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Tatum
01-30-2010, 10:26
I will have around $3500 (after equipment) to spend on the thru-hike with about 15 or so mail drops from family members. Has anyone else done it with this much and how frugal did you have to be on the trail/towns? Thanks!

SGT Rock
01-30-2010, 10:29
People have done it with less. One simple rule seems to help: don't spend money on alcohol.

Seems that is where a lot of thru-hiker budgets get blown.

Read this article, it should help you: http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?p=22959#post22959

Blue Jay
01-30-2010, 10:51
I've done it for less and continue to do so per mile. 2 other important tricks are neros. Stop 5 miles from a trail town, get up early and hike in, do everything, shop, eat, get a shower if possible, pick up mail, whatever and then get out in time to get another 5 away. Also something that is real hard to do is stay somewhat away from hikers who hike from town to town and stop at every one. They are alot of fun but are expensive. You may have to hike on by. Don't worry you will see some of them again up the trail.

garlic08
01-30-2010, 10:52
That's exactly how much my hike cost me in '08, including travel and gear. I shared lodging expenses with a hiking partner. I paid attention to what I was spending, but never skimped on something I really wanted like a shower or good meal.

GeneralLee10
01-30-2010, 10:56
I know alcohol can be costly same as a stay in a hotel or hostel right? I don't like cheep beer so I know for a fact that I will not buy. Heineken is my go to beer nothing else so I mite have a challenge with that. Also for me alcohol makes me move alot slower which in return will cost. I am going to attempt the same thing here and I will keep track of my spending so I can share it with others. I would like to know one thing, if a town is 12 miles east or west from the trail crossing did you or others always get a ride or just walk? It seems like an extra 12 miles would add some time to your town trip. That would be an extra 22 miles in one day not including the miles you had to put in to get to that road. 12 miles at 2mph 6 hours long time till one can make it to town for resupply (store can be closed). So how many times did some of you get a free ride to town? I don't think it would be nice not to offer some cash for the ride. What was your typical donation for a ride from a stranger?

wcgornto
01-30-2010, 10:59
Stay away from town food, beer and $40 hostels (those with meals and amenities) and you should be OK. I spent around $6000 last year, but could have done the hike for $3500 if had to. As noted above, NEROs rather than Zeros will control cost a lot.

Compass
01-30-2010, 11:03
I have seen hikers hitching for a 0.5 mile town/store. Most get a ride of some sort if its over a mile.

Compass
01-30-2010, 11:08
There is an article here http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?p=22959#post22959 on a $1000 budget several years ago(2003).

Wheeler
01-30-2010, 11:11
Just don't spend your money on anything BUT alcohol, and you should be O.K.:)

traildust
01-30-2010, 11:16
Stay away from town food, beer and $40 hostels (those with meals and amenities) and you should be OK. I spent around $6000 last year, but could have done the hike for $3500 if had to. As noted above, NEROs rather than Zeros will control cost a lot.
6K. Nice hike for sure. it can be done on $3500 with little problem. If a town is 12 miles away, why would you go there if it is not an emergency. Keep walking. Walking is a money saver. One zero a month is affordable at $3500. Good luck.

garlic08
01-30-2010, 12:02
Walking is a money saver. One zero a month is affordable at $3500.

Excellent point. I only took three zeros on my hike, which saved lots. Definitely master the art of nearos.

My threshold for walking to something off trail was two miles. I only hitched a few times and never offered money. Tell some good stories instead. I would offer to buy a cup of coffee or an ice cream, but by then they just wanted to get away from the smell.

weary
01-30-2010, 19:25
A $3,500 thru hike is easy for us old folks -- not awful easy. We sometimes like to party too.

But it is truly difficult for folks in their 20s, who like the companionship, the beers, the atmosphere of a party -- and the dream of finding a friendly local.

The advice of the posts above is all good. The saddest moments on the trail for me was watching otherwise bright 20s blowing their next several weeks allotment in one weekend, and heading, tails-dragging, home.

Weary

Mountain Dew
01-31-2010, 07:56
While it is possible.... Why not wait another year and have plenty of money ? If you like drinking, socializing, chasing girls, and have no experience with long distance hiking then you'll most likely be off of the trail by Harpers Ferry. To me, alot of my hike was the social aspect of long distance hiking.

To go home after 1500 miles would be sad !!!

TD55
01-31-2010, 08:26
While it is possible.... Why not wait .

To go home after 1500 miles would be sad !!!

I disagree, big time. "...Why not wait...". Because if you wait you may never ever get on the trail.
"To go home after 1500 miles would be sad". Why? 1500 miles on the AT would be great IMO.
My dysfunctional philosophy and spin on life is that you should go ahead and get what you can, when you can and how you can. Let the resume entrees, braggin' rights, rules, peer pressure BS, status crap and rank be darned.
Go hike and have a good time and ignore the pressure put on you that says you have to do a complete thru.

Lillianp
01-31-2010, 08:32
I'm planning on thru-ing with only just more than that and am confident that I do, in fact, have enough money. Of course, I'm not really an alcohol type person-1 or 2 here and there. By here and there, I mean I just bought a six pack of cider last night and that was the first alcohol purchase I've made in the new year. I think if I don't drink much at all and do a lot of nero's/don't hike from town to town I should be fine. I'd rather be on the trail anyways.

TD55
01-31-2010, 08:38
BTW, I just complted a thru hike. Me and my 27 year old buddy Pete just thu hiked a 6 mile glorious hike thru a great blizzard. We pretty much buchwacked to whole way. Pete is a former trotter and barrel racer that still loves a saddle, but cause I love him we hike side by side. Best hiken pal ever.

Dogwood
01-31-2010, 10:31
If I have it right you have all your major gear purchases made and your family is sending about 15 maildrops? In 15 maildrops, assuming each contains about 4 -6 days food, you avg about 16-18 mile days, around half your required food is paid for my family members. Those 15 resupply boxes will probably save an AT thru-hiker at least $1000 in food expense along the way and they help your family and you share some of your hike. That gives $3500 for town stops, unexpected gear purchases, and travel to/from trail. Don't go crazy spending unnecessarily getting to/from the trail, in town (yes alcohol and solo hotel stays add up quickly), especially in the beginning, it's a long hike, and you should have a good time on that budget. You are good to go! Have a great hike!

Mountain Dew
02-01-2010, 04:24
I disagree, big time. "...Why not wait...". Because if you wait you may never ever get on the trail.
"To go home after 1500 miles would be sad". Why? 1500 miles on the AT would be great IMO.
My dysfunctional philosophy and spin on life is that you should go ahead and get what you can, when you can and how you can. Let the resume entrees, braggin' rights, rules, peer pressure BS, status crap and rank be darned.
Go hike and have a good time and ignore the pressure put on you that says you have to do a complete thru.

So if he waits he may never get on the trail ? Says who ? If he goes now and hikes the way he says he wants to then he may not accomplish his goals. He also said that he wanted to thru-hike .... Not enjoy a 1500 mile hike.... You are giving this guy advice based on your " I want whatever i can get right now attitude " and not what might be best for him. HE stated that he wanted to thru-hike. Nobody is putting any presure on him.

the goat
02-01-2010, 10:12
I will have around $3500 (after equipment) to spend on the thru-hike with about 15 or so mail drops from family members. Has anyone else done it with this much and how frugal did you have to be on the trail/towns? Thanks!

dude, 3500 is plenty. you can live pretty well with that much $$.

The Solemates
02-01-2010, 22:00
we spent about $5000 on our hike, but that was for 2 people, and i didnt consider us doing it frugally at all. we spent when we wanted to. i could easily and comfortably do it for $3500, but it all depends on the way in which you want to hike.

Jim Adams
02-01-2010, 23:46
zeros are not expensive at all as long as you do them in the woods.
I had 79 zero's in 1990 and 61 in 2002...I only spent 3 nights in a motel and about 10 in hostels in '02, drank as much beer as I could and always ate in town when I wanted to....it was the more expensive of my 2 thrus and I've never spent over $2500 on a thru.
Towns are not too expensive...TIME in towns is expensive. Get in, get out, party in the woods.

geek

geek

Dogwood
02-02-2010, 00:25
LOL. Am I reading that right Jim Adams? You had 79 zeros? WOW! Were any of those zeros because of being injured? I thought I took a lot of zeros! You must have read a lot of books!

Jester2000
02-02-2010, 02:21
I disagree, big time. "...Why not wait...". Because if you wait you may never ever get on the trail.
"To go home after 1500 miles would be sad". Why? 1500 miles on the AT would be great IMO.
My dysfunctional philosophy and spin on life is that you should go ahead and get what you can, when you can and how you can. Let the resume entrees, braggin' rights, rules, peer pressure BS, status crap and rank be darned.
Go hike and have a good time and ignore the pressure put on you that says you have to do a complete thru.

It would be sad in that his friends on the trail would continue on without him. He would miss the adventures ahead, and they'd miss his company.

$3500 is a realistic amount with which to hike the trail. Just pay attention to your spending and you'll be fine.

rusty075
02-02-2010, 02:48
Another easy way to save money without impacting the overall enjoyment of the hike is to put just a little extra effort into the on-trail resupply planning so you end up shopping for food in real grocery stores, as opposed to overpriced gas stations and convenience stores. We discovered last year that buying a few days worth of food at a 7-11 could easily cost twice as much as buying it at a Kroger. A little more forethought, and being willing to occasionally go a bit further between resupplies, could have avoided most of those situations.

And not buying tobacco will save you money. I was surprised at the number of thru-hiking smokers, and how much money they wasted on cigarettes.

Chaco Taco
02-02-2010, 10:50
You dont have to stay in every town. You can get food and get out.

jersey joe
02-02-2010, 11:12
So if he waits he may never get on the trail ? Says who ? If he goes now and hikes the way he says he wants to then he may not accomplish his goals. He also said that he wanted to thru-hike .... Not enjoy a 1500 mile hike.... You are giving this guy advice based on your " I want whatever i can get right now attitude " and not what might be best for him. HE stated that he wanted to thru-hike. Nobody is putting any presure on him.
I think a person should use the window they have to thru hike. As time goes on, priorities change and you might not have another good opportunity to go on a long hike. I think Dew makes a good point, if your goal is to thru hike, do everything you can to make that happen, but $3,500 bucks can be enough to thru hike if you want it to be. I think waiting to thru hike is a bigger threat to you not completing than running out of money.

Spot In The Sky
02-02-2010, 13:46
hey guys this is good advice for me too, im doing SOBO in July and am approximating $3,500 myself. I dont drink or smoke so Im not worried about that stuff, but my biggest concerns are my off trail expenses- $125 per month for college loans, cell phone plan which cant be stopped, just reduced in cost and minutes, and whatever insurance I decide to go with, if i do at all.
Those off trail expenses add up over 5-6 months too, which is what worries me.
I think $50 per month for cell, $125 per month for loans, and say $100 per month for short-term insurance= $1,650.

ShelterLeopard
02-02-2010, 14:00
I'd love to spend about this much ($3,500), but have allotted more, so I can have a comfortable hike. But to finish my hike and not find myself broke would be awesome.


That's exactly how much my hike cost me in '08, including travel and gear. I shared lodging expenses with a hiking partner. I paid attention to what I was spending, but never skimped on something I really wanted like a shower or good meal.

Good to hear- encouraging.


Stay away from town food, beer and $40 hostels (those with meals and amenities) and you should be OK. I spent around $6000 last year, but could have done the hike for $3500 if had to. As noted above, NEROs rather than Zeros will control cost a lot.

And cigarettes. (expensive and make it harder to breathe)


I disagree, big time. "...Why not wait...". Because if you wait you may never ever get on the trail.
"To go home after 1500 miles would be sad". Why? 1500 miles on the AT would be great IMO.
My dysfunctional philosophy and spin on life is that you should go ahead and get what you can, when you can and how you can. Let the resume entrees, braggin' rights, rules, peer pressure BS, status crap and rank be darned.
Go hike and have a good time and ignore the pressure put on you that says you have to do a complete thru.

For me, I want to FINISH something. For myself. I don't care if anyone else knows, don't care about bragging rights (though, it is fun to talk about hiking 2,00 miles and see people's facial expressions...). Heck- who the hell is ShLep, anyway? I just want to do something from start, all the way through to finish. All at once.

ShelterLeopard
02-02-2010, 14:00
Meant 2,000, not 2,00...

Calmwater
02-02-2010, 14:39
Thats comparable to what I spent, and I knew a few who spent less. Just remember things are generally more expensive up north, one reason for this is your food spending will increase as your metabolism increases.

Dogwood
02-02-2010, 22:16
Let's look at those resupply boxes again because I think some posters are overlooking their importance when factoring them into a trail budget. 15 resupply boxes with 5 days food in each one gives you 75 days of food. That's 2 1/2 months of food YOU DON"T HAVE TO BUY! That's probably more than 1/2 the trail for most AT thru-hikers. That's at least half your trail miles with food accounted for! That's probably at least $1000 worth of trail food you DON'T HAVE TO BUY while on the trail! Don't underestimate those savings! There are lots of things that can make a thru-hike more comfortable or you can spurge on if you so desire, but food is not one of them. Food is a necessity! You got 1/2 your required food covered!

garlic08
02-02-2010, 22:27
Dogwood, I agree the money on resupply boxes is not negligible, but I don't believe it's as high as $1000. I only spent about $750 on trail food on my hike, total, for just over 100 days worth, buying along the way. If someone gave me 75 days worth of food, it would be worth more like $500 to me. I've heard others talk about a $7 per day figure for food, too, so my experience was fairly typical I think.

JustaTouron
02-02-2010, 22:56
LOL. Am I reading that right Jim Adams? You had 79 zeros? WOW! Were any of those zeros because of being injured? I thought I took a lot of zeros! You must have read a lot of books!


People hike it end to end in less than 79 days, including their zeros. Thats a lot of zeros.

Dogwood
02-02-2010, 23:01
I hear you Garlic 08. It's debatable how much the 15 resupply boxes will save in terms of on trail money saved. I am generalizing. I am not pretending to be someone's full time accountant. My pt is that whatever the resupply food is worth it is substantial when figuring it into the total cost of an AT thru-hike budget, especially one with a $3500 hiking budget. It's generally equivalent, at least in my mind, like adding that $ amount of the resupply trailfood onto the tail end of the $3500. For example, even if the mailed food was only worth $500-$600 it's now like having a total trail budget of $4000 or $4100, enough for what the majority of AT thru-hikers I've heard relate what they spent for their thru-hikes.

And, the OP stated the cost of all their gear is already accounted for.

Seems, at least to me, that with just a little reasonable control on spending, especially in the beginning of this person's thru-hike, as they are learning about trail life, and taking some of the good advice on spending given by others, the OP has their on trail hiking expenses financed.

Just my opinion.

Hyway
02-03-2010, 00:47
I don't understand what you are saying, Dogwood. Where is this free food coming from that you are mailing to yourself? Buying in bulk will save you a percentage but it won't write off the entire cost of the food. If someone has $3500 dollars for their hike and they maildrop $1000 worth of food, then now they only have $2500 of their hiking fund left. Not to mention the cost of mailing 15 drops. That $150-$200 will likely wipe out whatever you saved by buying in bulk.

Mountain Dew
02-03-2010, 11:10
This thread has very good advice for people hiking on a $3,500 budget.... Or any budget for that matter.

Another piece of advice is to not take multiple zeros at once, or zero only in towns where there is a hostel. I say that because zeroing at a hostel for $15 is much better tban a hotel for $30-45. Or.... Zero one day a d nero the next. There are tons of tricks to saving money on the AT.

Good luck Snow Leopard....

ShelterLeopard
02-03-2010, 11:30
Did you mean me? (Snow Lep. and I get confused a LOT)

whistle dixie
02-03-2010, 11:59
i only plan on staying 2 nights in a hostel through the whole thing. i will resupply alot just don't plan on staying in town. half the motivation for doing this thru-hike is to get away from civilazation. but i don't know haven't done it yet so i might be smacked with reality real quick.

weary
02-03-2010, 12:22
I don't understand what you are saying, Dogwood. Where is this free food coming from that you are mailing to yourself? Buying in bulk will save you a percentage but it won't write off the entire cost of the food. If someone has $3500 dollars for their hike and they maildrop $1000 worth of food, then now they only have $2500 of their hiking fund left. Not to mention the cost of mailing 15 drops. That $150-$200 will likely wipe out whatever you saved by buying in bulk.
If the "free" food comes from spouse, Mom and Dad, grandparents, or friends, the hiker will still have $3,500 to luxuriate with on the trail.

More seriously, food costs for most hikers provides one of the best ways of economizing. By using generic basics, rice, oatmeal, pasta and such, plus a few spices, instead of prepacked convenience stuff, one can cut food costs by two-thirds or more.

The drawbacks: Mostly the need to learn to cook, and a willingness to carry a few extra ounces so you have a real stove with which to cook.

Weary

ShelterLeopard
02-03-2010, 12:31
i only plan on staying 2 nights in a hostel through the whole thing. i will resupply alot just don't plan on staying in town. half the motivation for doing this thru-hike is to get away from civilazation. but i don't know haven't done it yet so i might be smacked with reality real quick.

Just keep in mind (when budget planning) that what you want now will almost definitely change after you've been freezing cold, wet, and hungry for weeks. Plenty of people say "I'll only stay in hostels three times", and by week 3, all they want is a shower, warm food, and warm bed. And there is nothing wrong with that. And maybe it is necessary for them. You sometimes need that warm bed, warm shower and warm food to mentally recooperate (recoup?). If you really, really feel like you need that, it might be better if you shell out the money for one hostel night. Might be what keeps you on the trail and in high spirits.

(Not saying that this will happen for you, but it does for many)

ShelterLeopard
02-03-2010, 12:35
PS- Weary's post reminded me. You might want to consider leaving a list home directing people how to send you care packages.

I'm leaving a list of what I want (couple dollars, some specialty food I can't get on trail, homemade cookies, a travel bottle of shampoo or sanitizer, etc...), and how to package it (in ziplocs).

You could hint heavily that enough money for a hostel stay or a burger would really brighten your day- a bunch of people would gladly throw in 10 bucks, especially if they think it really might help you stay in a good frame of mind and all.

Jim Adams
02-03-2010, 12:38
LOL. Am I reading that right Jim Adams? You had 79 zeros? WOW! Were any of those zeros because of being injured? I thought I took a lot of zeros! You must have read a lot of books!
No, no injuries, no books...lots of beer! I had alot of pain in my ankles and knees if I hiked slow but I liked the people that were hiking near me on the trail so I would hike fast for 3 or 4 days and then wait for them to catch me and we would all re-stock and leave town together. I finished the trail in 191 days.:cool:

geek

Jim Adams
02-03-2010, 12:47
15 maildrops @ an average of $10-$15 per shipping costs adds up and you are still stuck with the same foods that you purchased months ago.

geek

Hyway
02-03-2010, 13:52
weary, you are correct. Food from family members is free food :). I misread the first post as family members sending him HIS mail drops. But I disagree with what you say about maildrops saving money. While it may be true that mail drops may save the experienced thuhiker money, I doubt that it saves the first timer any. I know my experience is limited but when I section hiked Georgia in March 2005 I could have easily fed myself for the whole 90 miles from what I found in the hiker boxes at Neels Gap and Hiawassee. Someone had to be wasting a lot of money on food.

JustaTouron
02-03-2010, 14:08
weary, you are correct. Food from family members is free food :). I misread the first post as family members sending him HIS mail drops. But I disagree with what you say about maildrops saving money. While it may be true that mail drops may save the experienced thuhiker money, I doubt that it saves the first timer any. I know my experience is limited but when I section hiked Georgia in March 2005 I could have easily fed myself for the whole 90 miles from what I found in the hiker boxes at Neels Gap and Hiawassee. Someone had to be wasting a lot of money on food.


if the hiker is buying 100% you are right. But if you are 20 years old and your support person is "mom" you could do a good bunch of cost shifting or yoging.

Let say it was my daughter and me and mom was sending the packages. Even if the original food budget came from my daughters funds, she calls us 600 miles in and mentions her shoes are starting to get holes in them but she is gonna try and make them last another 400 miles so she can get away with 2 pairs for the entire trip. Odds are very good the next mail drop is gonna have a pair of shoes.

Or she says that the two package of oatmeal she had budgeted for breakfast is turning out not to be enough....no way mom is gonna let her baby go hungry. There will be three packages per day starting with the next mail drop and it will be coming from the family grocery shopping.

Plus grandma is gonna want to included some homemade cookies for her granddaughter.

Dad doesn't feel she is calling home enough so he tosses in a prepaid phone card and a note telling her to call home more often.

She mentions that she has decided to save money by only filtering water that looks bad, so she won't need to replace the filter as often to save money....mom and dad tell her we will buy her the filters ..... filter the water and don't get sick.

etc. etc. etc.

And this would be a lot easier than trying to ask mom and dad for money.

It is probably easier to yogi family members than anyone else cause they love you. But you can't yogi them if you don't go to the post office.

thelowend
02-03-2010, 14:42
So if he waits he may never get on the trail ? Says who ? If he goes now and hikes the way he says he wants to then he may not accomplish his goals. He also said that he wanted to thru-hike .... Not enjoy a 1500 mile hike.... You are giving this guy advice based on your " I want whatever i can get right now attitude " and not what might be best for him. HE stated that he wanted to thru-hike. Nobody is putting any presure on him.

Yeah.. I really wanted to plan for my thru hike this year but I definitely figured that it would be worth it to wait til next year.. all that means is I do more hiking and get more in shape and save more money in the mean time.. Unless your a one dream one day, different dream the next sorta person, you should be able to keep up motivation for something this epic over a year so that funds wont be an issue. That being said.. I think you will be fine with 3500

Hyway
02-03-2010, 15:15
Too true, JustaTouron. I would do that for my daughters. I am late 40's so I am looking at it differently. I am not even posting mail drop locations because I don't want people sending me stuff. I don't want to go buy every post office just to check, plus I would rather someone donate money to Victory Junction (free summer camp for kids with special and chronic health care issues) rather than spend it on me. This was my crazy ass decision to drop everything and hike so I am not looking for charity for myself.

Jack Tarlin
02-03-2010, 17:13
This has been extensively discussed elsewhere, but a few thoughts on the subject of food drops and how they "save" money:

*Most people use Priority Mail Bulk Rate for their maildrops. I think it
presently costs around $10.70 for a reasonably-sized box.
*10 of these will run you $107.00; 15 will run you just over 160 bucks.

This means that whatever you "save" by buying food in bulk ahead of time, you have to make up 10 bucks on each package.

Let's look at a typical 4 day "food drop".

For breakfast, it contains 4 packs of oatmeal or grits.
For lunch, there's a salami, and some tuna packets.
For dinner, there are 4 Liptons.
There's some powdered milk.
For snacks, etc. there's some Pop Tarts, some granola bars, a few candy bars, some pepperoni, tea bags, a few mayonnaise packets, maybe some jerky, etc.

Fact is, even when you buy stuff "in bulk" ahead of time, you're gonna be hard pressed to save $10.70 on each parcel.

I was just in my local Price Chopper yesterday.

Liptons were on sale for a buck a piece, down from $1.59. So, yeah, saving .60 per Lipton is great theoretically, but overall, on a 4-day parcel, you "save"
$2.40 on your Liptons, maybe a buck on your Pop Tarts, a buck on your peanut butter, a buck on your candy bars, a buck on your powdered milk and incidentals, and so on.

Point is, I'm not sure that you actually "save" the actual cost of postage.

And even if you did......let's pretend for a moment that you managed to cram 15 bucks worth of food into a box that costs you $10.70.

First thought is "Whoa!! I just saved $4.30 on every box! At 15 boxes of stuff, I just saved something like $65.00!!"

Truth is, tho, when you buy all your food ahead of time (as I have done several times), there are several things you need to think about):

*Relying mainly on parcels/maildrops means you always need to keep in mind
where you are and when you'll get to town. You are ALWAYS dealing with
Post Office hours, scheduling, etc. Sooner or later, you WILL arrive in a
town when the P.O. is closed, or more likely, you'll have to alter your
schedule (like speed up or slow way down) in order to make sure you arrive
in town on a day you can actually get your mail. Doing monster miles when
you don't fell like it is not a lot of fun but if you rely on maildrops for
resupply, you WILL have to do this sooner or later.
*Or you may arrive at the wrong time and have to "blow off" a maildrop cuz
you can't wait for the P.O. to open. You want to keep hiking and not fall
behind your friends, so you end up buying food for the next four days, thus
wasting the $10.70 you spent on the maildrop.
*Or worse, you end up spending an extra day or night in town cuz you have
to wait on your mail.....you pay for lodging, restaurant meals, and all sorts
of other things you wouldn't have had to spend if not for the fact that you
ended up with an unplanned extended town stop.
*And let's not forget that the more stuff you have mailed to you, the greater
chance of a parcel arriving late or not at all.
*Nearly everyone that buys ahead of time ends up realizing later that they
hate some of their food. But they spent hundreds of bucks putting food
drops togehter back in January......so they're stuck with it. Imagine
spending the last 3 months of your trip hating half your food. But you're
stuck with it. Your choices: Suck it up and eat food you loathe. Or give
it away or chuck it and buy new stuff you actually wanna eat, meaning
you've wasted money not once but twice: Once when you purchased the
stuff you no longer wanna eat and again, when you mailed it somewhere
else.
*Most folks get food ideas from other hikers, stuff they'd never considered
or even knew existed. If you get all your food ahead of time, you're limited
in doing this.
*This one's really important: When putting together maildrops, most folks
have no real idea of their actual food needs, and for many different reasons,
mostly psychological, they tend to WAY overpack their early maildrops, as
they're terrified of running out of food. End result: They leave every town
with WAY too much stuff. They arrive in the next town still carrying 3 days
of food only to find another too-large parcel awaiting them. They end up
with way more stuff thatn they need, way more than they can eat, way
more than they want to carry. These folks end up with ridiculously over-
sized food bags (if they can't bring themselves to ditch extra food); or they
throw stuff out, abandon it in shelters, or give it away. Last alternative is
to mail extra stuff home or more likely, ahead, maybe to somewhere they
haven't already sent a drop. In other words, they pay to mail some of their
food TWICE, which is ridiculous. You do this and that 65 bucks you "saved"
doesn't go very far.
*Last one, and this is a toughie, but it needs to be said.....the majority of
folks who commence an expedition-length hike don't finish it, i.e. they don't
stay out as long as they planned. Meaning if you spend 500 bucks on food
for six months, what happens if you quit prematurely? Do you REALLY think
you wanna eat 15 boxes of Pop Tarts and Mac and Cheese and Vienna
Sausages and Power Bars for the rest of the year? Nobody wants to eat
Trail food at home, especially when all it does is remind you of the trip that
didn't work out.

But here's the real decider.....

It's four o'clock right now. I dunno what I want to eat for dinner TONIGHT, never mind five months from now. So why on earth do you think it's a good idea on February 4th to buy food you won't be eating til Veteran's Day? I kinda like the idea of going to the market an hour from now or going to 5-Olde and looking at a menu and deciding THEN what I want for dinner......
I'm not sure I would have wanted this decision made for me last July.

In short, unless you're on a special diet (vegan, kosher, no salt, etc.) or unless you're some kinda wizard with a dehydrator, most folks realize it's better to buy food while en route, except that handful of places where it makes sense to send yourself a food parcel.

As the Trail guidebooks have gotten better each year, people realize that buying en route is a lot easier than it once was; there's simply no reason to mail yourself food for most of the Trail. It does NOT necessarily save you a lot of money and on occasion, may actually COST you money, especially as regards discarding unwanted food, re-mailing it, etc.

My first thru-hike, I had something like 33 food drops.

My last one I had maybe 3.

There's a lesson there I think.

solace
02-03-2010, 17:47
Excellent Points Jack... VERY TRUE... my 1st attempt in 2004, I bought way too much in Bulk, and when I only hiked a month, I as left with quite a bit of "leftovers" at home I was trying to give away. Perhaps just buy what you need for a month to start, and go from there? ALSO, you REALLY dont know what you will want to eat... your diet WILL CHANGE every few weeks, as your miles increase, so will your appetite. You may find that If you get a good deal on x amount of jerkey, ect. That you dont want to eat that each week for 4-6 months. It is MUCH EASIER now, than say, even 10 yrs ago to get food on/ near the AT. Happy Hiking ~

JustaTouron
02-03-2010, 18:17
Jack,

Your economic are probably spot on. But you completely miss human/family dynamics.

The OP's family is buying paying for the food drops, they ain't offering cash.

I would dare say for over 9 out of 10 parents of kids in the 18-28 age range it would be much easier to convince Mom and Dad to agree to send $1500 worth of groceries and postage than convince Mom and Dad to hand over $500 cash to their son or daughter's trip.

You might think that is odd that families would be willing to spend more instead of less.

But here is why that would be the case in my family. I want my kid to eat healthy. I would prefer they not drink beer. I don't really care one way or the other if they shower on the trail. Sending them care packages means I know they at minimum have access to healthy food. (I can't make them eat it, it could wind up in a hikers box, but I know they got it.) Money can be spent on anything -- beer, weed or other stuff I don't really want to fund, that my kid is probably gonna do anyway.

Also if they are buying the food locally they have less reason to call home. If we are sending mail drops my kid has to call home when they get to each town to let us know to send more goodies. I get to talk to my kid. Ask him/her how things are going, eating enough, making friends, having fun.

I think one draw back you mention could be easily mitigated. If it was my kid we won't be buying the Veterans day meal on valentines day. We would buy the first few mail drops and then buy more stuff as we do the family grocery shopping. So if my kid said a month in more mac & cheese and less ramon noodles, it wouldn't really be a problem. We wouldn't throw away the ramon noodles, but the mix of stuff would change. OTOH, if the request was less nuts and dried fruit and more candy bars...well we might ignore that request.

toenail
02-03-2010, 19:29
Wow! I love this discussion. My wife and I are section hikers, and are being passed or passing thru-hikers all the time. I think Thru-hiking on $3500 after equipment is do-able. The area from Neals Gap-Damasscus, is where you will find that your equipment is poor Quality, not the rated temp., heavy, to much, blew a sole, ect. Expect to replace a piece of gear into that budget.
The idea of staying in a shelter 4 miles from town sounds weird, but 2 hrs after breakfast you will be doing laundry, mailing letters, buying food, talking to townies, showering, Gorging yourself at the buffet. Buy extra food, Buy a loaf of bread, fresh food, and hike out of town. That shelter, or that spot by the stream, on the other side of town is where your zero day is.
The next day is all yours, laying in your sleeping bag, reading that John Grishom book, taking a nap in the sunshine, my blister is healing, your PERSONAL privy! I took a bath in hot water 2 days in a row! Now that's what I call a zero day. And the best part is that this what you really wanted, to be immersed in nature. DON"T WORRY, the hikers will be here around 3pm, but for now this place is mine. ENJOY!
Don't fear having the greatest adventure our your life. See ya on the trail!

the goat
02-03-2010, 20:00
Towns are not too expensive...TIME in towns is expensive. Get in, get out, party in the woods.

sage advice & well put too!

Dogwood
02-03-2010, 22:05
Hyway, the OP said he is getting 15 resupply boxes from family members. Although we don't have all the details, and I'm making an assumption, I take that to mean his family is paying for the food and postage of those boxes. I could be wrong. That saves him money while thru-hiking. That means, to me, his $3500 thru-hiker budget is in line with what I hear the majority of AT thru-hikers say they spent on their thru-hikes. I think that was the original question?

One of the problems w/ the AT is that there is too much information. It's over analyzed and documented to a flaw. And, there are many, including myself, who at times add to the overwhelming over analyzing. I bet it makes some prospective hikers/thru-hikers start to doubt themselves and their hikes because they start realizing all they don't know because someone told them they absolutely had to know or do or have this or that. It adds to the false belief that one can prepare everything for their hikes, that one needs to know everything. That they can, even though IMO it's impossible, plan for everything in advance. Control! You don't need a personal accountant, nutritionist, and have the latest greatest "BEST" gear or know all the answers to thru-hike/hike the AT. Not being able to know everything that is going to happen and not being able to plan for everything ahead of time IS PART OF COMPLETING A HIKE/THRU-HIKE.

As most successful or experienced hikers will admit they learned to adapt along the journey. They had to. It was part of the journey.

Personally, I mail myself at least some resupply boxes on every hike. They don't just contain food. I include hard, inconvenient, or impossible to find or more expensive to purchase while on the trail items like: vegetarian or special diet/nutritional food that I pre packaged in specific portion sizes and nutritional content(my 3400 avg cal a day trail diet weighs between 1 1/4 to just under 1 1/2 lb), expensive batteries that I use, one kind of shampoo and soap I find hard to impossible to locate, nail clippers, fuel(often significantly cheaper when purchases in a case or larger quantity price), supplements/vitamins/medicine(what I take I cant find in a convenience store or even most large grocery stores), maps, gear(I can't find my socks everywhere I would like, I have specific tralrunners and orthotics I like, can't find them everywhere or at the prices I'm willing to pay), etc. Many of these are items I purchase very cheaply ahead of time. I know they will be available at certain places when I think I will need them. In all the resupply boxes I've Priority mailed over the yrs.(it's in the 100's) the US Postal Service lost ONE for two wks! They forwarded it ahead to where I told them I needed it. Some of the items are not found near the AT. I like that if I need something added or removed from a priority mailed resupply box I can have that changed by the person in charge of that. It gives me added flexibility with having gear when and where I want it. Before I ever did a resupply box I thought about my own needs/desires, how I hike, and I read up on the objections of doing maildrops from others. I learned a lot from those objections and how to avoid those commonly mentioned problems. It may not be the cheapest or most convenient for everyone, especially for the AT, which has lots of resupply opps and the occasional outfitter. If you don't have special needs or desires, like diet for example, it might not be the way to go. For me, doing at least a few mailed resupply drops works. Do the planning, prepare, by all means. Whether you do mailed resupply boxes or not most will figure something out at some pt or go home. BUT, eventually a hike actually begins when your feet hit the trail. At some pt you just got to go! Enjoy the journey. Don't let your brain explode before you go though!

TD55
02-03-2010, 22:41
Food from family and friends that you didn't pay for and box up amd splatter stamps onto via a mail drop is not free food unless you are a bum.

toenail
02-03-2010, 23:07
Yeah.... you yoging, dirt-baggin, mooch. Sincerly........CEO...AIG

Hyway
02-04-2010, 00:18
Dogwood, you are right about the family members sending the food. I missed that the first time around. And I agree that the AT is becoming a green tunnel on the information highway. Some people may find this strange, but even though I start my thruhike in less than 5 weeks I haven't given my AT guide more than a cursory look. I read it as I go along. Its enough that I know the stores are out there, I don't need to know their summer operating hours today.

And I have no problem with people using mail drops or not using mail drops, I just get tired of hearing how its a money saver. There is way to much food dumped in hiker boxes for that argument to hold water.

Dogwood
02-04-2010, 00:42
WOW you guys sound very judgmental and way too proud! We don't even know if what I said is correct. I only assumed it might be the case that family members were paying for trailfood and postage by what the OP stated. I could be wrong. And, if it was as I assumed could it just be that the OP has family members who love and care enough for him that they wish to share and support him on his hike by sending some resupply boxes? And for that you start labeling someone a bum?

No one said anything in life is free. And, certainly not food, postage. or time! And, certainly not because we ourselves may not have directly paid for it!

If I had a child, niece, or nephew or any family member or even a close friend who was attempting a thru-hike and it was in my power to send resupply boxes and we thought that it would be helpful I would certainly do it. AND, I certainly wouldn't think of anyone as a bum when I did it!

I suppose if a hiker EVER receives trail magic, or something from a trail angel, or receives something like a ride when hiking, or EVER took anything from a hiker box they are also labeled as a bum. If they did perhaps many more of us could be rightly labeled as bums!

Seems like we are starting to miss the pt. that a big part of doing a thru-hike often involves receiving the support of others to some degree and sharing something of ourselves or what we have to offer.

Lion King
02-04-2010, 00:52
You can rock star it on that if you are careful. if as you say, you will be getting boxes and gear isnt part of the cost.

Hyway
02-04-2010, 01:02
Dogwood, I don't think you were referring to me with that last post, but just in case ... my non charity code is more what you'd call guidelines than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner. If there is something in a hiker box I want to eat, I'll eat it. If a picnicer hands me a hot dog, I'll make it disappear. :)

Jester2000
02-04-2010, 01:34
And, the OP stated the cost of all their gear is already accounted for. . .

The gear they're starting with is accounted for, which is a slightly different thing.


Just keep in mind (when budget planning) that what you want now will almost definitely change after you've been freezing cold, wet, and hungry for weeks. Plenty of people say "I'll only stay in hostels three times", and by week 3, all they want is a shower, warm food, and warm bed. . .

This is probably the #1 reason why very few, if any, hikers doing their first long distance trail come in under budget.



*Nearly everyone that buys ahead of time ends up realizing later that they
hate some of their food. But they spent hundreds of bucks putting food
drops togehter back in January......so they're stuck with it. Imagine
spending the last 3 months of your trip hating half your food. But you're
stuck with it. Your choices: Suck it up and eat food you loathe. Or give
it away or chuck it and buy new stuff you actually wanna eat, meaning
you've wasted money not once but twice: Once when you purchased the
stuff you no longer wanna eat and again, when you mailed it somewhere
else.


. . . and some of them end up hating all of their food. One of my hiking partners on the PCT made the mistake of (cleverly, she thought) putting a ziplock full of laundry detergent in each of her mail drops. All of her food tasted and smelled like detergent. She had to eat it the whole way, because her food budget was spent. Blecch.

Dogwood
02-04-2010, 01:51
No, it wasn't Hway. Me too! If someone says hey I got all this leftover food from the picnic. Want any of it? I'm down. I'm eyeballing what's on the menu! I'll even offer to take out the garbage, do the dishes, clean up camp, light the fire, and say "thank you kindly!"

Jester, pt well made about the gear. Absolutely! I learned that the hard way too by eating some funky tasting mailed resupply food for a few days. Be careful how you package laundry detergent, insect spray, seam sealer, olive oil, etc when you place items like these in resupply boxes. All the more reason why resupply boxes suck!

OK this bum has to go to sleep now so I can get up for work tomorrow.

Jester2000
02-04-2010, 01:58
The proper way to pack laundry detergent (if you really feel you must) is inside a ziplock, with that wrapped in tinfoil, with that inside another ziplock. Otherwise, seriously, even M&Ms will absorb the smell and taste.

Tatum
02-07-2010, 11:55
Thanks for all the replies, my mail drops are going to be paid for my family members that they'll fork out $20 to send me a few days of supplies/gear. I would think of them as "love" packages instead of "care" packages, they just wanted to send a small token of acknowledgement, "yes there are other people outside the trail that are worried and think about your welfare".

The $3500 is just my budget, but I'll have well over $10k on reserve in case I go over.

wudhipy
02-07-2010, 12:18
3,500 would be a trust fund on my po-boy upcoming thru...keepin' it simple and doing as much food prep as possible in advance.:p

iamscottym
02-07-2010, 20:00
Ya'll should try mountaineering. I paid about $12k for my 3 week Mt. Whitney climb in May. My thru after that will take pocket change!

Jester2000
02-07-2010, 21:14
That's odd. I went up Whitney in one day and it was free. I would've let you come with me for $3000.

Blissful
02-07-2010, 21:20
Thanks for all the replies, my mail drops are going to be paid for my family members that they'll fork out $20 to send me a few days of supplies/gear. I would think of them as "love" packages instead of "care" packages, they just wanted to send a small token of acknowledgement, "yes there are other people outside the trail that are worried and think about your welfare".

The $3500 is just my budget, but I'll have well over $10k on reserve in case I go over.


Sounds like you're set. Have fun!

Hikingsasquatch
03-10-2010, 21:54
I did my thru in '96 with about $1400 in traveler's checks after gear purchase. I had the checks inserted into my food drops-which only cost about $25 a week thanks to bulk buying and a vacuum sealer. My drops were spaced out about 7 to 10 days, so I occasionally had the freedom to vary my diet with local purchasing. Money got a little tight by New Hampshire, but I picked up a cash job at the Loon Mountain resort working a Ska-Reggae festival. The day's wage that I picked up there lasted me through the entire state of Maine with only 3 food drops along the way. Don't sweat the money. You've got plenty so long as you devise a method to spread it out. Once you've been on the Trail for a while, you'll realize just how little we really need to be happy. Your food is mostly covered, the shelter is on your back, and the water is free; the rest is luxury. Besides, by day two, a Lipton dinner will taste like fillet mignon and a bed of pine needles will feel like memory foam. On top of all that, once you've been introduced to Trail Magic, you'll realize that it will all work out somehow.

fiddlehead
03-10-2010, 22:34
That's odd. I went up Whitney in one day and it was free. I would've let you come with me for $3000.

Maybe he rented a Lear jet or something???
Been up there 6 times now and never paid a dime.

But hey. To the OP:
Easy enough to gauge your money if you have $3500.
Go by the $2 a mile gauge and try to keep just a little under. (in Maine there's not many places to spend your money anyway)

Mags
03-10-2010, 23:01
$3500 with mail drops paid for by the family? That's a good budget.

You'll do fine...

As for $12k on Whitney. Pay me $6k and I'll take you up Whitney AND I'll throw in Longs Peak here in Colorado. Not as high, slightly more technical....

prain4u
03-11-2010, 05:03
Alcohol can be an expensive item--in a couple of different ways.

First, alcohol itself can cost a great deal of money to purchase. Second, once they start drinking, some people begin to get pretty generous (and careless) with their money. This can cost a lot of money (buying rounds of drinks, smoking when we drink, betting on things like cards, sports, darts, pool etc.). Third, EXCESSIVE alcohol consumption can sometimes cause people to get up later in the day and feel like hiking less miles. This could possibly extend the duration of the thru hike and thereby increase the overall costs.

I am not against people drinking. However, other than spending money on frequent stays at hotels/hostels, alcohol consumption is probably the primary way that someone can quickly increase the cost of any hike.

Tatum
03-11-2010, 08:11
Yeah I am going to keep my drinking to a minimum on this hike, at least I hope.....lol

Rockhound
03-11-2010, 08:33
Just don't spend your money on anything BUT alcohol, and you should be O.K.:)
At least until Franklin.

JAK
03-11-2010, 09:32
When I was a teenager my mother always said you can have as much fun with two beer as with several, and of course she was right. Of course I had to do a fair amount of experimenting, but I certainly have enough imperical evidence now to convince me that her theory was in fact, very true.

One good trick is to start with something non-alcoholic. If drinking rum and coke, for example, start with just coke, and then your rum and coke, and then switch back to coke for the rest of the night. With Scotch, I like to drink plain cold water, then my Scotch straight up, just a wee dram or two, and then switch back to plain cold water if I still happen to be thirsty. When beer is presented, I am usually fine with just 1 or 2 beer unless I am very thirsty. If I am very thirsty I will drink something like lemonade first, then the beer, perhaps as a shandy with the lemonade, and then back to just the lemonade. I suppose ice tea would be a good option down South. I find if I start with something non-alcoholic, it is much easier to switch back to something non-alcoholic once I have had my one or two. If I start on the alcohol right away, I am more likely to forget to switch back. I end up with a funny haircut or something like that. The Last of the Mojitos.

full conditions
03-11-2010, 09:39
I realize that inflation has taken its toll but in '76 I completed the trail on $ 850 including bus fare home from Millinocket. I took four zeros out of 5.5 months and I wasn't old enough to buy alcohol. From my perspective (that of a grumpy old man), 3,500 seems like a fortune.

JAK
03-11-2010, 10:06
I hear you. In the late seventies I bought a sailboat for $900 and drove all over North America hitting regattas for 4 months of summer, eating out of grocery stores, and sleeping in the car or in a tent or on friendly people boats all for under another $900. Today kids spend 10 times that for the same boat, and 10 times that in expenses. They need rich parents, or corporate or government sponsorship. We did it on summer jobs, between the sailing, and still made enough for the $900 in tuition and $20/week rent and $20/week food and beer. Kids today have it rough. To make things worse, people generally don't let them sleep in cars or in tents at regattas anymore. We were vagrants with boats, but it was acceptable back then. Now everyone is expected to pay more for everything. It sucks. It's nice hiking where there isn't so many places to spend money. Those places still exist, but are getting more and more scarce.

I was kinda hoping the reccession would fix all this, make it like the seventies again.

Old Hiker
03-11-2010, 10:39
..................If a picnicer hands me a hot dog, I'll make it disappear. :)


Now that's REAL trail magic!

weary
03-11-2010, 14:53
....I was kinda hoping the reccession would fix all this, make it like the seventies again.
Or the much maligned 50s. That's when I drove with a friend from Maine to Seattle to pick up an old car he had bought while serving in the Korean War.

We camped every night, either on the side of roads, or more usually in town parks. No one ever objected, even in downtown Seattle, where we camped for two weeks to repair the distributor of the car we were fetching.

One morning two cops came walking across the park. I was sure they were about to kick us off. But instead, they asked, "Don't you know you shouldn't park your car on the grass?

Even more interesting was the return trip to Maine. The plan had been to tow my friend's car back to Maine behind my 15-year-old Buick Special I had bought for $150 five years earlier. But his 1923 Mercedes Benz weighed about four tons and my Buick could hardly budge it. So we repaired the Mercedes and towed my Buick home instead.

The Mercedes broke down every 500 miles. So it became a month long trek, spent camping every night on someone's lawn, or some town's park.

Weary

flemdawg1
03-11-2010, 18:39
The Mercedes broke down every 500 miles. So it became a month long trek, spent camping every night on someone's lawn, or some town's park.

Weary

They don't make Mercedes like they used too. :D

Appalachian Tater
03-11-2010, 21:58
Yes $3500 is enough IF you don't smoke or drink and are careful how you spend it and nothing goes wrong. Like Jack tells people, if you've spent half by the time you've hit Harper's Ferry you better cut way back on your spending or you aren't gong to make.

It would be good to have a backup source of money for real emergencies, at least a credit card if not a parent or someone to borrow it from. What if you have a relatively minor injury and have to stay off the trail for ten days or your pack gets stolen? You don't want to have to end your hike because of that.

solace
03-11-2010, 22:01
Lots of good advice on here.. THE KEY = STAYING OUT OF TOWN FOR MORE THAN THE DAY! Going in to re-supply.. great! But, staying the nite.. and you start to spend! Remember... Town has COMFORTS! and.. COMFORTS CO$T!

You can thru on $3500 EASY :)

full conditions
03-12-2010, 10:37
I recalculated the cost of my 1976 hike by readjusting for the 289% rate of inflation that has occured since then and came up with a modern day equivilent of $2456.50. I hope this helps.

singingpilgrim
03-19-2010, 07:55
As the Trail guidebooks have gotten better each year, people realize that buying en route is a lot easier than it once was; there's simply no reason to mail yourself food for most of the Trail. It does NOT necessarily save you a lot of money and on occasion, may actually COST you money, especially as regards discarding unwanted food, re-mailing it, etc.

My first thru-hike, I had something like 33 food drops.

My last one I had maybe 3.

There's a lesson there I think.

While I think that is, in it's way, awesome advice, I know I'm still going to do mail drops b/c I know me. I know if I budget a thousand dollars on food and spend 650 on food and postage and know I can count on that coming (basing this on you saying 500 worth of food in your post), then I will be very careful with my 350 that's left, and I'll be able to eat better in the long run, even if I have some meals where I'm like 'not another XXX!!". But if I just buy my first few days of food and give myself 900 to spend in towns I'll go one of three routes: be too terrified I'll run out of food before New England I don't eat enough in the south and burn out, spend it all too fast in the south where I'm starving from suddenly burning waayyy more calories than I realized and not have the cash I thought I did when I get to the north and prices rise, or I'll start buying only the comfort foods that appeal to me at the moment and not be nutritionally conscious so I start feeling crummy on top of feeling crummy from my muscles working harder than they ever have before and crash...

So I'm doing mail drops not because I think they're the best idea ever, but because I know my own weaknesses and think they're the best choice for me. Actually, it'd be awesome if some of you experienced hikers would share some of your favorite trail meals, so we novices can try them out now and have more of a variety of ideas of things to bring with us. That'd be very helpful. :)

And seriously, I mean it when I say it's great advice. I definitely took it into account, and it's one of the reasons I want to make sure I only plan like for 75% of my food budget, and not more, so that I can have 15% to do whatever my urge at the moment is...

Also, the advice of experienced hikers has made me see the necessity of doing at least a week long hike this summer or fall so I do know what my habits and cravings are likely to be, so thanks guys.

singingpilgrim
03-19-2010, 07:57
25%*
I really need to proofread more closely.

quasarr
03-21-2010, 18:23
My boyfriend spent about $3800 not including gear. That's after he hiked the first 500 miles with me, a much slower hiker (therefore, more town stops) who was much worse at resisting delicious things (therefore, many more restaurants and bars visited). Also that's including a day trip to Washington, DC with me when he got to Harper's Ferry.

trailangelbronco
03-21-2010, 19:04
My buddy thru hiked in 92 and carried smokes, candy and crap and sold it on the trail. Says he extended his money quite a bit.

He sat at shelters and sold smokes and candy bars. His trailname? Merchant.

Jester2000
03-21-2010, 22:10
My buddy thru hiked in 92 and carried smokes, candy and crap and sold it on the trail. Says he extended his money quite a bit.

He sat at shelters and sold smokes and candy bars. His trailname? Merchant.

His trail name should have been "Prison."

trailangelbronco
03-21-2010, 23:02
Why prison?

Jester2000
03-21-2010, 23:06
Because that's what you use as currency in prison.

goedde2
03-30-2010, 14:08
One thing you might want to consider is sharing a room with a fellow hiker. This works if you feel comfortable with that idea. It also works to go together in a group for a shuttle ride, or a hitch, sharing the expenses.

Trailbender
04-05-2010, 16:07
I am doing my thru on $1500. That does not include gear though. I have backpacked for years and pretty much perfected my gear. I am at Erwin, TN, and have spent around $280 so far. Washing clothes in the shower can save some money, hitting up hiker boxes, and being willing to eat just about anything helps. I am also very good at fixing things, and have kept my pair of trailrunners going with dental floss thread and 550 cord.

I don't drink on the trail, and will not spend a lot of money in town, even if my other hiker friends want to spend a lot. I am the only one who can get me to Katahdin. Doing a town nero, having self discipline, and hiking longer days are good ways to do it. I do have a bit to spare in case my budget isn't enough, but I think I can get pretty close before I use up the designated $1500. Even if I can't, actively trying to be frugal definitely will save a lot of money.

Graywolf
04-05-2010, 16:19
I am doing my thru on $1500. That does not include gear though. I have backpacked for years and pretty much perfected my gear. I am at Erwin, TN, and have spent around $280 so far. Washing clothes in the shower can save some money, hitting up hiker boxes, and being willing to eat just about anything helps. I am also very good at fixing things, and have kept my pair of trailrunners going with dental floss thread and 550 cord.

I don't drink on the trail, and will not spend a lot of money in town, even if my other hiker friends want to spend a lot. I am the only one who can get me to Katahdin. Doing a town nero, having self discipline, and hiking longer days are good ways to do it. I do have a bit to spare in case my budget isn't enough, but I think I can get pretty close before I use up the designated $1500. Even if I can't, actively trying to be frugal definitely will save a lot of money.

I totally agree.. I have been told and read that 2.5-3.00 a mile is about right..Well, when I did my 30 mile section hike last year to Neels Gap (30) miles, that should have ended up being 74-90.00, but it came up to a very small $15.00..Thats only .50 cents a mile..WoW!! So much for big spending..

Graywolf

Jeff
04-05-2010, 17:34
I totally agree.. I have been told and read that 2.5-3.00 a mile is about right..Well, when I did my 30 mile section hike last year to Neels Gap (30) miles, that should have ended up being 74-90.00, but it came up to a very small $15.00..Thats only .50 cents a mile..WoW!! So much for big spending..

Graywolf

Just wait for that hiker appetite to kick in after 500 miles or so. :D

Trailbender
04-14-2010, 12:26
Just wait for that hiker appetite to kick in after 500 miles or so. :D


Mine kicked in around 200. Ate 19 lbs of food in 6 days in the Smokies. The snow made me burn a lot more energy, and I ate constantly.