View Full Version : Thrifty Thru-Hikes

07-15-2004, 18:46
A recent post spurred this idea--not quite like eating excess food at restaurants, etc. How thrifty can thru-hikers be without their circle of comfort disappearing? I met Griffin finishing at Katahdin a few years ago--if he was to be believed it cost him less than $400. He scrounged at hiker boxes, traded work for stay, said the unfiltered water was fine. He was a survivor having travelled the world on a shoe-string budget. I gave him a lift to most of the way to the NY airport a week before 9-11, where he was flying home to New Zealand. His approach fails thru saturation, but it worked for him.
Also a related Tom Brown idea: has anyone met hikers making a significant addition to their diet through native wild food--grouse, rabbits, wild vegetables? Thanks for bearing with my curiosity.

Jack Tarlin
07-15-2004, 19:35
1. People can add to (improve?) their diets by living off the land as they go, but whether or not they can put a "significant" dent in their trip budget by doing so is debatable. First off, the ammount of time you'd have to spend scrounging for edible food would be prohibitive; secondly, most folks don't have the knowledge to know what is worth eating, what should be eaten, what is dangerous, etc. Thirdly, there aren't a whole lot of calories in such things as berries, mushrooms, edible plants, etc. Scrounging for them might keep you alive, but to actually live off of or derive significant benefit what you can forage would be a long stretch. Lastly, it should be remembered that in choosing to live off berries, fruits, plants, etc., you'd also be depriving the animals that live nearby of some of their food, and this is wrong. Instead of spending time each day foraging for food that forest creatures depend on for their survival, I think it'd be better to save a few hundred extra dollars before you head out.

2. There are many ways to save money on a thru-hike, the most significant being limiting and disciplining your town time---it's very difficult to spend any money when you're on the Trail and not in town, and by cutting your town trips to a minimum, and by making sure you get in and out of town as quickly and efficiently as possible, you can save a great deal of money.

3. There have been other threads here at Whiteblaze on money-saving tips and advice; among the best of these is Weathercarrot's extended piece in the "Articles" section, which deals specifically with hiking on a budget.

Jack Tarlin
07-15-2004, 19:50
"Articles" sections seems to be MIA; Weathercarrot's comments can be found in today's posts in the thread called "Ideas for an Inexpensive Thru-Hike"

SGT Rock
07-16-2004, 06:47
It is still there under "Information" in the navigation bar at the top. Here is the link: http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/wcadvice.php