Friday, April 6, 2012

Odds and Ends: Trip Recording and Planning

I have some business to share today. I just completed setting up my Trail Journals account for my hike. Thus is the plan: I will post my daily reports on Trail Journals including all the gory details such as the number of times I stubbed each toe and how many goofball poses I struck. This space on Blogger will be reserved for more polished fare for a more refined palate. (Next view screen innovation: a display you can taste!) On the upper right hand side of the navigation bar there will soon be a link to my Trail Journals account.

The rest of today I am working on my schedule and mail drops. Below is a snippet from the nascent document.

Sample of scheduling and mail drop spreadsheet.

However, I became bored while completing my spreadsheet and decided to run some numbers. Assuming I start as planned on April 18th:

If I walk an average of 12.15 miles per day, I will summit Katahdin on October 15th (the day the park typically closes to overnight camping for the season).

If my hiking pace is 1015 miles per day, I will summit Katahdin on April 20th, at 3:50 AM. I found this out when I made a typo in the spreadsheet. Right now I'm calling it Plan C.

At 1 mile per day I would summit Katahdin April 19th, 2018. I consider this Plan Z.

Realistically, I won't be making northward progress every day. Some days will be spent in town, some days will be spent stationary in the woods. To balance out my planning I am sprinkling these zero days throughout my schedule. From Map Man's research project (read it here) I know that the median number of zero days is roughly 19. I'll go ahead and make the assumption that I'm fairly typical (and that the sample size was large enough).

So now, if I take 20 zero days, my mean hiking day has to cover 13.7 miles to summit Katahdin by October 15th. But I really don't want to cut it that close. Heading to Katahdin in October risks the chance that the park and the mountain will be closed for the season. Bumping the miles per day up to 15 gets me to Katahdin on October 1st. It's better, but still slower than I want to go. I'm going to aim for 18 miles each day. At that pace, I'll summit on September 6th. Now that's more like it.

Of course, this is all a giant estimate. Many more factors go into this equation and I won't know enough to make a good guess until further along in my journey.

Well, I have work to do. Ciao!

Meriadoc

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