This is the biggest trick to covering big miles. This allows you to use more energy covering distance as opposed to supporting the weight on your back. Take a look at your gear and see where you can slash the weight. You will be able to walk farther, faster, and be less tired at the end of the day.
Switch to Trail Runners or Multi Sport Shoes
Wear lighter weight shoes. Every pound on your feet is equivalent to carrying 5 extra pounds in your pack. If you can switch from heavy leather boots to lighterweight mids or even trail runners, you can add about a 1/2 mile per hour to your pace. That adds up over an 8 or 10 hour hiking day.
Here are some shoes we recommend:
New Balance 915
Early to Bed, Early to Rise
To prepare for a big mile day, get to bed early and try and wake up a little earlier too. Don't waste a lot of time at camp in the morning. Dry off your stuff, pack it up and go. For breakfast, try a Cliff Bar or something similar - you can eat it on the go. Waking up earlier gives you more daylight, which can be very helpful in fall or winter when there are fewer hours of daylight.
Shed the Water Weight
Water is will be the heaviest thing in your backpack, if you let it be. Water weighs slightly more than 2.2 pounds per liter. I typically start of with 2 liters at a time. Depending on the availability, you can carry more or less. You hiked that filter in for a reason, USE IT!
Shorter, Less Frequent Breaks
When you're breaking, you're not covering any ground. It is important you take breaks, but not several breaks that last nearly an hour. Remember, this isn't a sprint. Enjoy nature and the beauty she provides. Maintain a steady pace that's slow to moderate throughout the day and don’t stop for a lot of breaks. Get a backpack with big hip belt and side pockets that you can reach into while you are walking, so you can drink water and eat snacks without stopping. I can’t emphasize this enough, keeping a steady pace will make the miles fly by.
Hiking with trekking poles has many benefits including better balance and reduced stress on your knees and leg joints. They can help you walk faster if you develop a steady rhythm of swinging them forward with your arms, like a drumbeat. It can get a bit hypnotic (which can be quite pleasant), and helps you keep to the steady pace required to pile on the miles. Some tent setups utilize these as tent poles. Anything multipurpose on the trail is good. It means you're saving weight!
Know What Lies Ahead
Study your map and make all the right preparations before your trip. You can really motivate yourself by planning your route and mileage goals in advance. There’s a big mental and motivational component to keeping on a schedule if you have to do a long day and keeping on top of your segment times can be helpful to keep your goal in sight.