Hiking burns more calories when you are moving up to the mountains or declining steep paths with or without a carriage of your backpack. All the experts in unison accepted that whenever you hike, it results in burning calories but the questions are why does hiking burn calories, how does it help lose weight and how many calories hiking or walking burn?

Hiking is one of the most likable outdoor activities. Less like a hectic weight loss gym routine and more like a recreational and adventurous journey full of thrill and excitement. The calories you burn while hiking is more than any other form of exercise can burn.

Here are the reasons why you should make hiking your continuing habit and how hiking burns more calories than any other exercise. 

Simple to Start and Enjoyable

Simple to Start and Enjoyable

People hike because it involves the movement of all your muscles that make up the indoor workout and trail grade of the natural sceneries and landscapes along your hiking trail make up for the outdoor recreational activity.

Walking rough terrain with a backpack on your shoulder increases the number of calories burned. And unlike all the indoor workouts that require equipment, mats, and techniques to memorize, hiking is simple and enjoyable. All you need is a pair of good shoes and you are well prepared for achieving your next fitness level.

Hiking for a few hours even at a moderate pace is all you need in a day for the betterment of your physical and mental health and it also results in several calories burned.

While hiking, you get a chance to explore mother nature and commute with all your heart to let the beautiful landscapes and wonderful sceneries take residence in your eyes.

Hiking in woods or mountains gives you an experience you can never get in urban areas. 

Moreover, recent studies have suggested that hiking plays a role in activating your body’s pleasure hormones such as endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. These releases of hormones tend to make it enjoyable and you do it more often than you can do any other workout. This makes you burn more calories while hiking. 

Hiking to Replace Cardio Workouts and Strength Training

If you are not some kind of fitness enthusiast or have never been in daily workouts, words like cardio workout and strength training might be new to you.

Cardio training involves letting the body burn more fats depending on your strength. In simple words, the more you carry weight, the more calories you are going to burn while cardio. It is one of the most effective ways for losing weight.

Strength training allows the body to burn calorie counts daily. Lifting weight daily helps build muscle mass and strengthen them.

The well-built muscular system is a key to intensifying the body’s metabolism even while at rest. So the increase in resting metabolism gives you the perk of losing more weight.

Now, the hit point is you can get both of these workouts functioning during hiking. When you are walking, running, or climbing, you hit every part of your body and this provides your heart with all the cardio it needs.

As far as weight training is concerned, the carriage of a backpack makes for it. Carrying a heavy backpack while climbing the mountain, or clinging to the rough trails gives your muscles all the weight training and strength they need. This results in the burning of more calories.

Fats Burning Equals Calories Burning

Fats Burning Equals Calories Burning

There are three major macronutrients in the body including fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Fats among them have the highest number of calories when consuming equal levels of all three of them. So, people like to burn fats which in turn burn the highest number of calories.

Other factors include consuming fewer calories than burning them which also results in the loss of your body weight. 

The fast pace and moderate pace hiking though are very effective but are not necessary to lose calories. You can walk at a slower rate while commuting with your hiking partner and enjoying all your journey and it will help you burn more calories.

Talking to the facts, a slower pace makes your body remain in the fat-burning zone longer. 

Another advantage is it helps you build your stamina to stay more active and on your trails between resting. 

Hiking Replaces Moderate-Intensity Workouts

The health benefits associated with hiking are numerous. And hiking can never be satisfying unless you go on small hills and steep inclines.

According to researchers, walking uphill boosts your metabolism and helps you lose body weight, and also increases the body’s capacity to burn more calories and helps in weight loss.

Similarly, when you are up for an adventurous tree climbing or racing with your partners on hiking trails, this not only increases your energy expenditure but also helps your calorie burn.

This hiking burns as many calories as any moderate-intensity workout or traditional exercise can burn on flat ground with the further advantage of helping you stay physically active.

The calories you burn while hiking for an hour equals 2 hours of indoor workout. 

Hiking Affects the Entire Body and Results in Burned Calories

Hiking Affects the Entire Body and Results in Burned Calories

Additional calories can be burned by hiking for several hours on different kinds of trail grades.

A good workout refers to when more energy is consumed with high intensity. Many factors can be involved. If you do daily exercise, it helps your calorie burn per rate more than on an irregular basis.

Energy Consumption

How much energy is consumed on hiking can be interpreted from the fact that hiking involves the whole body composition and movement of the entire muscle mass increases the burning of calories more than any other physical or recreational activity can.

As I already described, the pack weight during hiking makes up the energy expenditure.

So when you hike on a rough trail it is a form of exercise that results in more calories burning than using a treadmill or stationary bike can or other forms of physical activity on flat ground can.

If you notice, whenever you hike, all those parts of your body that you want to tame in exercise in a gym get sore. This soreness is an indication that your fitness level is getting achieved by your hour-based hike in the woods or mountains.

So whenever you hike, you should make a hiking challenge to your body and I assure you, this intensity varies based on exercises and can never be the same as you do in your gym. 

Backpack Load Improves Calorie Burning

The calories you burn while hiking can be doubled if you carry a backpack on your shoulder. Even more, calories can be burned if you carry your backpack uphill.

Carrying a light backpack when you hike for one day or when you are up to walking for hours can burn more calories around 50 to 100 or somewhere 200 more calories for every hour of the hike. 

How Many Calories Can Be Burned By Increasing Metabolism

The physical exertion you have to endure when you hike contributes to increasing your metabolism. Moreover, physical activity ultimately results in decreasing your body weight.

Researchers have proved that high-intensity exercise results in improving the body’s calorie-burning capacity even when the exercise is finished.

Why Does Hiking Reduce Calorie Rate?

When someone asks you why does hiking burn so many calories? You can say that It lies in the fact that as much as you hike or do walking, body fat melts, and the number of calories decreases. Consuming fewer calories is also a point when you are up to losing body weight.  

Make Your Hike Challenging

Make Your Hike Challenging

Walking on rough trails also contributes to the calories burned. Calories burned when you hike depends on the kind of trek you are using or referring to traffic on each trail grade.

Since all the terrains are variable in the means of trekking, there is no perfect formula to evaluate the calories burned per hour.

How Can You Make Your Hike Challenging?

You can make walking up to the hill challenging with added weight in the form of your heavy backpack. Changing your backpack loads not only makes your hiking fun but also burns your body fat.

So many calories can be burnt when you make your terrain challenging. Hiking burns calories in muscles unbelievably and unpredictably than followed by any other routine of exercise daily. 

Exercise During Winter Increases the Number of Calories Burned

Other factors that also contribute to losing your body weight are when you hike in cold weather or hiking on difficult trails. The body utilizes extra energy and calories burn closer to 100-200 per hour hike. The body fats melt to make up for the lost temperature and to keep you warm.

But here is a warning, one should not intentionally put on light clothes for winter hiking. It can be dangerous. Moreover, heavy clothing also aids in burning calories than light clothing does so wear accordingly.


Hiking is an excellent way to improve your overall health and lose weight. The number of calories burned while hiking can be increased by carrying a backpack, walking on difficult trails, or hiking in cold weather. All of these factors make hiking a challenging and fun activity that can help you achieve your fitness goals.