can estimate the hiking time to be around six hours. However, it’s important to note that this is a general estimation and may not account for factors such as the difficulty of the terrain, weather conditions, and individual fitness level.

If the elevation gain is 1000 feet, add half an hour to the estimated hiking time.

Keep in mind that Naismith’s rule is just an estimation and may not always be accurate. Factors such as the hiker’s fitness level, pack weight, weather conditions, trail conditions, and individual hiking pace can significantly impact the actual time it takes to complete a hike.

How Many Calories Do You Burn Hiking 18 Miles?

When it comes to burning calories while hiking, several factors come into play. These include body weight, terrain, pace, and individual fitness level. While it’s challenging to provide an exact number of calories burned during an 18-mile hike, we can offer a general estimate.

On average, hiking burns around 100 calories per mile. To calculate an estimate, we can multiply the number of miles (18) by the average calorie burn per mile (100 calories). This would give us an approximate calorie expenditure of 1800 calories.

It’s important to note that this estimate is a rough calculation and may not account for individual variations. For instance, a person with a higher body weight may burn more calories, while someone with a lower body weight may burn fewer calories. Additionally, hiking on challenging terrain or at a faster pace can increase calorie burn.

To get a more accurate estimate, consider using fitness trackers or smartphone apps that incorporate GPS and heart rate monitoring. These tools take into account factors like heart rate and elevation changes to provide a more personalized calorie expenditure calculation.

Remember that calorie burn is just one aspect of hiking. Focus on enjoying the journey, connecting with nature, and reaping the numerous physical and mental benefits that hiking provides.

Is an 18-Mile Hike Great For Beginners?

While an 18-mile hike can be a thrilling and rewarding experience for seasoned hikers, it may not be the best choice for beginners. Hiking such a long distance requires a certain level of physical endurance, mental preparedness, and familiarity with hiking basics. Here’s why:

· Fitness level

Beginners may not have developed the necessary stamina and muscle strength to tackle such a lengthy hike. It’s important to gradually build up your fitness level and endurance by starting with shorter walks and gradually increasing the distance over time.

· Experience

Long-distance hiking involves challenges such as navigation, managing supplies, and dealing with unexpected situations. Beginners may not be familiar with these aspects, which can lead to safety concerns and a less enjoyable experience.

· Time commitment

Completing an 18-mile hike takes a significant amount of time. Beginners may not be accustomed to spending prolonged periods on the trail, which can lead to fatigue, discomfort, and increased risk of injury.

Instead, beginners are advised to start with shorter, less demanding hikes to build their skills and confidence. Begin with a few miles on well-marked trails and gradually progress as your abilities improve.

This approach allows you to gain experience, learn about your physical limitations, and develop the necessary skills and knowledge for longer hikes. Here are some hiking tips for beginners.

How Much Water Should You Carry On an 18-Mile Hike?

The amount of water you should carry depends on factors like weather conditions, terrain, personal hydration requirements, and the availability of water sources along the trail.

As a general guideline, it is recommended to carry at least 2-3 liters (or 68-102 ounces) of water for an 18-mile hike. This estimate takes into account typical hydration needs and helps ensure you have an adequate water supply.

hiker standing on top of a rock with arms stretched

However, it’s crucial to adapt this recommendation based on the specific conditions of your hike. You may need to increase your water intake if you’re hiking in hot weather, on rugged terrain, or at high altitudes.

Also, consider the availability of water sources along the trail. If there are reliable water sources, you may be able to carry less water and refill your bottles or hydration bladder along the way.

Water purifiers

Alternatively, you can supplement your water supply by carrying a water purifier or water treatment tablets. This allows you to collect and purify water from natural sources such as streams or lakes, reducing the amount of water you need to carry.

However, be cautious when using natural water sources and ensure you are familiar with proper purification techniques to avoid waterborne illnesses.

Related: How Long Does It Take To Hike 3.5 Miles?

Always prioritize staying hydrated during your hike. Monitor your water consumption and listen to your body’s signals. If you feel thirsty or notice signs of dehydration, drink water even if you haven’t finished your planned supply. Remember, it’s better to carry a little extra water than risk becoming dehydrated in the wilderness.

4 Tips for Preparing for an 18-Mile Hike

Preparing for an 18-mile hike requires careful planning and consideration of several factors. Here are four essential tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

  • Ensure you’re physically fit: Engage in activities such as jogging, hiking shorter distances, or even using a stair climber or treadmill to simulate uphill terrain. Building strength in your legs and core will enable you to handle the long and challenging hike more effectively.
  • Have the necessary gear: Invest in a sturdy and comfortable pair of hiking boots that provide ankle support and grip. Wear moisture-wicking and breathable clothing to stay comfortable throughout the hike. Carry a well-fitted backpack with essentials such as water, snacks, a first aid kit, a map, a compass, and extra layers of clothing. It is crucial to pack light to avoid unnecessary strain on your body.
  • Checking the weather forecast: Knowing the expected weather conditions allows you to prepare accordingly. Dressing in layers and carrying rain gear if necessary will help you stay comfortable and safe during unpredictable weather changes.
  • Understand the wildlife you may be encounter on the trail: Researching the area and knowing the local fauna and their behavior will help you stay safe and avoid any dangerous encounters. Learn how to properly store food to prevent attracting wildlife and understand the appropriate actions to take if you encounter any animals during the hike. Here’s how to avoid snakes while hiking.

We hope this guide will help you prepare for and hike 18 Miles!

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