Any group of vehicles traveling together can go as fast and as far in one day as the slowest member, unless they want to stop being a group. If the cart can cover ten miles in a day, that's how much the caravan as a whole can cover, unless they're ok with leaving the cart behind — further behind every day.
In general, a team of donkeys pulling a light cart can trot at 8-10 mph for a while (how long depends on the load, the harness and the terrain), but a loaded pack donkey would be both slower, and unable to keep up a trot for as long. Figure between 4-5 mph as an average.
edited 21st Feb '13 4:58:32 PM by Madrugada
My caravan has no cart in it, just the six horsemen and two loaded donkeys.
Ok, so figure 4-5 miles an hour for 6 to 7 hours during each day. Horses and donkeys can't be pushed for 10 or twelve hours a day — they need time to rest, and eat during the day, as well as the normal time that the people would need to set up and break down camp, eat, and sleep everyday.
I'd say figuring 25 miles a day would be about right.
Drop that to 10-15 a day if the load is heavy or it's bad terrain (hilly, marsh, off-road).
True. And two pack donkeys carrying the supplies for six riders would be fairly heavily loaded.
Still seems a little high to me. I mean, 7-10 mph is stagecoach speed, a loaded donkey cart should already be quite a bit slower, without the cart even more so.
If a stagecoach is going 7-10mph, then assuming they travel for 10 hours a day, the stagecoach will travel 70-100 miles in one day. Whereas the numbers given for the pack donkeys are 25 miles in one day for good terrain/medium load, or even less for bad terrain or heavy load.
That's top speed, not average. 70 miles in a day is a good haul for a stagecoach, not a slow day. Now consider the comparatively lightweight and well-built (springs make a huge difference) coach compared to single heavily laden donkey. I'd say closer to 15 miles a day than 25.
Stagecoaches also had teams of between 4 and 8 horses, that were changed out for fresh ones every couple of hours. You don't have that option with a caravan like the OP is talking about.
Going twenty five miles a day seems kind of high. At that speed you could make it across the entire world in three years, assuming you were able to go in a completely straight path, have smooth terrain and can cross water without slowing down.
I mean, with those same conditions it takes a car seventeen days to cross the Earth and a commercial jet three right? If pack animals could move twenty five miles a day unobstructed it should have only taken a mere twenty thousand years for Mesopotamian to spread throughout the entire world. Huh, that's as old as the entirety of the homosapien species before factoring mountains, desert, winter and rivers in? Twenty five sounds about right then.
20+ miles is not that hard to believe. Infantry can cover 15-20 miles inside of a day entirely on foot over anything short of mountain, swamps, highland, or other complicated terrain features. terrain. That is without the aide of pack animals or mounts. And that also includes stops for the people to change socks, refill water, get their bearings, adjust packs etc.
Before I forget traveling along roads increases travel speed as they are obviously built to improve travel. Cross country has quite a few variable including conditioning, health, and equipment used.
edited 27th Feb '13 6:34:56 PM by TuefelHundenIV
What, you think the donkeys are going to change your socks for you?
People with pack animals are slower than people without pack animals. You don't bring them along because of speed, you bring them along because they can carry great weight (although over very long distances, they can carry enough provisions so you don't need to forage, effectively increasing speed again). And they slow you down even beyond their mere walking speed, they need to be fed and watered every evening and if you're not even using a cart you need to unload them before night and load up in the morning. (a big reason for using carts is that you can keep the cargo in place permanently, saving lots of time and work even though they go slower)
Horses (and donkeys) aren't just motorbikes that go neigh.
edited 1st Mar '13 12:34:11 PM by McKitten
How long are they going to travel, where are they going, and how much gear are the riders carrying for themselves? Even with the specific pack donkeys, there's no way two of them would be able to carry enough supplies for SIX PEOPLE. What are the donkeys carrying and why (a load's literal size is usually why you'd need a pack animal)? What would the horses be able to carry in addition to their riders?
Hell, what kind of horses ARE they? War horses, cart horses, noble/pleasure-riding horses? Different horses have different personalities and capabilities. A war horse would be ridiculously stronger than a pleasure-riding horse, but that's mostly so it can kill things. A pleasure-riding horse wouldn't be too strong, but it would be more WILLING to carry loads just because most riding horses are nicer than most war-horses.
edited 1st Apr '13 1:11:49 PM by Sharysa
How fast can a caravan consisting of six persons on horses with two donkeys in tow travel? I understand that a cart and horse can to about ten miles day, but I have a feeling that a caravan is different.