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How Much Calories Do You Burn While Hiking?

how much calories do you burn while hiking

Hiking is a form of total body workout that helps you maintain perfect physical and mental shape. The outdoor experience of a hike accelerates the burning of body fat to reduce body weight while you maintain a perfect mental state as you interact with nature. However, it is not entirely clear about the amount of calories burned during a long or short hike in different terrains. The body of each hiker burns calories differently depending on the underlying factors. This article explores hiking in different terrains affect the burning calories in the human body.

What are Calories?

A calorie is the unit measure of energy that is available in the food that you consume. It also refers to the quantity of energy needed to produce a gram of water by a single degree Celsius when burned. Manufacturers evaluate amounts of calories in food by separating amounts of fat, carbohydrate, and protein. The body naturally burns calories while at rest or during exercise.

Factors Determining the Quantity of Calories Burned During a Hike

The aspects highlighted below affect the rate at which your body burns calories during a hike.

Weight of Backpack

While climbing up- or down-hill, the backpack is an important accessory that carries your essentials and determines the rate of losing calories. The weight of your backpack highly determines the rate at which the body loses calories. To burn more calories, you should add more weight to your backpack but ensure that it falls within a safe bracket to keep your spine and back well healthy. A large backpack like The PANS can help your body to burn more calories as it lets you pack heavy.

Body Weight

the human body burns calories during a hike or any other form of physical activity depending on the weight of an individual. You might want to consider hiking more often, especially if you have a huge body to burn more calories. The rate at which the human body burns calories increases with the weight of an individual. Within an hour of hiking, an individual weighing 160 pounds burns 430-450 calories while a hiker weighing 200 pounds burns about 500 calories. You should consider your body weight before and after each hike.


A good terrain helps the body to burn more calories as you get to explore exclusive sceneries of your choosing. A perfect hike combines a journey through the different land terrains to exercise the body muscles thoroughly. A flat landscape prompts the body to burn low amounts of calories as the body moves with less resistance. On the other hand, hilly and uneven terrains prompt muscles of the body to work hard, making the body burn more calories. You need to select your terrain wisely to ensure that each hiking trip you make counts.

The Distance Covered

Most people consider that the length of a hike affects the rate at which your body burns calories. However, the distance covered is more important as it involves a vigorous exercise of the body organs. A short distance means that the body burns low amounts of calories, while a longer distance helps the body to burn more calories. As you commence hiking, you can start by covering short distances as you make the body more durable for longer hikes. Longer hikes can also help you to interact deeper with the environment and relieve stress.

Speed of Your Movement

The distance that you cover during a hike is determined by the speed at which you are moving. Speed is determined by the weight you have on, terrain, and personal preferences. You do not need to rush your hike to cover longer distances but instead use the opportunity to experience the beauty of nature at your pace. You can hike in the company of a crew to help you move at a pace that allows you to cover the most significant distance possible. You can also decide on the most appropriate speed for your movement before the hike.

Levels of Fitness

The hiking expeditions shall help you to attain fitness and wellness goals. During the initial days as the body builds fitness, you are bound to burn more calories compared to when you have achieved high levels of fitness. Hiking subjects the body to intense cardiovascular exercises that prompt the burning of more calories as you get more physically active. You can hike regularly as part of your fitness plan or use it as a supplementary of your workout program.


Hiking can help you to maintain a healthy body and mind using a few resources at your disposal as you get to work out while having fun in the environment. You can form a group with fellow hikers to help you maintain a healthy routine to aid in the development of your body. For the best result, you need to understand the factors that affect the rate of burning calories during a hike.

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