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Which is better: Hiking fast or slow?

The eternal question. If you asked any hiker whether it’s better to hike fast or slow, you’ll get a different response from every single one of them.

Which is better? Is it better to speed to your destination, cover lots of kilometres quickly or to saunter along, smell the flowers and take in the views?There’s no wrong answer to this one.Let’s look at going fast first.

Going Fast

A challenge

One of the best parts about moving quickly is how much of a challenge it is. You have to push yourself physically and mentally to go fast and far. You might be going easier or harder depending on who you are with but if your by yourself and not waiting for anyone, you could push yourself to your absolute limit.

Get places quickly

Hiking fast gets you places faster than hiking slowly. I think that’s pretty obvious. If you have less time for a hike or need to get somewhere for a certain time then moving quickly might be your only answer. Some people are just impatient. If I only have a couple hours to hike, I know I can go hard and get a decent hike in.

More impressive story

I don’t recommend doing things just to have a good story but if a good story happens as the result of a good adventure, then I’m going to use it! Faster stories sound more impressive to me. That said, there are some epic adventures of the slow variety that are good because of their slowness.

Cover more ground

When you’re moving fast, you can cover more ground. You’re moving faster so you can go farther in a given time. Some people enjoy the variety of seeing more and just want to get to farther objectives.

Going Slow

Now let’s take a look at going slow.

Take photos

One of my favourite parts of hiking slow is taking photos. It’s hard to rush and take photos at the same time, you can take snapshots but really putting together some nice photographs takes time. The hiking can be speedy in between the photos but any time you need to look at something from many angles to get a nice photo, that’s going to take time.


Hiking slow is just more relaxing. You’re not trying to get anywhere fast and you can literally stop and smell the flowers as you hike along. When there are beautiful vistas along your path, you may want to stop and just look instead of rushing by.

More inclusive with other hikers

The faster you hike, the fewer people can come with you. It’s hard to hike fast and not many people can do fast speeds. Go a slower speed and include more hiking friends.None of these things are the right or wrong way to hike, just different. Some people like slow and some people like fast.

Do you like fast or slow? Why? 

Let us know in the comments!

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