A set of rules for planning walking journeys devised by a Scottish hiker, Iain Naismith.

The Rules

Assuming you are carrying a well packed rucksack, allow 1 hour for:

  • 5km (3 1/8 miles) easy going (on a road, flat / paved path, bridleway etc.
  • 3km (1.875 miles) easy scrambling (walking through fields etc.
  • 1.5km (0.94 miles) in extreme rough country, deep sand, snow, howling blizzard, the valley of the shadow of death etc.
In addition, add 1 hour for:
  • every 500m (approx. 1500 ft.) climbed
  • every 1000m (approx. 3000 ft.) descended
  • every hour after 5 hours walking due to fatigue.
For the latter set of additions, very experienced walkers can lower the total time by one third. If your party contains very inexperienced walkers or you are young, the paces in the former set may be a bit optimistic, although the latter set of rules should still hold true.

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