How Long Does It Take To Hike 5 Miles

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I live in Dallas, Texas. And while we don’t have the mountains of Colorado, we do have more interesting hiking than you would expect. I also try to take a weeklong backpacking trip at least once a year. Because I’m 6’4”, on flat land, I can hike 4 miles in an hour. But on rocky terrain with an incline carrying my pack, I’ve been as slow as half a mile an hour.

If you have ever been on a hike before, you know that this can be a difficult task. You have to be in shape and choose a hike that is well within your capabilities if you want to accomplish this task. There are many different hikes that you can go on including out and back hikes, as well as loops that will take you back to where you started. The height can be easy, moderate, and also very difficult. The length of the hike is also something you should know prior to embarking upon this journey. If you have decided to hike 5 miles, you will want to plan appropriately. You must also consider the amount of time it will take you to complete the hike in its entirety. Here is an overview of how long it will take an average hiker to hike a full 5 miles.

Understanding The Layout Of The Hike

Photo of Mark Wilcox hiking

Before you decide to go on a hike, it’s important to consider all of your options. This is most easily accomplished by downloading an app or subscribing to a website, that can provide you with statistics on all of the hikes in your area. Assuming that you will only be traveling a few miles to arrive at the starting point, there should be several different hiking options for you to consider. In this case, you are looking for hikes that will be at least 5 miles, and then consider all of the other factors associated with the hike itself.

Different Types Of Hiking Trails

The most common type of hiking trail is called the foot trail. For these types of hikes, you can either use hiking shoes or regular tennis shoes. These are usually divided into easy, difficult, and moderate hikes. This will depend upon the incline, the distance of the hike, the terrain, and whether or not the foot trail is paved or is made of dirt. There are also options for hiking without a designated trail, yet these tend to be difficult to gauge in terms of distance. They are also not recommended for people that are just starting out or that are unfamiliar with the territory.

How Long Will The Average Hike Take?

In most cases, on a beginner’s style hike with very few hills, your average speed will be about 2 mph. If you are hiking 5 miles, and you do not take any breaks at all, it will likely take 2.5 hours. Your time hiking will always be altered based upon the terrain, the condition of the path, the weather, and the type of shape that you are in. For example, if you are in phenomenal shape and the terrain is relatively mild, you may be able to complete the hike in under two hours instead. If you are hiking to the top of the mountain, you will take multiple breaks, especially on mountains with inclines. Therefore, it’s a good idea to bring plenty of water with you, and prepare to take at least an hour or two longer, to complete the hike without exerting yourself too much.

How To Prepare For A 5 Mile Hike

if you are going to prepare for a 5 mile hike, there are certain things that you must do in order to ensure that you get back in time. First of all, you must always bring a supply of water with you. If you are hiking in hot weather, you are going to need at least 1/2 a gallon of water with you on this type of hike. For others, you may need to bring more than that, and also wear a hat throughout your hike. You should also prepare by walking at least three times a week, preferably on some inclines, so that your legs will be able to last from beginning to end. If possible, wear a backpack if you plan to bring one while you are training. Please at least 10 pounds in the backpack and walk at least one or two miles each time. On the day of the actual hike, make sure that you have plenty of food, including snacks, especially if you suffer from conditions such as low blood sugar.

Try Out Different Shorter Trails

It is helpful if you hike a few designated trails before you embark upon your 5 mile hike. You will want to start with a single mile, perhaps a beginner-style hike, that is either out and back or a full loop. A few days later, you can either try one that is 2 miles long that is the same level of complexity, or you could do another mile that is medium in difficulty. It is recommended that you do at least four or five separate hikes, each of which is more difficult than the last, with at least two days of rest in between. For most people, however, you may not have the time to hike so frequently. Therefore, it might be easier to hike every weekend, preparing for your 5 mile hike over the course of two or three months until you are in proper shape.

Always Consider Safety First

A 5 mile hike can be strenuous and depending upon its location, you may find yourself a considerable distance from civilization. It is always better to hike with someone as opposed to hiking by yourself. In either case, you need to bring your cell phone. If possible, you should purchase an emergency satellite phone that will get reception at any location even if cell towers are not available. These will often have an emergency setting, in case you are in trouble to alert people to your exact location. Prior to hiking, be sure to tell at least two people where you will be hiking and when you will be leaving. If you are not back by a certain time, they will be able to search for you or alert the authorities. As long as you are bringing more than enough supplies for a 5-mile hike, you will be able to last a couple of days out in the wilderness. To be completely prepared, may also want to bring a jacket with you, especially when hiking at higher other nations. A first-aid kit is also recommended. If you suffer from any allergies, bringing Benadryl with you can be helpful. An EpiPen should be brought by anyone that could be compromised if they are stung by a bee or a hornet. By preparing in this manner, you will have the odds in your favor of successfully completing your hike safely.

How To Choose The Best Hike For You

Once you have all of your supplies prepared, and you are in relatively good shape, you will then want to choose a hike that looks the most promising. The hike that you go on should be chosen not only based on its level of difficulty, but also its location. For example, if you are hiking for the sole purpose of getting exercise, the surrounding area will not be that important to you. However, if you are a photographer, you will want to look at reviews that are often posted by other hikers so that we’re able to get exceptional pictures. In some cases, you will be hiking to high altitudes and will be able to take exceptional pictures of the surrounding wilderness area. You may also find yourself adjacent to a waterfall, river, or lake. If there are beautiful mountain ranges in the background, and you enjoy photography, you may want to choose your 5 mile hike based on the scenery. As long as it is within your capabilities to complete the hike, you should choose one that will give you the most memorable experience.

Final Thoughts On Going On A 5 Mile Hike

A hike that will last 5 miles or more, for generally anyone, is a substantial amount of walking. Even if you are strolling at a meager 2 mph, you will be on the trail for at least 2.5 hours. If you are taking pictures along the way, or if you need to take extra breaks, you could be there for 3 to 4 hours. By planning this out in your mind, and considering the complexity of the hike, you can make your decision based on these factors. Once that decision is made, you can then plan accordingly when bringing all of your supplies. Finally, try to find a buddy that will come along with you. It is always better to hike with another person for not only moral support but for safety reasons as well.

Hiking a trail that will last 5 miles will be difficult for most people. It will take some planning, which will include physical preparation that can take anywhere from a few weeks to a month or two. If you are hiking just to look at the scenery, or if you are a photographer, these are also factors that will lead you to the best trail to try out. Always bring plenty of water, food, extra clothing, an emergency satellite phone if possible, and a friend that will be willing to come with you. Taking the time to prepare for your 5 mile hike, will be one of your most memorable experiences.

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