Day Backpack | 4 Types of Hikes Anybody Can Do To Lose Weight

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Day Hiking Trips Can Lead To Weight Loss

A day backpack is the perfect size for a casual day of hiking that is easy and beneficial for staying fit.  You may be offended if someone tells you to “go take a hike” when in reality that person is giving you great advice.  Hiking is perceived by many as a grueling climbing sport.  Yes, it can be, but if you are moderately active in life, you can do a day hike with no problem.  Here are examples of hikes that are great for beginners or anyone who wants to drop a few pounds by hiking.  These treks will not leave you saying “never again!”

Local Hiking Areas That Are Best For Beginners

Get To Know Your Local Hiking Trails

With the ability to find out just about anything online today, the easiest way to discover hiking trails in your community or an area you have interest in, is on the internet.  For example, doing a search for “Easy Hiking In Albany, NY” will give you many examples of where you can go nearby Albany for day hikes and nature paths.  Of course you would substitute Albany NY for your hometown and state.  Once you have found some listings, look for the type of surroundings that interest you.  Do you prefer an open paved trail, a more wooded dirt trail or an area specifically designated for nature walks?  The best way to burn calories is by walking, so whichever type of path you take, you will be giving your body the activity and movement that’s better than sitting on the couch for weight loss.

Paved Trails Used By Backpack Hikers

Paved Trails Are Easy Hiking

Day backpack trips on a paved trail are often combined as a biking trail.  You will see hikers and bicyclists there enjoying the outdoors.  These trails are generally winding paths through urban suburbs and cities in a very natural setting to give a feeling of being in nature without viewing a city atmosphere.  You might also see hikers who are strolling on boardwalk trails, which often cross over water or marshy ground.  Walkers sometimes go without a hiking backpack. This makes no sense because you’ll need to bring certain essentials even if only for a few hours.  Some necessities you may not even anticipate needing, but you’ll be very glad you had them. 

Circumstances and elements change while hiking that may be unforeseen, such as sporadic weather changes, hunger, thirst and hot sun.  You may balk at the idea of carrying something on your back, but the reality is, you need certain things readily and the extra few pounds are very beneficial for weight bearing exercise. 

We’re talking just a few extra pounds, not 20 or 30lbs. that long trek hikers carry. Even for a minimal trail hike, you need to consume water, reapply sunscreen, have regular snacks and may need a bandaid unexpectedly.  Those few items in your hiking backpack are useful and the light weight of the pack is good for the calorie burn of your hike as you walk at a steady pace beyond a stroll.

Dirt Path Trekking – Hiking Terrain Matters

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Dirt Trails Lead To Beautiful Scenery

Day backpack hikes on dirt trails are a typical type of trail many hikers prefer.  The difficulty of the terrain can vary on foot trails.  Some will lead to mountain tops, waterfalls, wildflower meadows or ponds.  The exploration aspect of this type of hike is not exceptionally challenging, yet can give you a good walking workout to help burn calories.  Exercise was never more fun or provided such sensory stimulation. 

Would you rather walk on a treadmill in a sweaty smelling gym, or among pine trees and wildflowers on the trail?  Dirt paths may have a rock or gravel base, but usually isn’t too difficult to navigate.  Inclines on the path will help you use mild exertion which is a plus when you are hiking for weight loss.

Off Trail Paths For Adventure Hikes

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Wooded Off Trail Path

If you want to attempt a more rugged experience without the confines of a specific trail outlined, you can follow an area map to lead you to a particular destination via woods, hills or wilderness.  The terrain will consist of dirt, grass and rock, which will give your legs a workout. 

On this type of hike, trekking poles are advised to keep your balance so you don’t fall from uneven spots on the ground.  The stability of the poles will help you navigate and also provide more of an upper body workout to enhance your hiking experience in regards to energy burn.  Most trekking poles fold, so that when you are hiking level ground, you can attach them to your hiking bag until the terrain changes.

Climbing Hike Trails To Amp Up Calorie Burn

Climbing Is A Great Hike

A day backpack trip, since you love being outside, climbing during your hike is excellent for weight loss.  You may think rock climbing is too strenuous, but we’re not talking on the side of a mountain.  A hike that has an uphill rocky terrain is one you can easily navigate.  Once you commit to this physical challenge, you’ll begin to feel confidence and see yourself in a different light.  Your subconscious will lean toward right food choices and behaviors.  Your initial 30 minute paved trail hike will escalate to a 3 hour outdoor excursion that makes you feel like a badass when you accomplish climbing and hiking goals.

Muscle helps burn fat while you are climbing over rocks or hilly terrain. You’ll be building muscle, toning your arms and legs, and improving your overall flexibility. As you build muscle through hiking, your body starts to burn fat resulting in lower numbers on the scale…all while having a great time!  You’d have to work so much harder at the gym to break a sweat, and the best part is, it will happen at whatever pace you choose.

Hikers; Forget The No Pain-No Gain Theory For Exercise

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Day Hiking In The Great Outdoors

Day backpack hiking, unlike neighborhood walks, will burn more calories.  Just hiking three times a week for 30-60 minutes will produce significant results on the scales.  How many times have you planned to go to the gym to lose a few pounds and ended up making excuses every time?  Hiking is so much more enjoyable. It doesn’t feel like dreaded exercise, yet it will help cancel out that pizza you ate at a party.  Food intake should be monitored, but the distraction of hiking helps curb random snacking when you are bored.  

The added activity of hiking, along with healthy eating habits will make you feel better. Hikes help you drop some weight without feeling like you’re in boot camp or starvation.  Choose frequent healthy snacks during your hike, like protein bars, low fat granola or fresh fruit.  Plan to have a light snack every 90 minutes of your hike to maintain energy levels.

You don’t have to do boring reps of non-stop push ups or grueling hours on an elliptical machine for your calorie burn. You can enjoy the outdoors with a whole lot of serenity mixed in. Hikes will become something you look forward to instead of avoiding.  What you will need to do to avoid the pain part of no-pain/no-gain is some mild stretches before and after your hike.  It is important to limber up muscles that may have been sedentary for a long time before you expect them to move through your hike.

Your Weight Loss Hiking Story

Nature Trail Backpacks is interested in how you have lost weight hiking. Are you maintaining a healthy weight through regular weekly hikes? Please comment below to help other hikers feel motivated like you are. We would love to be part of your weight loss story and your hiking journeys. We wish everyone happy hiking!


We love the great outdoors, backpack hiking, fishing, camping and experiencing nature's beauty.

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