Calories Burned Hiking Calculator

calories burned hiking

The most important part of choosing any exercise routine for weight loss is making sure it’s something you can happily repeat routinely. So if you enjoy hiking and want to lose weight, carry on reading.

Calories burned hiking calculator

This calculator gives your a simple way to estimate the calories you burned on your hike based on average metabolic rates.

  1. Enter your weight
  2. Enter the weight of any backpack you wore (enter 0 if you didn’t carry a backpack)
  3. Enter how long you hiked for
  4. Enter the distance you hiked (the calculator uses your time and distance to work out the speed)
  5. Select the type of hike:
    • relatively flat cross country
    • combination of uphill and downhill
    • all uphill
    • all downhill
  6. If hills are involved, choose the approximate avg incline

The calculator will then use all of these factors to estimate your calories burned.

If you’re looking for something more relevant for level firm surface walking, use the calories burned walking calculator.

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Seven calories burned hiking questions answered

Answers to top questions about burning calories while hiking…

A leisurely hike will burn between 300 – 600 calories per hour, depending on your weight, backpack, speed and terrain.

The highest impacting factors for calorie burn are:

  • Your Weight
  • The weight of any backpack you carry
  • How long you’re hiking for
  • The distance you hike
  • The speed of your hike
  • The terrain you hike (cross country, uphill, downhill etc)
  • How steep the hills are

A 150 pound person with no backpack hiking for 60 mins at 2.5 miles per hour cross country will burn: 351 calories.

The same person with a 20lb backpack on hiking at for 60 mins at speed of 3 miles and up up and down hills of 4% incline will burn: 464 calories.

Is hiking a good way to lose weight? In a word…..yes!!

Hiking is a great way to lose weight.

Do you enjoy getting out on hiking trails? Do you have ready access to some good trekking paths? Hiking is an ideal way to burn extra calories and lose weight.

To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat.

The key to any exercise routine is to find something you enjoy doing and can stick to.

hiking weight loss

Establish yourself a regular routine of hiking several times a week. And reduce your calorie intake and you’ll soon start to see the inches drop off.

If you weigh around 200 lbs, a 90 minute hike over small hills, with a 10 lb backpack will burn over 700 calories.

Increase the incline of those hills and that calorie burn will be closer to 900 calories.

To lose a pound of weight you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you eat.

Reduce your current calorie intake by 250 calories per day.

For example drop two cans of soda and do 3 hours of easy paced hiking a week. You can expect to drop at least a pound of fat every week.

Use the calories burned hiking calculator above to get an estimate of your calorie burn.

Hiking burns a lot more calories than walking.

If you goal is to lose weight, a cross terrain hike will beat a walk around the block every day. To understand more of the difference see hiking vs walking.

Let’s look at a couple of examples:

calories burned hiking vs walking

If you weigh 175 lbs and walk for 2 hours at a normal pace, you’ll burn around 580 calories.

If you were to spend those 2 hours doing a hilly hike, while carrying a 30 lb backpack, you’d burn around 1,120 calories.

That’s 540 calories more!

If you weight 220 lbs and walk for 2 hours at a normal pace, you’ll burn around 730 calories.

Instead if you spend those 2 hours doing a hilly hike, with a 40 lb backpack, you’ll burn around 1,420 calories.

That’s 690 calories more!

Whatever your weight, hiking instead of walking, will burn up to twice as many calories.

The weight of your backpack makes a big difference. Every 1 lb of backpack weight increases calorie burn by around 5 calories per 2 hour hike.

Your backpack weight should not exceed 20% of your body weight. So a 200 lb person should not exceed a backpack weight of 40 lbs. A 150 lb person, should not have a backpack bigger than 30 lbs.

Here some examples of the approximate calories burned for walking a mile up hill. Each example is for hiking 1 mile up hill at the same speed.


What varies in each example is the person’s weight, the weight of the backpack and the hill incline.

150 lb person

  • no backpack, 1 mile up gentle incline hill: 175 calories
  • 20 lb backpack: 1 mile up gentle hill: 200 calories
  • 20 lb backpack: 1 mile up medium incline hill: 235 calories
  • 20 lb backpack: 1 mile up steep incline hill: 300 calories

200 lb person

  • no backpack, 1 mile up gentle incline hill: 230 calories
  • 20 lb backpack: 1 mile up gentle hill: 255 calories
  • 20 lb backpack: 1 mile up medium incline hill: 305 calories
  • 20 lb backpack: 1 mile up steep incline hill: 390 calories
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To get an estimate of the calories you would burn walking a mile up hill use the calories burned hiking calculator.

“All adults should avoid inactivity. Some physical activity is better than none, and adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits.

For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.

Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and preferably, it should be spread throughout the week.

For additional and more extensive health benefits, adults should increase their aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.

Additional health benefits are gained by engaging in physical activity beyond this amount.”

Moderate-intensity physical activity is something that raises your heart rate to around 50% of the maximum. Brisk walking is an example of moderate-intensity physical activity.

Vigorous-intensity physical activity is something that raises your heart rate to 70% – 80% of the maximum. Hiking up hill is an example of Vigorous-intensity physical activity.

If you really want to get the maximum effect from hiking following this general approach.

Aim to keep your heart rate as high as possible for as long as possible.

  1. Warm up gently – to make sure you don’t injure yourself
  2. Go hard uphill at a fast pace – this drives your heart rate up
  3. Maintain a steady state – doesn’t require as much effort but keeps you heart rate high

The average person takes 2,000 steps per mile, however your actual steps per mile will vary based on various factors, the most important of which being your height.

Use our calculator to get a personal estimate of how many steps in a mile.

Calories Burned Hiking Calculator

How many calories do you burn hiking cross country, uphill and downhill?

Last Updated on July 8, 2022

Hiking Calories Burned Calculator

Hiking Calories Burned Calculator

Learn the number of calories burned from hiking

Hiking Hours

Calories Burned with Outdoor Activities (weight: 175 lbs)

What is The Calories Burned Hiking Calculator and How Does It Work?

This calculator approximates the number of calories that someone burns from hiking.

How does it do that?

Firstly, the calculator determines your metabolic rate or metabolism according to your weight.

What does that mean? Keep reading for a more detailed explanation.

If you take two people, one weighs 150 lbs and the other weighs 210 lbs, the person who weighs less will burn fewer calories than the heavier individual during the same exact workout.

Why is that?

A calorie is a unit of energy and a heavier person requires more energy to move their bodies or to perform activities.

Think of it like how a larger vehicle typically uses up more fuel than a smaller one. Weight affects fuel consumption (the amount of energy used) .

But this also means that the heavier person expends more calories in a rested (non-exercising) state. This is also known as metabolic rate or metabolism.

The calculator uses a formula to approximate resting calories burned and then it factors in the duration and activity intensity to guesstimate calories burned.

How To Use The Calories Burned Hiking Calculator

The calories burned hiking calculator is rather simple, and straightforward.

To ensure an easy experience for you, we’ve included step-by-step instructions in detail below.

Step 1 : Choose your preferred unit of measurement: Imperial (lbs, hours, and minutes) or metric (kilograms, hours, and minutes).

Step 2 : Enter your weight.

Step 3: Enter the backpack weight. If not carrying extra weight during your hike, put 0.

Step 4: Type in the distance.

Step 5 : Enter the number of hiking hours (.e.g, 1, 2, 3, etc).

Note: In less than an hour, put 0.

Step 4 : Enter the number of hiking minutes. If not applicable, put 0.

Note: Because there are 60 minutes in an hour, the max number of minutes that you can enter is 59.

Step 5 : Select the type of hike. Tip: Click directly on the text (e.g., cross country) and not the empty gray circle. This will ensure it is selected.

Note: If selecting uphill and/or downhill, you also have the option to choose the incline level displayed in a percentage range (e.g, 1-5%, 5-10%, or more than 10%).

Step 6 : Press Calculate !

How Many Calories Can I Burn Hiking?

Hikers Walking

The number of calories that you can burn from activity depends on a few different factors such as your weight, exercise intensity, and duration, or how long you perform the activity. Therefore, this can highly vary.

But this calculator does most of the guesswork. You punch in the necessary details and it’ll give you a close estimate of calories burned hiking.

However, we’ve provided a few examples of how our calculator will estimate calories burned.

According to the calories burned hiking tool, a 150 lb person hiking 2 miles cross country (flat level) in 20 minutes while wearing a 10 lb backpack will burn 177 calories .

The same person will expend about 208 calories hiking uphill and downhill.

But let’s say this same person straps on a 20 lb backpack with everything else staying the same. The calculator estimates 188 calories burned.

But how many more calories can someone burn walking uphill, downhill, or both?

Using the same example individual from before who’s wearing a 10 lb backpack, an uphill trek at 5-10% incline would burn 319 calories, downhill expends about 177 calories, and a trip uphill and downhill will cost you about 248 calories.

Less incline burns fewer calories and more incline burns more calories.

How many calories you can burn hiking or doing any physical activity is dependent on several factors.

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While it’s not so easy to precisely estimate calories burned from movement, our calculator is designed to provide a reasonable estimate of energy expenditure.

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Can Hiking Help Me To Lose A Lot of Weight?

Hiking can be a very challenging activity and as a result, it can help to burn lots of calories which is an essential component of the weight loss process.

But how much weight you lose really and truly depends on your overall habits and approach to your goals.

As long as you create a calorie deficit , and do it the healthy and proper way, you can lose weight.

If you’re hiking and/or doing other forms of physical activity in an effort to lose weight, you want to determine your Maintenance calories, and then reduce your calorie intake, exercise more, or do a combination of the two.

Use our weight loss calculator to determine the number of calories you should be consuming.

If you also do resistance training and want to maximize muscle gain and muscle maintenance as you knock off the body fat, our macronutrient calculator is a very useful tool.

It’ll recommend an ideal protein, carbohydrates, and fat intake for you.

Fitness Female Weightloss

How Many Calories Does Hiking Burn Compared To Other Forms of Cardio?

There are many different variables that determine the number of calories burned between the different forms of cardio activity. Weight, intensity/pace, and duration are the biggest factors. Although, environment, hormones, and genetics also play a role too. But there are no simple ways to measure these.

Therefore, we stick with the basic details that contribute most to the approximation.

If you’d like to compare estimates of calories burned during various activities, we offer a free calculator that includes a database of over 250 different exercises and activities.

Is Hiking A Good Activity For Overweight People?

Let us preface this section by saying that the term overweight applies to people who have both high and low body fat.

That’s because even if someone has a healthy body fat percentage, they may have a naturally bigger build/frame and/or more muscle mass than someone else of the same weight but who has more body fat.

But they would still be considered overweight according to body mass index (BMI) calculations.

Hiking is a great option for those who are overweight because it’s very low-impact, unlike running and jogging. These activities can be a lot on the joints especially for heavier individuals.

Hiking For Overweight

But while anyone can go for a hike to burn calories, improve their health and fitness, enjoy the outdoors, or all of the above, as with any form of exercise, it’s important to know your capabilities.

If you’ve never hiked, are just starting out, and/or are out of shape and carry extra body fat, it’s probably a good idea to start small and hike a short distance cross country or slightly uphill/downhill.

On the other hand, someone who is in great shape can hike for longer distances and up/down steeper areas.

Additionally, it’s not recommended that someone out of shape climb or overweight climb long distances on steep surfaces. This too can cause a lot of unnecessary stress on the joints.

Should I Wear A Backpack When Hiking?

Do you want to bring along some items such as snacks, hydration, first aid, and whatever else people take with them? In that case, it’s probably a good idea.

Some people carry a few smaller and lightweight options while others prefer to bring more things on their adventure.

On the other hand, many wear heavier backpacks because it simply makes the hike more challenging and it’s a great workout.

The most important thing is to wear a backpack that you can safely and comfortably carry around on your back. You shouldn’t be straining or leaning forward to counterbalance the weight of your belongings.

A common backpacking pack weight recommendation is 20 percent or less of body weight. So, for example, if you weigh 125 lbs, your backpack should not exceed 25 lbs.

The recommendation for a day hiking pack is about 10 percent. So if you weigh 160, the pack should not exceed 16 lbs.

Also be sure to try out our other calories burned calculators below.

Take A Hike… and Track Your Calories Burned!

The calories burned hiking calculator is a handy tool that anyone can use to measure their calorie expenditure from hiking activities.

It’s simple to use and you can use the results to help with your weight loss, weight maintenance, or even weight/muscle gain journey.

How Many Calories Do You Burn Hiking?

There’s a reason why many outdoor enthusiasts are generally fit. The combination of walking, carrying gears and backpacks, and even climbing promotes fitness and health. Backpackers who love going on long hikes are also known to have great stamina.

calories hiking burn

But how many calories do you burn hiking? In this article, we will explore the health benefits that you enjoy while doing outdoor activities. We will also identify common factors that help you burn more calories.

How Many Calories Do You Burn Hiking?

Hiking is not as intense compared to other outdoor activities such as running or swimming. However, the slow and steady rate that you take while hiking means you can last much longer. On the other hand, running takes about an hour or two.

Even a day of hiking on an easy trail will burn more than running. Hours on your feet can add to the total calories burned. While running burns more calories per hour, hiking is a much more leisurely activity, which means you can last for a few hours up to a day.

For example, a person that weighs around 160 pounds burns around 850 calories when running at 8 miles per hour. On the other hand, if the same person goes on a hike, he would burn around 500 calories per hour. Spending three hours on a trail would burn around 1500 calories.

Here’s an example of calories burned by a male and female with typical weights during a hike. We assume that they are not carrying any gears and the trail is fairly easy with minimal elevation. Additionally, we assume a moderate pace of 4 miles per hour:

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Additionally, the calories you burn will depend on various factors. The length of your hike, your weight, the terrain, and the weight of your backpack contributes to the overall calorie burn.

calories hiking burn desert

Factors That Contribute To The Overall Calorie Burn During Hiking

Hiking is one of the most versatile activities that you can do to lose weight. Aside from the opportunity to explore and travel, you can burn more calories as you adjust various aspects of your hiking. Of course, the more you hike, the more calories you burn. It is especially true if you go on extended hiking trips.

1. Body Weight and Fitness

Just like any physical activity, the body weight of a person plays a significant factor in the calories burned. A higher body weight means a person needs to work harder for any activities.

For example, a person who weighs around 130 pounds will burn up to 370 calories per hour of hiking. On the other hand, someone who is about 200 pounds can burn up to 570 calories with the same activity.

Additionally, your fitness level also determines how long you can hike. While fit people burn fewer calories during hikes, that just means the body is adjusting to such physical activity. It is a great opportunity to go on longer hikes or take on more challenging terrains.

2. Length of Hiking

A study in PLOS One showed that hours of outdoor activities would improve your overall mood better than physical activities indoors. The research showed that people who spend a lot of time mountain hiking for hours showed more increase in elation and calmness. This also helped decrease anxiety and fatigue.

Because it improves one’s overall mood, many people are likely to spend more time doing outdoor activities. Hiking is qualified as moderate physical activity. That means, walking leisurely for 10 miles can burn about 900 if you weigh around 180 pounds. You will also burn more calories if you are carrying gears or walking much faster.

calories hiking burn snow winter

3. Gears and Backpack

Much similar to your body weight, the extra weight that you are carrying while on a hike will contribute to how many calories you burn. You will have to do more work and use more calories if you are carrying a heavy backpack.

For example, a typical backpack with essential supplies would weigh around 40 pounds. This will increase the calorie burn to up to 750 calories for a male hiker and around 650 for a female hiker assuming a fairly challenging trail.

Longer hikes will require more gear and supplies. Water will probably be the heaviest supply to pack. As such, extended hikes with a fully packed backpack will burn more calories. Consequently, it is important to bring along the right backpack to help you manage the weight of your supplies and gear.

4. Type of Terrain

A hiking trip on a mountain will definitely burn more calories than a leisurely walk on the flats. Just like any exercise, the more you increase the intensity of the physical activity, the more you will expend energy.

If you are looking to lose more weight during your hikes, try a rugged trail with significant elevation. You will use around 28 percent more energy on uneven terrains such as steep hills or a forest trail. Your leg muscles, especially your hips and knees, will be harder when you walk on uneven ground.

For instance, hiking on a moderate elevation will burn about 600 calories per hour for a hiker with a weight of 185 pounds. The calories burned will further increase to up to 750 when the same hiker navigates a steep uphill terrain.

calories hiking burn terrain

5. Intensity of Hike

Increasing your general pace during the hike can also contribute to the total calories burned. If you are able to maintain a vigorous pace throughout your hike, your body increases its metabolism and even keeps burning calories 14 hours after the hike.

For example, if you are about 165 pounds, walking at a speed of 2 mph will burn around 185 calories per hour. If you go faster to about 3.5 miles per hour, you will increase the calories burned to up to 275.

Of course, the terrain and the pack that you are carrying will affect your speed. A general flat terrain is much easier to hike. You can reach around 4 miles an hour on average on this trail. However, an uphill hike may reduce your speed down to about one mile per hour. However, take note that you will be working harder on this trail, so you have the opportunity to burn as many calories (or more) even at a reduced speed.


calories hiking burn field

The number of calories burned during your trip will depend heavily on your weight, fitness level, and the intensity of your activities. Additionally, if you will be covering more miles in one hike, then you have the opportunity to burn more calories. Furthermore, the extra weight that you are carrying and the terrain will have an effect on how much energy your body will use.

Aside from burning calories, hiking, or any outdoor activities will provide great benefits to your overall mental health. Exploring nature will also take your mind off your tiredness, which can encourage you to challenge yourself further.

On the same note, you should always come prepared when taking on challenging trails. Make sure that you have all the gear, such as a multitool. You may also want to bring along a backpacking tent that best fits your needs during the trip.




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