My recent ponderings to set up a walking/riding guiding company has found me trying to justify charging a certain amount for something people can do for free.
However, it's been pointed out to me that people WILL pay for a few hrs walking or riding. Local knowledge of trails and tales for some is better than going out and potentially not seeing/experiencing the best on offer, or a specific type of experience in the outdoors.
Fear of getting lost, de-motivates some people as does constant looking at maps, etc... A good guide will encourage and support others, offering rests and alterations during planned route to adapt to circumstances. Money in the right place will make an outdoors experience a positive thing, thus encouraging people to do it again, whether paying for it or doing it alone.
People buy, TV's, DVD's, electronic games, etc all to provide entertainment, and i today's society of waste and laziness £30 is nothing for a few hours enjoyment.
Some people happily spaff £30 on a night out, most of them regret the waste and lose the next day to a hang over.
I could go on..
Agreed 12.5 miles and 3hrs isn't a long distance or time for some, but for others it's a way of them getting out of what may be a enclosed life, devoid of little meaning, that 3 hrs maybe the best 3hrs of their year, a few hrs to change their lives...For them that's a boody good investment..