Hill hiking is a strenuous form of exercise.
Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images
Hiking can offer an intense workout that provides you with a break from the hustle of everyday life, a chance to get some fresh air and an opportunity to spend time with loved ones. The number of calories you'll burn with steep hill hiking vary significantly, depending upon your weight, the degree of intensity with which you're hiking and similar factors.
Average Calories Burned
The Mayo Clinic reports that, on average, a 160-pound person will burn around 1,320 calories hiking for 90 minutes, while a 240-pound person will burn around 1,950 calories. Lighter people will burn less, while heavier people will burn more. If you're hiking uphill the entire time, you'll challenge your muscles even more, slightly boosting the number of calories you can expect to burn.
Individual Factors Affecting Calories Burned
In addition to your weight, your body composition can also alter the number of calories you burn. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so if you're muscular from years spent hiking uphill, you can expect to burn even more calories. Individual metabolism can also affect how quickly you burn calories.
Backpacks and Other Weights
Hill-hiking, especially in isolated areas or on challenging terrain, can take several hours. If you're camping, it could even take days. If you're lugging heavy equipment for a long trip, you'll challenge your muscles more and burn more calories. Similarly, if you amp up your workout by incorporating rock climbing into your hike, the weight of your own body will work your muscles, burning even more calories.
Hiking as an Intermittent Activity
Although a long hike can burn plenty of calories, hiking is more typically an intermittent activity. Most hikers don't hike uphill for an hour and a half with no rest, and every time you stop hiking, you reduce the number of calories you burn, even if it's only for a brief bathroom or water break. If you plan to use hiking to aid your weight-loss goals, you'll need to factor in any time you spend resting.