Timing your walking is a great navigational aid if you know how fast you walk and how long for then you can easily estimate your distance covered. We talked about it a bit in the Route Planning section but we will talk about it in more detail now.
The useful thing about timing is that if you have a rough idea of how long a section of your walk will take then if you end up walking for a lot longer you can realise if you’re wrong and correct yourself before walking too far off track.

The basic idea of working out timing is quite simple. If you are walking at a speed of 4km per hour and your next checkpoint is 500m away then 4kph is 1km per 15 minutes, therefore, half a km should take seven and a half minutes

Below is a table with common walking speeds and timings as a reference.Sign up and get a free crib card that you can print out and add to your navigation tools.

100m2 mins1.5 mins1.2 mins
250m5 mins3.25 mins3 mins
500m10 mins7.5 mins6 mins
1km20 mins15mins12 mins

There are things, however, that will change your walking speed and that you will have to adjust for when working out how long a leg should take, these include:

Ascent: When going uphill you should add 1 minute of time for every contour line you cross(10m elevation).
Heavy Bag: Take off 1 kph from your walking speed.
Night Navigation: Half your walking speed

After you have a bit of experience walking you should be able to gain a rough idea as to your walking speed so that you can work out timings of legs to use as an aid in your navigation. Beware that your walking speed will change depending on the type of terrain you are on. For instance, when scrambling up a ridge or going over rough terrain I may estimate my walking speed to be 2-3 kph. However, if I was on the flat open ground with a light bag I may estimate my walking speed to be 5-6 kph. The only way to gain this knowledge is to get out there and take note of how long it takes you to cover certain terrains, the more you do it the better you will become at judging your speed and working out your timings.

Got a Question?

We are commited to bringing you the best tutorials we possibly can. If you have any questions or even contributions on our tutorial then we would love to here it.

Use the comments section below to let us know what your thinking and we'll get back to you as soon as were back from the mountain!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *