In a few weeks I’m leaving for a week long trip in Algonquin Park. I have already figured out my route but I wanted to give you pointers on figuring out your own route for backpacking.
First you have to decide how many miles (or kilometers) you can travel per day. An experienced hiker can go approximately 20 miles (32 km) a day; but for a beginner that is way too far. I recommend when starting out plan for 10 miles a day (16 km) and then as you get more experience and you’ve built up some endurance start increasing that amount.
Another thing to keep in mind when hiking is how much you have to carry on your back. If you are carrying a very large pack that is heavy you won’t be able to go as far.
Terrain also has a lot to do with the distance you’re able to go. Smooth well-worn paths that are dry are much easier and faster to hike on than rocky, wet or muddy paths.
If you’re hiking in the mountains and you’re not used to it the high altitude can make you unable to cover more than 5 miles a day. You might also have a day that is just one long climb so you’ll be going slowly up it and then the next day you might have a long downhill and be able to quickly cover the miles.
So when choosing your route try to consider everything that you might encounter. Do your homework and find out what the terrain is going to be like and don’t over pack!