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Calorie Calculator for hiking.

Theresa Brandon

Artist, photographer, dreamer
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Inglés (2018), Camino Ingles (from La Coruña, 2019), Camino Portugues (2020)
"Here’s a simple tool that tells you how many calories you’re burning as a function of your weight, your pack’s weight, your hiking speed, the incline of the slope you’re walking on, and the nature of the terrain."

I found it interesting to play around with the variables both for training and future Caminos. I wasn't interested in the calorie component so much as the interplay of the different elements. Scroll down to the bottom of the article to find the calculator. https://www.outsideonline.com/2315751/ultimate-backpacking-calorie-estimator
 
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davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Then there is the 'Inner-Mind Personal Caloric Intake Monitor'; a totally Subjective Point of View Rationalization calculator. Mine is often faulty. When looking at restaurant menus, and food vendors, and shops full of pastries with gobs of delightful decadence, it always says that I haven't yet reached my needed intake level.

Yeah, I think I'll go with that. Having the will power of a tumbleweed in a hurricane when it comes to such delicious things, it is convenient to ignore being weak and to simply say, "Yup, 8,000 k/cals for an easy 7 hour walk is simply not enough. My Inner Calorie Counter said so".
 

Sirage

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago (2005), Porto to Santiago (2007), Vezelay for 200 kms (2009), From Seville, May (2015), Le Puy to Sangüesa (2016), Norte-Primitivo (Sep-Oct 2016)
Whilst counting calories may be useful at home, possibly questionable, perhaps it would be distracting whilst enjoying all the various pleasures of a Camino. Does your calorie counter include the thermo regulation the body does? If not counting is prone to error.

My suggestion, if I may, is to eat good food, preferably Spanish or French or wherever you are, and eat slowly as much but no more than your hunger tells you. Your post indicates that you might wish to lose some weight in which case eat as much as you would at home, and all the calories required to walk will come off your body fat. Perhaps svelte at the end.

Hunger is best managed by eating adequate (i.e. lots of) animal protein. Helps generally and is advisable whilst walking lots of kms

An important qualification is the evolving and controversial topic that the hunger mechanism doesn't work well if eating either vegetable oil or too many carbohydrates, so best avoid these.

Is this true? Probably. These are the findings of my research. Do your own research is advisable.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I never trust such calculations as they are more often than not a guestimate. During my last Camino this month walking the San Salvador and Primitivo my Fitbit told me that I regularly used 3.000 - 4.000 calories a day. Granted I often walked long stages of 30+ km and one of 47 and 52 km but my clothes felt the same when I returned home and I know that I never ate more than 2.000, if even that!

What these tools do not take in consideration is your metabolism. I know that mine is slow and eat accordingly which is very little compared to what I see pilgrims eat while walking the Camino.
 
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El Cascayal

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I never trust such calculations as they are more often than not a guestimate. During my last Camino this month walking the San Salvador and Primitivo my Fitbit told me that I regularly used 3.000 - 4.000 calories a day. Granted I often walked long stages of 30+ km and one of 47 and 52 km but my clothes felt the same when I returned home and I know that I never ate more than 2.000, if even that!

What these tools do not take in consideration is your metabolism. I know that mine is slow and eat accordingly which is very little compared to what I see pilgrims eat while walking the Camino.
I also don’t trust my Fitbit. Lately I’ve been calling it the tyranny of the Fitbit. Now I don’t even hit running when going out & it keeps begging me to. On my recent Camino eating pan Gallego morning, noon, and night and in between, and huevos fritos y patatas for dinner, climbing uphill, tons of steps and miles…managed to gain 3 lbs. Instead of stressing, by golly am damn proud of it. Buen 😋 Camino!
 

JohanT

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
"Here’s a simple tool that tells you how many calories you’re burning as a function of your weight, your pack’s weight, your hiking speed, the incline of the slope you’re walking on, and the nature of the terrain."

I found it interesting to play around with the variables both for training and future Caminos. I wasn't so interested in the calorie total so much as the interplay of the different elements. Scroll down to the bottom of the article to find the calculator. https://www.outsideonline.com/2315751/ultimate-backpacking-calorie-estimator
Do you also have this formula for European metric system?
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2012
Do you also have this formula for European metric system?
JohanT, you've probably noticed the formula is initially expressed in Metric units: Kilograms, Metres per second etc.

I think you could use whatever units you liked Bushels & Cubits perhaps or even Roman miles. The result would be just as nonsensical.
 

Sirage

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago (2005), Porto to Santiago (2007), Vezelay for 200 kms (2009), From Seville, May (2015), Le Puy to Sangüesa (2016), Norte-Primitivo (Sep-Oct 2016)
Thank you for posting. On our last Camino my husband did not eat enough and ran into some "trouble". While no formula is perfect, given all the variables, this will give us a better idea for next time. I learned years ago while marathon training, that if I consume 100 calories an hour I have considerable more endurance. I did the same on our Camino with nuts and dried fruit and it served me well..
At the risk of over-labouring the nutrition story too much, during my first Camino of 9 weeks from Le Puy in 2005, I initially was walking with an emergency ration of chocolate. After a few weeks of still carrying the same block of chocolate, I decided it was excess weight. I ate it and have not carried any food since then on my 6 or so Caminos.

I do not need to eat every hour, and I suggest to you to develop the habit of not eating every hour. Consider that the best training before your next camino. Your body will thank you. I can walk or cycle all day without eating and without any serious hunger. I then get to enjoy more of the local food which I prefer over typical "trail mixes" (translate as you will). Those who have their pack weight optimised to the gram will note this no-food approach saves quite a lot. Provides scope for luxuries if desired like a sit-pad weighing 25 gms, or even the much-discussed hair dryer.

I am not obese, but somewhat larger than thin, and carry enough energy to walk for well over a week or 2 in an emergency, so walking 30 kms until a late lunch is no hardship. This simplifies the logistics of planning each day's walk. My preferred day is a coffee or 2, occasionally with something small to eat after an hour or so of walking if there is a bar, or earlier, and then lunch after finding the albergue for the night.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
In 2004 at 65 when I first began walking my height was 172 cm and weight 65 kilos. By the end of that camino and ever since my weight remains less than 61 kilos. Each time entering Santiago I physically felt remade; my bones might have been the same but they seemed re configured.

More important than any physical slimming down and tightening up was the psychological change. I have learned my limits as well as the importance of personal tenacity and endurance. Compared with ten climbs up O Cebreiro daily trivialities in life now at 82 have less importance; what matters most is to keep on trying!
 

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