How Long Does It Take On Average To Hike 5 Miles?

A Complete Hikers Guide: How Long Does It Take To Hike 5 Miles?

If you’re embarking on a 5-mile hike, you may have been wondering how long does it take to hike 5 miles? In this guide, we answer just that!

It’s no secret that the US has an endless supply of exceptional hiking trails and terrains. From the gorgeous hikes in Upstate NY, to the incredible East Coast National Parks trails, to must-see hiking areas such as Sedona AZ, Boone NC, and Colorado Springs, you’ll be able to find the perfect hike suitable for all levels!

Finding out how long it takes for certain expeditions is important in determining whether your hike will be successful.

We investigate the variables involved in completing your hike and take into account whatever you require.

Being in the great outdoors is undoubtedly very different from strolling on a paved path or walking on a treadmill. Exhilarating experiences are enhanced by varying circumstances.

You can do hiking alone or as part of a group. In addition to improving your quality of life, hiking has numerous health benefits. These include:

  • Reduces the risk of lifestyle diseases like heart disease, type II diabetes, hypertension, and certain types of cancer. Exercise elevates the heart rate like no other.
  • Maintains a healthy blood pressure level.
  • Lowers cholesterol levels and body fat levels.
  • It reduces stress, depression, and anxiety by keeping your cortisol levels in check. A connection to nature has an undeniable happiness effect, as well as reducing rumination.
  • Sleep and focus are improved.
  • Muscle control and bone density are improved.
  • Social relationships are enhanced.

No matter if you’re hiking for exercise or simply getting out to recharge your batteries, you have thought, how long does it take to hike 5 miles! Find out by reading on.

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6 Key Hiking Essentials 

Before you dust off your boots and hit the trails, be sure to grab these important hiking essentials!

  1. A hiking day backpack
  2. Comfy pair of men’s boots, or woman’s hiking boots
  3. Hiking water bottle for hydration
  4. A cozy men’s and woman’s windbreaker for those gusty summits
  5. A set of hiking poles
  6. A comfortable pair of hiking shorts

Hiking Isn’t All About Distance But Also Terrain And Elevation

As opposed to popular belief, distance is not the only factor that defines a hike. Terrain and elevation have an influence on your pace.

Are you going to be bushwhacking through dense forest, crossing streams, or jumping over boulders?

Hiking on difficult terrain presents more navigational challenges, which require more time. 

Another common misconception is that going uphill takes more time than going downhill. Your downhill descent may be equally difficult, depending on the terrain.

In other words, consider the terrain, elevation, pick a favorable trail, check the weather, and invest in the right gear.

And don’t put too much emphasis on your pace, especially in the beginning. Therefore, if you’re wondering how long it is to hike 5 miles, choose a comfortable pace, know your limits, and remember to have fun.

How Long Does It Take On Average To Hike 5 Miles?

An average person takes about half an hour to walk a mile. The ability to estimate how long it takes to hike 5 miles helps you plan your hike effectively. You can predict the duration of your hike by using guidebooks or online resources.

Based on the Book Time calculation of 30 minutes per mile on gentle terrain, it would be reasonable to assume that a 5-mile hike would take about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

In addition, the formula takes into account the ratios of elevation and descent. For every 1,000 feet of ascent, an extra 30 minutes is added.

There are a variety of formulas you can use, but the result may vary. Naismith’s Rule and Book Time are common ones. Naismith’s Rule, for example, states that hiking 5 miles of easy terrain will take just under two hours.

Using an app or online hiking time calculator is now possible thanks to modern technology.

To calculate your round trip hiking time, fill in details such as distance, vertical gain, trail surface, the weight of your pack, and your planned pace. Below are factors that influence hiking time.

Your Level of Fitness

Someone who exercises regularly is generally speaking more fit than someone who hasn’t worked out in a while and this may impact a hiker’s 5 miles walking time.

Physical strain may cause the latter to slow down. The time it takes to hike five miles can be shortened by being in good shape.

Prevailing Weather Conditions – How Long Is A 5 Mile Hike

If you are planning on embarking on an adventure, it is a good idea to check the weather forecasts regularly.

Certain climatic conditions may adversely affect the time it takes to complete a 5-mile hike. Thunderstorms, heavy snowfall, hailstorms, and extreme humidity all affect speed.

Type of Track – How Long Should It Take To Hike 5 Miles

Are you crossing a river, traversing a stream, or navigating through bush and bramble? 

Using a map is a great way to determine the type of terrain.

Observe the trail from beginning to end and note any landmarks that will assist you in finding the location quickly.

The Weight You Carry

What kind of gear do you have?

Hiking is easier when you pack light, especially if you are facing treacherous terrain. It is inefficient to carry a heavy backpack since it consumes more energy and effort.

Hiking Difficulty Scale – How Long To Hike 5 Miles

Hiking Difficulty Scale - How Long Does It Take On Average To Hike 5 Miles

Hiking difficulty scales are subjective. Hiking conditions are different depending on factors such as the weather, the length of the trail, the experience, and the age of the hiker.

Tracks are rated based on factors like experience, terrain, and quality of the path. A scale for hiking difficulty is derived in the United States based on specific parameters.

There are typically five levels: easy, moderate, moderately strenuous, strenuous, and very strenuous. In countries like Australia and the USA, these levels are divided into grades from 1 – 5, with grade 1 being the easiest.

Depending on your expertise, choose the appropriate difficulty level. Trails that are easy to follow are suitable for everyone, the terrain is relatively flat, and they cover a distance

What You Need For A 5 Mile Hike

What you need for a hike depends on several factors. For example, how long does a 5-mile hike take? Is the region remote, and what kind of terrain are we dealing with?

Additionally, you might find it helpful to check the weather forecast.

If you plan to hike steep, rugged terrain in inclement weather you will need different gear than if you were planning to hike in the desert on a sunny day.

On the other hand, we have compiled a list of essentials you should take along on a 5-mile hike.

The type or lack of gear determines whether your hike is a success, regardless of whether you are a novice or an experienced hiker. Here are some essentials you may need:


A backpack with a maximum capacity of 20 liters is sufficient for a 5-mile hike.


Make sure you have a map and a compass. For example, suppose you have the budget for it or you’re a professional hiker tackling a difficult trail.

To contact responders in case of an emergency, you can include modern-day innovations like a GPS device, an altimeter, and a PLB (personal locator beacon) or satellite communicator.

Source of Light

A flashlight, headlamp, or candle is useful. Carry extra batteries to avoid emergencies.

Firestarter Kit

There is no telling when you will need a lighter, waterproof matches, or a firestarter. Therefore, make sure you have a kit with you that is stocked with all of the necessary pieces of equipment.

A Knife or Multitool

Many outdoor tasks are made easier by these gadgets, such as preparing food and administering first aid.

Weather Protective Gear

Bring a sun hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen if you are hiking in sunny weather. At night or during inclement weather, however, choose clothing that is warm. Pack extra clothes just in case. Make sure that you have some emergency shelter, such as a rain shell (waterproof fabric), with you.

First-Aid Supplies

Ensure that it includes all essentials, such as gauze pads, dressings, antiseptics, bandages, and non-prescription painkillers.

Menstrual towels and hygiene products are also appropriate. Cover the kit in waterproof material in case it rains or snows. If you are in a group, it can be shared.

Ample Hydration and Nutrition

In addition to the recommended amount of food and water for a 5-mile hike, bring a bit more. It is especially important to stay hydrated in hot weather.

Don’t go hiking if you don’t have anything to eat. It is better to have too much and not need it than to want too much and not have enough. An emergency stock of one day’s worth is reasonable.

Final Word On How Long Does It Take To Hike 5 Miles

You can attain overall wellness, beat inactivity, and experience the true beauty of nature by taking up hiking. You don’t even need special skills to do it.

As long as you are able to walk and perambulate for a full 5 miles, you are good to go. If you wonder how long it takes to hike 5 miles, the information provided above should help you through the process.

Find trails in your area or venture out to explore new places. Hiking is a fantastic and extremely gratifying experience no matter where you go. Bring friends and family along to make it even better!

Marco Santos

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