Table of Contents
How long is a 10-mile hike?
A 10-mile hike is about 10 miles long. Okay, so that’s obvious. But how long does a 10-mile hike take? It depends on your fitness in part, it also largely depends on the terrain and inclines you will be hiking over.
A 10-mile hike that is relatively flat could take just 4-5 hours. A 10-mile hike that crosses steep hills, rough terrain, and requires constant breaks to rest and recover could take all day.
To get a good idea of how long your 10-mile hike is truly going to take you to need to make a judgment about the route you will be taking.
The best way to make a fair assessment of how long a 10-mile hike will take is to check the trail out online, just Googling the trail name is usually enough. Many trails are graded on difficulty, while this is mostly an indicator of how hard a hike is going to be it can also give you a good estimate of time.
The more difficult a hike, the longer it will take. If a hike has trail markers it will also often tell you how long a hike will take, if that’s not an option you are stuck using your common sense. 10 miles of steep incline is going to take twice as long as 10 miles of flatlands.
How to know if 10 miles is too long for you
The only person who knows if a hike is too long for youis you. If you are new to hiking or feel your fitness level isn’t the best, then hiking 10 miles is a bad idea. Hiking is so much harder than walking. So if you find you can’t even walk 10 miles you need to get some serious practice in before tackling a 10-mile hike.
Another thing to consider is not just your stamina but your strength. Hiking for 10-miles could take an entire day, are you strong enough to carry a backpack with everything you will need for the day? All the water, food, spare layers, and safety equipment? If that sounds too much for you, then you aren’t ready for a 10-mile hike.
A good way of gauging if you would be able to do a 10-mile hike is to do a 5-mile one. Carry twice as much food and water as you need in your backpack, so you are getting a fair assessment of the added weight that will be needed. Once you have finished your 5-mile hike sit down and think to yourself, “would I be able to do that entire hike again right now?” If the answer is no, then you need more practice. If the answer is yes then maybe you are ready for a 10-mile hike.
How to work your way up to 10-mile hikes
If you are a complete beginner at hiking, a 10-mile hike may seem like a distant dream. That isn’t necessarily the case. With hard work and commitment, you will be able to hike 10-miles in no time at all. The best way to work your way up to a 10-mile hike is to always pack your backpack as if that’s the distance you will be walking. The added weight takes the most getting used to, so making sure you adjust as quickly as possible is key.
Next, start working your way up in distance. If you can manage to consistently do a 2.5-mile hike with very little trouble then it is time to up the distance.
If you find going from a 2.5-mile to 5-mile hike in one go is too large of a jump try breaking the hike up. Hike 2.5 miles to somewhere for coffee and lunch, rest and unwind for a couple of hours, and then hike back.
The biggest milestones for you are 5 miles and 10 miles. Once you have managed to tackle a 5-mile hike constantly it is time to try a 10-mile hike.
The difference between a 5-mile hike and a 10-mile one is much larger than you might think. Your body will start to get very tired by the 8-mile marker. Fatigue is exponential, how tired we feel from a 2.5-5 mile hike is pretty similar. How we feel after a 7.5-mile hike is so much more tired than a 5-mile one. And a 10-mile hike is far far more difficult than a 7.5-mile hike.
What do I need to bring on a 10-mile hike?
One of the biggest changes that will need a bit of getting used to is the increased weight you will need to be carrying on a 10-mile hike; compared to a shorter one. 10 miles will likely take all day, meaning you need to bring an entire day’s worth of food and water.
During a normal day, it is recommended that we drink about 2 liters of water or 2/3 of a gallon. When hiking its a completely different story. You will be doing so much more strenuous work that your body will need far more water. A 10-mile hike will probably require almost a gallon of water. This alone is going to add 8 pounds of weight to your backpack.
You will also need a first aid kit, bear spray, extra layers, a map, a raincoat, and a spare pair of socks. This added weight can be the most strenuous part of the hike for newer hikers. Without practicing with the extra weight like mentioned above you will be in for a shock. Carrying a heavy pack all day is a lot different than carrying a lighter one for a few hours.
Hopefully, this article has given you a good idea of just how far a 10-mile hike is. It isn’t easy work, even for experienced hikers. It will take practice and patience to have the strength and fitness to undertake a 10-mile hike. With hard work and dedication, you will be able to do a 10-mile hike in no time at all.
About THE AUTHOR
From a young age I was introduced to fishing, hiking, camping, snowboarding and more through family, friends, and scouting. After 20 years of learning and participating in these outdoor activities, I share what i've learned (and continue learning) with you.Read more about Scott Kimball