The MTI Route Card – Estimating Rucking and Hiking Times

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Adam Scott, MS, CSCS

It has been a long time coming, but here it is…The MTI Route Card is ready for testing.  Our new Route Card is an adjustable Microsoft Excel Workbook which can estimate how long a ruck or hike should take based on a few easy to find variables. 

The Route Card combines previous academic research and months of MTI’s mission direct studies in order to estimate the effect of fitness (horizontal speed), load (% BW) and terrain (incline and decline) on an individual’s movement over ground speed. 

The process is pretty simple:

  1. First, map out a route using Google Earth or a similar tool…
    Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 1.58.09 PM
  2. Record the elevation and distance data for the start, each selected Way Point (WP), and the finish…
    Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 1.58.35 PM
  3. Plug the information into the MTI Route Card…
      1. Planned Rest Intervals (example: 50 min rucking : 10 min rest)
      2. Start Time
      3. Horizontal Speed
      4. Body Weight (BW)
      5. Load Weight (LW)
      6. Elevations (Start, WPs and End)
      7. Distance
        Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 12.21.17 PM


Et voila…you have an accurate estimate of just how long the ruck or hike should take.

In the example above, the route is estimated to take approximately 1 hour and 47 minutes…which was pretty close to our two test runs: 1 hour 39 minutes and 1 hour 44 minutes.

How You Can Help:

Well, we need volunteers to test the Route Card and give us feedback.  We ran 12 trials over the last 2 weeks and churned through 3 versions of the Route Card algorithms.  Our latest version is able to predict times fairly well (+/-7-9 minutes per hour), but we think we can do better.  We just need more data.

This is where you come in.  You can download the Excel Workbook below.  Then, the next time you go for ruck or hike, use the MTI Route Card to plan your trip and estimate how long it should take.  After you get back, record your times and send them to us for comparison.

MTI Route Card Download *Link*

Questions, comments?  Please e-mail adam@mtntactical.com or rob@mtntactical.com