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barehook
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08/01/2021 10:11PM  
Assume wind not a factor, two persons in a Kevlar canoe, two 50 lb packs.

How fast do you average given these variables, if you keep a steady pace without busting a gut?

Just curious. Looking at an eleven mile route with two very modest portages, and pondering how long it will take.
 
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marsonite
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08/02/2021 06:12AM  
IIRC, my wife and I make about 4 mph on flatwater. But in reality, I figure about 2 miles an hour on average if you include lunch breaks, portages, etc. For us, 5-10 miles/day is a pretty easy pace. 15 miles is a long day and as much as I want to do anymore. I have paddled and portaged 20+ miles in a day with extenuating circumstances.
OldTripper
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08/02/2021 07:20AM  
3 - 3.5 mph is an average paddling speed for us while on the water.
Portages knock that down to approx 2 mph average over the course of the day. Try to single portage if you can, it makes a huge difference throughout the day.
When I plan a route I shoot for 10-12 miles a day.
Noslen
senior member (72)senior membersenior member
 
08/02/2021 07:46AM  
We plan on 3 mph on the water with some time for fishing, site seeing. 2 mph on land single portaging. If it's purely a travel day 4 mph on the water.
08/02/2021 07:55AM  
barehook: "Assume wind not a factor, two persons in a Kevlar canoe, two 50 lb packs.

How fast do you average given these variables, if you keep a steady pace without busting a gut?

Just curious. Looking at an eleven mile route with two very modest portages, and pondering how long it will take."


I'd say 3.5 hours. ish.

Two people with a kevlar canoe and two packs would be the ideal situation for 1.5 portaging, though if yours are modest it's not a big deal.
08/02/2021 08:08AM  
I've used my GPS unit to track my speed on the water. Using your criteria, barehook, we paddle consistently at a 3 mph pace without working hard to do so.
08/02/2021 08:16AM  
I plan for 3 mph paddling, 2 mph portaging - with additional time for loading/unloading.

Top speed paddling is around 5 and we usually end up averaging somewhere between 3-4.
mgraber
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08/02/2021 10:25AM  
3-4 mph depending on if we use an easy or moderate effort.
08/02/2021 11:58AM  
According to my GPS. 3-3.5mph for a casual low effort day.
Loony_canoe
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08/02/2021 11:58AM  
Solo (tandem paddle is only slightly faster):

On Water ~3 mph. Portage ~2 mph (walking time not portage time).

Loading and unloading averages 5 minutes.
andym
distinguished member(5125)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
08/02/2021 12:47PM  
For planning purposes, I think about 2 mph average. I actually don't know how fast we actually paddle. There are a lot of stops and slowdowns to take pictures. We're also in the category where we tend to cover up to 10 miles in a day with long days at 15-17 miles. We do those long days so we can then set up camp, day trip, and take even more pictures.
LarryS48
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08/02/2021 01:12PM  
My wife and I average in 3 to 3.5 mph range. There are online tools that really make it easy to estimate times. A popular online paddle panner has maps of the BWCA and Quetico and it lets you enter paddling speed, portage speed, how long it takes to load and unload at portages and how fast you portage. Then just click on starting and ending points and it finds a route and estimates times. In planning a trip I usually plan to travel 2/3 of the time and to go 10-12 miles on travel days. This leaves you great flexibility once you actually do the trip. If you get wind bound or it storms just stay put. There is flexibility built into the plan. If it gets really bad, you can up the amount traveled in a day. If everything goes smoothly, you can relax, fish or take side trips.
08/02/2021 01:49PM  
I agree with the 2 mph average assessment. Easy pace, factors in portage, paddling, breaks etc...

You can go way faster than that for sure but I think this answers the OP question the best IMHO.

T
paddlinjoe
distinguished member (429)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/02/2021 02:06PM  
When doing rough planning I've long used a 2 mph, not for paddle speed, but general progress. 10 miles roughly 5 hours. 20 miles = 10 hours.
Boppasteveg
distinguished member (118)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/02/2021 02:41PM  
My bowman sets the pace. We don't need to talk much on the water unless extreme wind comes up.
08/02/2021 02:49PM  
A retired trucker told me there are two trips. The short haul peddle to the metal and the long haul slow down and enjoy the scenery. If in a hurry to get somewhere I figure 3-4 mile per hour in average conditions, when sight seeing maybe only 1-3.
08/02/2021 03:27PM  
Leaving early is more important for your travel day than the speed you will travel on water and portages. Using the mentioned speeds, you can see that you will get somewhere by early PM and probably get a campsite. If not, you still have time to go forward into the interior and away from an entry point or if on a secondary day for travel, another destination where camps may be available.
08/04/2021 10:26AM  
barehook: "Assume wind not a factor, two persons in a Kevlar canoe, two 50 lb packs.

How fast do you average given these variables, if you keep a steady pace without busting a gut?

Just curious. Looking at an eleven mile route with two very modest portages, and pondering how long it will take."


SLOW, we paddle so slow. But, if you steer and read maps well you can still travel quickly. Any way, we single portage and generally calculate 2-4 miles an hour.
rbcevergreen
member (15)member
 
08/05/2021 12:29PM  
LarryS48: ". . . . A popular online paddle panner has maps of the BWCA and Quetico and it lets you enter paddling speed, portage speed, how long it takes to load and unload at portages and how fast you portage. . . ."

I haven't done all that many trips, but have always used that same planner to estimate my trips. I think it's pretty accurate, and at least helps me feel better about what may be possible.
MississippiDan
member (34)member
 
08/06/2021 07:29AM  
I used a gps on several trips and the normal cruising speed was about 3.3 mph paddling tandem in a 18 foot Mad River Horizon. We could get a little over 4 mph if we put our backs into it.

Like others I use 2 mph for planning purposes both on the water and portages. I think this tends to even out since I am slower on the portages and faster on lakes. This also gives time for pictures, short breaks, and gawking at the scenery.
 
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