Mad Ideas: Long Walks FAQ

other mad ideas: long walks

To my father, who taught me the joy of walking.

What is a Long Walk?

A walk which is long. You set off from where you are, walk to your destination, and stop. You take breaks for food, drink, sleep, etc, but you don't generally take other forms of transport. It's more concerned with thought-thinking than with sight-seeing.

How Long is a Long Walk?

At least ten miles. There is probably no upper limit.

How Long does a Long Walk take?

About D/S hours, where D is the distance in miles and S is the speed in miles per hour (maybe 3 on good terrain without stops for sight-seeing etc).

For longer Long Walks, D/SH days, where H is the walking hours per day. In the British Isles in summer, for a dedicated Long Walker, H may be 16 or even more. In winter, H may be as few as 8.

What do you need for a Long Walk?

Vital: A good pair of legs, good footwear, a destination, common sense, and a determined attitude.

Less critical but still important: suitable clothes (warm enough, waterproof enough), the right map or maps, emergency equipment (a compass, emergency rations, a space blanket, a whistle), something to eat and drink (or at least a way to buy same), somewhere to sleep (or at least a way to pay for same).

Optional: company, something to read, something to write on and with, a guide book, camera, binoculars, mobile phone, laptop computer, kitchen sink.

Why go for a Long Walk?

Why not go for a Long Walk?

Why not indeed. But seriously, be sensible, don't try it if you're unlikely to manage it. The emergency services have too much to do as it is. No warranty express or implied. Your mileage may vary. Do not eat this sachet.

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