Hiking is one of the greatest ways for a person to get in touch with nature while pushing their mind and body at the same time. There is a direct correlation between the hike’s difficulty and the amount of spiritual fulfillment attained upon completion of it. Some avid hikers will naturally desire to test their limits by going to the extreme, but can you hike 30 miles in a day?
Yes, you can absolutely hike 30 miles in a single day. Many long distance thru-hikers accomplish this many times over during their trek. So, there’s no reason you can’t do it as well. The secret is to work up to the distance over time and come into the day fully prepared with the proper gear and nutrition.
In this article, we will be discussing the realistic feasibility of hiking a 30-mile day and how exactly this must be done if it is to be accomplished. Next, we will provide some key tips, directly from the pros, to greatly increase your odds of success when embarking on a 30-mile hike.
Finally, we will give the reader some general advice on caring for and maintaining their body while undertaking the grueling task of a 30-mile hike.
Hiking 30 Miles in a Day
If you are reading this article, likely, you have already contemplated taking on the incredible challenge of hiking 30 miles in a day. You are now wondering if it is possible to achieve such a feat. For ordinary people, even the mere idea of hiking 30 miles in a day seems impossibly daunting, but you are surely no ordinary person.
Can You Really Hike 30 Miles in a Day?
Yes, you can hike 30 miles in a day. However, there is no guarantee that you will be successful. Thankfully, following the advice provided in this article will help you understand what exactly you are up against. To hike 30 miles in a day, every step must be calculated, and your productivity maximized. You must take advantage of every bit of daylight offered by nature, and no time is to be wasted.
Moreover, hiking 30 miles should be done in the summer as this is the time of year when the daylight is longest. This saves you from having to hike in the dark, which is unsafe and unadvisable.
How to Hike 30 Miles in a Day
The way to hike 30 miles in one day is to chunk it up into small attainable goals. This will lessen the stress and keep you in a positive frame of mind. Professional hikers will all have developed their personal method of doing this, and you will too. This could be something like, for example, stopping at the top of every hour just for a momentary photo opportunity wherever you happen to be.
Anything to break up the monotony and give yourself something to look forward to, which is not too far off. To hike 30 miles in a day will require a person to be able and willing to dig deep and find in themselves the inspiration to push on and keep going.
Check out this video from Neemor’s World! He did a 50 mile day while hiking on the PCT Trail in Oregon:
Pacing Yourself for a 30 Mile Hiking Day
Pacing is the key to accomplishing a 30-mile hike. Without a formal plan in place for your pacing and timing, your odds of success will be drastically lessened. The first step is to start the day off right. Wake up early, 30 minutes before sunrise, and give yourself time to pack and prepare for the day. During the summer months, this will mean that you are up by 5:30 a.m.
By the time the sun is coming up, you will be ready to begin. Beginning the day at the break of dawn gives you a rough window of about 15 hours. An average hiker can cover 10 miles in about 4 or 5 hours, provided the terrain is not excessively rough. This means there is very little time for squander.
However, it will be necessary to take breaks. The pros and experienced veterans recommend a break of no more than 20 minutes every 6 or 8 miles. Take your breaks and don’t pass them up; the fatigue will accumulate as the day progresses. Sit down, shake it off, and take a few minutes to enjoy the beauty of nature.
Food and Water for a 30 Mile Hike
Nutrition is one of the most critical aspects of thru-hiking. As is the case with your pacing and timing; likewise, your food and water will also have to be pre-calculated if you are to be successful. Plan to take your rests near creeks and rivers, if possible, to quickly filter your water and rehydrate.
Proper hydration keeps our muscles vitalized and prevents them from cramping and locking up due to lactic acid accumulation. Fast water filters are ideal so that you may get back on the trail as quickly as possible and not waste time waiting. If you are looking for a high-quality water bottle with a built-in fast-filter, we highly recommend the Philips GoZero bottle.
The next thing we need to plan out is our food for the day. Start your day off with a nutrient-rich breakfast. This could be, for example, eggs and toast, or anything of that sort. From there, you will want to pack snacks as opposed to raw foods.
Snacks, such as protein bars, fruit cups, yogurts, etc., save you having to lug heaving cooking utensils with you on the trail, and the lightened load will greatly increase your pace.
Easing Into the Distance
Quite probably the most important point to note in this entire article, concerning the possibility of hiking 30 miles in one day, is that this feat require prior training and physical preparation to complete. A person who is not trained for hiking will almost certainly fail to hike 30 miles in a day.
The adaptive system of the body takes time to cultivate and accommodate a task. Eventually, this will lead to the ability to accomplish the same task but with progressively less effort. Ease into the distance by gaining trial experience. Start with 5 or 10 miles and work with that distance until it has become relatively easy. Later, progress to 15 miles and then 20.
This will give your heart, lungs, and muscles time to strengthen and develop. If a person had a goal of performing 30 pull-ups, they would first need to be comfortable doing 10 or 15 fairly easily. The same principle applies to hiking 30 miles in a day.
Wear and damage to the feet pose a serious threat to the hiker. Regardless if they have done everything right—paced accordingly, ate all the right things—still, an injured foot can debilitate them and derail their hike. Blisters are caused by friction and friction by rubbing and moisture.
The following advice should be followed to prevent blisters before they happen:
- Always wear thick padded socks.
- Bring extra pairs of socks.
- If your socks get wet or sweaty, change them
- Tie your shoes or boots up tightly and securely. Never let your footwear flip-flop and shift around.
Every 6 to 8 miles, it is optional to remove your socks and footwear and self-massage the feet to relax them.
Related article: How can I Strengthen my Feet for Hiking?
It is possible to hike 30 miles in a day. However, to hike a 30-mile day, every detail must be planned and calculated in advance. This includes start time, breaks, snacks, water, dinner, camp setup, etc. Hiking 30 miles in a day will require a strong base of previous hiking experience and is not a task for new or inexperienced beginners.
Up Next In Hiking:
Can You Hike 20 Miles a Day? (Backpacking FAQs)
How Long Does a Five Mile Hike Take?
25 Must-See Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike Videos
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Erick is a freelance writer and outdoor enthusiast. Growing up in Nairobi Kenya and now calling Glasgow, United Kingdom home. Sipping on homemade spiced swahili tea and enjoying a good book is his idea of bliss.
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