View Full Version : Work and Hiking
I was lucky enough to get a chance at a thruhike when I finished grad school. I was able to find a company that would hire me 9 months before I showed up for work. Since our hike only got us 1/2 way, we are trying to plan another one in a few years (more like 4) and hope that I can get the 7 months off to do the hike. We've managed to put the house payments and other money need for the hike to the side, and now all we need is the time (which is the most expensive thing it seems).
How do other people deal with the time thing? How do you get time off? What sacrifices have you had to make (I almost got fired before I showed up due to a decline is buisness - I had to make some serious threats)? How do you deal/balance not being able to hike? Even section hikers must face this problem since it seems like vacation time gets eaten up by other obligations...
Just curious... I'm pining for the trail...
This sounds like a good question for Baltimore Jack and Lone Wolf.
Years ago I figured out that what was most important for me was time off so I found a job where I work a week and am off a week...so 26 weeks a year off not counting vacation...this allows plenty of time to hike, paddle, and build on to my house (Sunday was on the AT and Monday hung 22 pieces of sheet rock)....I look at people who work 9-5 mon-frid and shake my head...when do they get a hair cut or change the oil in the car? The down side is that I work graveyard, I say downside but I have been doing it so long I suppose I have accepted it as fate versus 'getting used to it' which one never does (cant beat thousands of years of manking sleeping at night....
If you have a dream, you find a way. My wife and I saved up enough money to cover mortgage and car. We found a house sitter to "sublet" and take care of our pets for 6 months. My wife was able to get a leave of absence, I just resigned but was completely honest with my employer. "Well, Mike, we will be sorry to have you go, but you have to do what you have to do."
We had the time of our lives, we are extremely proud of our accomplishment. My wife went back to her old job, I was actually able to go back to mine as well, but have since switched.
Since you have done part of it once, you already know that 75% of the journey is just deciding to take the first step. Get out of your rut, break from social norms, and get hiking!
Sacrifice's. Give up your pad, sell your motorcycle, work for really bad employer's that you won't mind quiting on after 6 month's of scraping together for trail money, and either A: Move back in with your parent's or B: move in with freinds.
How I get time off:
1. I don't take winter vacations
2. I pick up extra hours in the fall and winter, and take extra jobs
3. I limit my spending on things I don't need---new clothes, CD's, r
furnishings, gadgets, restaurant meals, etc.
4. I live very simply; I don't buy anything on credit, don't purchase
anything I can't pay for in full, and I make sure I genuinely need
something, i.e. can't live without it, before I buy it
5. I take care of my gear so it lasts year after year
In short, it's possible to adapt your life so you can make things possible that you thought you were not within your grasp.. In short, I do what I have to do in the fall and winter so I can do what I WANT to do in the spring and summer.