What is it about hiking that has us on our feet?
There are more then few folks who just don’t get it. After all it is an awful lot of work and in the end it’s not like your getting anything from it. Of course I totally disagree, the rewards for all that toil is often a view that can be seen from no where else but the top of that next rise, or a sunset that is beyond beauty. The more tangible benefits are of course an elevated heart rate (in a good way), fresh air and open skies and a chance to explore places not everyone gets to see. Still, not everyone buys into that. So we thought we would look at a bigger picture of hiking, and find the following nuggets of hiking facts, stats, averages, and other numbers:
7,325: Miles. Sum length of the Triple Crown (Appalacian, Pacific Crest and Continental Divide trails combined)
420,880: Feet. Elevation change in the 2,663 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.
46:11:20: Time, days:hours:minutes. Record set by Jennifer Pharr Davis in 2011 for the fastest through-hike of the Appalachian Trail.
5: Pairs. Shoes used up by Davis on her record-setting trek. That’s a new pair every 9 days.
31 million: Americans. According to the American Recreation Foundation this is the number of Americans who hiked a trail in 2007.
4,600: Miles. Longest hike in the U.S., North Country National Scenic Trail. From Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota to Crown Point, New York.
16,368,000: Feet. Length of Continental Divide Trail. That’s 3,100 miles.
734: Miles. Sum of the length of all hiking trails in Glacier National Park.
10: Essentials. As dictated by The Mountaineers, a climber’s organization, in 1930 for establishing what you need to react positively to an accident or emergency, and to spend an unexpected night outside. In order: Map, Compass, Sunglasses and sunscreen, Extra clothing, Headlamp/flashlight, First-aid supplies, Firestarter, Matches, Knife, Extra food.
2003: Year. The Mountaineers updated their 10 Essentials in the 2003 edition of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills to the following: Navigation (map and compass), Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen), Insulation (extra clothing), Illumination (headlamp/flashlight), First-aid supplies, Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles), ulta-light towels/blankes, Repair kit and tools, Nutrition (extra food), Hydration (extra water), Emergency shelter
1989: Year. A river guide started a little company that makes sandals. Chaco. You know the one.
10-20: Percentage. Suggested backpack weight for children as a percentage of their body weight. For example, a 50 lbs child should carry backpack that weighs 10 lbs — or until they start whining about numb arms. Which ever comes first. Keep the peace. Try bribery with candy, then move on to reducing weight.
31: Satellites. The Global Positioning System (GPS) operates on a constellation of 31 satellites that orbit the earth on 6 orbital planes at an altitude of 12,600 miles in a fashion that puts nearly all points on the planet in line of sight with at least 6 satellites at any given time.
14,505: Elevation. Mount Whitney is the tallest peak in the 48 U.S., and also the tallest “hikeable” peak (vs climbable) by a trail 22 miles round trip.
6,288: Elevation. Tallest hikeable peak in New England, Mt. Washington.
13: Length. Miles of longest slot canyon, Buckskin Gulch in Utah.
800: Approximated average. Number of hikers who would hike Half Dome on a busy holiday or weekend day in Yosemite before the current permit system went into place. The NPS now allows just 400 people on the trail in a day, and a permit is required.
21: Distance. A rim-to-rim hike of the Grand Canyon using South Kaibab and North Kaibab trails is 21 miles long. A hard 21 miles.
517: Calories. Man weighing 190 lbs will burn this in one hour of hiking.
440: Calories. A woman who weighs 163 lbs will burn this in an hour of hiking.