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Travel Times

Discussion in 'Research' started by Ekorus, Jul 15, 2016.

  1. Ekorus

    Ekorus Dreamer

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    Greetings Everyone!

    I found some information on another forum some time ago about Travel Times on foot and on horseback. I can't remember where specifically I found it, otherwise I'd post the link for you. I have NOT confirmed any of this information as I am no expert. Nevertheless, I felt it makes an excellent guideline and it seems sound, so I thought it might be useful to someone. I decided to include the Kilometer conversions with it, for our European friends, as it was only in Miles when I found it. Have fun with it and let me know if there's any mistakes or suggestions!

    [table="width: 690, class: outer_border, align: center"]
    [tr]
    [td]- BY FOOT -
    Average Walk Speed (Human): 2.5 to 3 miles per hour [≈4.02 to ≈4.83 km/hour]

    On Roads/Trails:
    Level or Rolling Terrain (≈20 miles/day [≈32.19 km])
    Hilly Terrain (≈14 miles/day [≈22.53 km])
    Mountainous Terrain (≈9 miles/day [≈14.48 km])

    Off-Road:
    Level or Rolling Terrain (≈15 miles/day [≈24.14 km])
    Hilly Grasslands (≈12 miles/day [≈19.31 km])
    Level or Rolling Forest/Thick Scrub (≈8 miles/day [≈12.88 km])
    Very Hilly Forest/Thick Scrub (≈6 miles/day [≈9.66 km])

    Unblazed Mountain Passes (≈6 miles/day [≈9.66 km])
    Marshland (≈5 miles/day [≈8.05 km])

    Modifiers:
    (-)x0.25 for Heavily Laden Man
    (+)x(0.25 to 0.5) for Very Experienced Hikers
    (+)x(2) for specially trained man on a forced march for 20 hours & exhaustion at the end.
    [/td]
    [/tr]
    [/table]


    [table="width: 690, class: outer_border, align: center"]
    [tr]
    [td]- BY HORSEBACK -
    Average Walk Speed (Horse): ≈4 miles per hour [≈6.44 km/hour]

    On Roads/Trails:
    Level or Rolling Terrain (≈40 miles/day [≈64.37 km][avg.])
    Hilly Terrain (≈30 miles/day [≈48.28 km][avg.])
    Mountainous Terrain (≈20 miles/day [≈32.19 km][avg.])

    Off-Road:
    Level or Rolling Grasslands (≈30 miles/day [≈48.28 km][avg.])
    Hilly Grasslands (≈25 miles/day [≈40.23 km][avg.])
    Level or Rolling Forest/Thick Scrub (≈20 miles/day [≈32.19 km][avg.])
    Very Hilly Forest/Thick Scrub (≈15 miles/day [≈24.14 km][avg.])

    Unblazed Mountain Passes (≈10 miles/day [≈16.09][avg.])
    Marshland (≈10 miles/day [≈16.09 km][avg.])

    Modifiers:
    (-)x0.25 for Poor Weather
    (+)x0.5 for special training (Rangers/Scouts/Messengers) or horse breed
    (-)x0.5 for Carts or Heavily Laden Horse
    [/td]
    [/tr]
    [/table]

    [table="width: 690, class: outer_border, align: center"]
    [tr]
    [td]- SAILING -
    (Average Speed: 5 to 8 Knots/hour)
    5 Knots = ≈5.75 miles/hour [≈9.25 km], 8 Knots = ≈9.2 miles/hour [≈14.81 km]

    Average Wind:
    5 Knots = ≈138 miles/day [≈222.09 km]
    6 Knots = ≈165.6 miles/day [≈266.51 km]
    7 Knots = ≈193.2 miles/day [≈310.93 km]
    8 Knots = ≈220.8 miles/day [≈355.34 km]
    [/td]
    [/tr]
    [/table]

    Note: I comprised the Sailing information myself and, as such, is by no means through experience, nor is it complete.
     
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  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Ekorus, source please?
     
  3. Ekorus

    Ekorus Dreamer

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    It was from a forum. Don't remember the author or forum since it was awhile ago and I only wrote down the info. Sorry I can't source it for you. I'll try to find some corroborating evidence.

    Give me a day or two to either confirm or refute this info.
     
  4. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    It may have been from the Cartographer's Guild Forum.
    I remember reading something very similar there.
    I feel the values for walking at least are a little optimistic or at least assume someone well used to travelling by foot. I don't know many people, even pretty seasoned walkers[carrying enough gear for travelling several days] that would plan to do 20 miles a day, day after day.
    But as a place to start and a ready-reckoner/cheat-sheet... I like it.
     
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  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Thanks, Ekorus. It's the academic in me. Information is never truly useful to a community unless members of that community can pursue it further.
     
  6. This is so helpful! Though, what would really help me is travel times by dragon or by horse-sized panther-cat, haha.
     
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  7. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    Multiply!!! :p
     
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  8. TheKillerBs

    TheKillerBs Inkling

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    I would say that's because, in a fantasy setting, walking would be most people's main method of travel.
     
  9. Ekorus

    Ekorus Dreamer

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    Thanks, CupofJoe! That's exactly where it was from. Here's the original source for my information.

    Sources of Information:

    Horseback Travel Times
    Travel Times By Foot

    I came up with the Sailing section myself based on statistics from a medieval sailing ship (cant remember what type), which I found to travel between 5 and 8 Knots. I then converted how much distance that would cover. I'm going to try to expand on the sailing information in the future, but not sure when I'll get around to it.

    Further:
    I'll try to find some data on hypothesis of Dragon's flight time, (and maybe some other creatures,) and see what I can do to expand on this information.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
    skip.knox likes this.
  10. That might be tricky what with it being technically impossible for a creature of a dragon's size (even though the largest in my world are only about as big as a draft horse) to fly. I'm thinking the top flight speed would be around 80--115 miles per hour; that's about as fast as the fastest of birds in level flight. However, i don't know how size would affect this. It seems like a larger animal would have to fly faster to remain airborne. However, since we're ignoring real world physics by even having dragons--Also, how long would a dragon be able to keep up these speeds? I'd say they would be able to keep flying for a good 24-48 hours, but keep up top speed only for an hour or so--thoughts?
     
  11. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    WRT dragons: I'd say endurance should be taken into consideration. Naomi Novik does this well. If you don't, you have dragons who can circumnavigate the globe, effectively turning them into B-52s. Then again, maybe that's what's wanted.

    WRT ships: while the base speed is reasonable, weather is a huge factor, plus you may want to consider not sailing at night. It depends on what era you wish to invoke. A better estimate is overall sailing time from point A to point B. For example, ships sailed from Venice to the Holy Land (15th century) in anywhere from three weeks to two months, depending on weather, pirates, and the vagaries of wind and trade and the ship itself. Also, at least for much of European history, ships tried as much as possible to sail within sight of land, which increased the distance actually traveled. A good starting point would be Archibald Lewis. He published multiple works on ancient and medieval seafaring.
     
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  12. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Thanks for the reference, Ekorus. Alas that the post at the Cartographer's Guild in turn cites no source. The numbers he provides might be derived from actual research in the sources, or it might just be his best guess. There's no way to tell.
     
  13. Ekorus

    Ekorus Dreamer

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    Thank you all for all your support and suggestions. I have looked a bit into hypothesized dragon flight and that's the one thing experts seem to agree would not likely be possible. However, has anyone heard the assumption that bumblebee's are physically unable to fly to to their mass? Perhaps your dragons fly like a bumblebee. Here's some information on how they do it: How Bees Fly

    I will definitely try to find some sources of my own on travel in the next few days and repost an appended list with proper references cited.

    However, I will say that 20 miles by foot in a day on level ground is not out of the realm of reality. I can personally attest, from experience, that it is possible to make 8 miles over the course of 4 hours at a leisurely pace. A friend and I used to walk 8 mile circuits of my town at night. We were younger, admittedly and I couldn't do it now due to the pounds I've put on since then, but since people in the middle ages were so used to walking most places, it's completely viable to make 20 miles in a day of walking a road or trail.
     
  14. Instead of trying to explain it, I'm just assuming it's possible, which means I could just go with a number that "feels" right.
     
  15. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Caesar could march a legion forty miles in a day, though only by leaving the baggage behind. Much depends on who is doing the walking, plus terrain, plus whether the Senators manage to field an army against you. :)
     
  16. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    It's all about attitude:

     
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  17. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Phaedippas was a piker. :)
     
    Russ likes this.
  18. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    Unless you go with the original version:

    :confused:
     
  19. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I always forget that!
     
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