Calories Burned Hiking Calculator

Written by , BTech (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Sindhu Koganti BTech (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 6 years
Edited by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Payal Karnik MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 2.5 years

Hiking is a rewarding outdoor exercise that has grown popular across ages in recent times and is enjoyed as a solo as well as a group activity. People tend to go hiking for fitness, explore and unwind in nature and beauty, destress, and meet new people. It is an interesting activity that helps you enjoy rugged terrains, tests your physical strength, and can also help you lose weight gradually. If you want to know how to reap the benefits of hiking to shed those extra pounds, then this calculator can help you estimate calories burnt during hiking based on your body weight, backpack weight, time, and distance covered. Scroll down and take a look.



How Does The Hiking Calorie Calculator Work?

This calculator offers a simple estimate of the calories you burn during your hiking session based on average metabolic rates. You need to fill in a few parameters and the calculator will show an approximate result. Here is how you can use the calculator:

  1. Enter your weight (in lbs or kg).
  2. Enter the weight of the backpack you wore during your hiking session. Use the same measuring unit you used for your body weight. Enter 0 if you did not carry a backpack.
  3. Enter the duration of your hike (in minutes).
  4. Enter the distance you hiked in miles or kilometers (the hiking calculator uses your time and distance to work out the speed).
  5. Select the type of incline of your hike –
    • relatively flat cross country
    • combination of uphill and downhill
    • all uphill
    • all downhill
  6. If hills are involved, choose the approximate average incline

The hiking calorie calculator will then use all of these factors to estimate your calories burned. However, calculating the total calories burned during any activity is fairly easy with the simple formula explained in the next section.

Formula To Calculate Calories Burned

The Calories Burned Hiking calculator is based on the widely used basic calories burned formula, which is as follows –

Calories burned = MET × Weight (kg) × Time (hrs)

MET or Metabolic Equivalent refers to the amount of oxygen used to perform specific physical activities. The MET value is based on predetermined, approximate values that may vary from person to person and the specifics of the activity performed.

However, this formula can only give a basic estimate with only the weight to customize the results per individual. Whereas while hiking, other physical factors impact the body and they must be taken into account while estimating the calories burned. Therefore, our calculator considers these external physical factors to give you a better estimate. There are several other factors that may impact the total calories you burn while hiking.

Burning Calories While Hiking: Factors To Consider

The number of calories you burn while hiking generally depends on your body weight. The more you weigh, the more calories you may burn on a hike as your body is expending more energy to move. Besides body weight, here are some more factors that may affect your caloric burn rate:

  1. Fitness Level

It is harder to burn a significant amount of calories for a fitter person by merely hiking a few extra miles. As the human body builds tolerance and stamina against more physically challenging activities, simple activities like walking or hiking have a lesser impact on the calories burned.

  1. Speed And Intensity

Studies have found that walking at a fast pace may help burn more calories (1). Therefore, hiking at a faster pace for at least 45-50 minutes may also increase the number of calories you burn. This may also help boost your metabolism in turn increasing the rate of calorie burn.

  1. Backpack Weight

The weight of your hiking backpack may also contribute to the number of calories burned during the hike. It owes to the same principle that your body exerts more energy to move your body weight alongside any additional weight you might be carrying. A heavier backpack may raise your calorie burn count by roughly 200 calories or more per hour.

  1. Terrain

The diversity in the terrain can also impact the amount of calories you burn. The more challenging the terrain is with uneven, rocky ground and steep inclines, the harder it will make your muscles work, subsequently leading to loss of calories.

Hiking is an excellent form of cardio exercise. This outdoor activity is great for improving your overall fitness level and may also help you lose weight. The following sections answer a few common questions related to hiking and weight loss. Take a look.

Is Hiking A Good Exercise For Weight Loss?

Hiking is a powerful activity. It does not just engage your body, but also your mind. It can lower your risk of heart disease, strengthen your hamstring, and tone your hips and lower legs. The stimulation from your natural surroundings while you hike along dirt roads and breathe in fresh air can heal your mind. This way hiking can make your body stronger while also helping you lose weight without the process feeling like an exhausting chore. The following sections answer a few common questions you might have. Scroll down and take a look:

Can Hiking Help Reduce Belly Fat?

Yes. Hiking is a full-body exercise and can help reduce your overall body fat. It also requires your core engagement. This means it may help strengthen your stomach muscles and considerably burn the fat in your abdominal area.

Can Hiking Tone The Body?

Hiking is a powerful cardiovascular exercise to strengthen and tone muscles. It engages the body from head to toe and sculpts your muscles over time. It can also improve endurance and build stamina.

What Burns More Calories – Hiking Or Cycling?

A hiker may burn more calories per mile, but a biker gets to travel more miles at the same time. So an experienced cyclist may burn more calories than a fast-moving hiker.

Hiking Vs. Walking – Which One Is Better For Burning Calories?

Hiking may help you burn more calories than walking. The reasons lean towards psychological factors. A study found that hikers burn more calories than walkers or runners simply because they spend more time in the activity, enjoying the beauty of nature (2).

How Many Calories Do We Burn Walking A Mile Uphill?

Your weight and the distance covered are the biggest factors in determining how many calories you burn while walking. However, while walking uphill, your backpack weight (if you are carrying any) and your speed also contribute to the total calories burned. On average, a person weighing 130 lbs may burn up to 354 calories while doing cross-country hiking (3). In the next section, let’s take a look at some of the other benefits of walking uphill.

Benefits Of Walking Uphill

Walking uphill or on an incline on your treadmill makes you exert more energy and boosts your heart rate, thereby improving your performance. The following are a few more benefits of walking uphill –

  • Targets different leg muscles
  • Improves your metabolism
  • Increases exercise intensity
  • Uplifts and refreshes your mood and mind


Hiking is a great activity for overall physical and mental well-being and it can be beneficial in losing weight. However, do start slow if you are a beginner and gradually build the intensity as your body gets used to the exertion. The calculator helps you track the number of calories burned. It takes into account the backpack weight, duration of the hike, distance covered, type of hike, and incline of the terrain to give a closer estimate. However, note that the results from this calculator are not completely accurate as the physical fitness level, age, and gender of an individual may also impact the rate at which one burns calories. So, use it cautiously and always consult a doctor and fitness expert before taking up a new activity or exercise routine to avoid over-exertion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is hiking better than running?

It varies from person to person. Generally, running has the potential to burn more calories than hiking as it involves more vigorous cardio activity. Also, it is considered a high-intensity aerobic activity. However, people with specific physical health concerns may need low-impact exercises and hence running may not be an ideal activity for them.

Is it good to hike every day?

Yes. Hiking every day as an exercise, in moderation, is encouraged. Hiking helps strengthen muscles, lose weight, and also reduce stress (3).

How often should I hike to lose weight?

Regular hiking in moderation comes with many health benefits. However, if hiking is the only exercise you engage in, doing it at least 2-3 times a week for at least 30 minutes at a brisk pace may prove beneficial in losing weight. However, the frequency may vary depending on your fitness level, age, and other factors, like underlying health conditions. Therefore, consult a fitness expert or a doctor to determine your ideal hiking frequency for weight loss.

How long should the distance be to be considered a hike?

There is no specific distance to define a hike. However, many people believe that a hiking trail should be at least 2 miles long to absorb the essence of the mindfulness exercise.

How often should you rest when hiking?

Listen to your body. Take a 10-minute break whenever your body feels strained, to avoid potential cramping and overstraining. Otherwise, take a 10-minute break every hour and drink some fluids to hydrate and energize yourself for the trail ahead.


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  1. Effects of Walking Speed on Total and Regional Body Fat in Healthy Postmenopausal Women
  2. Hiking
  3. Calories Burned Per Hour

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Sindhu Koganti

Sindhu KogantiSenior Health & Wellness Writer

Sindhu Koganti is a Certified Health and Nutrition Life Coach and has over 6 years of experience in writing on health and wellness topics. She has a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology from Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur, and a diploma in nutrition from Fab Academy. After her graduation, she decided to combine her knowledge of science and love for writing full bio