Kevin Callan
Credit: Kevin Callan

Calculating the distance and time required while you’re out there in the wilderness can be a difficult task. There are way too many variables.

For example, it may be possible for a canoeist to paddle up to 24 kilometres in a day. Add a portage or two to the trip, however, and the distance can be cut in half. It’s also possible for a backpacker to cover up to 30 kilometres a day on a well-marked trail. But off trail, they may be lucky to get up to 16 kilometres.

Here is a general guide that may help:

  • Walking one kilometre (1,000 metres) on a flat trail, with a heavy backpack, would take approximately 15 minutes, or four kilometers an hour.
  • Walking one kilometer through thick bush, with a heavy backpack, would take approximately 30 minutes, or two kilometers an hour.
  • Portaging canoe for one kilometre on an even trail would take approximately 20 minutes, or three kilometers an hour.
  • Portaging canoe for one kilometre on an extremely rough trail would take approximately 40 minutes, or just over 1.5 kilometres an hour.
  • Paddling a canoe (tandem) for one kilometre across a calm lake would take approximately 10 minutes, or six kilometres an hour.
  • Paddling a canoe (tandem) for one kilometre across a windy lake would take 15 minutes, or four kilometers an hour.

Use this guide to plan your next hiking or paddling adventure!

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