Hiking calories burned varies with the pack weight, difficulty of terrain, and intensity.

Hiking is a reliable cardiovascular exercise to help get in shape and lose weight. Whether you plan to complete the hiking trails in the mountains or take regular walks in the local park, this is certain to help with gaining muscle and burning calories.

Hiking Calories Burned

Here are four factors to influence the hiking calories burned:

Body Weight

Body weight can have a major influence on the number of calories lost throughout the duration of a hike. For instance:

  • A 130-lb person can expect to burn approx 415 calories per hour
  • A 155-lb person can burn 495 calories per hour
  • A 180-lb person can burn 576 calories per hour
  • A 205-lb person can burn 650 calories per hour

A heavy person will burn more calories compared to the lighter person per hour of hiking.


A hike completed at a high intensity has the potential to continue burning calories even after the hike has finished and you are at rest. A high hiking intensity that lasts at least 45-50 minutes can help to burn an extra 185 calories later in the day.

A reason for this is the ability to up metabolism rate, which benefits by increasing the calorie burn for the next 12-14 hours after the exercise is complete.

Plus, the calorie burn can even continue into the first three and a half hours of sleep.

Pack Weight

The hiking calories burned are certain to relate to the weight of the supplies packed in a day-pack or backpack. A day-pack with its light load is likely to burn about 50-100 calories per hiking hour (compared to hiking with no weight).

On a multi-day hike with a heavy load, there is the potential to burn more calories, which can equal about 200-250 per hour.


Terrain difficulty has a significant impact on the ability to drop calories on the hiking trail. But it can be difficult to determine how a specific hiking trail can impact the calories burned because of the many variations.

For instance, a hiker is certain to drop more calories hiking on rocky, flat ground compared to grassy, flat ground. But, the hiking calories burned are better on an uphill walk on grass compared to walking on rocky, flat terrain.

The most difficult and challenging the hike, the higher number of calories will be lost.

Physical and mental benefits of hiking

  • Hiking helps to increase bone density, which has the positive result of reducing osteoporosis.
  • Regular exercise like walking or hiking has the ability to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.
  • After a long hike the ability to get better sleep at the end of the day is enhanced.
  • Hiking helps to release the build up of adrenaline in the system which can help to lower the levels of anxiety and stress.
  • Hiking has the ability to give the muscles more endurance and improve the function of the cardio-respiratory system.