Calories Burned Hiking Calculator
Hiking calories burned per mile and for 5 miles
Hiking outdoors refreshes and exercises both your body and your mind in many ways. Look around for pleasing views, fresh air, the sounds and smells of nature. Hiking has several other perks, besides being an often adventurous experience to going back to nature. It is one of the best cardiovascular workouts that you could have!
Hiking can definitely help you break out a sweat! The number of calories is similar to running, and thus the calories burnt depends a lot on the distance, the speed, the weight of the backpack and the terrain for the hike. Hikers might encounter many types of terrain:
hard off-road, single path, light off-road, mountain gravel road, gravel roads, grasslands, meadows, alpine relief and country road, etc.
An average person weighing 180 pounds can cover 1 mile within 30 minutes on cross-country terrain (mixed uphill, downhill and flat). Thus, within 30 minutes, they can easily burn up to 257 calories! A fifteen-mile hike can take up to an entire day’s worth of trekking (anywhere between 12-14 hours with resting periods), and thus a person can burn up to 3500 calories. However, this is best for advanced or experienced hikers only. Beginner hikers are not recommended for such long hikes.
Finally, calories burnt can also increase as one carries a backpack. This adds additional weight being carried by the body, thus increasing the number of calories burnt.
Calories burned through hiking per hour and 2 hours
Like mentioned before, calories burnt per hour for hiking depends a lot on distance, speed, terrain, and the additional weight being carried. For an average person weighing 180 pounds hiking across cross-country with no backpack, can expect to burn about 358 calories an hour. This is assuming that they hike for 2 miles within an hour. Similarly, for them, within 2 hours, they can burn about 717 calories. This is, of course, a simple estimation, as the real amount depends a lot on the assumptions fulfilled.
Estimate your physical fitness level before hiking
According to this study, a 3% slope on the treadmill best reflects the outdoor walking energy expenditure.
In order to stay safe while hiking, hikers need to have adequate physical fitness level. It’s a good idea to estimate the physical fitness level while walking on a treadmill (set to 3 percent).
Hiking vs. Running – which one’s better for weight loss?
Both of these aerobic exercises are very effective cardiovascular workouts. They increase your heart rate. Hiking does it at a moderate intensity, while running is more of high-intensity cardiovascular activity. Compared to hiking across flat terrain, running has better chances of spiking your heart rate and resulting in better weight loss. Rather, try to look for rough and uphill terrains to hike on. This will definitely help you lose weight much faster. Hilly and rugged trails are always preferable.
Running faster definitely makes your body shed more calories. It is also an objectively better cardiovascular workout. This is especially true if you have a tendency to push your limits when it comes to exercising. However, hiking could also protect you from injuries that are common to runners. Think of it as a comparatively low-impact way of losing weight. (Not to mention, most people consider hiking in the scenic outdoors a lot more intriguing and adventurous than running!)
How does Hiking help burn out calories?
As I have already mentioned, if you weigh 125 pounds, and hike for 30 minutes across the countryside, you will burn 180 calories. That is a higher calorie burn than a person who weighs the same but chooses to walk as a form of physical exercise.
Additionally, hiking burns 266 calories for people who weigh 155 pounds. This can go up to 283 calories for someone who weighs 185 pounds.
What are some ways I can build my stamina for hiking?
You can try running/walking regularly, to build endurance, when not on the trail. You could even start weight training. Strength plays a very important role in ensuring your endurance in long hikes. Focus on your core and legs while training to go into the trail. Squats, deadlifts, push-ups and kettlebell exercises are all very suitable options that you can try out.
It is very important to work on your breathing technique. Breathing exercises will help strengthen your lungs and gain more control over your breath – which will energise you throughout your hike!
Can Hiking help me be more social?
Yes, definitely! Hiking can be a zesty group activity, especially if you live in an urban area. You might want to join your friends for an adventurous weekend respite, to hike to a place with a great mountain-top view! It lets you bond with your friends and family in a very different way than what we are normally used to. You get to socialise in a more intimate, hands-on way. Challenges and adventures only work to bring you even closer to each other, as you work in tandem to come up with solutions.
As shown in a survey, hiking groups could provide an alternative or ancillary treatment options and help speed their recovery for middle-aged and older adults participating.
Is hiking a full-body workout?
Hiking is definitely a full-body workout if done cleverly. Although it is mostly your legs that are exercised, a lot of hikers use hiking or trekking poles to increase their agility and speed on the trail (comes in handy as a weapon of defence too!) Your arms definitely get significantly exercised with these poles. You can use these to deftly shift a part of your body weight to your arms while going uphill.
What gear will I need to get started?
This is one of the most exciting parts of your preparation to go on a hike!
- Hiking boots or shoes
First of all, you will need good quality hiking boots or shoes. Don’t shy away from investing well here. Good boots protect your feet from a variety of injury and danger, including snake bites! Make sure your feet are well covered at all times.
A study by Dr. Sarah Breen showed that use of either shoe or boot may not result in an increased risk of injury in actual hiking, therefore leaving the choice of footwear up to the hiker’s personal preference.
But A study recently published in Nature Research revealed that wearing shoes with active insoles can help to improve balancing ability after the fatigue caused even for young healthy adults.
- Wearing technical socks
A study published in MDPI journals revealed that hikers who had not worn technical socks had a significantly higher rate of suffering a foot injury during Low-Difficulty, Short Hikes, compared to those wearing technical socks. Additionally, the Probability of foot injury occurs more frequently in women than in men in short hiking.
- Using hiking sticks
The feeling of fatigue also was significantly lower for those using hiking sticks. Using a pole will save physical strength and energy during steep uphill walking.
You will need a moderate-sized, comfortable backpack to carry your things in. Plus points if it is weighty. This will make sure it builds up your back strength. Wearing a Backpack Hip Strap can Reduce Fatigue Level and the energy while hiking and carrying a loaded backpack.
- Food, water, and a warmer layer
You will need dry food, water, and a warmer layer in case it gets chilly.
- A first aid kit
A first aid kit is a must while hiking.
- Umbrella, or a raincoat
You will need an umbrella, or a raincoat, depending on weather conditions.
Keep your camera close to capture some breathtaking views you will come across.
- Sunhat and sunblock
Carry a sunhat and sunblock with high SPF. According to this study, the Mean daily UV exposure of the mountaineers exceeded 5 SED. This means that if you are the non‐sun‐adapted skin type III and you don’t use sunscreen products, skin erythema may be caused.
It is a wise choice to use high protection sunscreens and protective clothing which can make you avoid high doses of solar radiation during the heat of the day.
Definitely carry a flashlight, with extra batteries.
- Dress comfortably
In the hot season, you have to pay attention to thermal balance to prevent sunstroke.
You can get the data including reflectance, transmittance, and absorptance obtained for a different type of clothing materials from the chart below. The reflectance is the ability of a material to reflect solar energy from its surface back into the atmosphere; Wearing a white colour clothing will help you reflect more heat in hot days so as to regulate body temperature.
According to the study, The resulting absorptance of energy was the highest for the black colour and smaller (in descending order of absorptance) for red, blue, green, yellow, and white colors.
|Sports field||Reflectance (%)|
|Athletic field (Red tartan turf)||15.9|
|Football field (Grass)||17.9|
|Clothing colour||Reflectance (%)||Transmittance (%)||Absorptance (%)|
- Cell phone
And finally, do not forget your cell phone!
Preferably get a hiking partner, or go in a group, especially if you are a beginner. Doing it as a team can be an especially incredible experience, and a lot safer too, of course.
settings Open AccessArticle Importance of Sock Type in the Development of Foot Lesions on Low-Difficulty, Short Hikes.[mdpi]
Workload Comparison Between Hiking and Indoor Physical Activity Fattorini, Luigi; Pittiglio, Giancarlo; Federico, Bruno; Pallicca, Anastasia; Bernardi, Marco; Rodio, Angelo.[lww]
Active Aging: Hiking, Health, and Healing Rodney Steadman, Candace I. J. Nykiforuk, Helen Vallianatos.[pitt.edu]
THE EFFECTS OF SHOE TYPE ON BIOMECHANICAL AND PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES TO STEPPING AND INCLINED WALKING.[nmu.edu]
Shoes with active insoles miti ate declines in balance after fatigue
Jeongin Moon, Prabhat Pathak, Sudeok Kim, Se-gon Roh, Changhyun Roh, Youngbo Shim & Jooeun Ahn.[nature.com]
Do poles save energy during steep uphill walking? Nicola Giovanelli, Michele Sulli, Rodger Kram & Stefano Lazzer European Journal of Applied Physiology volume 119, pages1557–1563(2019).[springer]
Ultraviolet exposure for different outdoor sports in Valencia, Spain
María-Antonia Serrano 1, Javier Cañada, Juan Carlos Moreno.[PMID]