The Gea Org.

Navigation with Distance, Time, and Pace (IV)

By Robert Finlay of

Edited by Federico Ferrero

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2. Actual Path: If you walk from "A" to "B" your path across the ground will not look like this,

, but instead will look something like this,
B, as you walk around all the obstructions you'll encounter such as creosote bushes, rocks, pinion pine, etc. How much further? Well, that depends upon the terrain and the vegetation, but usually is at least 15% more, even if the vegetation is only moderately dense.

3. Actual Distance: So, do you do a bunch of lengthy calculations? No. Take any map measured distance, as in the case above, 1.4 km, figure the actual distance is going to be about 30% more, so multiply 1.4 km by a factor of 1.3. You'll get something just under 2 km. Call it 2 km; that is the distance that you are actually hiking. If the vegetation is particularly dense, but not so dense you have to crawl, maybe use a multiplier of 1.5 instead. You'll develop your own "fudge" factor with experience.

4. Elevation Gain: Again, looking at the elevation profile from "A" to "B"; when you get to "B" you will be about 20' higher than when you were at "A", but you will have hiked up about 200 feet worth of hills. This is the total elevation gain, which takes into consideration all the ups and downs. This does not properly figure into the determination of distance, but you do have to figure the addition of this extra "20 story building", that's in the middle of your hike, somewhere. I usually figure total elevation gain into my estimation on how much time this is going to take.

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