It’s often that long walk to the spring for water , or the blue blaze to the shelter, or the side trail to the privy several times. It might be a walk to a scenic view. It all adds up.
Our friends Jim and Ginny put it in perspective. Hiking out west, sometimes you have to walk an extra mile, or two, or four, to find the only water source for the next 20 miles. And so you do. At least on the AT, when water is scant, you normally only have to walk that ONE extra mile.