The best way to tell what is your relaxed and comfortable walking speed is to take your pace, while checking your heart rate. Typically a very relaxed walking speed is at 2kph, at this speed one's heart rate may be +10% greater than at rest.

There has been heuristic regarding Hiking, Marching, or Long Distance walking rates since Ancient times. The Roman march covered 20-24km in 4-5 hours[citation-Combat Leader's Field Guide]. Modern Military practice has very similar rates, it dictates

4kph as being the average marching rate [2]. This is expected to be sustained up to 4-5 hours as well [1, 4], while still being able to perform duties and camp preparation. Such marches are expected to be done with, what in modern military terminology is called Approach Load (see Weight and Encumbrance).

Modern doctrine in March covering 4km in 1 hour actually consists of 50mins of actual marching with 10min breaks for marching [citation-US marines small wars manual], with the First Hour of marching spending 15 minutes resting, arranging load bearing gear and dress for the next 3-4 hours of marching. So in actuality the speed is 4.8kph for the 50mins and 5.3kph for the 45 minutes first hour march.[1]

Take note that the marching time of 4-5 hours, cannot be be done with Pack Animals without a considerable increase of Risk to their health, injury, and increase in energy/resource demands. [Citation-Small Wars Manual]. This can be assumed to be the same in Ancient and Medieval Times when they accounted for the speed of Baggage trains.

The expected effort of a soldier on the march is Moderate (BPM +60%) to be endured at the intervals mentioned above.

==Walking Rules of Thumb. ==
  • Walking as a secondary action, like while engaged in a task that requires concentration. 1kph
  • Lesiurely Walk 2kph (Light Effort +30% BPM) -
  • Brisk Walk 3kph (Moderate Effort +50% BPM) -
  • Fast Walk 4kph (Moderate Effort +60% BPM) -
  • Speed Walking 5kph (Moderate Effort +70% BPM) -


Small Wars Manual of the United States Marines (1940)

Combat Leaders's Field Guide

  1. Strategikon by Emperor Marius
  2. Das Reich
  3. De Rei Militari by Vegitus