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TOPIC: Calories burned in hiking

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July 18, 2012 9:10 AM
I went on a two and a half hour hike cross country (with varied terrain) yesterday. I logged it as only two hours here on MFP because I thought the number of calories MFP says I burned looked ridiculously high. Anybody have an idea of how to get a fairly accurate estimate? I don't have a HRM because I can't afford to buy one. The hike was five miles long.
July 18, 2012 11:08 AM
hiking (especially when you carry a backpack) burns a TON of calories. I know for me at 300 lbs it's like 1000+ an hour. If you're uncomfortable with eating back that many you could claim half the time you actually did. Personally I would claim most of it.
July 18, 2012 11:12 AM
I did the same thing... Hiked for about 3 hours last weekend. Logged it and saw what it was trying to tell me I burned noway. Not sure if it makes assumptions of speed, because it didn't ask how far I got in how long, just how long. Anyways - I figured I'd cut it in half and only count the "uphill" part as hiking... Still looked a bit high, but more like a more reasonable number (IMO).
July 18, 2012 11:14 AM
It depends on how difficult your hike was and how well you handled it. If you felt like you were dying the entire time, then you probably burned a TON of calories, if it was fairly easy, then you probably didn't burn as much.

For example, I went on a medium difficult hike last week for a little over an hour and burned a little over 600.

Good luck!
July 18, 2012 11:17 AM
You're right, MFP calories are high unless you're doing an intense hike. I mountain hike, for example, which burns more calories than cross country hiking. But before I got my Striive fitness tracker (which takes into account pace, equivalent stairs for hills as well as steps taken) I used "walking" calories to be safe.
July 18, 2012 11:22 AM
I used the tool on this website:

The walking numbers on MFP are pretty well based around walking flat ground, so they will be a good bit low unless your hike is flat or gentle, rolling hills. The web tool came in around half of what MFP calculated for what I consider a gentle to moderate mountain hike, and still might be a bit high. I think I might use my HRM on my next hike to get some better estimates for myself.
July 18, 2012 1:40 PM
Thanks, everybody! I would say it was a fairly moderate hike. I'm in the mountains. But this hike had a combination of steep uphill/downhill climbing and flat land. I didn't carry a backpack, just my water bottle in my hand, and I'm a person with only about 10-15 lbs. to lose. Technically speaking, my BMI is at the very top of the healthy range for me. My main goal is to get closer to the center. I'll definitely check out that website suggested above. Thank you for that!


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