Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Calories burned - UL Versus 42 pounds


Display Avatars Sort By:
>> Bender <<
(Bender) - MLife

Locale: NEO
Calories burned - UL Versus 42 pounds on 12/14/2009 21:45:06 MST Print View

I got this in an email from my local gear shop. They listed many outdoor activities but these two caught my eye. I don't think they were trying to compare the two or advocate UL backpacking.

Activities Based On:
135 lbs. WOMAN
200 lbs. MAN

Backpacking - 42+ lbs. pack with moderate hills
Women 576 cal/hr
Men 860 cal/hr

Hiking - 3 mph w/ day pack
Women 384 cal/hr
Men 573 cal/hr

Assuming the pack is the only variable: you burn 192-287 cal/hr less with a day pack versus a 42 pound pack. I thought the 42 pounds was crazy, but I'm sure there are people that lug around a kitchen sink. For a 135 pound woman that would be nearly 1/3 of her body weight.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Calories burned UL vs 42 pounds on 12/14/2009 21:56:33 MST Print View

Thanks for the info- thats good to know!

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Calories burned - UL Versus 42 pounds on 12/14/2009 22:02:08 MST Print View

Backpacking - 42+ lbs. pack with moderate hills
Women 576 cal/hr
Men 860 cal/hr

So, 860 cal/hr x 10 hours requires 8,600 calories?

The military aims at 4,400 per day for an active soldier, carrying a lot more than 42 pounds.

hummmm....

>> Bender <<
(Bender) - MLife

Locale: NEO
Re: Re: Calories burned - UL Versus 42 pounds on 12/14/2009 22:07:51 MST Print View

It does sound very high. I have no idea where they got this info. Does anyone have more accurate data?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Calories burned - UL Versus 42 pounds on 12/14/2009 22:26:32 MST Print View

Probably hard to get accurate data unless you test yourself specifically.

I just went to an online calorie burning calculator, put in my weight as 135 (as if!) and asked for calories burned backpacking for 60 minutes. It said 429. There wasn't anywhere to put in pack weight or terrain or anything like that. Very generic.

But remember (at least according to this site), "to lose one U.S. pound, you must burn 3,500 more calories than you take in as food."

Same info at two sites: http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc and http://www.myoptumhealth.com/portal/ManageMyHealth/Calories+Burned+Calculator

The second one lists sources. FWIW.

Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Rule of thumb on 12/15/2009 02:42:04 MST Print View

Traditionally, the 70kg (long used as average)man is said to burn roughly 100 kcal per 1 mile covered on foot. So 400 kcal/hr at a 4 mph pace.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Calories burned - UL Versus 42 pounds on 12/15/2009 03:18:11 MST Print View

How much did you pay for the information?
Perhaps that's a guide to what it is worth?

Btw - 200 lb for a man is a little ... heavy? (I'm 140 lb, 5' 7".)

Cheers

Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Pay? on 12/15/2009 03:33:09 MST Print View

The 70kg (154lb) male is just one of those numbers thrown around in the medical literature. 100 kcal/mile covered on foot has long been a rough estimate of the energy consumed by this dude.

Yeah Roger...THAT info. Interesting, the female comparison for that 200 lb guy is only 135 lb.

Edited by backpackerchick on 12/15/2009 03:37:38 MST.

Joe Geib
(joegeib) - F

Locale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
Re: Calories burned - UL Versus 42 pounds on 12/15/2009 05:20:47 MST Print View

Regardless of the average cal/hr burn of a heavy pack or a light pack, I'd rather go farther in my day than hate myself with every step carrying a heavy pack.

Then again, if I wanted to get out and get some "exercise" on the trail in a short period of time, I could always throw the extra weight on my back for a shorter trip.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Calories burned - UL Versus 42 pounds on 12/15/2009 18:47:46 MST Print View

Backpacking - 42+ lbs. pack with moderate hills
Women 576 cal/hr
Men 860 cal/hr

Hiking - 3 mph w/ day pack
Women 384 cal/hr
Men 573 cal/hr


Backpacking - 42+ lbs. pack (2mph)
8-10 miles/day
4-5 hours

Backpacking - sub-20 lbs. pack (2.5 mph)
20-30+ miles/day
8-12+ hours

Looks like you can burn a lot more calories with a lighter load.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
A concern on 12/15/2009 20:25:44 MST Print View

It seems to me that this is a very generic answer, at best. It is a basic physics axiom that it requires x energy to move y mass z distance, as I recall from an introductory physics class long ago. If that is the case, it follows that a 110# woman backpacker will not require the same amount of energy to propel herself 1 mile/km as that mythical 150# male, and that is before the weight of their backpacks is factored in. Additional energy is required to offset gravitational force as one ascends. So, I wonder just how worthwhile this rule of thumb is for calculating how much food one will require on a backpacking trip. At the very least, I would think you would have to enter your weight plus that of your backpack to get any useful answer. My 2 cents.

Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Caloris burned - UL vs. 42 pounds. on 12/15/2009 20:34:02 MST Print View

Keep in mind that the numbers in the OP given for cal burned an hour are only a general guidline.

I know for a fact that with a 30 pound pack I burn 1,250 cal / hour based on my speed (2.8 mph average) and my weight (235 pounds).

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Fooey on 01/03/2010 16:38:54 MST Print View

Those numbers look like marketing, not science.

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Numbers Game on 01/03/2010 16:58:08 MST Print View

-How much weight are you carrying? (okay, this one is answered)
-How fast are you moving?
-How fast is your metabolism?
-Where is your blood sugar?
-What is your BMR/RMR?
-What is your BMI/Height/Weight?
-What is your age?
-How hilly is the terrain? Define 'moderate' hills.
-How varied is the slope?
-What kind of terrain? (e.g. talus, snow, mud, sand, etc.)
-Are there additional resistance factors? (e.g. high wind)
-What is your heart rate? Are you reaching your aerobic zone?
-Are you taking breaks? If so, is your heart rate dropping?
-What is the outside temperature?
-What is your body temperature?
-What are you eating?
-Do you smoke?
-What is your altitude? Are you adjusted?
-How are your oxygen levels otherwise?
-Are you properly hydrated?
-How long have you been hiking for?
-Are you doing any technical climbing?
-When/how often are you eating?
-Do you have normal thyroid function?
-Do you have Giardia or other parasitic buddies?
-Are you pregnant?

Edited by ChrisMorgan on 01/03/2010 17:21:41 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: size and weight on 01/04/2010 11:53:24 MST Print View

200 lbs is pretty normal for a man 6 foot tall with muscle on him.

My husband is 6'4" and carries about that much in muscle ;-) The man burns due to his makeup.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: size and weight on 01/04/2010 12:27:26 MST Print View

The man burns due to his makeup.

Foundation+rouge+chapstick? ;-0

I don't think anybody has teased out all the variables WRT load-carrying efficiency. The conundrum presented by folks who carry loads on their heads is especially daunting.

http://www.md.ucl.ac.be/iepr/loco_rec6EN.htm

I'll speculate that environment being equal, an experienced hiker in good shape will naturally adjust their pace to the load and burn calories at an even rate.

Cheers,

Rick

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Re: Calories burned - UL Versus 42 pounds on 01/04/2010 12:35:47 MST Print View

I think I burn equal or more calories with lighter loads when I set my own pace. It's just more comfortable to push harder then you aren't carrying a huge brick. Obviously I cover a lot more ground as well.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: size and weight on 01/04/2010 13:14:58 MST Print View

It has so many variables really on what a person needs and uses.

Out of our family I eat the least - and use the least. Which makes sense as I am 5'4" and don't have a ramped up metabolism.

The one who does eat the most is Ford, who is 5'9" at last measurement and barely over 100 lbs. At 12 he has a teen's appetite and his body burns calories efficiently. He eats 2 to 3 times what I eat - but is also burning it off. It doesn't matter what he is doing...sitting in front of the TV, walking, hiking or whatever - with any load - he is hungry 24 hours a day.

Oh to have that metabolism! But alas it means his pack is heavier due to needing more food along. I try to keep our hiking style even - by that, the mph never changes. That way he doesn't use a burst of energy up and then eats into the next days food. This has happened before with him and guess who gives up HER food? Yep.

If he has to carry more weight (which happened this fall due to my inability to carry a pack while pregnant) his food needs go up even higher. So for him at least? More weight=more calories needed.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Re: Re: size and weight on 01/04/2010 15:52:41 MST Print View

" I try to keep our hiking style even - by that, the mph never changes....More weight=more calories needed."

Right- at the same pace and distance more weight will require more energy. My point was that without constraining pace and distance I tend to burn more total energy when I have a light pack and comfortable gear. I rest less, hike longer, faster, etc.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: size and weight on 01/04/2010 16:40:35 MST Print View

Oh very true on that! If I let Ford take off like a jack rabbit he needs so much more energy. So I rein him in.

Definitely on the big hikes where I am doing a lot of miles and elevation gain per day (which is allowed by a lighter pack) I eat more. As well, like you...I don't take as many breaks either when carrying less.