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Discussing: How far, how far....

How far, how far....

So...how far do you all think three fit men...(okay, two fit men and a fit elf) could walk in one day? They're not in a dire hurry, but they're not taking it leisurely either. 20 miles in a day? Just guessing.... Cheryl

 

 

Re: How far, how far....

'It is now the fourth day since [Boromir] was slain,' answered Aragorn, 'and since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of Tol Brandir.' 'On foot?' cried Éomer. 'Yes, even as you see us.' Wide wonder came into Éomer's eyes. 'Strider is too poor a name, son of Arathorn,' he said. 'Wingfoot I name you. This deed of the three friends should be sung in many a hall. Forty leagues and five you have measured ere the fourth day is ended! Hardy is the race of Elendil! The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 2, The Riders of Rohan So, the Three Hunters went nearly 34 miles per day (which I would definitely consider an upper bound to anyone's endurance!) So, walking 20 miles a day for a few days might not be unreasonable... assuming you're not dealing with temperamental ponies or hungry Hobbits... I believe the horse people estimate about 15 miles per day on horses for long trips. So, I wouldn't expect bipedals to be able to go 20 mpd for more than 3 or 4 days, and only if they're very fit. (Heirs of Elendil and Elves appear to qualify in the "very fit" category ) - Barbara

 

 

Re: How far, how far....

(Heirs of Elendil and Elves appear to qualify in the "very fit" category ) Oh, yes...they do, don't they? Thanks Barbara Cheryl

 

 

Re: How far, how far....

When my daughter, Adventure Sally, backpacked the Appalachian Trail, she and her companions could go 15-20 miles a day, carrying their packs, for several days at a time, depending on terrain and rumored distance to the closest Ben & Jerry's. Ann

 

 

Re: How far, how far....

depending on terrain and rumored distance to the closest Ben & Jerry's. ROFLMAO! Definitely an important motivating factor! - Barbara

 

 

Re: How far, how far....

Mind your use of the word "league" though. Its actual definition is "how far a person can travel on foot in an hour." Not really at an all-out pace, like the Three Hunters, but at a pretty good one. The Atlas of Middle Earth gives the distance the Three Hunters ran (from Amon Hen to the edge of Fangorn) as about 150 miles. That would boil it down to about 3 and 1/3 miles per league (or, per hour, if you prefer) according to Eomer which isn't outside the realm of possibility, but going fast. So, you could probably figure about 2 mph as a good walking pace or 1 league = 2 miles. The thing that bugs me, though, is that the Three Hunters were supposed to be chasing the Uruk-hai for three days and nights without rest. That would make it 72 hours, enough time to travel 72 leagues or (at their pace) 216 miles. Where'd the other 66 miles go? Some of that can be chalked up to terrain, but 66 miles of it!? Yikes! Anywhosits... I'm just rambling... Berz.

 

 

Re: How far, how far....

depending on terrain and rumored distance to the closest Ben & Jerry's. LOL!! good motivator. I think I'll go with the 15-20 miles/day. Thanks everyone! Cheryl

 

 

Re: How far, how far....

Mind your use of the word "league" though. Its actual definition is "how far a person can travel on foot in an hour." Not really at an all-out pace, like the Three Hunters, but at a pretty good one. This is what Tolkien wrote about a league (emphasis mine): Measures of distance are converted as nearly as possible into modern terms. "League" is used because it was the longest measurement of distance: in Númenórean reckoning (which was decimal) five thousand rangar (full paces) made a lár, which was very nearly three of our miles. Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 1, The Disaster of the Gladden Fields: Appendix, Númenórean Linear Measures In the quote I gave above, Éomer estimated the distance to be about 45 leagues. I used Tolkien's estimate of about 3 miles per league to get a total of about 135 miles. Spread over about four days, that is about 33.75 miles per day, which I rounded to 34 (there are far too many approximations for any fraction to be significant; in fact, I suspect the last digit isn't mathematically significant either... I probably should have said 30-35 or possibly 30-40). The whole point being, every step of the calculation is an approximation. If you try to read the distances from a map, you are simpy adding a couple more layers of approximation (one based upon the inherent difficulties of mapping a sphere onto a plane, and yet another due to the fact that this particular map is based upon fictional descriptions). Don't get me wrong: I absolutely love the Atlas, and refer to it frequently; but if Tolkien gives a distance for a specific trip, I prefer to use his written words, as well as his own estimate of the length (in modern terms) of the unit of distance. - Barbara

 

 

Re: How far, how far....

Don't get me wrong: I absolutely love the Atlas, and refer to it frequently; but if Tolkien gives a distance for a specific trip, I prefer to use his written words, as well as his own estimate of the length (in modern terms) of the unit of distance. - Barbara I completely agree. It's finding that written word that can be challenging, if it exists. Many times I find myself refering to the atlas to fill in the gaps. As far as that goes, it's a great source, and it does give you a good visual reference for where exactly they are and things like what kind of terrain they're crossing. Cheryl

 

 

Re: How far, how far....

The thing that bugs me, though, is that the Three Hunters were supposed to be chasing the Uruk-hai for three days and nights without rest. That would make it 72 hours, enough time to travel 72 leagues or (at their pace) 216 miles. Where'd the other 66 miles go? Some of that can be chalked up to terrain, but 66 miles of it!? Yikes! The Three Hunters stopped for rest each night. The first night, the three debated whether to continue in the dark and risk missing a sign or to stop and regain their strength. Legolas wanted to continue; Gimli wanted to stop. They leff the decision to Aragorn who decided to rest. ("'We will not walk in the dark,' he said at length.") After that first night, the three stopped to rest on the other two nights without much debate although Legolas mourned the delay. ("'Now do I most grudge a time of rest or any halt in our chase,' said Legolas.") I think that alters your maths somewhat, Berz. LKK

 

 

Re: How far, how far....

I completely agree. It's finding that written word that can be challenging, if it exists. Oh, absolutely! He gave distances for very few trips... and I simply don't know how I ever did without being able to picture the terrain in the Atlas! And not just terrain -- I have a terrible time following his written descriptions (even detailed ones) of places like Helm's Deep, but, seeing the layout in the Atlas, suddenly it makes sense! - Barbara

 

 

Re: How far, how far....

Be sure to take terrain and weather into account; a road or trail is easy, but hills and mountains are much slower, due to switchbacks, rough terrain, false trails, &c.; loose sand is hard going, as is marshland. A good rainstorm also makes things difficult; even small streams can become impassable, trails disappear, visibility is reduced, &c. OTOH, in a drought they might have to go out of their way to find water. If they are carrying heavy packs and weapons, they will be slowed down; also if they want time to hunt. And unless they want to make camp in the dark (not fun), in winter they will have fewer hours to travel. On a road or path, in good conditions, 20 miles is probably reasonable; but in the long run, I would estimate 15. ;), Elemmíre

 

 

Re: How far, how far....

Since we've got a thread here, how about 3 Elves on horseback? If we assume that they travel for about 12 hours a day (I'm assuming they'd want to rest he horses and not push on any more)? I'm absolutely rubbish with estimating speed and distances!

 

 

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