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Naismith's Rule

From Guides

 Allow 1 hour for every 5km / 3 miles walked, plus an extra 30 minutes for every 1000ft / 300m of ascent

According to this rule, it would take 12 minutes to walk a kilometre, or 20 minutes to walk a mile on a flat route.

This rule was invented in 1892 by W.W.Naismith, a Scottish mountaineer. It is a method of estimating the length of time it will take to walk a set route, such as one set out on a route card. The rule assumes a reasonable level of fitness and normal conditions. For this reason, it sometimes needs to be modified to take account of varying fitness, terrain and conditions. The rule does not take account of rest stops or other delays, and it's result is usually considered the minimum time to walk the route. Many people add another 25, or even 50%, to the time they calculate.

Corrections

Various corrections have been made since the original rule was devised. The most important of these are the supplementary rules for descents.

  • Gentle descent: subtract 10 minutes for every 1000ft / 300m of descent
  • Steep descent: add 10 minutes for every 1000ft / 300m of descent

Variations

A more common metric variation of Naismith's rule that is often used is

Allow 1 hour for every 4 kilometres, and half a minute for every contour line crossed.

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