Now for a boring blog on Appalachian Trail mileage statistics...
How many miles per day do you average? Do you take days off? What's the most amount of miles you've done in a day or a week? These are all questions I have been frequently asked on and off the trail. Having a finance background, I like to serve up concrete numbers that can be analyzed and articulated, so I took time this morning to pull numbers from my daily mileage. I maintained a mileage log with the help of the "2009 Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers’ Companion".
A 2180 mile hike is overwhelming for most anyone, but when broken down to bits and peices, it can seem more obtainable. Below you'll find statistical data and a column chart that illustrates the type of mileages and rest days of my hike. I usually had an idea of what I wanted to hike each day, but even through the end of my trek did I ever stick to much of a plan. Also, most of my days off were unexpected and definitely unplanned. Altogether I hiked 127 days out of 158 total days on the trail. I consider 16 of the 128 days to be Neros - less than 10 miles - since I don't believe there was a full day of hiking where I hiked less than that.
I have little experience with editing Html, so no savvy graphics for you. This first list of data includes average and median mileage along with the standard deviation (standard deviation is a statistic that tells you how tightly all the data points are clustered around the average in a set of data). I have three categories because I wanted to know how my averages varied with and without taking days off. All of my statistics only include miles logged on the trail. Obviously, there is no way to quantify miles I walked in towns, on my days off, or to gather water or shelter off the trail. I did not add the .9 I had to walk to get to the southern terminus in Springer or the 5.2 miles I decended from Katahdin's summit. I hiked 2171.7mi of the 2178.2mi AT for various reasons (yes all you purists, I'm still a thru-hiker).
All days including 0-days: 158 days
Mean Mileage: 13.74
Median Mileage: 15.8
Standard Deviation: 8.86
All days excluding 0-days: 127 days
Mean Mileage: 17.10
Median Mileage: 17.40
Standard Deviation: 6.32
All days excluding 0-days and Neros (less than 10 miles) 111: days
Mean Mileage: 18.69
Median Mileage: 18.20
Standard Deviation: 4.97
This list indicates how many days fell within mileage categories. I think this is a better illustration of how how often I hiked certain mileages.
0 Days: 31
0 < 5 (miles): 5
5 < 10(miles): 11
10 < 15(miles): 22
15 < 20(miles) : 53
20 < 25(miles): 26
25 < 30(miles): 7
30 < 35.4(miles): 3
Total Days: 158
I'm often asked about the most miles I've done in a day. I was also interested in the most miles I've completed in two days and a week.
Max Mileage (Consecutive Day Total)
Here is a column chart of my daily mileage from beginning to end. The gaps between the columns are zero-days.
I hope this statistical information is helpful and interesting.