View Full Version : Thru-hike Funds

12-05-2002, 19:54
I was wondering what the avg figure is for a typical thru-hike financially these days. On my last hike I spent alot of money but also had alot of fun (towns,bars,restaurants,water parks) and would like to know what people spent on 01-02 thru-hikes. I was thinking about $3500 these days...gear excluded. I could get by on less, but don't wanna be shortchanged, I like restaurants haha. Any info would be great. Thanx

Lone Wolf
12-05-2002, 20:00
My first 4 thrus cost $2500-$3000. In 2000 it took me and Gypsy 9 months to hike 1500 miles. I spent $12,000.

12-06-2002, 08:48
Well, Stranger, I think you have a good handle on costs of thru-hiking.

With a few exceptions, hiking the trail itself doesn't cost anything. It's in town where you spend the money. So, the more you enjoy comforts, including motels and restraurants, and the more time you spend in towns, the more you are going to spend.

As you point out, you could do it on less, but probably the $3500 figure is a good average these days for the average thru-hiker.

12-06-2002, 09:57
Hey Stanger,
You are right on target here just about $3,500. will do it.How ever you will have to watch out for the money you spend in town.And watch out for how many HERO days you take.But all in all the $3,500. should do it.You should know how fast money flys a way when your in town.:)

12-06-2002, 13:53
I'm in the process of saving up for a cross country trip, as well as 4 months in Mexico & Central America. I've been saving for 13 months, and have 15 more to go before leaving my job. I'll be gone for 17 months.

I'll be Hiking, climbing big mountains with guides (ie. Shasta & Moran), Kayaking (ie. Everglades, Badlands), and hitting every capital city in the lower 48. Food/Fuel/Fees will run me $23,000 for 16 months. I will be documenting everything via journals, photos, and video. When I return I'm going to make a DVD documentary on it all, hopefully making enough $ to keep traveling (possibly to Asia or South America). I have alot of it planned in detail right now (including an itinerary for the first 250 days), and am planning a website.

12-06-2002, 14:26
Hey EZ...if it weren't for you I wouldn't have spent so much damn money in 01 haha. The Shenandoah's killed me! Fun times though.

12-06-2002, 15:17
Damn, I had no idea people spent that much. I have allotted 2500 for my 2003 hike. I have people sending a lot of stuff to me via maildrop and I have family up and down the trail corridor but I guess I'll still have to go easy on the HERO days huh?

12-06-2002, 15:34
I'm going even cheaper than that OU. I have slightly less than $2000 for when I hit the trail. All told it should be more than enough for the town time I intend to spend.

12-06-2002, 17:47
Likewise, I kept track of my expenses, and actually spent about $1800. Now, I only took 2 days off (to go to trail days), and only spent 2 nights in a motel. But, I rent a ducky, and rent a mountain bike.

One of my objectives was to hike the trail, not drink beer and see small town America.

So, hiking the trail can be done for much less than $3500, as well as much more than that amount. You need to decide what your goals and objectives are going to be along the way.

Hammock Hanger
12-06-2002, 18:25
I didn't keep track of my expenses on the whole. I am one of the lucky ones who basically could do as I pleased. My husband financed the trip for me and he is generous.

My first year out I was in the thick of the thur-hiker crowds and found I actually stayed in towns much more often. Showers and laundry extremely important to me. It seemed as if every 7-9 days was spent in a town.

My second time out I was out earlier then the main crowd spending a lot of time alone. You would think that would make me want to get into town more often... it actually had the opposite effect. I spent less time in towns (I still hit some don't get me wrong). I got comfortable in my dirty clothes and skin. I laundered less, no I didn't get disgusting...well a little.

I enjoyed both experiences, in different ways. HH

12-06-2002, 22:08
i guess i spent 6,000 or 7,000 altogether. that's not typical, but i tended to make the most of my town visits. phone, food, lodging and rental cars. god bless enterprise! why rental cars? some of those towns are really spread out or services are spread over a couple of towns and i didn't always want to take a zero day to get things done and who wants to hike to laundry, stores, etc. also, i always spent some time shuttling other hikers here and there. probably do the same again in 2003 and it'll probably cost more than 2000.

12-07-2002, 00:28
In 95 I met this guy John Feather...he had hiked the C&O Canal outta DC to the AT. Apparently he was homeless, and took whatever money he could find, rounded up anything that might work, and did a pretty big section on basically no money. If I remember correctly he hiked 8-900 miles on like $250. When I met him his soles had fallen off his boots...so he tied them back on with rope. His cook pot was an old coffee can and he cooked over fires. One of the best people I ever met while hiking. This guy could start a fire with anything, anywhere, regardless of the weather.

12-08-2002, 00:38
Originally posted by Lone Wolf
In 2000 it took me and Gypsy 9 months to hike 1500 miles. I spent $12,000.

that hike must have been alot of fun. I spent about 600 last year just to get to Gatlinburg ..... LOL

I did also meet a hiker with a $900 fund and also meet a hiker with none and worked from town to town. I know he made it atleast to Damascus, cause at trail daze I bought him a meal and a beer at Dot's, maybe alot of people bought him meals and brews along the way. LOL