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Adventurer Level Campcraft Journey

Predicting Journey Times

Naismith's Rule for a Hike Journey

Also see pages 50- 51 in “Fieldbook for Australian Scouting”

The following ‘rule’ will help you plan the length and duration of your journey. This rule, Naismith’s Rule, can be used to estimate most hike journeys for an average walker with a medium weight pack.

Allow 1 hour for:
  • 5km easy going
  • 3 km easy scrambling
  • 1.5 km of extremely rough country, deep sand or thick bush

Add 1 hour for:
  • every 500 m up
  • every 1000 m down
  • For every hour (after 5 hours) add an extra hour for fatigue

As you get more experienced at hike journeys, the time to complete the journey will decrease.

How far can a young person hike in a day?

How far can a young person hike in a day, with a pack, in good weather and on a level track? One rule of thumb says one kilometre for every birthday! This rule only works up to about 14.

For people of Scout age (11-14) should be able to walk 11-14 kilometers in a full day. But remember to reduce the distance if the route is hilly or thick bush.

Canoe and Bike Journey

If a journey by canoe or bike is planned, the distance covered should be estimated on the basis that at least 12 hours travelling time extended over three days is required to complete the journey.


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