Backpacking and Burning Calories

Have you ever wondered just how many calories you burn while backpacking? The short answer – a lot! Of course, to figure out an exact number is a little difficult and can depend on a number of factors, including body weight, pack weight, elevation gain, terrain, and more. But it is possible to come up with a reasonable estimate as to just how many calories a backpacker burns in a single day.

The Mayo Clinic’s website lists calories burned per hour for a variety of activities, including backpacking. According to the site, a 160-pound person burns 511 calories per hour and a 200-pound person burns 637 calories per hour. For eight hours of backpacking, that would be 4,088 to 5,096 calories (depending on body weight). If someone ate 1.5 pounds of food per day while on the trail (calculating 125 calories per ounce) that person would only take in around 3,000 calories each day. That is over a 1,000 calorie per day deficit and a weight loss of around 1/3 pound every day.

Some may welcome the weight loss, but the lack of calorie intake is going to make that hiker sluggish, more injury prone, and unable to recover from day to day. Overall, this hiker is not going to have an enjoyable time on the trail. The easiest fix would be to just eat more food, but this is difficult since more food means a heavier pack and a heavier pack means more calories burned.

This is where a freeze dryer from Harvest Right comes in. The Harvest Right freeze dryer allows you to create amazing, tasty food that is packed full of calories and nutrition. Store-bought freeze-dried food can be full of sodium and empty calories. A home freeze dryer avoids this by letting you control the food that you freeze dry and take in your pack.  You get to control the meals, ingredients, amounts and the best part – it is all light weight! Serious backpackers are going to love the results that they see from freeze drying backpacking meals at home. Instead of eating chocolate bars and peanut butter just to get the calories they need to keep hiking the trail, they can, instead, eat lasagna, mac and cheese, pulled pork, and more. Just add a little hot water and they will be eating the same meal they would at home 10 miles into the backcountry.

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