• virtual walk across canada 07
    Hiking,  Virtual Walk Across Canada

    Virtual Walk Across Canada Update 07

    I challenged myself to “virtually” walk across Canada during 2020 – I keep track of how far I walk every day and plot this against a map of Canada. Read more here.

    I’ve been a little remiss when it comes to updating my progress “hiking” virtually across Canada. I’ve still been keeping track and am also doing a few other “virtual” hikes (more on that in a moment). I haven’t posted any updates for a while, mostly because I’ve been more focused on posting about nature trips and “real” hikes.

    Last time I wrote (February, ouch!) I was still in BC and just about to reach the border to Alberta. Since then I have blown through Alberta and the prairies of Saskatchewan and I am about to reach Brandon, Manitoba. Below is a map of my progress since I started in January 2020 – all 2,244km of it!

    progress map
    Progress (blue line) – 2,244km – 25%

    The blue line shows my progress, the red points are just locations of interest.

    Other Virtual Hikes

    I may not update this too often, but I decided to take part in a few other virtual walks that are run by “My Virtual Mission” who do “The Conqueror Events” where they track your progress along various routes and you get a medal for each one you complete (for a fee). You get information on the various locations you have reached and get emailed a “virtual postcard” from some places.

    I joined a few of them and I am working through them (one at a time) with the aim of completing all of them by Dec 31st.

    My progress:

    NameDistance% Complete
    English Channel Crossing33.8km100%
    Hadrian’s Wall144.8km100%
    Inca Trail42.2km100%
    Lands End – John O’Groats1744.2km57%
    The Grand Canyon450.6km0%
    Alps to Ocean (cross NZ)289.7km0%
    Great Ocean Road239.8km0%
    Route 663669.8km0%
    Appalachian Trail3167.6km0%
    Camino de Santiago (Spain+Portugal)773.90%

    I’ve received my first three medals and might post photos of them in the future, they’re surprisingly hefty but did take almost 2 months to arrive after I finished each “hike”.

    These virtual hikes have been fun, especially during prescribed periods of outdoor exercise during the peak of the pandemic – though the price (for the medals) is a bit on the steep side at $29.95US/£24.95 each.

  • virtual walk across canada brithikesontario
    Hiking,  Virtual Walk Across Canada

    Virtual Walk Across Canada Update 06

    I challenged myself to “virtually” walk across Canada during 2020 – I keep track of how far I walk every day and plot this against a map of Canada. Read more here.

    I didn’t do an update last week, so the progress I have made covers two weeks worth of distance. Also, going forward, I am only going to update my progress on this “Virtual Walk” every month. This is mainly because I hope to do some REAL hikes and better spend my time writing about those!

    In the last two weeks I walked 237km (118km a week, 17km per day). This is a little lower than I was doing because I’m walking a touch less at work, but is better than it would have been because I did some hiking of The Bruce Trail for fun one weekend.

    Here is a zoomed out view of my progress across Canada so far.

    I’m a few km east of Cranbrook, BC and by the next update I should be getting close to Calgary, Alberta.

  • virtual walk across canada brithikesontario
    Hiking,  Virtual Walk Across Canada

    Virtual Walk Across Canada Update 05

    I challenged myself to “virtually” walk across Canada during 2020 – I keep track of how far I walk every day and plot this against a map of Canada. Read more here.

    A second week in a row with better distance, I moved 122km (compared to 124km the previous week). Still a bit short of the 25km per day I need (I’m doing about 18km per day), but better than when I started.

    I got a little less walking in at work than the previous week, but did a quick 8km hike on Saturday afternoon to make up some of the gap.

    As you can see from the map, I’ve put some distance between myself and Vancouver and am now just about through The Rockies. I’m just past Skagit Valley Provincial Park. I’m roughly 1/4 of the way to Alberta and about 4% of the way across Canada.

  • virtual walk across canada brithikesontario
    Hiking,  Virtual Walk Across Canada

    Virtual Walk Across Canada Update 04

    I challenged myself to “virtually” walk across Canada during 2020 – I keep track of how far I walk every day and plot this against a map of Canada. Read more here.

    As anticipated, I walked a much greater distance this past week. I managed about 124km. Pretty good. That’s more in one week than I had done in the previous three combined. Although it’s about 18km per day average, which is less than the 25km per day average I need to make it across Canada in a year.

    As you can see from the map, I have bust it from the Abbotsford and Chilliwack area and am now a little south of a place called Hope. I’ve almost made it past The Rockies. I am now about 2% through the route having completed a total of 216km. I should reach Alberta sometime in late February.

  • virtual walk across canada brithikesontario
    Hiking,  Virtual Walk Across Canada

    Virtual Walk Across Canada Update 03

    I challenged myself to “virtually” walk across Canada during 2020 – I keep track of how far I walk every day and plot this against a map of Canada. Read more here.

    It is week three and I have had another fairly inactive week mainly due to some sedate activities at work and the rough snowy weather on the weekends. I’m confident that I’ll make a ton more progress starting with the next update, but until then, let’s just get this out of the way!

    I did just under 38km last week – well below target. I went to the gym a couple of times, else it would have been worse! Not sure if the gym will continue (I’m not a fully paid-up member), but I may not need it as my work is (normally) highly active.

    Anyway, as you can see from the map, I am about halfway between Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

    I don’t want to keep being negative, but this is definitely further behind than I had hoped… Maybe I will be able to catch up? The next update will give a good idea about that. Until then!

  • virtual walk across canada brithikesontario
    Hiking,  Virtual Walk Across Canada

    Virtual Walk Across Canada Update 02

    I challenged myself to “virtually” walk across Canada during 2020 – I keep track of how far I walk every day and plot this against a map of Canada. Read more here.

    In the last update, I had made it from Vancouver to Surrey – about 21km during a short week of 4 days, as the year began on a Wednesday. That’s about 5km per day instead of the 25km per day I need.

    This second update covers Jan 5th – Jan 11th. I managed 44km in 7 days, about 6km per day. Not really close to what I need and I’m falling behind. Maybe this will turn into a two-year challenge!

    The main challenge I have faced is that my assignment at work is a lot less physical than usual. Typically I would walk 20,000-30,000 steps per day, but I am working in a set area and doing only about 5,000 steps per day. That should change in a couple of weeks time. This week went a little better mainly because I have started to accompany a friend and old work colleague to the gym where we do some speed-walking, among other things. I’m going along on a free trial and trying to decide whether I will pay the typically expensive membership fee to keep going!

    Anyway, I have made it far enough to no longer be inside the “Metro Vancouver Area”, the border of which lies a little east of Langley City, BC. As you can see from the updated map below, I am just on the edge of Abbotsford. This will be my first city that isn’t part of the Metro Vancouver Area. The route I am taking is borrowed from a website that makes it easy to track my progress, but the route is a little odd and I cannot change it – so for the next little while it looks like I am walking through random forest! It means that I won’t hit another community until Keremeos, a little village in a valley with a population of 1,500.

  • virtual walk across canada brithikesontario
    Hiking,  Virtual Walk Across Canada

    Virtual Walk Across Canada Update 01

    I challenged myself to “virtually” walk across Canada during 2020 – I keep track of how far I walk every day and plot this against a map of Canada. Read more here.

    This first week is a partial week because January 1st fell on a Wednesday, so it is a 4-day-week. Even so, it hasn’t gone well so far. The route I planned is 8,871km and I would need around 25km a day to make it. Sadly, I came absolutely nowhere close to this. In fact, I only did 21km across 4 days. Eeek.

    map01

    As you can see from the map, I am still in the suburbs of Vancouver, not yet even into Surrey.

    My work usually involves a ton of walking but that hasn’t been the case lately. And I don’t expect much distance for the next couple of weeks, either. Oh dear! Maybe things will improve once the weather warms because I’m not getting out much in my spare time, either.

    It’s likely I might have to alter the route to make it more direct (there’s a couple of extra thousand extra KM on the route I mapped to visit Nova Scotia, for example). Either way, I need to pick it up before the challenge gets away from me. See below for the overview map.

  • virtual walk across canada brithikesontario
    Hiking,  Virtual Walk Across Canada

    Virtual Walk Across Canada

    It’s the start of a new year and a new decade today, Jan 1st 2020. I’m not usually one for new year’s resolutions, probably because I know that the things I ought to do around improving health, or not biting my nails, are destined to fail.

    But I am pretty good at walking more than the average person. It’s tough to find the time to take on challenges at particular places – I wanted to tackle The Bruce Trail, but work makes it tough to get out to the trail. I still intend to pick that up, eventually.

    In the meantime, I thought it might be cool to see if I could walk across Canada “virtually”. Obviously I don’t have a spare six months to do it in person, but I could take the distance I walk each day for all of 2020, and plot it on a map.

    The route I will take will not be a simple straight line, but will roughly follow the route of the Trans-Canada Highway. This adds a fairly significant distance, but is more realistic.

    a walk across canada map

    The route is 8,871km (5,512 miles) and I’ll start on the West coast in Vancouver, British Columbia. I will head East through The Rockies, into Calgary in the province of Alberta, Regina in Saskatchewan, Winnipeg in Manitoba and then into my home province of Ontario. Adding considerable distance, The Trans-Canada Highway heads south into Toronto before heading to the capital, Ottawa. Into Quebec next and Montreal and Quebec City. In New Brunswick I will visit Fredricton and Saint John. Adding a ton more distance, I will diverge from the Trans-Canada to cross The Bay of Fundy so that I can hit Nova Scotia which would otherwise be missed. I’ll swing through Halifax, then head back North through Truro. Back in New Brunswick I’ll follow Highway 11 until I’m back in Quebec. At Matane, I’ll cross the St Lawrence river and finally head back east for a long walk to the border with Newfoundland and Labrador. At Blanc-Sablon I will cross The Gulf of St Lawrence into Newfoundland at Sainte Barb. Via Highway 430, I’ll rejoin The Trans-Canada at Deer Lake to Gander, Conception Bay and finally St John’s.

    Walking aggressively across Canada via a more direct route (about 6100km) takes about 150 days. Driving non-stop takes about 160 hours (7 days).

    I will try to do it in 366 days (it is a leap year). I will need to walk an average of about 25km every day, which I think will be tough, especially if I am sick at any point. My fitbit will log my steps which I will use to plot my progress and I’ll try to update about once per week.

    Updates: