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Hiking Time Calculation

We all have been there. How long does it take me to get from A to B? In times of navigation systems and google maps that's easy to answer for most daily life applications. However when it's coming to hiking this gets a bit tricky.

There are a bunch of ways out there in order the calculate a hiking trip might take: AMC Book Time, SAC, Naismith's Rule, Swiss sign-posts and German sign-posts are all based on different formulas. You can find a couple of online tools which can calculate rough estimates for your hiking time, however they are always based on total distance and ascent. As soon as your hike goes up and down, you're stuffed.

Being a semi-nerd, I created a spreadsheet (instead of an app) which can calculate the hiking times based on the German Norm DIN 334466 sign-posts for trails. You only need to input a basic data-set which includes latitude, longitude and elevation per point. You can get that from recorded GPS tracks, GPS Visualizer or Garmin Basecamp. If you have recorded tracks yourself, you can use them to fine-tune the parameters to your fitness. E.g. with a medium pack I use Ascent 500 m/h, Descent 600 m/h and Speed 4.5 km/h which works very well.

Here is the workflow:

  • Create a spreadsheet (csv, xlsx or similar) from your GPX e.g. in Garmin Basecamp select the track >> File > Export > Export Selection
  • Reduce it to the columns "Latitude [ddd.dddd], Longitude [ddd.dddd], Elevation [m]"
  • Copy the data into the according columns A to C in the tab DATA INPUT
  • Adjust parameters if required DIN Standard is Ascent: 300 m/h, Descent: 500 m/h, Horizontal: 4 km/h

The summary is similar to the output of Garmin Basecamp for tracks and routes with some additional information. Just be aware that break times are NOT included and the spreadsheet can't handle more than 10000 points.

You'll find the spreadsheet here: Hiking Melbourne - DIN 33466 Calculation

Happy Planning 😉

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