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strebor
07-26-2006, 15:49
I have read the help on this sight in regards to costs of actually doing a thru-hike. I have done some figuring on what my actual costs might be.


I will post it here and everyone can tear it apart and give it their comments. This is for a estimated 7 month trip. I included the seventh month as a saftey.

$35.00 per week for food x 4 weeks x 7 months = $980.00

$500.00 for the trip for replacing/repairing or buying new gear.

$500.00 for town visits restraunts/hostels.

I plan on hiking and staying out of towns unless I have no other choice. Of course resupply.

I have seen figures on here where people have spent $12,000.00 on a thru-hike.

I have planned on $2000.00 for my hike and that will be all I take with me. This is not including the rides to and from the A.T.

QHShowoman
07-26-2006, 16:01
You've only budgeted yourself $1.67 a meal? Does this amount not include mail drops? If that's all you're budgeting per meal, mail drop or not, that's still pretty meager. I am sure it can be done, but I hope you like Ramen.

I'm budgeting $5000 for my actual hike and $5000 to cover the cost of covering my other expenses while I am away (student loans, car payment, storage unit, health insurance, etc.). I work two jobs and I put $100 from each job away in a special savings account every 2-week pay period. I know this seems like a lot of $$$, but its what I've worked out and it will allow me enough of a "cushion" so that I can take a little time after my thru to reacclimate to the "real" world.

I think there are definitely ways to do it on the cheap, but I think $2000 is a pretty big challenge (which may add or detract from your thru-hike experience).

Jack Tarlin
07-26-2006, 16:06
Quick thoughts--

You'll probably discover that $35.00 a week for food won't get you very far. I know folks who manage to spend that much every time they shop on snacks and fruit, never mind other stuff.

Also, a $500.00 budget for hotels/restaurants works out to just over sixteen dollars a week, assuming you're out for 30 weeks.

Sixteen dollars will not get you a hotel in any Trail town, in fact it won't pay for many hiker hostels, never mind hotels.

While I wish you all success with your trip,and while I know folks who've thru-hiked on a $2000.00 budget (or even less), with all respect, I suggest that you try and add at least $500.00, and preferably more to your bank account somehow. I think you'll be glad you did.

strebor
07-26-2006, 16:12
I will not be doing any mail drops other than what is needed. I have read that in a few locations it is hard to resupply. As far as food I will be eating mostly ramen, and lipton. I will not be the first to do it. I cannot remember what the guys name was, but he did his thru-hike on around $1200.00.

I figure if I am not staying in hotels and eating in restraunts and blowing my money on alcohol. I will be fine and will be able to use most of the money I figured in for towns for additional or better quality of food from time to time.

I want the full experience of the trail, not the trail towns.

strebor
07-26-2006, 16:19
While I wish you all success with your trip,and while I know folks who've thru-hiked on a $2000.00 budget (or even less), with all respect, I suggest that you try and add at least $500.00, and preferably more to your bank account somehow. I think you'll be glad you did.

Thank you for your comments. It is not that $2000.00 is all I can afford to take with me, and if I need additional money I have it. I would not go if all I could aford was a $2000.00 budget.

I want the feel of the trail and the wilderness and some solitude. I plan on hiking the trail. Leaving the trail only when I have to (resupply and emergencies only) and other than that I will stick to the trail. As one of the many military persons on this site. I can go for extended periods of time without the comforts of a bed and the luxuries of a town. Not to say that others cannot hack it. I'm saying that I have done without and handled it great. I am sure I will at some point stay at a hostel or hotel or eat in a restraunt. But, it is not on my list of things to do.

Anywho, thanks

QHShowoman
07-26-2006, 16:20
I want the full experience of the trail, not the trail towns.

Well, aren't the trail towns, hostels, and people you meet along the way all part of the "full experience of the trail"? For me, the AT is less about a backcountry wilderness experience than it is about the camraderie you share with other thru-hikers and the people and places that have become fodder for AT lore over the years. I plan on camping along the trail as much as possible, but there are some places that I don't want to miss, like Miss Janet's, the Doyle, and Rusty's. Of course, HYOH, but it's just something to think about.

QHShowoman
07-26-2006, 16:23
I want the feel of the trail and the wilderness and some solitude. I plan on

Have you ever section hiked the AT during thru-hiker season? Wilderness and solitude are definitely not the two words that come to mind for me. If this is your aim, I'd suggest a SOBO hike (as I will be doing) and plan your start date for the "off" months.

The Solemates
07-26-2006, 16:27
dude, heed jacks advice, and add more money. add as much as you can and believe me, you won't be eating ramen the whole way.

strebor
07-26-2006, 16:32
There are places I would like to visit, such as Ms. janets. But, it does not have to cost me alot of money.

People, well I will meet them on the trail. I am sure I will meet alot of you on the trail at some point. And for me, these people (Hikers, Outdoorsman/women) are the ones I will charish meeting.

Solitude for me isn't always being alone. It is being away from the hustle and noise and problems you find in dealing with everyday life. Those you deal with in towns, work, and so on.

I guess that is the best I can explain the feeling I have about doing the A.T

Am I right? More than likely NO!

But this is my dream, my goal, and it is something that I feel very strong about. And I hope that you have extreme amounts of fun on you SOBO hike.

Lone Wolf
07-26-2006, 16:35
Fantasy and reality are two different things. The AT is gonna show you that.

Footslogger
07-26-2006, 16:41
I didn't keep exact figures but I would estimate that, not counting gear or transportation to/from the trail, I spent close to $4000.

My appetite grew as I hiked and I consumed more food and snacks. As delis and restuarants became more available up north I took advantage of them. I also hiked at a slower pace than many of the hikers I met in 2003 because I found out (after the fact) that I had done the trail with pretty bad kidney stone disease. I don't think I "overdid" towns, hotels or zero days but as time went on I did grow to appreciate taking better care of myself. If that meant a night in a hotel/motel then that was what I did.

Everyone's hike and needs are different but I sincerely doubt that you'll get from one end of the trail to the other on $2000.

'Slogger

strebor
07-26-2006, 16:45
Fantasy and reality are two different things. The AT is gonna show you that.

Well, lets see based on your post I should save up $12,000.00 and stay at every hotel and hostel I come across and maybe bring my 90Qt. marine cooler with me.

Or, mabye you are one of those people that feel the need to attack others. Because you have no dreams, fantasies, or ambitions of your own. Hmmm I think you are.

It is kinda like guys you meet in the military. Think they know all there is to know about everything because they pulled guard duty on a fence in North Korea and when the first scud hits the ground they are crying like babies.

Phreak
07-26-2006, 16:56
I think your plan is possible and I wish you nothing but good luck on your hike.

I too plan on a lower budget hike, probably in the $2500-3000 range max. My only plans for staying in town are the weekends (2 or 3) when my wife is visiting me on the trail. I don't drink, so I'll save by not consuming alcohol. I don't eat processed foods of any sort, so I'm relying almost exclusively on maildrops except for areas where a resupply in town is the only option.

I already have all of my gear, haven't needed to buy anything specifically for the thru hike.

Alligator
07-26-2006, 16:59
Strebor-4 of the 5 people who replied to your post are successful thru hikers. 2 of them are multiple thru hikers. That's not to impress you, but they do know what they are talking about. You did ask for people to tear apart and comment:D . That doesn't count Phreak, he posted while I was reviewing this.

Time To Fly 97
07-26-2006, 17:00
Slogger is right on...

There are MANY unknowns if you haven't done some long distance hiking.

I was eating 8000 calories a day in New England, much more than I had planned on. I went through 2.5 pairs of boots. I wanted a steak and a real shower when I got to town every once in awhile. Even little things like laundry or taking a zero day or buying a friend a beer is $10 bucks here, ten bucks there. The Whites (huts) are expensive. It adds up.

If you can't get more than $2K...the most important thing is to get out there and hike...so go for it. But you'll have more fun and peace of mind if you bump that up a little IMHO. If you do go low budget, save your money for the more expensive Northern sections.

Happy hiking!

TTF

strebor
07-26-2006, 17:08
Strebor-4 of the 5 people who replied to your post are successful thru hikers. 2 of them are multiple thru hikers. That's not to impress you, but they do know what they are talking about. You did ask for people to tear apart and comment:D . That doesn't count Phreak, he posted while I was reviewing this.


I did ask for comments and so on. I did not ask for L. Wolf's personal attack.

I will head the advice of you and others to increase my budget. I will however still only plan on a $2000.00 budget. If needed I have the money to increase my budget 10 times that amount.

Peaks
07-26-2006, 17:17
A person does not live on ramen and lipton only. If you are like me, you will crave greasy foods, like burgers and fries (also ice cream). That can blow the budget very quickly.

Also, if you are planning a 7 month thru-hike, that usually means more days off, and days off are usually taken in towns. Thus, your costs are going to increase.

For a normal duration hike of 5 1/2 to 6 months, $2000 is probably on the low side. For a 7 month hike, it is definately too little.

Alligator
07-26-2006, 17:23
I did ask for comments and so on. I did not ask for L. Wolf's personal attack.

I will head the advice of you and others to increase my budget. I will however still only plan on a $2000.00 budget. If needed I have the money to increase my budget 10 times that amount.They're the ones in the know, not I. As long as you have it in reserve, exceeding your budget won't kill your trip.

As far as LW, all I can say is, well, he's hiker trash:D .

strebor
07-26-2006, 17:33
For a normal duration hike of 5 1/2 to 6 months, $2000 is probably on the low side. For a 7 month hike, it is definately too little.

I am only planning on a 5 1/2 to 6 months. However my planning invloves including month number 7 as a cushion in my planning as far as the actual costs. It is the military part of me saying plan for the unkown.

I do realize that a $2000.00 budget is going to prob. be pushing it. But I am determined to stick with it.

Footslogger
07-26-2006, 17:49
I do realize that a $2000.00 budget is going to prob. be pushing it. But I am determined to stick with it.
============================
Although I'm not going back on my earlier statment ...I will admit that if you budget more you will inevidably spend it. Kinda like having extra space in your backpack. Somehow it mysteriously gets filled with stuff.

Heck, give it a shot. I admire your discipline and determination.

'Slogger

Lone Wolf
07-26-2006, 18:52
Well, lets see based on your post I should save up $12,000.00 and stay at every hotel and hostel I come across and maybe bring my 90Qt. marine cooler with me.

Or, mabye you are one of those people that feel the need to attack others. Because you have no dreams, fantasies, or ambitions of your own. Hmmm I think you are.

It is kinda like guys you meet in the military. Think they know all there is to know about everything because they pulled guard duty on a fence in North Korea and when the first scud hits the ground they are crying like babies.
What attack? I'm saying 2 grand is a fantasy, 3 grand is more of a reality cuz you will probably get wrapped up in the AT social thing. And I do know a thing or two about the AT and military. Loose your anger, Chip.:D

blindeye
07-26-2006, 21:10
SOBO in 08!! as far as money i am not rich by any means but after equipment i 'll have about $5000 for the trail proper all food fees etc.i am hoping if i'm a little frugal i won't blow it all in town.

Blissful
07-26-2006, 22:48
Wow, I was planning only $2,000 pp too. Guess I'd better rethink the budget.

strebor
07-26-2006, 23:10
What attack? I'm saying 2 grand is a fantasy, 3 grand is more of a reality cuz you will probably get wrapped up in the AT social thing. And I do know a thing or two about the AT and military. Loose your anger, Chip.:D


WOW!!!! Now was that hard? Did it hurt? All you needed to do to make your point was to originally post the above. And, nothing more would have been said towards you.

Have you ever stopped to think L. Wolf that there are people here that are in seek of answers and not sarcasim, rudeness, or attacks in any form?

I take to heart all advice that I receive on WB. I do realize that I have not hiked the A.T and any information, advice, and comments from those who have are priceless.

However I do know myself and what I am able to do. If I set my budget for $2000.00 I will keep to it. And, the only way that I will blow this budget is an emergency. So with the advice of others I will make sure I have more than that.

I have seen posts on here where you (L. Wolf) have given some great advice. Maybe stop and think a little before you type and then read back to yourself what you wrote and think if it might in any way affend you. Thats my advice. So have a good one wally:banana

hammock engineer
07-27-2006, 00:06
Without getting caught up in the argument, I think I read somewhere Lone Wolf has done 5 thrus. I never met him. His posts seem blunt, but truthful. I would put a lot of thoguht into what he says.

Having said that, I think you have a good plan set up. Leave with $5K+ in the bank. Plan on spending $2K. If you do that then great, tell us how you did it when you get done. If you go over $2K, it will not end your hike.

Panzer1
07-27-2006, 00:08
If all you can raise is $2000, consider hiking half the trail now and the other half another time. $2000 is plenty for half the trail. You will be able to enjoy yourself and hike in style.

Panzer

strebor
07-27-2006, 00:17
If all you can raise is $2000, consider hiking half the trail now and the other half another time. $2000 is plenty for half the trail. You will be able to enjoy yourself and hike in style.
Panzer


Read This Please




Originally posted by Weathercarrot

I have learned over time how to hike significantly cheaper than what is now the average cost of thru-hiking. I managed to do the trail last year on not much more than $1,100. I know that sounds very low and not all that feasible, but for me it has just been a matter of practice over the last 12 years (and that still included all food eaten, postage, new walkman, pair of new shoes, hostels, and even pizza and ice cream). The first time I thru-hiked, I spent at least $2,000, and that was in 1991 when it was somewhat cheaper to hike. Then while the cost went up, I went the opposite direction and spent less and less. It's simply a matter of transitioning into and getting yourself used to a certain level of self-discipline. It can even become a game of "how little money can i spend in this town?" There are some basic and simple techniques that can go a long way toward this goal. The biggest of which is to minimize the amount of *time* spent in town, including not staying the night. For example, if you plan on getting to town around mid-morning, you can spend multiple hours there doing your resupply and other chores and head out with enough time to do several more miles by dark, or just to the first place out of town to pitch your tent, or whatever. If you restrict your town nights and days off in town to just a select few where you especially feel the extended town experience is vaulable, then you're already making a big cumulative difference over the whole trail. Selecting those places can be based on perhaps knowing ahead of time where the really cheap town lodging/camping is, working off your stay in a few places, and almost never doing motels (unless splitting it with a bunch of people).

Other ways to minimize cost include not being a drinker or a smoker. for so many people, alcohol adds up to sometimes well over a thousand dollars on top of everything else. Also, eating at restaurants very selectively, and resisting the temptation for much of the time. This can actually be the hardest thing to do when hiking cheaply. but on the other hand, I got so used to my $1000 budget that if i had $2,000, it would feel like the whole hike was filled with town luxuries. So in the end, it's all very relative. Of course, for those spending $3000-5000, switching to the low budget hike would be very difficult, but then again we can always shape our frame of reference to fit whatever the goal is. If you hike as if you can only spend 1000, then 2000 will feel perfectly reasonable.



Now, I can afford more money. However my idea of hiking may not be the same as anyone elses. I will not be staying in town, going to the bar, or so on. So for me I think this is a doable budget. And, if I go over well then I have the means to cover that. But again I think the article is good advice for someone that wants to keep it as cheap as possible.:cool:

Skyline
07-27-2006, 00:23
And, the only way that I will blow this budget is an emergency.

And, if you start in March, you will have emergencies. They will also be known as weather. You will need, not want, to extricate yourself from the weather. That will cost $$$ you have not budgeted.

Your appetite will grow immensely as you move up the Trail. You have probably not budgeted for that.

These are the emergencies and other budget-busters you can predict. There will likely be others you cannot predict.

Dude, you're getting some fantastic advice here from people with tons of experience. Back in the mid-'80s, hikers could do the AT for about a dollar a mile. Fast forward 20 years, and it is RARE as hell. $1.50 to $2.00 per mile is average, with quite a few spending even more. Conversely, not that many spend less. Maybe you'll show the world you're lean enough, tough enough to do it for two grand, but the odds aren't very good.

You have quoted Weathercarrot, I see. He would definitely be a good person to emulate. But it ain't gonna be easy. Best wishes...

strebor
07-27-2006, 00:44
I would like to thank everyone for their advice on this topic. I have learned alot and although I do not agree with all of the advice, I will take it to heart while I finish planning my thru-hike.

The only thing that I was courious about. When you plan on a $5000.00 plus budget or even more. How often are you planning for Hotels, Bars, Hostels, and Restraunts. Are you planning these for every zero day you take, Or every town you come to?

strebor
07-27-2006, 02:19
I would again like to thank everyone for theit comments

Lone Wolf
07-27-2006, 03:03
WOW!!!! Now was that hard? Did it hurt? All you needed to do to make your point was to originally post the above. And, nothing more would have been said towards you.

Have you ever stopped to think L. Wolf that there are people here that are in seek of answers and not sarcasim, rudeness, or attacks in any form?

I take to heart all advice that I receive on WB. I do realize that I have not hiked the A.T and any information, advice, and comments from those who have are priceless.

However I do know myself and what I am able to do. If I set my budget for $2000.00 I will keep to it. And, the only way that I will blow this budget is an emergency. So with the advice of others I will make sure I have more than that.

I have seen posts on here where you (L. Wolf) have given some great advice. Maybe stop and think a little before you type and then read back to yourself what you wrote and think if it might in any way affend you. Thats my advice. So have a good one wally:banana
Gee Wally, you said"tear it apart and give comments" so I did and your little feelings are hurt. Not enuf smileys for ya. Why the hell did you ask if you don't plan to go over 2 grand?:rolleyes:

strebor
07-27-2006, 03:28
Becasue L. Wolf I wanted peoples honest opinon, which I got.
So I took their opinons and weighed them and multiplied them by what I have read and then divided it by your comments and it equaled you still being a jerk and making stupid rude comments to make yourself seem better than everyone else. My feelings were not hurt by you L. Wolf. Only my intelligence by your babble. :dance
But to all else who have responded thank you and to you and you only this is what I obtained from all of your advice.


To go with my budget but make sure to have ample funds avaliable to me if needed. Which I will do!:banana

Lone Wolf
07-27-2006, 03:31
Then feel free to go *** yourself.:D :banana :sun

strebor
07-27-2006, 03:53
Then feel free to go *** yourself.



:eek: OHHHH!!!!!!!!! NOOOO!!!!!!!! Lady Wolf such language. What will I ever do....Not very lady like:confused:

the goat
07-27-2006, 09:33
in 2001, i spent little more than 2K....i doubt inflation has been too terribly bad since then.

i did, however, have 10 - 12 mail drops prepared, but i drank in every town & smoked cigarettes the whole way too. i never really thought i was living extremely on the cheap side until the last 500 miles or so. 2K is definitely doable, imho.

Alligator
07-27-2006, 09:48
in 2001, i spent little more than 2K....i doubt inflation has been too terribly bad since then.

i did, however, have 10 - 12 mail drops prepared, but i drank in every town & smoked cigarettes the whole way too. i never really thought i was living extremely on the cheap side until the last 500 miles or so. 2K is definitely doable, imho.It was interesting what was said about if the money is there you will spend it. Strebor sounds disciplined, but maybe if there are additional funds, it might be a good idea to lock them up somewhat. A different account, leave the other ATM card at home, have scheduled transfers to your spending account in your budget amounts, etc. Someplace you could get to it, but maybe make it difficult to avoid impulse spending.

I read a funny way to do this once. Take your emergency credit cards and freeze them into a block of ice in the freezer:) .

The Solemates
07-27-2006, 09:53
Read This Please




Now, I can afford more money. However my idea of hiking may not be the same as anyone elses. I will not be staying in town, going to the bar, or so on. So for me I think this is a doable budget. And, if I go over well then I have the means to cover that. But again I think the article is good advice for someone that wants to keep it as cheap as possible.:cool:

To my knowledge, weathercarrot has numerous thru-hikes under his belt, including multiple AT hikes, the PCT, the Colorado Trail, and others that I do not know about. To offense, but his attitude of spending little has an aweful lot more to do with experience than it does discipline.

The Solemates
07-27-2006, 09:53
NO offense..

The Solemates
07-27-2006, 10:08
I would like to thank everyone for their advice on this topic. I have learned alot and although I do not agree with all of the advice, I will take it to heart while I finish planning my thru-hike.

The only thing that I was courious about. When you plan on a $5000.00 plus budget or even more. How often are you planning for Hotels, Bars, Hostels, and Restraunts. Are you planning these for every zero day you take, Or every town you come to?



It is difficult to talk about money. Some people mention the amount that they will spend on the trail only, while others take into account many other things when budgeting, such as gear purchases before the trip, transportation expenses to and from the trail, car payments, house payments, health insurance, car insurance, family support monies, and many other things. So, perhaps you can hike the trail with $2K if all you are counting in the budget is food and lodging you are to encounter along the way. Even so, $2K is next to impossible, and that's what everyone is trying to tell you.

My wife and I thru'd together, and shared many expenses such as lodging, etc., keeping our overall expense lower than most peoples'. We probably had next to $3K of on trail expenses, which included food and lodging. We stayed in a hostel or motel about every 10 days on average. We ate in town whenever and wherever we had the chance, and as much as we could shovel down. We do not drink or smoke. We did half mail drops and half re-supply along the way.

But, that $3K (or $1.5K per person) is deceiving. We probably spent another $1K on mail drop food and postage. We were lucky and had most of our gear beforehand as we have always been hikers. Nonetheless, we probably spent $500 on gear between the two of us before we even left Springer. We were also lucky in that we lived near the southern terminus of the trail (2 hr drive). Gas to the trailhead cost us very little, and we had family take us. Similarly, family drove up to ME and picked us up, saving us even more money. We canceled our car insurance (big hassle, and not allowable in some states), our apartment lease had run out, canceled all other bills such as cell phone, etc., and we bought basic emergency health insurance (about $1200 for 6 mos. for both of us).

So, we did the trail for $5K. If you count gas monies and health insurance, we did the trail for $6500. BUT, we did not have all the other expenses associated with many people hiking such as transportation to/from trail (which can be very expensive), mortgage, insurance, and independents to support. If you count all this as money spent on a thru, then it is easy to see why it costs some people nearly $10K to hike the trail.

Just trying to shine some light...

Alligator
07-27-2006, 10:11
NO offense..$10. We want your $10:) .

Good post (#39).

Heater
07-27-2006, 11:01
I read a funny way to do this once. Take your emergency credit cards and freeze them into a block of ice in the freezer:) .

I did that.

My bill got delayed by the post office ant the bank increased my rate from 14 percent to 21 percent.
I "froze" the account. :banana

Within 2 weeks, that jar was in the microwave thawing them out. :)

I wound up just cutting them up with a scissors. Haven't used C-cards in almost three years. I hate the banks.They will screw you the very first chance they get. :mad:

Pacific Tortuga
07-27-2006, 11:03
Gee Wally, you said"tear it apart and give comments" so I did and your little feelings are hurt. Not enuf smileys for ya. Why the hell did you ask if you don't plan to go over 2 grand?:rolleyes:

L. Wolf is a Damascus homie and with 2,000 $ you may need to borrow phone change to catch a lift back when things get tight but then again, what 's plan B? Just kidding, go for it and and see if you can finish at Katahdin,no matter what happens, your on the Trail .
Support vs: Commitment, 2,000 $vs:$ 4,000, "Breakfast of eggs and ham, A chicken is supportive a pig is committed" good luck.

Skyline
07-27-2006, 11:03
in 2001, i spent little more than 2K....i doubt inflation has been too terribly bad since then.

i did, however, have 10 - 12 mail drops prepared, but i drank in every town & smoked cigarettes the whole way too. i never really thought i was living extremely on the cheap side until the last 500 miles or so. 2K is definitely doable, imho.


Yes, it can be done and congrats for doing it...well, all but the cigarettes. :-) Having those maildrops--how much do you figure those saved you from spending while doing your hike? I assume their contents' cost and the cost of shipping was over and above the $2,000+ you spent.

But you must have noticed five years ago that not that many were following your dollar-a-mile example. It's just not that common today.

Alligator
07-27-2006, 11:06
... I hate the banks.They will screw you the very first chance they get. :mad:Absolutely.

Footslogger
07-27-2006, 11:06
I wound up just cutting them up with a scissors. Haven't used C-cards in almost three years. I hate the banks.They will screw you the very first chance they get. :mad:
=========================
Not that this has anything to do with the cost of a thru-hike but ...I went the other route. I closed out all but one of my cards. The one I kept gives you points for every dollar spent that can be used to claim products and travel. I used that card now for literally EVERYTHING and I pay off the entire balance every month. I carry very little if any cash any more these days. On the trail I used a Debit card from my bank when cash payment was necessary.

Nice thing about that is that you end up with a receipt for just about every penny spent AND ...over time you can get some pretty decent stuff. For example, I just got a digital camera (Canon SD450) for backpacking.

'Slogger

the goat
07-27-2006, 11:23
Yes, it can be done and congrats for doing it...well, all but the cigarettes. :-) But you must have noticed five years ago that not that many were following your dollar-a-mile example. It's just not that common today.

yeah, i couldn't believe how much some folks had spent by the time we reached tenn., some more than $5K. it blew my mind b/c i didn't think i was living that far into the cheaper side. (i did roll my own smokes & buy beer in bulk from stores). i've long since quit smoking though, thankfully.

Heater
07-27-2006, 11:24
=========================
Not that this has anything to do with the cost of a thru-hike but ...I went the other route. I closed out all but one of my cards. The one I kept gives you points for every dollar spent that can be used to claim products and travel. I used that card now for literally EVERYTHING and I pay off the entire balance every month. I carry very little if any cash any more these days. On the trail I used a Debit card from my bank when cash payment was necessary.

Nice thing about that is that you end up with a receipt for just about every penny spent AND ...over time you can get some pretty decent stuff. For example, I just got a digital camera (Canon SD450) for backpacking.

'Slogger

For me, It does count in the cost of a thruhike. In fact, it is one one the reasons I am not going until 08. They will be paid off in Oct. 07 and my house and transportation will be paid off in Feb. 07. Bank (debt) free after that.
:banana :banana

Then its only 330 bucks a month property taxes and insurance on my home and paying someone to cut the grass while I am away. So... figure $400 a month household expenses on a paid off house times 6 and that is still 2400 bucks total expenses while i am away. :eek:

cjfetters
07-27-2006, 13:50
The costs add up. But the cost of not going to much higher.

Do it this year, because if you don't you will be one year older when you do. - Warren Miller

The Solemates
07-27-2006, 14:19
$10. We want your $10:) .

Good post (#39).

I don't get it.

Alligator
07-27-2006, 14:26
I don't get it.It's a play on the movie Better Off Dead. The newspaper kid chases John Cusack's character around demanding $2.00 for the paper delivery. "Two dollars. I want my two dollars."

If you give $10 to WB, you can edit your posts.

StarLyte
07-27-2006, 14:50
It's a play on the movie Better Off Dead. The newspaper kid chases John Cusack's character around demanding $2.00 for the paper delivery. "Two dollars. I want my two dollars."

If you give $10 to WB, you can edit your posts.

ha ha okay so now he has $1,990 for his hike.

StarLyte
07-27-2006, 14:54
I admire your passion to do this on $2,000. I will say that.

It will take generosity of others along your path. If I see you, I will be part of that generosity.

Hike your dream hike friend.

mingo
07-27-2006, 14:55
i'm not giving you anything. you can fend for yourself

The Solemates
07-27-2006, 15:00
ha ha okay so now he has $1,990 for his hike.

I'm not thru-hiking next year.

Dartman
07-27-2006, 16:01
I started in '01 with $2000, and wound up borrowing $2000 more before I was done. After my appetite went through the ceiling, my food budget went out the window.

Heater
07-27-2006, 16:29
I started in '01 with $2000, and wound up borrowing $2000 more before I was done. After my appetite went through the ceiling, my food budget went out the window.

2K more! :-? For food? :-?

How much peanut butter and bagels does 2K get you? :D

QHShowoman
07-27-2006, 16:33
When I budgeted $5K for my hike, I figured that if it takes me 5-6 months to hike, that would allow me approximately $1000 a month. That $1000 would include any mail drops, hostel/hotel nights, shuttles, and expenses that come up along the way. Basically every trail journal I've read and every thru hiker I've spoken with, even those who started out intended to use maildrops got tired of the food in their maildrops and instead resupplied in town. I don't drink or smoke and I am not a big partier in general (I fall asleep by 10 on most nights!), so I don't think I'll blow any money on booze or partying. BUT, I do want the financial freedom to be able to spend a night in a hostel or hotel every week or so. I also don't have much in the way of family support -- my mom doesn't drive on the highway and my dad is very sick -- so I'll also need to handle all the transportation myself (i.e. no loved ones meeting me at trail head).

Footslogger
07-27-2006, 16:37
[quote=QHShowoman] (I fall asleep by 10 on most nights)
======================================

Thru-hiker midnight is around 8 - 830. Won't be too many hikers up with you at 10.

'Slogger

QHShowoman
07-27-2006, 17:17
Um yeah, I should've specified that on a "normal" workday/weekend day, I am in bed by 10 -- when I camp, I usually fall alseep as soon as it gets dark!

Crazy Larry #1
07-27-2006, 20:21
Well, lets see based on your post I should save up $12,000.00 and stay at every hotel and hostel I come across and maybe bring my 90Qt. marine cooler with me.

Or, mabye you are one of those people that feel the need to attack others. Because you have no dreams, fantasies, or ambitions of your own. Hmmm I think you are.

It is kinda like guys you meet in the military. Think they know all there is to know about everything because they pulled guard duty on a fence in North Korea and when the first scud hits the ground they are crying like babies.where in the heck did that come from? how was the man attacking you? what he stated was a fact and he ought to know what he's talking about, he has many more miles on the trail than you have hours on the computer soldier.............

Crazy Larry #1
07-27-2006, 20:34
Becasue L. Wolf I wanted peoples honest opinon, which I got.
So I took their opinons and weighed them and multiplied them by what I have read and then divided it by your comments and it equaled you still being a jerk and making stupid rude comments to make yourself seem better than everyone else. My feelings were not hurt by you L. Wolf. Only my intelligence by your babble. :dance
But to all else who have responded thank you and to you and you only this is what I obtained from all of your advice.


To go with my budget but make sure to have ample funds avaliable to me if needed. Which I will do!:banana
excuse me if you might think i am rude by stepping in, go hike your hike and perhaps you'll get rid of this childishness..........Lone Wolf said nothing offensive to you, and believe me, he knows how to ruffle some feathers.................

fiddlehead
07-27-2006, 21:04
I got some great laughs this morning from this thread.

It's all a moot point actually.

Experienced people are saying that you don't know what's going to come up.
You choose not to believe them.
Why did you ask then?

When you just had 11 days of rain, and hit the next town where there is a hotel but it cost $60 and your budget only says you can spend $40, do you really think you will simply spend that night stealth camping next to the post office for one more rainy night?

Budget your food, money, time, days in town, phone calls home, how many steps your going to take a day, etc. BUT, when you start your hike, throw the schedule (and budget) away!

rickb
07-27-2006, 21:37
How often are you planning for Hotels, Bars, Hostels, and Restraunts. Are you planning these for every zero day you take, Or every town you come to?

Northbounders are powerless to resist towns and hotels and frequent restaraunt meals. Your only hope is to go Southbound.

1Pint
07-27-2006, 21:55
I'm budgeting $5000 for my actual hike and $5000 to cover the cost of covering my other expenses while I am away (student loans, car payment, storage unit, health insurance, etc.).

I called my student loan folks when I first started to consider whether a thru would be financially feasible. They said I could ask for my loans to go into deferment while I'm on the trail. Well, not on the trail, but while I'm unemployed, which is going to be the same thing. I explained that it would be a voluntary lack of income - not a layoff or whatever - and was still told that if I had no income, Uncle Sam would pay the interest on my consolidated subsidized loans while I was hiking and the interest accruing on my consolidated unsubsidized loans would just get rolled into the balance due for that bunch. You should call your student loan holders and ask, but not paying for those months might allow you to have a bigger emergency cushion. Of course, if you finished the trail and hadn't needed the loan payment $$, you could send in a lump catch-up payment (not to be confused with other condiment payments.)

Hope this helps,
Laura

the goat
07-27-2006, 22:01
They said I could ask for my loans to go into deferment while I'm on the trail. Well, not on the trail, but while I'm unemployed, which is going to be the same thing.

yeah, i put my loans into deferment for six months and it was no problem. i seem to remeber them limiting me to six months for some reson though.....maybe b/c it was immediately after college.

Alligator
07-27-2006, 22:27
yeah, i put my loans into deferment for six months and it was no problem. i seem to remeber them limiting me to six months for some reson though.....maybe b/c it was immediately after college.Immediately after college you get 6 months and also if you become unemployed you can get a deferment, or if you have a financial hardship. Interest accrues and it depends on what loan type you have. You also have some max number of months you can have deferments (this I am not 100% sure of).

Frosty
07-27-2006, 23:29
It is kinda like guys you meet in the military. Think they know all there is to know about everything because they pulled guard duty on a fence in North Korea and when the first scud hits the ground they are crying like babies.Heh heh. Yeah, that's what happens when guys yap about stuff they haven't experienced. They get a rude awakening.

strebor
07-28-2006, 08:35
excuse me if you might think i am rude by stepping in, go hike your hike and perhaps you'll get rid of this childishness..........Lone Wolf said nothing offensive to you, and believe me, he knows how to ruffle some feathers.................


You right he said nothing offensive to me. Must have just been my imagination or the kid in me. Why would go F*** yourself be offensive. Ohh but then again I asked hime for that. And, I am glad he has had more time on the trail than I do on the computer. Maybe when I actually get out to the A.T I can be as big of a jerk as he is and people will defend me too.

And isn't it amazing that with the number of comments posted on this thread. He is the only one I had anything negative to say to or about. Poor wolf everyone is picking on him huh?

I am glad for the comments on here and I have received alot of great advice. I got what I asked for in the original post and I thank everyone for it. I have no problem with L. Wolf but, maybe just maybe he should consider the contents of his post and how it is worded before hiting the submit/reply button and people wouldn't take offense to his comments.:)

Skidsteer
07-28-2006, 08:52
You right he said nothing offensive to me. Must have just been my imagination or the kid in me. Why would go F*** yourself be offensive. Ohh but then again I asked hime for that. And, I am glad he has had more time on the trail than I do on the computer. Maybe when I actually get out to the A.T I can be as big of a jerk as he is and people will defend me too.

And isn't it amazing that with the number of comments posted on this thread. He is the only one I had anything negative to say to or about. Poor wolf everyone is picking on him huh?

I am glad for the comments on here and I have received alot of great advice. I got what I asked for in the original post and I thank everyone for it. I have no problem with L. Wolf but, maybe just maybe he should consider the contents of his post and how it is worded before hiting the submit/reply button and people wouldn't take offense to his comments.:)



Fantasy and reality are two different things. The AT is gonna show you that.


I still don't get it. In what way is that statement offensive? :confused:

Crazy Larry #1
07-28-2006, 09:13
Quote:
Originally Posted by L.Wolf
Fantasy and reality are two different things. The AT is gonna show you that.



Skidsteer said;
"I still don't get it. In what way is that statement offensive? :confused:"

exactly...........Lone Wolf said nothing offensive to you Strebor in this statement that i can see


Strebor said;
"You right he said nothing offensive to me. Must have just been my imagination or the kid in me. Why would go F*** yourself be offensive. Ohh but then again I asked hime for that. And, I am glad he has had more time on the trail than I do on the computer. Maybe when I actually get out to the A.T I can be as big of a jerk as he is and people will defend me too.

And isn't it amazing that with the number of comments posted on this thread. He is the only one I had anything negative to say to or about. Poor wolf everyone is picking on him huh?

I am glad for the comments on here and I have received alot of great advice. I got what I asked for in the original post and I thank everyone for it. I have no problem with L. Wolf but, maybe just maybe he should consider the contents of his post and how it is worded before hiting the submit/reply button and people wouldn't take offense to his comments."

Lone Wolf only said "go do the sex thing to yourself" only after you attacked him on his first thread................furthermore, he has earned my respect and i will stand up for him in a heartbeat..........here or elsewhere if it comes to that.........as long as he is right...............

QHShowoman
07-28-2006, 09:31
You should call your student loan holders and ask, but not paying for those months might allow you to have a bigger emergency cushion. Of course, if you finished the trail and hadn't needed the loan payment $$, you could send in a lump catch-up payment (not to be confused with other condiment payments.)

Hope this helps,
Laura

Thanks for your advice Laura, but I wasn't exactly asking for any. I'm not the one who needs a bigger "emergency cushion" -- I was just responding to Strebor's question about why I was budgeting $10K for my thru.

The WORST thing you can do for your student loan debt is go into deferment when you can actually continue to pay it off (which I fortunately can). Of course, the kind folks at Sallie May won't recommend against it because the longer you defer your loan, the more money they make.

StarLyte
07-28-2006, 10:11
Strebor-

Lone Wolf is a realistic person.

I also refer to Lone Wolf as an Appalachian Trail advocate.

You will learn on your hike what an AT advocate really means.

If I were thru hiking.....Lone Wolf would be one of several people that I would console. Perhaps you should contact several thru hikers and get their honest opinions. I would also email Miss Janet.

The result of your clamor might be a negative impact on your own livelihood, your OWN AT experience.

While you are being extremely optimistic, some of us are saying.....there's no way.

I also noticed you quoted Weathercarrot.

Yes, he did this on $2,000..... but in 1991..."when it was somewhat cheaper to hike". Also in personally knowing Weathercarrot, one might understand how he did this.

Panzer spoke of hiking half the Trail on this.

I am speaking here from experience of having to help others get thru their hikes. I am speaking of a thru hiker phoning me in the middle of the night because they were laid up in a motel sick for days, or stolen packs, JUST unforeseen events, I can go on.

I would say start your hike as planned. Work as much as you can on the Trail. Be as FRUGAL as you possibly can, and to set up mail drops!!!

Try and rectify any differences you have with folks prior to your hike. Start with a good---FRESH attitude.

Then HYOH.

Alligator
07-28-2006, 10:27
...
The WORST thing you can do for your student loan debt is go into deferment when you can actually continue to pay it off (which I fortunately can). Of course, the kind folks at Sallie May won't recommend against it because the longer you defer your loan, the more money they make.Absolutely. And while consolidation can be a good thing, try to avoid extending the length of the loan period. Again, they are making money on you.

QHShowoman
07-28-2006, 10:45
Alligator: Agreed.

While we're on the subject: If you like to send in more than your monthly payment amount in hopes that you'll pay your loan off faster, you're not actually doing so. You need to call your lender and ask to have your monthly payment amount formally recaculated so that they can recalculate your interest based on the new payment toward your principle.

Alligator
07-28-2006, 11:19
Alligator: Agreed.

While we're on the subject: If you like to send in more than your monthly payment amount in hopes that you'll pay your loan off faster, you're not actually doing so. You need to call your lender and ask to have your monthly payment amount formally recaculated so that they can recalculate your interest based on the new payment toward your principle.That's a good point too, and in a broader sense something to consider when paying extra on a house and a car. Sometimes lenders (considering all types now: home, auto, etc.) will do that and sometimes not, meaning it comes off the "back end" of the loan. Auto loans are usually like this I believe. Isn't it fun getting older;) ?

QHShowoman
07-28-2006, 11:37
'Gator: It totally sucks. I had about $35K in student loans by the time I finished school. When I first graduated, I was paying like $300 a month towards my loans and one day, I did the math in my head and figured, well, I must have a 10 year loan then ($300 X 12 months = $3600 x 10 years = $36,0000). Out of curiosity, I called good old Sallie Mae and the rep was like, "uh, no, you have a 20 year loan." It was at that moment I realized the evils of interest.

strebor
07-28-2006, 14:07
Originally Posted by L.Wolf
Fantasy and reality are two different things. The AT is gonna show you that.


THis was his first post on this thread. He made no other comments before this. He jumped into this thread and posted this comment. Maybe you know L. Wolf well, actually you said you did. However I do not know him or what type of person he is. He might be a saint I am not judging him. However I took offense to this post of his. And how was it offensive to me well any normal human would deduce that he was telling me that I live in a fantasy world.

Now he made a post after that where he stated what he ment by his original post.


What attack? I'm saying 2 grand is a fantasy, 3 grand is more of a reality cuz you will probably get wrapped up in the AT social thing. And I do know a thing or two about the AT and military. Loose your anger, Chip.

And, I replied:



WOW!!!! Now was that hard? Did it hurt? All you needed to do to make your point was, to originally post the above. And, nothing more would have been said towards you.
Have you ever stopped to think L. Wolf that there are people here that are in seek of answers and not sarcasim, rudeness, or attacks in any form?


And then He replied:



Gee Wally, you said"tear it apart and give comments" so I did and your little feelings are hurt. Not enuf smileys for ya. Why the hell did you ask if you don't plan to go over 2 grand?



So I came back With:





Becasue L. Wolf I wanted peoples honest opinon, which I got.
So I took their opinons and weighed them and multiplied them by what I have read and then divided it by your comments and it equaled you still being a jerk and making stupid rude comments to make yourself seem better than everyone else. My feelings were not hurt by you L. Wolf. Only my intelligence by your babble.
But to all else who have responded thank you and to you and you only this is what I obtained from all of your advice.
To go with my budget but make sure to have ample funds avaliable to me if needed. Which I will do!



And He Replied:



Then feel free to go *** yourself.

I came back with a ohhh noooo thing

and Then you jumped in with:



excuse me if you might think i am rude by stepping in, go hike your hike and perhaps you'll get rid of this childishness..........Lone Wolf said nothing offensive to you, and believe me, he knows how to ruffle some feathers.................



Defend him till the end of time and you may like his comments and maybe you know him well enough to know that thats just the way he is and he ment nothing by it. Well, hard to believe I don't know him and what he ment other than what I took it as.

I am sure he is a great person we just got off on the wrong foot. And, I would like to be the first to offer my appologies to him for what I said.

Now if it is ok, with everyone I will say thank you for your comments and I have gotten alot of information from all of you and thank You.

OHHH one more thing. Weathercarrot did his thru-hike in 1991 for $2000.00 but as to his post he did his 2001 thru-hike for around $1200.00.

And I'm not saying it is an easy thing to do I am sure it is not. :)

The Solemates
07-28-2006, 15:19
OHHH one more thing. Weathercarrot did his thru-hike in 1991 for $2000.00 but as to his post he did his 2001 thru-hike for around $1200.00.



He also had several years, and several more hikes, in there to refine the practice of frugalness and to gain the experience of living off less.

Crazy Larry #1
07-28-2006, 15:30
Defend him till the end of time and you may like his comments and maybe you know him well enough to know that thats just the way he is and he ment nothing by it. Well, hard to believe I don't know him and what he ment other than what I took it as.

I am sure he is a great person we just got off on the wrong foot. And, I would like to be the first to offer my appologies to him for what I said.

Now if it is ok, with everyone I will say thank you for your comments and I have gotten alot of information from all of you and thank You.

OHHH one more thing. Weathercarrot did his thru-hike in 1991 for $2000.00 but as to his post he did his 2001 thru-hike for around $1200.00.

And I'm not saying it is an easy thing to do I am sure it is not. :)as far as i'm concerned, it's settled and done with.............

Ewker
07-28-2006, 15:39
I have been watching this thread since it concerned how much money it takes to hike the AT

based on what I have read it went like this strebor:

Post# 1

I have read the help on this sight in regards to costs of actually doing a thru-hike. I have done some figuring on what my actual costs might be.


I will post it here and everyone can tear it apart and give it their comments. This is for a estimated 7 month trip. I included the seventh month as a saftey.

$35.00 per week for food x 4 weeks x 7 months = $980.00

$500.00 for the trip for replacing/repairing or buying new gear.

$500.00 for town visits restraunts/hostels.

I plan on hiking and staying out of towns unless I have no other choice. Of course resupply.

I have seen figures on here where people have spent $12,000.00 on a thru-hike.

I have planned on $2000.00 for my hike and that will be all I take with me. This is not including the rides to and from the A.T.

Lone Wolf's post #10


Fantasy and reality are two different things. The AT is gonna show you that.

then you said post #12

Well, lets see based on your post I should save up $12,000.00 and stay at every hotel and hostel I come across and maybe bring my 90Qt. marine cooler with me.

Or, mabye you are one of those people that feel the need to attack others. Because you have no dreams, fantasies, or ambitions of your own. Hmmm I think you are.

It is kinda like guys you meet in the military. Think they know all there is to know about everything because they pulled guard duty on a fence in North Korea and when the first scud hits the ground they are crying like babies.

then you said post#16

I did ask for comments and so on. I did not ask for L. Wolf's personal attack.

I will head the advice of you and others to increase my budget. I will however still only plan on a $2000.00 budget. If needed I have the money to increase my budget 10 times that amount.

sorry the only post by Lone Wolf was post# 10 and that was not an attack!

then LW said in Post # 21

What attack? I'm saying 2 grand is a fantasy, 3 grand is more of a reality cuz you will probably get wrapped up in the AT social thing. And I do know a thing or two about the AT and military. Loose your anger, Chip.

then in post#24 you replied:

WOW!!!! Now was that hard? Did it hurt? All you needed to do to make your point was to originally post the above. And, nothing more would have been said towards you.

Have you ever stopped to think L. Wolf that there are people here that are in seek of answers and not sarcasim, rudeness, or attacks in any form?

I take to heart all advice that I receive on WB. I do realize that I have not hiked the A.T and any information, advice, and comments from those who have are priceless.

However I do know myself and what I am able to do. If I set my budget for $2000.00 I will keep to it. And, the only way that I will blow this budget is an emergency. So with the advice of others I will make sure I have more than that.

I have seen posts on here where you (L. Wolf) have given some great advice. Maybe stop and think a little before you type and then read back to yourself what you wrote and think if it might in any way affend you. Thats my advice. So have a good one wally

Post # 31 by Lone wolf


Gee Wally, you said"tear it apart and give comments" so I did and your little feelings are hurt. Not enuf smileys for ya. Why the hell did you ask if you don't plan to go over 2 grand?

Post# 32 by strebor


Becasue L. Wolf I wanted peoples honest opinon, which I got.
So I took their opinons and weighed them and multiplied them by what I have read and then divided it by your comments and it equaled you still being a jerk and making stupid rude comments to make yourself seem better than everyone else. My feelings were not hurt by you L. Wolf. Only my intelligence by your babble.
But to all else who have responded thank you and to you and you only this is what I obtained from all of your advice.

Post # 33

Then feel free to go *** yourself.

Post#34

OHHHH!!!!!!!!! NOOOO!!!!!!!! Lady Wolf such language. What will I ever do....Not very lady like


ok that is enough...based on all of that no where did LW insult or personally attack you. It is you who came back on him for his original comment and then it went up, up and away.

minnesotasmith
07-28-2006, 17:29
I don't smoke or use drugs, rarely drink, and have only stayed in a motel one night so far (if you count the Doyle as a hostel, as I do). I have not pink-blazed at all yet, either. Over half my hiking food is mailed to me via maildrops. My largest gear purchases after I have started my hike have not been out of the funds I carried with me (new pack when Dana proved to be a lousy pack when used for actual hiking, 3 pairs of trail runners, some of my maps, some of my Aqua Mira, etc.) I eat considerably fewer restaurant meals than do most other thrus I have observed, often just getting 5 bucks or so worth of cheap canned goods (per day in town) from the local dollar store to eat while in a Trail town. I have already run through over $2K. I would say that anyone who budgets less than five grand for a thruhike is planning very unwisely, that their odds of completion are thereby considerably lowered. Too, their hike's enjoyment level will be much reduced as well.

My advice? Raise your income and/or lower your expenses enough to have at minimum 3x as much money saved as you are planning.

The Old Fhart
07-28-2006, 18:07
Fantasy and reality are two different things. The AT is gonna show you that.

Well, lets see based on your post I should save up $12,000.00 and stay at every hotel and hostel I come across and maybe bring my 90Qt. marine cooler with me.

Or, mabye you are one of those people that feel the need to attack others. Because you have no dreams, fantasies, or ambitions of your own. Hmmm I think you are.Your comments on Lone Wolf's post are actually quite funny. I see nothing in his post that should have triggered your personal attack on him. I've known LW for years and disagree with him on lots of stuff but what he said is a truism and that's about as polite as LW gets. Anyone who knows him will tell you he does a lot for thru hikers, and, if you ask nicely, he may just let you use HIS marine 90 qt cooler! :D

I wish you luck when you hit the trail. Like LW said, it can be an eye-opener for some. That partially explains the low completion rate, even for those with lots of similar experiences.

1Pint
07-28-2006, 23:05
Thanks for your advice Laura, but I wasn't exactly asking for any. I'm not the one who needs a bigger "emergency cushion" -- I was just responding to Strebor's question about why I was budgeting $10K for my thru.

Terrific, glad you won't need it. But maybe the information will help someone else. Sorry if I wasn't clear.


The WORST thing you can do for your student loan debt is go into deferment when you can actually continue to pay it off (which I fortunately can). Of course, the kind folks at Sallie May won't recommend against it because the longer you defer your loan, the more money they make.

Actually, deferment's not that bad. Especially deferment on subsidized student loans where the gov't picks up the interest. Now, that's sweet. The WORST thing you can do is pay extra on a student loan debt that's sitting at 2.75% when instead you could use it for paying off a mortgage that's sitting at 5.75% or earn 3.5% if you invested it. That's just good debt management.

stranger
07-28-2006, 23:41
I have had some decent time on the trail over the years, dating back to the early 90's when I first started doing some week long hikes. In 1995 I had $3300 for my thru-hike and ran through about a grand by the time I quit, which was right about the 1/3 mark. Granted we were having fun and hitting heaps of towns.

In 2001 I spent close to $1000 hiking from Waynesboro to Vernon NJ (500 miles), again we hit heaps of towns and I found this to be a very urban section of trail so therefore very expensive. I remember resupplying every 50 miles or less in most parts and hitting all those little stores near the trail. I wouldn't hike that section in the same manner again, it was a bit too party party for me.

What I've noticed over the years is the following in general:
- Most long distance hikers either run out of money at some point or have money problems to some degree (ie going into debt, use credit cards)
- Most hikers I've met freeze their A$$ off at some point in the South cause they underestimated the weather.
- Finally, no matter what you budget, plan, etc...it tends to go out the window before you get outta Georgia.

Money is a big issue on the trail, don't underestimate the power of a hotel after many rainy days, or the lure of the cheeseburger after 62 packets of Ramen, or the reality of life which might mean unexpected circumstances along the way all of which will cost money, and potentially cost heaps of money. All of which have been talked about previously in this thread by people who have walked the walk.

People here are just trying to help you understand how much money it actually does cost to hike the trail. And there are always those who are the exception and can get by with considerably less, but I doubt many of them like hiking that way...it's probably more of a necessity than a choice.

Also I notice that you seem set on sticking to your budget, which is cool however...the AT is not a place to be set in your ways, you will need to learn how to take a punch and roll with a punch...you will need to be able to deal with change, negative change and unexpected circumstances, the bs doesn't end just cause your on the trail.

Good luck with your hike

fiddlehead
07-29-2006, 00:44
Also I notice that you seem set on sticking to your budget, which is cool however...the AT is not a place to be set in your ways, you will need to learn how to take a punch and roll with a punch...you will need to be able to deal with change, negative change and unexpected circumstances, the bs doesn't end just cause your on the trail.

Good luck with your hike

Well said!
It will be interesting to see Strebor's comments on this thread or subject AFTER his hike.
If you don't roll with the punches, chances are you will not finish.
I remember when blowdown's used to get me down. Now, i don't even think about them too much, just immedietly start looking for the easiest way around them.
no need to get upset.
what good does that do you?

Blue Jay
07-29-2006, 08:02
OK, you've established the relative costs of a thru, different for most people. Now establish the cost of NOT doing a thru. Living your life without a dream, why bother. You might as well be a cabbage (anyone know where that came from):banana .

Rain
08-03-2006, 03:36
I started reading through the various replies to your thread but stopped once I saw it turn less from your original question/topic and more towards a debate on what is and what isn't a trail experience. You CAN hike the trail with just $2000, though I highly doubt that will be the total once you finish (sorry, just coming from personal experience here). If it truly is your wish to try for that limit, I would make a few suggestions. When you do decide to break at trail towns, buddy up with a few people overnight. I've spent the night with eleven other hikers in a small two bed room (very cozy, snuck in one dog too, a hiker's dozen). Also, when in town, sift through the hiker boxes (many a hiker has gotten a majority of their meals from these boxes). If you don't get sick of Ramen, more power to you. Good luck and happy trails. =)

Time To Fly 97
08-03-2006, 10:24
I have not pink-blazed at all yet, either.

What is pink blazing? Slack-packing?

TTF

StarLyte
08-03-2006, 11:36
What is pink blazing? Slack-packing?

TTF

I am assuming pink blazing is the actual color of a blaze marking a trail off the Appalachian Trail. Many park systems have different colors, and some of those trails intersect the AT. Pink is just one color of many. If I'm wrong correct me. You'll encounter this is PA and NJ. I believe Minnesota Smith is encountering this frequently now.

Slackpacking is being able to hike, most likely for one day, without carrying your backpack. Of course you'll need to carry water, food for that day, raincoat or whatever. Someone holds your backpack for you (in their vehicle, home, business) and usually gets you to the trailhead, and will then meet up with you at the end of the day or designated time and return your pack to you. It's a REAL treat. Most shuttlers offer this service but with a friend or family member it's free ;)

It's not in the thru hiking purist's book of ethics though.

Most thru hikers take advantage of slackpacking as much as possible, from what I have seen.

hammock engineer
08-03-2006, 11:44
What is pink blazing?


Pink blazing could also involve the ladies. That tends to get costly.

QHShowoman
08-03-2006, 11:54
StarLyte: Thanks, I didn't know what "pink blazing" meant, either. I'm familiar with "blue blazing" to describe hiking along side trails, but I'd never heard the term "pink blazing" before. What an interesting lexicon this thru-hiker world has!

Alligator
08-03-2006, 11:59
I am assuming pink blazing is the actual color of a blaze marking a trail off the Appalachian Trail. Many park systems have different colors, and some of those trails intersect the AT. Pink is just one color of many. If I'm wrong correct me. You'll encounter this is PA and NJ. I believe Minnesota Smith is encountering this frequently now.

...Pink blazing is when a guy adjusts his hike to keep pace with a woman of interest, expanding some on what HE said.

The Solemates
08-03-2006, 12:01
Pink blazing is when a guy adjusts his hike to keep pace with a woman of interest, expanding some on what HE said.

Correct. It is not the color of a blaze.

Lone Wolf
08-03-2006, 12:12
What is pink blazing? Slack-packing?

TTF
Simply, it is a guy trying to get laid on the trail.

Time To Fly 97
08-03-2006, 12:12
I am certainly guilty of pink blazing. : )

I think pink blazing should refer to slack packing though!

TTF

StarLyte
08-03-2006, 12:18
DARN.

I was afraid it was that.

Give it another name will ya ???

However, there ARE trails marked with pink blazes :D

Skyline
08-03-2006, 14:59
I am certainly guilty of pink blazing. : )

I think pink blazing should refer to slack packing though!

TTF


Hey TTF I concur--if it means what Soulmates or Wolf say it means, you did some serious pink-blazing in Virginia in '97. But as I recall you slowed down instead of sped up. :-)

How have you been?

Skyline
08-03-2006, 15:04
DARN.

I was afraid it was that.

Give it another name will ya ???

However, there ARE trails marked with pink blazes :D


That's OK Starlyte. I made a similar mistake when someone referred to another hiker Rainbow Blazing. I had a COMPLETELY different thought in mind--but it actually refers to doing a little white, a little blue, a little yellow . . . you get the idea. LOL not that there's anything wrong with that...

Time To Fly 97
08-03-2006, 15:21
Hi Skyline,

Yes...very good memories of Virginia. I waited a few days for K to show up, then hiked with her off and on up to Troutsdale. My whole thru-hike was like that - I'd take series of zeros here and there for fun (4rth July in DC, Jersey with friends and family, couple days for pink-eye, etc.) and then pull a bunch of big days to catch up, so to speak. Ended up summitting on Oct. 23rd in total snow and hail and 18 degree nights. Good stuff!

New daughter on the 10th (first child), Madeleine...seems like everything else that was priority just kinda slipped away. Enjoying these times. My wife Evelina is in my profile pic.

Things are great Skyline. How about you - it is good to hear from you!!

TTF

Jack Tarlin
08-03-2006, 15:29
I also have great memories of '97, one of the all-time best Trail years ever.....including being ditched and dropped flat after Trail Days by TTF, who evidently discovered someone who proved to be a more enlightened hiking and conversation partner!

In that this was damn near a decade ago, I've long since forgiven him.

Very happy to hear he's doing so well with wife and new baby; in the vast Pantheon of people I've hiked with, or who somehow were unfortunate enough to have had to put up with hiking with me, TTF was always at the very top of the list. He did his miles, always had a smile, never seemed to be angry or upset with anyone or anything, and never complained. He was the kind of guy who could do twenty in the rain with a bum leg, and still come into camp in the dark, singing.

Hiking partners like this come along about every ten years.....if you're really lucky.

Skyline
08-03-2006, 15:38
Hi Skyline,

Yes...very good memories of Virginia. I waited a few days for K to show up, then hiked with her off and on up to Troutsdale. My whole thru-hike was like that - I'd take series of zeros here and there for fun (4rth July in DC, Jersey with friends and family, couple days for pink-eye, etc.) and then pull a bunch of big days to catch up, so to speak. Ended up summitting on Oct. 23rd in total snow and hail and 18 degree nights. Good stuff!

New daughter on the 10th (first child), Madeleine...seems like everything else that was priority just kinda slipped away. Enjoying these times. My wife Evelina is in my profile pic.

Things are great Skyline. How about you - it is good to hear from you!!

TTF


Well, I summitted on a gorgeous day, 8/15/03. But I had just dealt with three straight weeks of rain to get it. :-) Took me eight years to do what it took you one year to do, but I'm not complaining.

I'll never forget the assistance you gave me when that hateful Kelty external frame I was carrying back then bit the dust. Jack is right: You are one of a kind. And congrats on Madeleine and Evelina.

Today? Still living in the Shenandoah Valley, spend 35 to 40 weekends/year up in SNP or someplace like it either playing or working, and do a couple longer hikes each year. Still single, and at my age likely to stay that way :-)

If you're ever in the area, look me up via my profile (e-mail link) here on WB.

Time To Fly 97
08-03-2006, 15:53
Hi Skyline,

I remember that day with your pack - I was happy to help and completely enjoyed the conversations we had.

Congratulations on your summit. It is amazing how we are all hiking the same trail and everyone's experiences are different. I did it in one year...but I was fortuneate to have the time off - couldn't do it that way these days.

Why are you single? You have to go out and find a woman my friend - they don't come to you. Just find a potential kindred spirit you want to get to know better and ask her out. You are a cool guy - shouldn't be a problem after that. And age means nothing - my grandfather got remarried at 92!

Same here - if you get to Northern NJ, trail magic and good conversation awaits!

TTF

Skyline
08-03-2006, 17:58
Hi Skyline,

I remember that day with your pack - I was happy to help and completely enjoyed the conversations we had.

Congratulations on your summit. It is amazing how we are all hiking the same trail and everyone's experiences are different. I did it in one year...but I was fortuneate to have the time off - couldn't do it that way these days.

Why are you single? You have to go out and find a woman my friend - they don't come to you. Just find a potential kindred spirit you want to get to know better and ask her out. You are a cool guy - shouldn't be a problem after that. And age means nothing - my grandfather got remarried at 92!

Same here - if you get to Northern NJ, trail magic and good conversation awaits!

TTF


Oh man, there are a few on here who are going to get a chuckle out of that post. So I guess I better, uh, set the record "straight" before someone else does so more crudely. Talk about how a WB thread can change course!

Unlike the last couple years of my section hike, or my online personna, I wasn't "out" to most other hikers back in '97. So you have a chuckle too, preferably in a good way, and I hope you still think I was worth talking to.

So...my age has nothing to do with me being woman-less, but it may have a little something to do with me being single. Well, that and my chosen place of residence is less than conducive for meeting kindred spirits that I might actually have something in common with, and the laws here aren't exactly supportive if I did happen to cross paths with the right kindred spirit. But otherwise life is basically good, no complaints...being single has its good points too.

StarLyte
08-03-2006, 18:07
"Oh man, there are a few on here who are going to get a chuckle out of that post."

More than a chuckle........

......and a book to be written

Skyline
08-03-2006, 18:35
"Oh man, there are a few on here who are going to get a chuckle out of that post."

More than a chuckle........

......and a book to be written


Nah. It might prove to be therapeutic, but I doubt it would sell.

Time To Fly 97
08-04-2006, 10:25
Whoops! : )

Thanks for setting me straight but not narrow...so to speak. That must be challenging in the South my friend. When you make the trek to the much more liberal NY/NJ area one day (hopefully soon), there are PLENTY of eligable people I know who would be happy to buy you a drink...but the first is on me!

TTF

Skyline
08-04-2006, 11:15
Whoops! : )

Thanks for setting me straight but not narrow...so to speak. That must be challenging in the South my friend. When you make the trek to the much more liberal NY/NJ area one day (hopefully soon), there are PLENTY of eligable people I know who would be happy to buy you a drink...but the first is on me!

TTF


Thanx for the positive feedback.

It's a quandary more than a challenge. Southern, country folk can be and usually are some of the nicest most giving people in the world--they just vote wrong! LOL, that's a line from a speech I wrote for a progressive politician recently but I do believe it.

I have roots in the South (tho I've lived in the North) and except for the political climate I really prefer it here--especially in this rural paradise. But of course the political climate affects the social climate, and the social climate here is limiting--so that's where the quandary comes in. As time goes on, cities increasingly freak me out (too fast-paced, crowded, impersonal) tho sometimes I yearn for the more open-minded communities one often finds there. But then, the four times in my life I've met with violence from bigots--these were always in the aforementioned big cities. What to do? What to do?

Anyway, I've found 99.5% of the AT community to be tolerant, if not outright supportive, of diversity of all types. We are quite a diverse bunch most of us and I think the rest of the world could learn a lot from us about how to get along with one another (on the Trail itself for sure, um, but on the internet maybe not so much). My earlier hesitancy--mostly out of fears re: safety--to be open about who I am, was, in hindsight, unnecessary and I'm not proud of the years of my section hike when I stayed silent.

Time To Fly 97
08-04-2006, 11:43
I can appreciate all your thoughts. I feel that society evolves into tolerance. It seems obvious to me... and I strongly feel that every single person's unique identity, talents and perspectives should be welcomed at the collective table.

United we stand...

TTF

Spiritual Pillgrim
09-05-2006, 16:28
I didn't read the thread, but here are my expenses:
Trail food - $586, mostly prepared dehydated stuff at home and got them sent in mail drops
Town food - $1127
Lodging - $870
Gear - $1625 This includes any equipment that was on the trail at any time between GA and ME. Nearly none of it was purchased just for the thru hike. I've been buying stuff for years and have enough gear to outfit 2 or 3 people (if they're the right size)
Transportation - about $225. This includes a bus to Dahlonega, A train from CT to get home and a few shuttles in between. I didn't shuttle much.
Postage - I lost track of postage, but it ran into the hundreds. I had about 15 maildrops that cost (I'll guess) an average of $10, plus I sent gear home and/or used a bounce box several times.
Good Luck. SP

Spiritual Pillgrim
09-05-2006, 16:30
oops looks like i posted to the wrong thread

Spiritual Pillgrim
09-05-2006, 16:31
maybe not. just lots of stuff since the 1st one

Sly
09-05-2006, 18:37
I don't smoke or use drugs, rarely drink, and have only stayed in a motel one night so far (if you count the Doyle as a hostel, as I do). I have not pink-blazed at all yet, either. Over half my hiking food is mailed to me via maildrops. My largest gear purchases after I have started my hike have not been out of the funds I carried with me (new pack when Dana proved to be a lousy pack when used for actual hiking, 3 pairs of trail runners, some of my maps, some of my Aqua Mira, etc.) I eat considerably fewer restaurant meals than do most other thrus I have observed, often just getting 5 bucks or so worth of cheap canned goods (per day in town) from the local dollar store to eat while in a Trail town. I have already run through over $2K. I would say that anyone who budgets less than five grand for a thruhike is planning very unwisely, that their odds of completion are thereby considerably lowered. Too, their hike's enjoyment level will be much reduced as well.

My advice? Raise your income and/or lower your expenses enough to have at minimum 3x as much money saved as you are planning.

I'm just catching up on this thread. There's something wrong here. You tell us how you don't spend money, no drinks, no smoking, little town food, one motel. half your food in drops, fewer town meals, etc (What's pink-blazing to you, buying chicks motels/drinks?) ....

How did you manage to spend $2000 by NJ without having fun? :p