View Full Version : How much $$ per week for resupply?
Alright, I'll answer this one since no one else seems to want to do so. I resupplied almost completely on trail this summer on the PCT. This is far superior to mail drops from home. If I hike the AT this upcoming summer, I will do so again.
I set no budget for my hike, so I can't comment on point 1. For the first 50 days or so of my hike, I would generally put in about 160 miles per week. I would carry about 3 lbs of food per day to fuel me. The last 55 days or so, I would generally cover 200-240 miles a week. Strangely, my appetite decreased in the last month I was on trail. The point is, my food consumation was higher than most people on the AT, due to putting in longer days with more miles and elevation gain. I would generally spend about $10-12 a day on food. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. A standard, 3-days-and-a-morning (roughly 100 miles) stretch between resupply points would usually cost my around $35 or $40.
A lot of places on the PCT where you can resupply are really, really small towns or resorts or state parks. This makes the cost of food higher, but you still save money because of the postage savings.
Definitely resupply from the trail. If there is a place where you are assured you cannot resupply, you probably still can. However, if it makes you feel more comfortable, send the mail drops from the trail itself. That is, buy food in town, put it in a priority box, and send it to yourself. The advantages are: 1) Postage will be less than sending from home, 2) You'll actually have a realisitic idea of how much food you need, 3) You'll have some idea of what you really want to eat at that time.
If you really want to know, I spend about $450 on groceries. That does not include food purchased before the hike and shipped to me in mail drops.
I figure that I bought food at local grocery stores for about 93 days out of 142 days total. So, that works out to about $4.80 per day resupplied.
Now, that is only one part of my expenses. All told, I spend about $2000. That's probably 2/3 to 1/2 what most spend to do a thru hike. My goal was to hike the trail, not to spend time in the small towns along the way. So, typically I got in and got out with a minimum of town expenses.
Cost of a thru-hike was discussed previously on this series of posts: http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2188
It may answer some of your questions.
i also hiked in 2000... i probably spent far more than most... but then I had everything from chicago stuffed pizzas overnighted to me on the trail, had a five day (ASWAHFEST) in New York that included 2 cases of wine, 7 kegs of beer, a 100 pound pig, and numerous other partiables (check out the event at trailjournals.com) Yes those were the crazy daze. Oh yes, I also went airoblazing from Rangeley to Katahdin and back in a stump jumper (very small airplane). I became obsessed with seeing Katahdin. Me and two friends (Fix It and Gorilla Pete) rented a plane and flew a couple hundred feet over the trail all the way from Rangeley to Katahdin, circled above the sign and flew back. We even carried candy bars so we could do a little aero-trail magic. Sidenote... we decided killing a hiker from 300 feet above with a snicker's bar was probably not a great idea..)
To be 100 percent serious for just a moment... it really depends on what you buy. You can spend a lot or you can not spend a lot. I hiked in and around a cell of folks... some spent 2,000 the whole summer on everything and others like me dropped 10,000. I am a Chef and enjoy living my life... I liked to stay at better places and eat better (and more) than most. I also didn't think twice about hitchhiking into a town, buying a few chickens, pies, bread,salad makings, wine etc. and cooking for whoever passed by. Hell, you could hike and spend very little. It is almost possible to live out of hiker boxes... that is if you don't mind oatmeal and nameless faceleess noodle dishes (i did hit one broke period and ended up going a few miles out of the way to find a dish called (and I am completely serious here) old jamaican man's hair in a very old and dingy ziplock in Maine. I think everyone else was scarred to eat it.
Check out weather carrot's post on doing a $2,000.00 Thru. on these forums. Great advice. There are even suggestions on going even cheaper.
My favorite quote from carrot is: "If you hike as if you can only spend $1,000.00, then $2,000.00 will feel perfectly reasonable."
For those of you who resupply along the trail:
1. About how much per week did you budget for resupply?
I didn't really budget but I ended up spending anywhere from $20-60 every 4-5 days (and then of course spent money eating in towns). I know this is a big range but in the beginning and in bigger towns I spent less and then as my appetite increased I spent proportionately more. I also had friends send me food to hard resupplies.
2. How much did you actually end up spending?
I ended up spending about $3500 during the actual hike (which took about 4 1/2 months), maybe $4500 overall (this was including gear, insurance, traveling). I didn't stay in towns for long times but didn't really watch my money when I was there. I had saved $5000 for the hike because I didn't want money to be the reason I didn't do something I wanted to. I definately could have spent less if I would have been a little more frugal (but this was the one time I didn't have to be:).
My one piece of advice...If you are on a tight budget, then hike with others who are in the same mindset. The group I was with, while not crazy spenders- like I said, we never stayed in towns more than a night, but we definately didn't hold back (we went out to eat, bowled and watched movies in towns, stayed at hostels and the occasional hotel). We had a guy hiking with us for awhile who NEVER had money and was constantly borrowing because he didn't want to miss out on things. None of us minded because we liked being around him. However, we later heard that he was telling people towards the end how easy it was to hike the trail on $1000...which definately made us laugh.
Tracy ...with the exception of 3 mail drops, I bought all my food along the trail during this years thru. On average I spent between $4 and 5 per day on food. I didn't have a very elaborate diet though. I ate cold breakfasts ...Quaker breakfast squares and Tang. I generally didn't eat a real lunch and rather snacked on a variety of stuff like pnut butter or cheese crackers, honey roasted pnuts, gorp and fruit leather. Dinners consisted of ramen noodles to which I added stove top stuffing and 4 cheese or garlic potato flakes.
Hope that helps