Expedition Route Planning

The route card is a key part of any expedition. It sets out the route the team is taking, the places they will travel through, times they will stop for breaks, distances covered, heights climbed, times taken as well as a description of features passed on route.

As well as providing the team with detailed instructions it lets your expedition supervisors and assessors know where you are. In an emergency it will help the emergency services to find you.

You must never leave the route set out on your route card. If you  do get lost and are off route if you can get back onto your route as soon as possible. Always notify your expedition supervisor if this happens so they know you are off route.

A routecard has a number of purposes:
It allows the group:
  • To envisage the route to be taken before the actual expedition, ie. distance to be walked and height climbed, and prepare for it
  • To have a quick reference guide during the expedition, telling them if they are on time, what features they should be passing and what they can expect from different sections of the route etc.
  • Actions to take in an emergencu
Importantly it allows the supervisors:
  • To know if the groups are covering the correct distances in a sensible amount of time
  • To know where the group should be at all times and to be able to meet them at the checkpoints to know if a group is late and take the appropriate actions
Calculating Time to Walk a Set Distance
Its really important to know how long it will take you to walk a set distance. Naismiths Rule is used for estimating the times it takes to walk in hilly or mountainous areas.
Allow 1 hour for every 5 km forward, plus 1 hour for every 600 metres of ascent.
Image result
If these speeds are found inappropriate during practice walks, ie. the groups are walking too fast or too slow, these times can be adjusted to meet the needs of the group. You must always walk at the pace of the slowest member of the group.
To allwo for this we typicaly adjust Naismiths rule to slow down the walking pace and use:
Allow 1 hour for every 3 km forward, plus 1 hour for every 600 metres of ascent.
The expedition is a TIMED walk, it is VERY important that groups arrive within 20 minutes of the time shown on the route card. Arriving too early is as bad as arriving very arriving late. Group scan and will be failed for not coming in on time.
Quick test:
How long would it take your team to walk…..
3 KM AND CLIMBS 300 M?…………………
3 KM AND CLIMBS 150 M? …………………
1 KM AND CLIMBS 100 M? …………………