Story: Hikeology

Rules and Empirical formulas derived by Radonek
with some expertise contribution made by Mr.Lee and Martin

Rule #1: When we make a short-cut, it will be farther, harder and more challenging than the "normal way". Otherwise - why to cut?!?!

Rule #2: Experience does not have to be positive. But it has to be strong

Rule #3: The hike will always take more time

Mr. Lee announces that based on his experience we have only 2 hours to go. "Narod" is happy, however the reality is slightly different because the estimated duration of any hike is directly proportional to the numbers talking part. Our research group (consisting of Radan, Martin, Henk, and Olga) developed the following empirical formula for adjusting the duration of the hike:

Orig_hrs + [Orig_Hikers * (Swamps + Rivers) * Time_for_crossing] ^(L) + Weather_factor


Orig_hrs original announced time, "ideal"; "gold standard"
Orig_Hikers original number of hikers
Swamps number of swamps to be crossed; self explanatory
Rivers number of rivers to be crossed; self explanatory
Time_for_crossing average is 30 seconds (0.008333 hours) to cross both the swamp and the river
L lost hikers adjustment, calculated as follows L=1/(1+0.5 * Nr_Of_Lost_Hikers)
Weather_factor is a parameter that may reach the following values:

If the weather is partly cloudy; then 0 [hours]
If the weather is stormy and heavy rain; + 0.5 [hour] as people can't walk upright
If the weather is fine; + 1.0 [hour] as people want to sit and rest rather then walk
If the weather is cold or mostly cloudy; - 0.5 [hour] as people fear it will rain soon and run quickly

Practical application of this formula is demonstrated further:

If Mr. Lee hikes alone, the weather is partly cloudy, there are 3 swamps and 3 rivers to cross, and he doesn't lose himself, which means L=1/(1+0.5 * 0)=1, then we receive:

2 hrs + [1 * (3+3)*0.008333] ^1 = 2.05 hrs (as announced)

However, if under the same conditions the group consists of 35 hikers, then the situation changes dramatically:

2 hrs + [35 * (3+3)*0.008333] ^1 = 3.75 hrs (and the chances that the last bus/train to Moscow will be missed increase as well)

On the other hand, if the group start losing hikers, then the total time will decrease:

If Nr_Of_Lost_Hikers = 1, then 2 hrs + [35 * (3+3)*0.008333] ^0.667 = 2.42 hrs (much better)
If Nr_Of_Lost_Hikers = 2, then 2 hrs + [35 * (3+3)*0.008333] ^0.5 = 1.94 hrs (as announced)

If a large group of hikers is to ensure catching the last bus/train to Moscow, between 1 and 2 hikers must be lost.

The Father of the formula, Prof. Radonek Kocourek, believes that those 3 rules above will gradually evolve into 10 Commandments that ulimately become a base for a new science, Hikeology. Knowledge and acceptance of those Commandments, attested by own sweat, will be required for everyone who considers him/herself as a HIKER

Author: Radonek Kocourek

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