Moses Christensen was told he will reappear in court next month for a plea hearing and is likely to face trial in January next year.
The 21-year-old, who appeared from HMP Hewell in Worcestershire with his lower left arm and hand covered in a bandage, is charged with murdering Richard Hall and possessing a combat-style knife in a public place.
Mr Hall, who was aged 70 and from Perton in south Staffordshire, was found dead last Friday on Brown Clee Hill.
Christensen, of Corser Street, Oldswinford, Stourbridge, spoke only to confirm his identity during a six-minute appearance at Stoke Crown Court today.
Adjourning the case until a further hearing, Judge Paul Glenn told Christensen: "I will adjourn this case and the case will be listed for a plea hearing on September 18 at Stafford Crown Court.
"In the meantime, the prosecution will set about preparing the file. You will remain in custody."
A provisional trial date was set for January 11, 2021.
An area near the summit of the 540-metre-high Brown Clee Hill was sealed off by police last week.
In a tribute issued through the West Mercia force, Mr Hall's family described his death as a "massive loss to everyone that knew him".