1. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    Walking.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Daydream, Jul 13, 2011.

    Ok so at one point in my book my characters do alot of travelling. That travelling involves walking a total of 985km. What I can't figure out is how long it would take to travel this far by foot, keeping in mind necessary rest for food and bathroom breaks.

    Is there a website I can use to find out this sort of thing? Or could someone help me figure it out? :)

    Cheers!
     
  2. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    Google maps or just Google come to that. :p
     
  3. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm how can I find out with Google maps? It only shows the time it would take with a car.
     
  4. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    There should be another tab that's a person.
     
  5. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    It depends on terrain, rivers to cross, how healthy the travellers are, how urgent their needs, how direct the path can be, how much they're carrying with them. Will they have to hunt or trap or search for food along the way? Are they being chased (have to hide tracks)? There are a lot of variables.

    As a Boy Scout years ago our troop could do about 18 miles in a day hiking. That was carrying a backpack, going over some hills but mostly along rustic trails and not having to cross/ford rivers etc. We'd be on the trail by 8:00 am and stop for lunch and usually two short breaks and normally begin to set up camp and get dinner ready by 5:00 pm. Also note that we didn't do this for weeks on end or anything, so the weardown factor wasn't there. BUt of course, and most of the sturdier scouts were the ones that particiapted.

    You might examine information about the Appalachian Trail which many people hike. It may have some guidelines that would give you insight into what's possible based on the situation in your novel.
     
  6. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    All of the points TW raises need considering.

    When folk do long charity walks - on roads - they are doing well if they cover about 42km a day (coincidentally, the marathon distance)...985/42 = 23 and a bit days.
     
  7. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm that is a long time lol. Guess I could skip a few days forward in my novel.
     
  8. Norm
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    Norm Contributing Member

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    I remember hearing somewhere that back in the day, a troop of soldiers marching would cover 40km or so in one day. I forget how many miles that would be, but there are convertors on the internet and whatnot.
     
  9. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Average human walking speed is 5km/h. I walk at about 6 km/h. Most people walk at about 4km/h.
    985km would therefore take about 197 hours. That's 8.3 days (rounded up).

    That's constant walking, though. I assume it'd take a little over two and a half weeks what with sleeping and eating and resting.

    Furthermore, it also depends on terrain. It takes me longer to walk somewhere if I have to go up hills because I'm not just moving forward. I'm moving upward as well. It slows movement on a 2D plane (forward/backward and to the sides, that is).

    Unless you need to specify different times and stuff for their journey, I'd feel free to say that it took three weeks.
     
  10. Heidi
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    Heidi New Member

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    Ok, thats about 612 miles. Using Oregon Trail diaries of people crossing what would become the United States, they averaged 20 or so miles a day on the flat ground and maybe only 5 miles a day in the mountainous regions. Lets assume flat ground. Making 20 miles a day (or just over 32 km per day) it would take about 30 days to make the trip (Assuming nothing tragic occurs or any delays)

    Hope that helps!
     
  11. lemurkat
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    lemurkat Senior Member

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    I had this problem in my novel - worse so because my character was a flightless bird, so it was harder to estimate. However, because she was a bird and had relatively poor concept of how to count the days, I just wrote up the core events along the way and filled in a few little encounters to show that it was taking a lengthy period of time. She was also a chick when it began, and grew into an adult along the way, which I reflected in the illustrations as well as the narrative.

    Depending on your premise, I don't think there is any need to say "it took X amount of days", just make it plain that is is taking a long time and have an approximate idea of how long a time that is - like the aforementioned 30 days + a few for events along the way.
     
  12. superman
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    i agree with lemurkat

    Just get an estimate and stay within range. For example if you estimated a journey time of 25 days, you could say "days passed, soon turning into weeks as the young travelers finally reachtheir destination" You see where im going here, readers arent gona count the footsteps nor google map it lol
     

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