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gnpwdrtreason
07-27-2012, 14:20
Now I know most of you (or at least those I've talked too) say you should bring about 4000 dollars on the trail, and I've heard 2 bucks a mile (which strangely comes out to 4000!) a few times. But I myself am a poor 21 year old. Now I'm willing to cut out hotel stays, hostel stays, and live off lentils and beans for six months no problem. So what would you say the cheapest way to do this is? Thanks ahead of time guys, you never let me down

4shot
07-27-2012, 14:26
this has been a much discussed topic here. The search button should help you find a great deal of discussion. My only comment: running out of $$$ is a big reason why some hikers don't make it all the way, especially the younger ones. Of course if your goal is not a thru hike then you simply hike until you just have enough left to get back home.

kayak karl
07-27-2012, 14:27
hike the trail for $2000 without begging or ripping people off. then write a book on how you did it and sell it to get your $2000 back. the only downside to this is the people that would want your book couldn't afford it and those that could, wouldn't need it.

"I'm willing to cut out hotel stays, hostel stays, and live off lentils and beans for six months no problem" Heard that before. LOL

RED-DOG
07-27-2012, 14:35
I would not leave Springer MT with no less than 5000, ready to spend on the trail for a thru-hike, and thats not including the gear cost before departure.

silverscuba22
07-27-2012, 14:54
Now I'm willing to cut out hotel stays, hostel stays, and live off lentils and beans for six months no problem. So what would you say the cheapest way to do this is? Thanks ahead of time guys, you never let me down

LOL EVERYONE says this and very very VERY few can do it !! and as more beans and lentils everyday give me a break.. it is july 27th, im guessing your not leaving now. so im going to assume next year, march timeframe like most people. You say your a college student, get a parttime or weekend job, if you are serious there are a ton of diffent way to get money. im at UNT in denton tx, and they have a plasma thing where you get 50 bucks a week, heck if you just did that , that would add 1400 more bucks to your hiking fund before you leave.

I was big on the" you could do the trail on 1500 to 2000" posts awhile back, and while it can be done and has been done, i wouldnt try it, and i wouldnt tell you to try it.... you are going to meet some of the BEST and nicest people you have ever met while hiking, and THEY will be going into town and stayin in hotels and going out to dinners or to the bars, and you WILL!!!! want to go to town. have 4k and ENJOY your trip, the people were what made the trip for me.

As for how much i spent, i broke my ankle outside of damauces. by that point i had already spent 1200, 400 was on some new shoes, hiking poles, and xrays for the ankle. but it adds up fast. take as much as you can get together , YOU DONT HAVE TO SPEND IT lol.

Maddog
07-27-2012, 15:04
hike the trail for $2000 without begging or ripping people off. then write a book on how you did it and sell it to get your $2000 back. the only downside to this is the people that would want your book couldn't afford it and those that could, wouldn't need it.

"I'm willing to cut out hotel stays, hostel stays, and live off lentils and beans for six months no problem" Heard that before. LOL
LOL! I've heard it before too! Hell...I've said it! I went into Hiawassee, then to Franklin, and ended up back in Hiawassee before I got back on the trail 4 days later! Good times! LOL! Maddog:)

DavidNH
07-27-2012, 15:11
why not delay your hike for a few years till you HAVE 5,000 dollars to spend.

You can forget about living off of rice and beans exclusively for six months. Forget that right now! You'd be the first thru hiker to ever do that. You will in reality be going to all the buffets and fast foods you can find and still begging any passer by for anything edible that isn't nailed down. You clearly don't yet understand thru hiker hunger. Food dominates every thought you have.. or it will eventually.

Also.. I'd put down money that there's no way in hell that you'll hike for six months and never stay in a hostel, motel etc. You will need the rest and will want it. You need to get cleaned up. You need to shop for food. You need time in town.

4,000 dollars is not a lot of money for an AT thru hike. It's almost a bare minimum. It assumes there aren't problems, equipment doesn't need replacing etc. For starters, you won't make the whole trip on one pair of boots. The old dollar a mile rule I think is 10 years or more old. Things are more expensive now.

In short, your thru hike will be a lot more enjoyable if you don't have to pinch every penny.

DavidNH

wookinpanub
07-27-2012, 15:19
Some of this might be the influence of the crowd you're hiking with. I hiked solo southbound and wasn't overly tempted to dawdle in town or go into one when I didn't need to. I purchased my gear and food ahead of time. The only time I got off of the trail was to go into town for a mail drop. Each mail drop contained enough food to get me to the next mail drop and no further. In today's $$, I did the trail on less than $1,000 cash and it took 109 days including 8 zeroes. It can be done.

Supreme Being
07-27-2012, 15:33
I would recommend that you watch all of Loner2012's videos! He is still on the trail right now and is in Maine. This is a guy who rarely stayed in hostels. He only stayed in town a few times and when he did, he shared a motel room for about $20. He didn't eat out that much, but instead bought bread and baloney and staples. You never saw him going out for beers with the guys. His shoes were literally duct taped together. As I was watching it, I saw how he was watching every penny and was pretty impressed with how thrifty he was. Even so, about half-way there, he started to run out of money and was going to get off the trail. His grandmother came through for him and he has been able to finish his thru. He states in his video that he thought that he could do it for about $2200 ($1 a mile) but that was just not possible. He then went on to say that he would now estimate $2 a mile and that is if you are being very careful with your money.

I personally have never seen any hiker economize more during a hike than Loner and not out in the forrest digging up roots and berries. Even in the last 1-2 yrs, prices have skyrocketed in some of these places due to the increase in fuel and I think current hikers will now tell you that $4000 provides them with just the basics.

hikerboy57
07-27-2012, 15:43
how much do you enjoy suffering?

Tom Murphy
07-27-2012, 15:48
My advice to you is:

- live frugally today and save the money so you do not need to be frugal while on your thru

- a SOBO hike rather than an NOBO since that direction seems to be be less expensive due to there being fewer friends around spending their money

- hike the LT instead

Don H
07-27-2012, 15:56
wook, I seems you're not including food and gear in your $1,000.

The cost of a thru has many variables, here's some but probably not all:
Time on trail, 109 days is cheaper than 190 days
Zeros, bars, restaurants and entertainment
Town stops to buy food. You always wind up buying more than just food.
Laundry, showers.
Food drops if you're not buying local. Don't forget the shipping. If buy at home and do drops you still have to buy the food.
(And then you still have to buy food locally when you miss your drop.)
Shuttle fees, you need to get to town and sometimes you have to pay.
Gear you buy before you leave is still part of the cost of hiking.
Gear you break or wear out and have to replace. Shoes, poles and clothing will need to be replaced.
Shipping winter gear home and summer gear to the trail. Then do it again in reverse up north.
Fuel and other consumables.
Emergencies. Injuries, medical treatment, a trip home for a family emergency.

If you really want to thru-hike do yourself a favor and make sure you have enough money to finish plus some to spare. It sucks to have to go home in MA because you ran out of money (seen it happen). How much that is depends on you and how you hike.

You don't want to be one of those people who we all have met who don't have enough money to support themselves on the trail but do it anyway at the expense of others.

Good luck!

turtle fast
07-27-2012, 15:59
In reality you will need more than $2000, its just a fact with resupply, fuel for stoves, and other incidentals. Like others say here, wait a year and save your cash until you have a little bank to do it instead of trying to force it earlier. It also gives you time to do some other odd jobs to get some extra cash and make some wise gear purchases. I saw way to many hikers like this drop out due to lack of funds (cash) and you won't enjoy your hike either.

hikerboy57
07-27-2012, 16:02
if you don't have enough money you will obsess about it. it won't be fun even when it supposed to be.

Supreme Being
07-27-2012, 16:07
Some of this might be the influence of the crowd you're hiking with. I hiked solo southbound and wasn't overly tempted to dawdle in town or go into one when I didn't need to. I purchased my gear and food ahead of time. The only time I got off of the trail was to go into town for a mail drop. Each mail drop contained enough food to get me to the next mail drop and no further. In today's $$, I did the trail on less than $1,000 cash and it took 109 days including 8 zeroes. It can be done.


If you have someone sending you all your food, it is going to be just as expensive - but if your parents are buying the groceries, it will help tremendously. But if they are mailing you that many groceries, they would come out ahead just giving you the cash due to mailing costs - even with flat rate packaging.

Wook-When did you hike your thru? If it was less than 2 yrs ago, you are the man who needs to write the book.

leaftye
07-27-2012, 16:17
Section hike. It's what you'll probably end up doing, except you could accept it now and not be disappointed, or set your heart on a thru hike and be disappointed when you can't afford to finish. There's nothing wrong with section hiking.

trippclark
07-27-2012, 16:51
You have gotten lots of good advice in this thread so far, and certainly a pattern can be seen. Assuming your intention is for a northbound hike next season, you have a good 8 months or more. Live as cheaply as you can now and earn and save money like crazy until you have at least $5000 saved. If this hike is important to you, you will find a way to do this. If it is not that important to you, then you probably will not have the necessary drive to finish anyway. Best of luck!

perrymk
07-27-2012, 17:49
While I've done a lot of reading in preparation for my anticipated 2020 thru hike, I have not actually thru hiked so take my thoughts with a grain of salt if you like.
That said, I like to think up scenarios and try them on paper. If it doesn't work on paper, it is even less likely to work in practice. Plus it’s just fun for me (ignore deep insights into my psyche). My thoughts are that paper is the minimum. Reality will likely cost more.

I looked up the cost of lentils.
$9.49 + $6 shipping. You can bring the shipping down if you buy in bulk, but it has to be sent to where ever you go on the trail so more shipping. Incidentally, lentils are about the least expensive bean.
lentils
Serving Size Apx 3 Tbsp (40 g)
Servings per Container - Apx 61
Calories 90
http://beprepared.com/product.asp?pn=FS G220

that's 5400 calories for $15.49.

Assuming you walk 15 miles per day (I believe a reasonable average), plan on going through 5000 to 6000 calories per day.

2200miles/15(miles/day)=147days
147 days * $15.49 per day = $2277.03

That’s over half your budget and you’re not eating well.
Plan on spending money on shoes. My guess is at least 4 pairs of shoes at $100 per pair.

So we’re near $2700 assuming you eat only lentils and your gear doesn’t fail. If you vary your diet at all in the interest of sanity and health, it will double.


Let’s vary a little bit just for health.

Mixed Vegetables for Stew - 30 oz
$15.95
NUTRITION FACTS
Serving Size Apx ľ cup (18 g)
Servings per Container - Apx 47 Amount per serving
Calories 60
http://beprepared.com/






Another 2820 calories for $22 (including shipping)

Mix the vegetables and lentils and you have 8220 calories for about $40. That ends up at roughly $25 per day * 147 days =$3675. Throw in the shoes and you’re over budget.


By the way, we haven’t yet added the cost of fuel to cook the lentils. No money for laundry, no ice cream, no hotel. I won't tell anyone what to do, but please crunch a few numbers.

Pedaling Fool
07-27-2012, 17:57
People do seem to like to talk about money....I don't get it, but maybe it's because of from where I hail.

WingedMonkey
07-27-2012, 18:03
Open a web site/ blog, now before you run out of time to explore all the possibilities. Start posting how much you would love to hike and add a link to how folks can "donate" to you with Paypal. Be creative in how much this hike means to you and how different it is from all the others.

If that doesn't bring in the cash, announce some favorite charity you are gonna hike for.

Stir Fry
07-27-2012, 18:40
So all the food and mail drops were free. If not they need to be adden in to the cost. Some how I would think it cost a lot more then $1,000.

Hairbear
07-27-2012, 19:00
Now I know most of you (or at least those I've talked too) say you should bring about 4000 dollars on the trail, and I've heard 2 bucks a mile (which strangely comes out to 4000!) a few times. But I myself am a poor 21 year old. Now I'm willing to cut out hotel stays, hostel stays, and live off lentils and beans for six months no problem. So what would you say the cheapest way to do this is? Thanks ahead of time guys, you never let me down do you have a vehicle ? you could always sell it and start over when you get back.you could always get a credit card, and work an extra day a week when you get back to pay it off.any things you already own could be sacraficed now for funds.

tluweyen
07-27-2012, 19:29
Work while you are in school and eat cheaply now so that you can save extra money. Sell stuff on craigslist, whatever you can do to get extra cash.

MuddyWaters
07-27-2012, 21:18
Ramen noodles runs about 380 cal/$1 for a package
Snickers runs about 330 cal/ $1 if you buy in 48ct box
A medium Dominos pepperoni pizza will net you about 370 cal/ $1
Trail mix runs up to 650 cal/$1 if you buy in bulk 25 lb quantities
Little Debbie oatmeal pies are about 1250 cal /$1 in a 12 ct pack from any walmart for $1.50

You can figure it out. You CAN eat 5000 cal a day for cheap. You just have to get the bulk of your calories from Little Debbie.

10-K
07-27-2012, 22:01
if you don't have enough money you will obsess about it. it won't be fun even when it supposed to be.

But, with a SILWF you can filter up to a million gallons. One thing you don't have to worry about...

hikerboy57
07-27-2012, 22:30
But, with a SILWF you can filter up to a million gallons. One thing you don't have to worry about...

And a lot of lentils.water and lentilslots of useful money raising suggestions here. become a sperm donor sell your hair to a wig factory. kidneys are in high demand.
you're gonna need a lot of lentils..

Double Wide
07-27-2012, 22:52
Another trick I've seen thru-hikers do is to stop just outside of town at the nearest shelter, and avoid doing the zero in town. Get up early, get to town, run your errands, take a nero, and leave town early the next morning. Zeros are expensive. Or even better, get out of town the same afternoon and avoid the costs of a hostel or motel.

But that's tough to do after 5-6 days in the woods with no shower and no clean clothes...

fiddlehead
07-27-2012, 23:27
Depends how you were brought up.
My wife could probably do it on $1,000 total (after equipment cause she would use mine, or my old stuff)
She was brought up poor.

She finds things to turn into money. Like seashells or rocks that can be made into a necklace. Or woodcarvings. etc.
She makes deals like cooking her own dinner in a restaurant's kitchen. (probably couldn't always get away with that in the states though)
She makes friends easily that way and I am always yelling at her about it cause we can afford it.
But, she grew up poor and that is the way they act. She brings her own rice and water to a restaurant (again, it's allowed here in Thailand)
She explores the beaches at low tide and finds clams, small shell fish, etc.

You will need to find ways to make money while hiking.
This is not so hard.
I can busk in most towns at restaurants, bars, etc. (I don't do it a lot while hiking because I get up with the sun and normally go to bed with the sun)

You could put ads on craigslist for the towns coming up that you are willing to work for peanuts for a few days to help fund your trip. I've hired thru-hikers to help with construction projects already.

Maybe make jewelry from stones and woodcarvings, etc. and sell to richer hikers.
Or draw their portraits with charcoal from the fire-pit??? (What are you good at?) (arm wrestling? knife throwing? online poker?)
You'll need to come up with something to do the trail (and keep it fun) on $1,000 IMO.

Where my wife comes from, they eat a lot of bugs and larvae and ants and things like that. It's good protein, and yes, we look down on it but, they certainly don't.

But lentils only? Nah. Even my wife wouldn't try that.

Different Socks
07-28-2012, 02:00
I would not leave Springer MT with no less than 5000, ready to spend on the trail for a thru-hike, and thats not including the gear cost before departure.

6 months to do the trail divided into $5000 is $28 to spend every day!! Holy SH$T!! Man you hikers of today don't live in the actual reality.
With food and equipment taken care of I could easily do the trail for $2000, probably less.

Different Socks
07-28-2012, 02:09
LOL EVERYONE says this and very very VERY few can do it !! and as more beans and lentils everyday give me a break.. it is july 27th, im guessing your not leaving now. so im going to assume next year, march timeframe like most people. You say your a college student, get a parttime or weekend job, if you are serious there are a ton of diffent way to get money. im at UNT in denton tx, and they have a plasma thing where you get 50 bucks a week, heck if you just did that , that would add 1400 more bucks to your hiking fund before you leave.

I was big on the" you could do the trail on 1500 to 2000" posts awhile back, and while it can be done and has been done, i wouldnt try it, and i wouldnt tell you to try it.... you are going to meet some of the BEST and nicest people you have ever met while hiking, and THEY will be going into town and stayin in hotels and going out to dinners or to the bars, and you WILL!!!! want to go to town. have 4k and ENJOY your trip, the people were what made the trip for me.

As for how much i spent, i broke my ankle outside of damauces. by that point i had already spent 1200, 400 was on some new shoes, hiking poles, and xrays for the ankle. but it adds up fast. take as much as you can get together , YOU DONT HAVE TO SPEND IT lol.

Again another crazy estimate on doing the trail!! $4000 for restaurants, lodging, extra food and shipping, plus some misc here and there? That's ridiculous!! If the average hiker stops once every 5 days, that comes out to 36 zero days in a 6 month thru hike. Divide that into $4000 and the hiker would have $111 to spend at each stop. Since most places to stay are less than $20 for one night, that leaves $91 to spend on food, shipping, repairs, etc.
Come on man!! Nobody is gonna spend over $100 at every town stop!! The trail can be done for $2000!!

Different Socks
07-28-2012, 02:20
While I've done a lot of reading in preparation for my anticipated 2020 thru hike, I have not actually thru hiked so take my thoughts with a grain of salt if you like.
That said, I like to think up scenarios and try them on paper. If it doesn't work on paper, it is even less likely to work in practice. Plus itís just fun for me (ignore deep insights into my psyche). My thoughts are that paper is the minimum. Reality will likely cost more.


I looked up the cost of lentils.
$9.49 + $6 shipping. You can bring the shipping down if you buy in bulk, but it has to be sent to where ever you go on the trail so more shipping. Incidentally, lentils are about the least expensive bean.
lentils
Serving Size Apx 3 Tbsp (40 g)
Servings per Container - Apx 61
Calories 90
http://beprepared.com/product.asp?pn=FS G220

that's 5400 calories for $15.49.

Assuming you walk 15 miles per day (I believe a reasonable average), plan on going through 5000 to 6000 calories per day.

2200miles/15(miles/day)=147days
147 days * $15.49 per day = $2277.03

Thatís over half your budget and youíre not eating well.
Plan on spending money on shoes. My guess is at least 4 pairs of shoes at $100 per pair.

So weíre near $2700 assuming you eat only lentils and your gear doesnít fail. If you vary your diet at all in the interest of sanity and health, it will double.


Letís vary a little bit just for health.

Mixed Vegetables for Stew - 30 oz
$15.95
NUTRITION FACTS
Serving Size Apx ľ cup (18 g)
Servings per Container - Apx 47 Amount per serving
Calories 60
http://beprepared.com/






Another 2820 calories for $22 (including shipping)

Mix the vegetables and lentils and you have 8220 calories for about $40. That ends up at roughly $25 per day * 147 days =$3675. Throw in the shoes and youíre over budget.


By the way, we havenít yet added the cost of fuel to cook the lentils. No money for laundry, no ice cream, no hotel. I won't tell anyone what to do, but please crunch a few numbers.



I am planning on another thru in 2--3 years. I am already preparing dinner meals for this hike. I am up to over 400 of them. I have potatoes, noodles mixes, chili, spaghetti, pesto, soups, stews and more. I add my own dried veggies and meats as well as I have TVP. For the over 400 meals it has cost me about $500, and that includes the cost of over 1000 powdered drink packets.
So again I say, where do you people keep getting these high costs and estimates for doing a thru hike over a 6 month(or less) period?

silverscuba22
07-28-2012, 03:14
6 months to do the trail divided into $5000 is $28 to spend every day!! Holy SH$T!! Man you hikers of today don't live in the actual reality.
With food and equipment taken care of I could easily do the trail for $2000, probably less.

Well of course if you already bought your food jackass you could do it for 2000.. most people spend 2k on just food while on their 6 month AT hike( people that dont make their own food like you ). that really doesnt even include any new gear you need, sometimes things break. above you commented about 6 months and 36 0 days, just your 36 zero days staying in CHEAP hotels and hostels at even 15 a day is 540. and even if you only spend 5 bucks a day for food thats $900 most spend about 10 a day on food which is 1800....... so we are talking 1500-2000 BARE MIN!! thats no new gear, and if NOTHING breaks.... most people spend 100 to 200 just on new shoes!!! we are trying to give the kid some GOOD advice, MOST peopel that start out with less then 2k dont make it, do some?? of course they do.... i heard about a guy that made it to NY on 100 bucks!!! that being said i think the kid should save as much as he can and ENJOY himself more on the trail.... please go somewhere else and be a bad@ss. the kid is asking for advice, give him the best possible

fiddlehead
07-28-2012, 03:29
.. please go somewhere else and be a bad@ss. the kid is asking for advice, give him the best possible

I believe we are all chipping in with advice.
This is the beauty of whiteblaze. You get all the angles.
Preparing your food beforehand IS good advice for a cheap hike. You can buy veggies and fruit in season for much cheaper and dry it yourself.
It's not hard to do. Just takes time and thought before the hike.

Same with eating bugs. I'm not kidding. If you want to do the cheapest hike possible, eat some of the flora and fauna. Some lentils too is OK, just don't rely on them totally.

Same with working your way through a hike. It's been done.
It's not as much fun but, it's do-able.

That's why they say HYOH. Takes all kinds.

silverscuba22
07-28-2012, 03:42
fiddlehead, you are right. Im sure there as even been people that spend $0 during there hike by doing work for stays and odd jobs, but lets be realistic here, this kid isnt going to make his own food. his best chance to do a thru hike is to save more money. which he has ALOT of time to do. until june 10th i was hiking the AT ( broken foot) and i met some people that were broke and working from town to town, it can be done, but i can tell you, we were having ALOT more fun then them. i even met a guy that was making AT necklaces out of rocks and selling them so he could get food, differnt strokes for differnt folks i guess. i want to see this kid make it, and if its fair or not the more money the better chance he has.

leaftye
07-28-2012, 04:17
Using prepared food and mail drops is still spending money, but spending it early and indirectly, respectively.

moytoy
07-28-2012, 04:22
Lentils and beans..really? Cooking is going to cost a fortune. Peanut butter and ramon noodles are the cheap way to go. Ramon noodles can be eaten without cooking. When in town grab some flatbread (whole wheat) to eat with the PB. The bread will last a couple of days on the trail. When the bread is gone smear the PB on the ramon and sprinkle with some raisins. When your hungry it's good. When in town buy the biggest tub of cottage cheese you can find and dump in fresh fruit and chow down. If your going to cook get the Knorr sides and mix in some foil pack meat. You can live on $10 a day for food using this method but it gets boring. Having said my say about food I will admit that all my experience is in the south. I have heard the food expense goes up when you get to NE.

Bronk
07-28-2012, 06:33
6 months to do the trail divided into $5000 is $28 to spend every day!! Holy SH$T!! Man you hikers of today don't live in the actual reality.
With food and equipment taken care of I could easily do the trail for $2000, probably less.

I spent 4 months hiking from Springer to Waynesboro in 2002 and spent somewhere between $1600 and $1700, which on the high end comes out to about $14 a day. With inflation that's probably pretty close to $28. And I wasn't blowing money left and right...there were many, many people who spent A LOT more than I was spending.

I spent 3 nites in a hotel during the whole 4 months. 2 of those nites were because of a medical issue. But even without hotel stays you're going to want a shower and laundry at least every week. My strategy was to get into town and get back out within a couple of hours. The more time you spend in town the more money you will spend. Either camp just a mile or two before a town and get up in the morning and get in and out or roll into town in enough time to get stuff done and then walk a mile into the woods beyond town and camp. But the idea was to get in and get out.

A quick town stop will cost you for a restaurant meal ($10 minimum with the appetite you'll have), laundry ($5), shower ($10 to $15 at a hostel or similar place), and then figure $50 in food resupply. So you're spending $100 a week before you even get fancy. If you get a motel room you can add $50 to $75 for the room plus 2 more town meals because you're going to eat dinner and go to the bar and then get a diner breakfast in the morning before you hit the trail again. So every time you stay in a hotel you're doubling the cost of the town stop. A 6 month reasonably frugal hike would then cost $2400 and a motel a week type hike would cost $4800...and that's what people were spending 10 years ago. But you can spend a lot more and I saw many, many people doing so. I was probably one of the more frugal people I encountered...most were staying at every hotel and hostel they came across.

Few people have the discipline to get back on the trail when all their trail friends are getting hotels and heading to the pub. Don't think you'll be one of those few. Cliques form easily and once they do groupthink takes over...at least one person in the group will want to stay in town and it won't be very hard to convince everyone else to do so...so once you become a part of such a clique you will be stopping in every town and burning through the cash.

I'm not saying it can't be done for less, I'm just saying don't count on it. You'll reach the point where you are so sick of ramen noodles that you'll cook them up and take two bites and throw the rest of them away no matter how hungry you are. In the next town you'll want some real food. So don't count on eating beans and rice for 6 months. People aren't kidding when they say that all hikers talk about is food. You reach the point where that's all you think about, and when you get to town you'll be drawn to restaurants and grocery stores like a cocaine addict and buy what you crave without thinking about what it costs.

One town stop I went to a grocery store and I walked into the Little Cesar's next door and ordered a large pizza before going into the store. I bought 2 pounds of chicken, a pound of bacon, a pound of cheese, 8 giant deli rolls, a baking potato and a box of ice cream sandwiches. I sat on the curb and ate the entire pizza and the entire box of ice cream sandwiches then went back to the hostel and threw all that meat on the grill and made myself a bunch of chicken sandwiches and ate them all, including a loaded baked potato. That's a lot of food for someone who weighed about 170lbs. It was just one of those deals where I was starving and was going to eat until I couldn't fit any more food in my body. I woke up in the middle of the night starving. You won't know what real hunger is until you've walked a few hundred miles, and when you reach that point rice and beans just won't cut it.

Kryptonite
07-28-2012, 07:38
One of the most important decisions every hiker should make involves money because next to injury, I think most of us would agree that lack of funds forces more hikers off the trail than anything else.

One of the best answers here was Bronk's IMHO. He has actually hiked the trail fairly recently and has allowed for inflation. He did the trail in 4 months, but I think most hikers take at least about 5 months and that's pushing it in some cases. A lot of it depends on the weather and how much snow, rain, and heat a hiker encounters.

I also liked what Perry had to say about doing the numbers on paper first. If it doesn't add up when you are planning, it sure isn't going to add up on the hike.

What we are hearing from people who have actually hiked a thru in the last 10 years or so and have allowed for inflation is that you are going to need at least $4000 if you don't have your food shipped to you.

Don H
07-28-2012, 07:55
So again I say, where do you people keep getting these high costs and estimates for doing a thru hike over a 6 month(or less) period?

From actual experience.

10-K
07-28-2012, 07:56
I suggest you do not live exclusively off junk/highly processed food and try to mix in as much healthy food as you possibly can.

Generally speaking, there is an inverse correlation between price and nutritional value.

Supreme Being
07-28-2012, 08:56
Again another crazy estimate on doing the trail!! $4000 for restaurants, lodging, extra food and shipping, plus some misc here and there? That's ridiculous!! If the average hiker stops once every 5 days, that comes out to 36 zero days in a 6 month thru hike. Divide that into $4000 and the hiker would have $111 to spend at each stop. Since most places to stay are less than $20 for one night, that leaves $91 to spend on food, shipping, repairs, etc.
Come on man!! Nobody is gonna spend over $100 at every town stop!! The trail can be done for $2000!!

Even the thriftiest motels are about $40 per night. If you share it might be about $20. I don't think most hikers spend the night at a hostel or motel every 5 days, but most shower, do laundry, get fuel, and resupply about that often.

But everyone who has hiked the trail is wrong and you are right, Socks.

(This young hiker is going to blow his budget the first time that a cute hiker wants him to go to town with her and have a few beers.)

I wish that a basic IQ test was required on this site in addition to registration...

4shot
07-28-2012, 10:10
Even the thriftiest motels are about $40 per night. If you share it might be about $20. I don't think most hikers spend the night at a hostel or motel every 5 days, but most shower, do laundry, get fuel, and resupply about that often.

But everyone who has hiked the trail is wrong and you are right, Socks.



these "how much is it gonna cost" threads pop up about once a month. There are general guidelines based on the experience of a lot of thru hikers.They are good rules of thumb and yes there are a few exceptions like there are to any guidelline.

at the end of the day this young hiker can choose to ignore the guidelines. Best case, he becomes one of the few exceptions and share his expertise with future hikers planning a thru. Worst case he runs out of a money somewhere and does a section hike. all of this is dependent on how bad he wants to thru hike really.

Different Socks
07-28-2012, 10:50
Well of course if you already bought your food jackass you could do it for 2000.. most people spend 2k on just food while on their 6 month AT hike( people that dont make their own food like you ). that really doesnt even include any new gear you need, sometimes things break. above you commented about 6 months and 36 0 days, just your 36 zero days staying in CHEAP hotels and hostels at even 15 a day is 540. and even if you only spend 5 bucks a day for food thats $900 most spend about 10 a day on food which is 1800....... so we are talking 1500-2000 BARE MIN!! thats no new gear, and if NOTHING breaks.... most people spend 100 to 200 just on new shoes!!! we are trying to give the kid some GOOD advice, MOST peopel that start out with less then 2k dont make it, do some?? of course they do.... i heard about a guy that made it to NY on 100 bucks!!! that being said i think the kid should save as much as he can and ENJOY himself more on the trail.... please go somewhere else and be a bad@ss. the kid is asking for advice, give him the best possible

The OP is asking if he/she should "bring $4000" onto the trail, not spend $4000 for prepping and bringing on the trail. Many people were not clear about that, so I was! I am not tryig to be a badass. Just saying that with food/gear bought befor hand, you don't need to "bring" $4000 with you to do the trail. READ THE OP AGAIN!!! Mr BADASS!

Different Socks
07-28-2012, 10:53
Even the thriftiest motels are about $40 per night. If you share it might be about $20. I don't think most hikers spend the night at a hostel or motel every 5 days, but most shower, do laundry, get fuel, and resupply about that often.

But everyone who has hiked the trail is wrong and you are right, Socks.

(This young hiker is going to blow his budget the first time that a cute hiker wants him to go to town with her and have a few beers.)

I wish that a basic IQ test was required on this site in addition to registration...


Thanks man! BTW, I read a recent issue of the handbook and I saw so many hostels and other cheap places in each town, that that was how i based my figures. Why stay at a motel or hotel when the cheaper alternative is a hostel?

silverscuba22
07-28-2012, 10:57
Thanks man! BTW, I read a recent issue of the handbook and I saw so many hostels and other cheap places in each town, that that was how i based my figures. Why stay at a motel or hotel when the cheaper alternative is a hostel?

Oh wow you read a book recently and thats how you've come up with your figure, i stand corrected, you are %100 right on everything,i stand in awe of your awsomeness.. please forgive me

Different Socks
07-28-2012, 11:01
I spent 4 months hiking from Springer to Waynesboro in 2002 and spent somewhere between $1600 and $1700, which on the high end comes out to about $14 a day. With inflation that's probably pretty close to $28. And I wasn't blowing money left and right...there were many, many people who spent A LOT more than I was spending.

I spent 3 nites in a hotel during the whole 4 months. 2 of those nites were because of a medical issue. But even without hotel stays you're going to want a shower and laundry at least every week. My strategy was to get into town and get back out within a couple of hours. The more time you spend in town the more money you will spend. Either camp just a mile or two before a town and get up in the morning and get in and out or roll into town in enough time to get stuff done and then walk a mile into the woods beyond town and camp. But the idea was to get in and get out.

A quick town stop will cost you for a restaurant meal ($10 minimum with the appetite you'll have), laundry ($5), shower ($10 to $15 at a hostel or similar place), and then figure $50 in food resupply. So you're spending $100 a week before you even get fancy. If you get a motel room you can add $50 to $75 for the room plus 2 more town meals because you're going to eat dinner and go to the bar and then get a diner breakfast in the morning before you hit the trail again. So every time you stay in a hotel you're doubling the cost of the town stop. A 6 month reasonably frugal hike would then cost $2400 and a motel a week type hike would cost $4800...and that's what people were spending 10 years ago. But you can spend a lot more and I saw many, many people doing so. I was probably one of the more frugal people I encountered...most were staying at every hotel and hostel they came across.

Few people have the discipline to get back on the trail when all their trail friends are getting hotels and heading to the pub. Don't think you'll be one of those few. Cliques form easily and once they do groupthink takes over...at least one person in the group will want to stay in town and it won't be very hard to convince everyone else to do so...so once you become a part of such a clique you will be stopping in every town and burning through the cash.

I'm not saying it can't be done for less, I'm just saying don't count on it. You'll reach the point where you are so sick of ramen noodles that you'll cook them up and take two bites and throw the rest of them away no matter how hungry you are. In the next town you'll want some real food. So don't count on eating beans and rice for 6 months. People aren't kidding when they say that all hikers talk about is food. You reach the point where that's all you think about, and when you get to town you'll be drawn to restaurants and grocery stores like a cocaine addict and buy what you crave without thinking about what it costs.

One town stop I went to a grocery store and I walked into the Little Cesar's next door and ordered a large pizza before going into the store. I bought 2 pounds of chicken, a pound of bacon, a pound of cheese, 8 giant deli rolls, a baking potato and a box of ice cream sandwiches. I sat on the curb and ate the entire pizza and the entire box of ice cream sandwiches then went back to the hostel and threw all that meat on the grill and made myself a bunch of chicken sandwiches and ate them all, including a loaded baked potato. That's a lot of food for someone who weighed about 170lbs. It was just one of those deals where I was starving and was going to eat until I couldn't fit any more food in my body. I woke up in the middle of the night starving. You won't know what real hunger is until you've walked a few hundred miles, and when you reach that point rice and beans just won't cut it.

$10--15 for a shower!! Wow!!! Doesn't even cost that much at a national park. How about a price of $5? C'mon $10 for 10 min under the water?

Supreme Being
07-28-2012, 11:02
The OP is asking if he/she should "bring $4000" onto the trail, not spend $4000 for prepping and bringing on the trail. Many people were not clear about that, so I was! I am not tryig to be a badass. Just saying that with food/gear bought befor hand, you don't need to "bring" $4000 with you to do the trail. READ THE OP AGAIN!!! Mr BADASS!

That's right. Listen to Socks: "Dude - You can do it on $1000! Of course this doesn't include food, dude. And oh yeah man- all the motels in town only cost $20."

Talk to people who are on the trail now and see what they advise. It isn't the advice that some guy who hasn't hiked it is giving out.

RED-DOG
07-28-2012, 11:02
The way cost of gear is skyrocketing, and food i stiil don't think i would leave Springer MT or Katahdan with less than 5000 ready to spend on the trail, cost of getting to the trail head, then getting home plus you need some to live on when you get back home, until you find a job, don't need to be sponging off your family thats not COOL. i mean yeah a person could do a thru on just 1000 or 2000 but you will be living of Ramen, and oatmeal and never going into towns taking baths in the creeks, and whatever else you can beg, borrow, or steal and thats not cool either. so save your money so you don't become a NUESENCE on the trail or a BUM. RED-DOG

Different Socks
07-28-2012, 11:05
Oh wow you read a book recently and thats how you've come up with your figure, i stand corrected, you are %100 right on everything,i stand in awe of your awsomeness.. please forgive me

You must be a hiker that goes into town, spends whatever they want, then has terrible time leaving.
Th trail can be done with $2000 in your pocket. Why don't you try it some time? I did the PCT thru California with only $1000 in my pocket. I did the CDT thru NM and 1/2 of CO and spent only $800, so yes I know what I am talking about.

Different Socks
07-28-2012, 11:08
The way cost of gear is skyrocketing, and food i stiil don't think i would leave Springer MT or Katahdan with less than 5000 ready to spend on the trail, cost of getting to the trail head, then getting home plus you need some to live on when you get back home, until you find a job, don't need to be sponging off your family thats not COOL. i mean yeah a person could do a thru on just 1000 or 2000 but you will be living of Ramen, and oatmeal and never going into towns taking baths in the creeks, and whatever else you can beg, borrow, or steal and thats not cool either. so save your money so you don't become a NUESENCE on the trail or a BUM. RED-DOG

Here is another person saying that "after" getting gear and food, you should have $5000 in your pocket while "on" the trail. Seriously, I know prices have gone up since I did my thru, but I still believe that on my next thru I can do it for less than half of that. I'm just shaking my head at the $5000 figure.

silverscuba22
07-28-2012, 11:15
You must be a hiker that goes into town, spends whatever they want, then has terrible time leaving.
Th trail can be done with $2000 in your pocket. Why don't you try it some time? I did the PCT thru California with only $1000 in my pocket. I did the CDT thru NM and 1/2 of CO and spent only $800, so yes I know what I am talking about.

No thanks, i would rather take 4k and ENJOY my hike more.... and you know when your friends(im sure you have a ton of those) go into town to hit up the bar and enjoy themselves, you can go too without having to worry about money. and i even said in one of my other post THAT IT CAN BE DONE on 2k, but lets be realistic, the more money the kid has the better chance he has to finish !!! and those are facts.

Supreme Being
07-28-2012, 11:17
You must be a hiker that goes into town, spends whatever they want, then has terrible time leaving.
Th trail can be done with $2000 in your pocket. Why don't you try it some time? I did the PCT thru California with only $1000 in my pocket. I did the CDT thru NM and 1/2 of CO and spent only $800, so yes I know what I am talking about.

Oh yeah. But there is no way that you are including the biggest expense = FOOD in that price unless it was in another century! And what year did you do these hikes?

silverscuba22
07-28-2012, 11:18
Here is another person saying that "after" getting gear and food, you should have $5000 in your pocket while "on" the trail. Seriously, I know prices have gone up since I did my thru, but I still believe that on my next thru I can do it for less than half of that. I'm just shaking my head at the $5000 figure.

ok bright one (socks), when people are saying 4 or 5k that number INCLUDES FOOD !!!!!!!!!!!! you seem to be the only one in this convo that cant figure it that out !!!!!

silverscuba22
07-28-2012, 11:27
Oh yeah. But there is no way that you are including the biggest expense = FOOD in that price unless it was in another century! And what year did you do these hikes?

he makes his own food, he either is just playing dumb, or well..... he is sayin he doesnt have to buy any food becuase he shipped it already. and i have already tried to tell him if you dont count any food, you would be able to do the trail for 2k but he is smarter then all the people that HAVE done the AT... becuase i know when i was out there in june there were a TON of people that made their own good, TONs. heck most didnt even use dropboxs....... and the ones that did, didnt have homemade food !! MOST 95% go into towns and BUY the food they need.

silverscuba22
07-28-2012, 12:03
Florida Trail to Pinhoti Trail to the AT to Big K, back south to Springer, then back north to Big K, then south again to Springer.

Spend the following winter prepping for next hike, then Florida Trail to Pinhoti Trail to AT to Harpers Ferry, pick up the ADT in Lewes, DE and hike west to California, use the winter to prep for the return, then do the ADT in reverse and when get to east coast get back on AT and finish at Big K.

Just so you know, this is Different Socks plan for next year......now you tell me who lives in reality.

Double Wide
07-28-2012, 12:08
Not wanting to get into the kerfuffle that's going on presently, but I will offer up a piece of experience. While I'm sure that the trail can be done on $2000 or less, I would imagine that it's a whole lot less fun to do so. I'm attempting a thru hike in 2014 not only because I want to challenge myself and also have a huge sense of accomplishment when it's over, but also to have a good time. What's the point of choosing to do any activity if it doesn't bring you joy?

I remember several times in college over 20 years ago when I was on a total shoe-string budget and couldn't even afford the five bucks to go to Taco Bell with my roommates. That truly sucked, feeling left out and eating crappy-ass ramen noodles when my buddies were laughing it up and making a run for the border. You don't want that same experience on the trail.

Would I love to do the trail in 2013 instead of 2014? Hell yeah I would, but the budget and the current fitness level are a little shy of where I want them to be by next March. So I've set a realistic goal of going in 20 months instead of 8. By then I'm sure I'll be much more fit so that I don't kill myself getting through Georgia, and I'll also have enough cash on hand to enjoy myself in town with my trail mates whenever the urge strikes.

Also, another thought about living on lentils and ramen the entire time. One six-month stretch, also during the college years, I spent the entire time in Alaska as a rafting guide. I ate fresh salmon grilled on an alderwood campfire EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. I thought I was living large. Three weeks after I got back to the lower 48, I was in San Diego at a seafood restaurant and ordered the crab-stuffed salmon. One bite and I gagged. Got sick right there at the table. To this day I still can't eat salmon and even the smell of it cooking makes me nauseous. I fear the same thing will happen to you with ramen and lentils if you try to go extreme low-budget.

Get a second job, save every dime, and wait a year. Do it right and enjoy yourself. The trail ain't going anywhere...

WingedMonkey
07-28-2012, 13:09
Just so you know, this is Different Socks plan for next year......now you tell me who lives in reality.

I am so sorry that your thru hike was a failure. I am so happy that you left the trail with money in your pocket.

Different Socks
07-28-2012, 13:29
Just so you know, this is Different Socks plan for next year......now you tell me who lives in reality.

Not a plan for next year, it is in 4 years. Reread that OP. What is says is that I will hike the FT to the AT to Big K, back down to Springer, then back to Big K, then back to Springer, then back to Big K, then finish at Springer. That hike starts in 2 years. I already have over 400 of my dinner meals bagged and ready to go.
I have alraedy done over 9000 miles of backpacking: 36 of the 54 CO 14ers, about 300 of the 700+ CO 13ers, almost all of the NE 100 highest, 650 miles of the Ice Age Trail, all the AT, all of the Long Trail, all of the Ozark Highlands Trail, 25 of the state highpoints, about 1/2 of the CO Trail, 1800 miles of the PCT, 1000 of the CDT, and much more.
So take your foot out of your mouth man and start eating some crow!

Different Socks
07-28-2012, 13:30
I am so sorry that your thru hike was a failure. I am so happy that you left the trail with money in your pocket.

Who you sayin' sorry to?

Different Socks
07-28-2012, 13:32
Not wanting to get into the kerfuffle that's going on presently, but I will offer up a piece of experience. While I'm sure that the trail can be done on $2000 or less, I would imagine that it's a whole lot less fun to do so. I'm attempting a thru hike in 2014 not only because I want to challenge myself and also have a huge sense of accomplishment when it's over, but also to have a good time. What's the point of choosing to do any activity if it doesn't bring you joy?


I remember several times in college over 20 years ago when I was on a total shoe-string budget and couldn't even afford the five bucks to go to Taco Bell with my roommates. That truly sucked, feeling left out and eating crappy-ass ramen noodles when my buddies were laughing it up and making a run for the border. You don't want that same experience on the trail.

Would I love to do the trail in 2013 instead of 2014? Hell yeah I would, but the budget and the current fitness level are a little shy of where I want them to be by next March. So I've set a realistic goal of going in 20 months instead of 8. By then I'm sure I'll be much more fit so that I don't kill myself getting through Georgia, and I'll also have enough cash on hand to enjoy myself in town with my trail mates whenever the urge strikes.

Also, another thought about living on lentils and ramen the entire time. One six-month stretch, also during the college years, I spent the entire time in Alaska as a rafting guide. I ate fresh salmon grilled on an alderwood campfire EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. I thought I was living large. Three weeks after I got back to the lower 48, I was in San Diego at a seafood restaurant and ordered the crab-stuffed salmon. One bite and I gagged. Got sick right there at the table. To this day I still can't eat salmon and even the smell of it cooking makes me nauseous. I fear the same thing will happen to you with ramen and lentils if you try to go extreme low-budget.

Get a second job, save every dime, and wait a year. Do it right and enjoy yourself. The trail ain't going anywhere...

Good advice!

RED-DOG
07-28-2012, 13:38
On this years thru i had a 7000 dollar budget thats gear before the trail, gear replacement, lodging, transportation to and from the trail, i carried 6 days of food went in to town once a week i only stayed overnight if their was a hostel available and i only stayed in two hotels. i buy my food while on the trail, no " mail drops" it gives me more freedom. and i still spent roughly 6000. but i also had a after trail budget that was to support me while i looked for a job after the hike, that was part of the original buget. Why should i ask my family to support me after the trail they didn't quit their job and go trampson irresponsibly through the woods. and yeah you can do the trail on 2000 dollars but why would you want to.

Different Socks
07-28-2012, 13:46
No thanks, i would rather take 4k and ENJOY my hike more.... and you know when your friends(im sure you have a ton of those) go into town to hit up the bar and enjoy themselves, you can go too without having to worry about money. and i even said in one of my other post THAT IT CAN BE DONE on 2k, but lets be realistic, the more money the kid has the better chance he has to finish !!! and those are facts.

I'm sorry, but the people I hiked with and/or met on all the long trails I have done and then hung out with in town, did not go to the bar once we got there. In fact it was one of the last things on our mind! We all just wanted to rest, clean up, relax, eat, and take care of gear. I think over all 2100+ miles of the AT I went to a bar 7 times, and/or bought some to drink later. On the 1800 miles of the PCT it was even less than that--we just didn't do it. On the Long Trail hike--only once. On the Ozark Highlands Trail--never. On the ice Age Trail--never. On the CO Trail/CDT--maybe twice. Food, resting, relaxing, just having my mind off the regiment of the trail was enough. Honestly, i wouldn't want to be near any hiker on any trail that anywhere near the top of the list of what to do in town is listed "drinking".

Different Socks
07-28-2012, 13:47
On this years thru i had a 7000 dollar budget thats gear before the trail, gear replacement, lodging, transportation to and from the trail, i carried 6 days of food went in to town once a week i only stayed overnight if their was a hostel available and i only stayed in two hotels. i buy my food while on the trail, no " mail drops" it gives me more freedom. and i still spent roughly 6000. but i also had a after trail budget that was to support me while i looked for a job after the hike, that was part of the original buget. Why should i ask my family to support me after the trail they didn't quit their job and go trampson irresponsibly through the woods. and yeah you can do the trail on 2000 dollars but why would you want to.

Now this is realistic! BRAVO!!

Jeff
07-28-2012, 17:13
When budgeting keep in mind the New England states are going to be more expensive than down south.

Also, this has been a dry year. There was almost no water at all along the trail in NY. As a result hikers would hit the deli's and hot dog stands for water. No hikers is going to only get water at a NY deli. It's real easy to spend money off trail.

Don H
07-28-2012, 17:47
The OP is asking if he/she should "bring $4000" onto the trail, not spend $4000 for prepping and bringing on the trail

Socks, that's not how I read the OP. Here's what he said:

"Now I know most of you (or at least those I've talked too) say you should bring about 4000 dollars on the trail, and I've heard 2 bucks a mile (which strangely comes out to 4000!) a few times. But I myself am a poor 21 year old. Now I'm willing to cut out hotel stays, hostel stays, and live off lentils and beans for six months no problem. So what would you say the cheapest way to do this is? Thanks ahead of time guys, you never let me down"

What he really wants to know is what is the cheapest way to hike the trail. The answer is simple, stay out of towns (except to buy food). Not much fun but certainly the cheapest way to hike. No restaurants, bars, motel rooms, showers or laundry. Sleep on the trail every night, use a 1 gallon bag to wash clothes and take a bath using stream water (Not in the stream!). Your only expenses will be food, replacement gear and an occasional shuttle. Since you gotta eat anyway no matter where you are then additional cost involved with hiking would be fairly low.

Saprogenic
07-28-2012, 18:53
I'm curious, what kind of gear do you guys generally have to replace on the trail, except the obvious shoes?

leaftye
07-28-2012, 19:11
I'm curious, what kind of gear do you guys generally have to replace on the trail, except the obvious shoes?

Ground sheets (if window film)
Trekking pole parts
Socks
Boxer briefs
Batteries
Water containers
Stakes

theinfamousj
07-28-2012, 19:13
Why stay at a motel or hotel when the cheaper alternative is a hostel?

Privacy.

(Easy one-word answer.)

leaftye
07-28-2012, 19:20
Ground sheets (if window film)
Trekking pole parts
Socks
Boxer briefs
Batteries
Water containers
Stakes

Pad should have been on the list too. Foam or inflatable, it will probably be replaced.

Different Socks
07-28-2012, 19:31
Don H, I agree with what you are saying. But $4--5,000 to "bring" with you while on the trail? I just don't see why that is necessary.

Saprogenic
07-28-2012, 19:44
Ground sheets (if window film)
Trekking pole parts
Socks
Boxer briefs
Batteries
Water containers
Stakes


Are these just off the top of your head? I've heard great things about the MSR Groundhog stakes I've got, 'probably' won't need replacing, I think my nalgene bottle and MSR Dromedary bag will hold up, again all speculation, Exofficio's give-n-go boxer briefs and ultimax socks I've heard lasting years, I use a hammock so ground sheet should last and pad is not used, and I don't use trekking poles. I have Vargo's titanium woodburner and the decagon alch as a backup and fits in the woodburner for windscreen, don't see replacing. I'm hoping the Lowa Tibet Pro's I got will last but who knows. Then again, I know what they say about assuming. Anybody use any of these with good/bad recommendations? I planned to thru hike this year, but now I have to wait till next year. Atleast I'll be even more ready by then.

theinfamousj
07-28-2012, 20:30
I've heard great things about the MSR Groundhog stakes I've got, 'probably' won't need replacing

They will if you lose them. ;) Everyone loses at least one stake over the course of their backpacking career. I've only lost the one (so far, knock wood).

leaftye
07-28-2012, 20:40
Are these just off the top of your head? I've heard great things about the MSR Groundhog stakes I've got, 'probably' won't need replacing...

As theinfamousj said, stakes get lost. Things happen.


...I think my nalgene bottle and MSR Dromedary bag will hold up, again all speculation...

Those are heavy, and will probably get replaced just to save weight. Any water container is difficult to clean on the trail, so gets nasty inside, thus the replacement.


...Exofficio's give-n-go boxer briefs and ultimax socks I've heard lasting years...

Boxer briefs wear out where they rub between the thighs. Rubbing in that area may be the #1 reason people wear boxer briefs. It's certainly the reason I wear them. Socks can last a long time, if they're synthetic. Even so, putting them too close to the fire for a few moments will quickly necessitate a replacement. Plus they just get nasty.


...and I don't use trekking poles.

Neither do I, except over snow. I broke my last pole in the snow.


I'm hoping the Lowa Tibet Pro's I got will last but who knows. Then again, I know what they say about assuming.

Beautiful boots. They should last the entire trail, but will you want to wear them that long? They don't breathe well. They're heavy. They don't stretch much because of that rubber rand. Put a couple hundred miles on them this summer, even if it's around your neighborhood. If you still like them, then you probably found the right footwear for you.

Don H
07-28-2012, 20:59
You will probably loose stakes, break poles, tear sleeping pads, wear out shoes, break your headlamp, get holes in your socks and underwear, break zippers and tear your pack, and destroy your rain jacket (especially if it's a DryDuck). Do not underestimate how hard the trail is on your equipment (and your body!).

Socks, I do think a reasonable thru easily costs $5,000 not including initial equipment purchases. I didn't keep real close track of what I spent last year (not including equipment purchased prior) but I'm sure it was over $5,000.

Typically once a week I did a short day into town, got a room, shower, lunch, did laundry, shop for food, get dinner, and relax.
Going from memory a typical once a week town stop for me included:
groceries $70
lunch $15
dinner $30
room shared $40 or single $80
breakfast $10
laundry $5
consumables $5 (fuel, TP, water treatment, batteries, vitamin I, etc)
Total $180 to $220. Notice this doesn't include any bar tabs since I don't drink.
Add at least 10% for increased prices up north (CT to ME).

As you can see $200 a week is not hard to spend. Multiply by 22 weeks which is how long it took me to thru and you're close to 5 grand.
Now add:
Travel to and from Springer and Katahdin
Side trips to DC, NYC or to visit friends
Shuttles and slacks
Entertainment (movies, bar tab)
Equipment lost, stolen, broken or worn out

Total easy over 5 grand. Can you do it cheaper? Sure but this is how my thru added up to over $5,000.

Now just for fun add up how much it costs you to live at home off the trail. All things considered trail life is pretty cheap;)

Supreme Being
07-28-2012, 21:41
Don's assessment of expenses on the trail is one of the most realistic and accurate that I've seen. There are some cheaper motels, but I sure wouldn't stay at them. Probably wouldn't be too hard for the younger set, however.

Saprogenic
07-28-2012, 23:26
Beautiful boots. They should last the entire trail, but will you want to wear them that long? They don't breathe well. They're heavy. They don't stretch much because of that rubber rand. Put a couple hundred miles on them this summer, even if it's around your neighborhood. If you still like them, then you probably found the right footwear for you.

I bought them from based on reviews. They're supposed to be great for carrying heavy loads for long distances. After wearing them, they're quite the boot. Defiently has a little weight to them, but they're just about the same as my other boots I wear everyday. Never bought an expensive backpacking boot before but they seem awesome so far.
My dromedary bag is quite light, bonus msr has a lifetime warranty which I thought was nice.
I got all this for the trip so I don't have much time in with much of it. Although being in the woods my whole life, I've never backpacked, atleast nothing like thruhiking the AT. Since I'm now not going until next year, I'll have a year to work out the little things. I'm thinking about starting with the Batona Trail once the heat breaks. I've got all this awesome new gear now, I see me spending more time than usual in the bush this year.

Bronk
07-29-2012, 00:42
$10--15 for a shower!! Wow!!! Doesn't even cost that much at a national park. How about a price of $5? C'mon $10 for 10 min under the water?

Dude, if that's all you can pick out of my long and detailed post then lets assume that showers are free and knock my estimate down to $90 for a frugal town stop at prices of ten years ago and then compare that to your post that finds $100+ per town stop ridiculous. But really, hostel owners aren't getting rich and if you're one of those worms who uses their facilities without dropping something in the donation box then yeah, you got a free shower.

Different Socks
07-29-2012, 00:49
You will probably loose stakes, break poles, tear sleeping pads, wear out shoes, break your headlamp, get holes in your socks and underwear, break zippers and tear your pack, and destroy your rain jacket (especially if it's a DryDuck). Do not underestimate how hard the trail is on your equipment (and your body!).

Socks, I do think a reasonable thru easily costs $5,000 not including initial equipment purchases. I didn't keep real close track of what I spent last year (not including equipment purchased prior) but I'm sure it was over $5,000.

Typically once a week I did a short day into town, got a room, shower, lunch, did laundry, shop for food, get dinner, and relax.
Going from memory a typical once a week town stop for me included:
groceries $70
lunch $15
dinner $30
room shared $40 or single $80
breakfast $10
laundry $5
consumables $5 (fuel, TP, water treatment, batteries, vitamin I, etc)
Total $180 to $220. Notice this doesn't include any bar tabs since I don't drink.
Add at least 10% for increased prices up north (CT to ME).

As you can see $200 a week is not hard to spend. Multiply by 22 weeks which is how long it took me to thru and you're close to 5 grand.
Now add:
Travel to and from Springer and Katahdin
Side trips to DC, NYC or to visit friends
Shuttles and slacks
Entertainment (movies, bar tab)
Equipment lost, stolen, broken or worn out

Total easy over 5 grand. Can you do it cheaper? Sure but this is how my thru added up to over $5,000.

Now just for fun add up how much it costs you to live at home off the trail. All things considered trail life is pretty cheap;)

Does no one do food boxes anymore? $70 for food for the trail for each town stop? Boy I am gonna be glad that my veggies/meats are dehydrated. Since I don't see that readily available along the trail, and I really don't see each hiker buying prepacked meals, how do you manage to carry fresh veggies and canned meats? All that weight in the pack!
I'd rather have food drops waiting for me at the PO, then supplement with anything else I'd need, than to depend on a small town grocer and their elevated prices for all the food I'd need for more than 3 days.

As for the $5000 price tag: If you don't do any food prepping before beginning the hike, then I can see the costs would be higher.
As for cheap housing off trail: Hot Springs--$20 pp, Erwin--$15/night, Elk Park--$18/night, Damascus--$4!!/night, Troutdale--a donation, Woodshole Hostel--free!!!, Pearisburg--donation, Daleville--$35/night, Waynesboro--donation, Shenandoah--$16/site/night, Blackburn Trail Center--free, Harpers ferry--$50/night............there are many, many, many more that are $20/night or less. So those of you that chose to stay in a motel/hotel that is your choice, but not everyone chooses that, nor does a person have to have $5000 in cash once they begin their hike.

Different Socks
07-29-2012, 01:06
Dude, if that's all you can pick out of my long and detailed post then lets assume that showers are free and knock my estimate down to $90 for a frugal town stop at prices of ten years ago and then compare that to your post that finds $100+ per town stop ridiculous. But really, hostel owners aren't getting rich and if you're one of those worms who uses their facilities without dropping something in the donation box then yeah, you got a free shower.

okay, let's do it this way:

Lodging--$20
Misc items(fuel. laces, etc)--$10
Food for trail--$30
Laundry--$6
Shower--$8
Dinner--$10

Total--$84.00

Occasional extra costs:

Breakfast--$10
Repairs--$30

New Total--$124.00

Mutiply the max total by 22 weeks and you get $2728.00
Multiply the lesser total by 22 weeks--$1848.

Since I won't need repairs at every stop, nor eat breakfast, nor pay $20 for lodging(sometimes less, sometimes more), the cash in pocket required can be done with about $2500.
$4--5,000, after costs for equipment and food would be ALOT of money for me to have on any long trail hike that isn't at least 3000 miles long.
BTW, what is it that some of you seem to have against staying in a hostel?

Different Socks
07-29-2012, 01:08
okay, let's do it this way:

Lodging--$20
Misc items(fuel. laces, etc)--$10
Food for trail--$30
Laundry--$6
Shower--$8
Dinner--$10

Total--$84.00

Occasional extra costs:

Breakfast--$10
Repairs--$30

New Total--$124.00

Mutiply the max total by 22 weeks and you get $2728.00
Multiply the lesser total by 22 weeks--$1848.

Since I won't need repairs at every stop, nor eat breakfast, nor pay $20 for lodging(sometimes less, sometimes more), the cash in pocket required can be done with about $2500.
$4--5,000, after costs for equipment and food would be ALOT of money for me to have on any long trail hike that isn't at least 3000 miles long.
BTW, what is it that some of you seem to have against staying in a hostel?

Oh yeah, I forgot to say that I would have most of my dinner meals, snacks, desserts, lunches, breakfasts, etc in a drop box at my lodging or waiting for me at the PO.

leaftye
07-29-2012, 01:11
Sheez, no one cares how much money you have on the trail, it's how much you spend to hike that counts. Add the cost of your food and postage.

Bronk
07-29-2012, 05:05
okay, let's do it this way:

BTW, what is it that some of you seem to have against staying in a hostel?


They're not much more than a step above a shelter, and I'm not a huge fan of those either. I'd rather tent than stay in a hostel for the same reasons I would rather tent than stay in a shelter...privacy, noise, etc. In fact, I'd rather tent than share a hotel room.

OzJacko
07-29-2012, 05:37
Firstly I have about $2500 air fare to add to the cost but I must admit I have been working on rounding figures up.
Based on what I have seen here and elsewhere I am hoping my son and I will do the AT for about $15k (remember that's $5k airfare for the 2 of us included), but we are making sure we have access to at least $25k between us. Take off the airfare and that's $10k each. Might seem overkill to many of you but I look at many of my peers blowing $15k+ on 3-4 week holidays and it seems a cheap 6 months to me.
Whatever your budget I would advise if you look like it will be too tight, do it later or over 2 years or something.
Constantly having to watch the pennies and adjust your plans due to budget constraints strikes me as being the worst way to hike.
The whole experience should be a removal from those kind of concerns.

4shot
07-29-2012, 07:45
Take off the airfare and that's $10k each.

Whatever your budget I would advise if you look like it will be too tight, do it later or over 2 years or something.
Constantly having to watch the pennies and adjust your plans due to budget constraints strikes me as being the worst way to hike.
The whole experience should be a removal from those kind of concerns.

this sums up the whole $ issue beautifully. There's a wealth of data on typical costs. Use it. It you find you don't need all of what you saved, that's great. Budget concerns can put an element of stress on a hike that really detracts from a hike (I have seen that).

If you can't or won't save that much, accept the fact that you may just be doing a section hike. There are a lot of so called "thruhikers" in Franklin, Erwin, etc, who fall into this category. If that is ok with you, then don't worry about your budget. If that's not ok (i.e. you really want to complete the thing) then do your research, save the necessary money and delay the hike until you do so."Too much" is far superior to "not enough". You don't have to spend it.

Different Socks
07-29-2012, 10:55
Firstly I have about $2500 air fare to add to the cost but I must admit I have been working on rounding figures up.
Based on what I have seen here and elsewhere I am hoping my son and I will do the AT for about $15k (remember that's $5k airfare for the 2 of us included), but we are making sure we have access to at least $25k between us. Take off the airfare and that's $10k each. Might seem overkill to many of you but I look at many of my peers blowing $15k+ on 3-4 week holidays and it seems a cheap 6 months to me.
Whatever your budget I would advise if you look like it will be too tight, do it later or over 2 years or something.
Constantly having to watch the pennies and adjust your plans due to budget constraints strikes me as being the worst way to hike.
The whole experience should be a removal from those kind of concerns.

Good luck with finding a cheaper but just as good airfare(that is a sincere wish).

fiddlehead
07-29-2012, 11:21
One thing that no one has mentioned in this whole 5 page thread: credit cards.
Personally, I ALWAYS pay off my credit card every month. I never had to pay a penalty or interest fee or whatever they're called. except once 20 years ago when my brother forgot to mail in the check.

Anyway, unless times have changed, (my last thru was 9 years ago now), I remember most (I want to guess 80%) thru-hikers were living off of their credit cards near the end of their hike and not skimping on much of anything.
They were having fun and weren't about to stop because of a pain like not having enough money.

Have times changed that much that hikers don't do this anymore?

Different Socks
07-29-2012, 11:36
One thing that no one has mentioned in this whole 5 page thread: credit cards.
Personally, I ALWAYS pay off my credit card every month. I never had to pay a penalty or interest fee or whatever they're called. except once 20 years ago when my brother forgot to mail in the check.

Anyway, unless times have changed, (my last thru was 9 years ago now), I remember most (I want to guess 80%) thru-hikers were living off of their credit cards near the end of their hike and not skimping on much of anything.
They were having fun and weren't about to stop because of a pain like not having enough money.

Have times changed that much that hikers don't do this anymore?

Fiddelhead, are you sure some of them weren't using Debit cards?

fiddlehead
07-29-2012, 12:10
I'm sure!
Those kids were going in debt. (without a 2nd thought, or at least it seemed so)

10-K
07-29-2012, 13:05
Firstly I have about $2500 air fare to add to the cost but I must admit I have been working on rounding figures up.
Based on what I have seen here and elsewhere I am hoping my son and I will do the AT for about $15k (remember that's $5k airfare for the 2 of us included), but we are making sure we have access to at least $25k between us. Take off the airfare and that's $10k each. Might seem overkill to many of you but I look at many of my peers blowing $15k+ on 3-4 week holidays and it seems a cheap 6 months to me.
Whatever your budget I would advise if you look like it will be too tight, do it later or over 2 years or something.
Constantly having to watch the pennies and adjust your plans due to budget constraints strikes me as being the worst way to hike.
The whole experience should be a removal from those kind of concerns.

Thank you..

I always say the same thing in this broken record of a topic.

I wouldn't start a thru with less than $7k. $7k is not that much money folks.

Don H
07-29-2012, 16:26
Socks, $10 for dinner? When you've just devoured a large pizza and you're eying up the Dairy Queen across the street for dessert let me know how far that ten bucks went ;) You won't believe how much you will eat, and how much it will cost.

Also all your lodging examples are in the south, things get considerably more expensive as you get further north. A night in Salisbury, CT at Maria'a costs $35 and does not include laundry (but does include a cook your own breakfast, I highly recommend staying there). On the other hand Kincora in TN is free will donation. And if you have to pay for a spot in a hut in the Whites (when the weather is absolutely horrible and there's no work for stay but there is an open bunk) expect to pay about $100! (includes dinner and breakfast). Even the Dungeon, the hut's old furnace room with the floor soaked in diesel oil, at Lake of the Clouds is $20. And depending on where you tent you might have to pay for that too and that's not even a town stop.

Dehydrating your own food is very cost effective even after the price of shipping is included. I met guys who for a year prior to their hike were dehydrating leftovers from dinner. Of course then you're doing the whole mail drop thing which I found was a real PIA.

And to add one more expense to a thru, I went through 5 pairs of trail runners at just over $100 a pair!

Monkeywrench
07-29-2012, 16:28
BTW, what is it that some of you seem to have against staying in a hostel?

Some of the hostels are disgusting; dirty, over-crowded, sometimes full of sick people. Of course, some of the hostels are wonderful; bright, clean, spacious and comfortable.

Just because you can sleep somewhere for $4 doesn't necessarily mean you should.

MuddyWaters
07-29-2012, 16:41
My take on it, is you can spend anywhere from $1500 up. The more you spend, the more comfortable you will be. Whether you can actually tolerate the low end is a question few can answer till they actually try. Most would find that that may make things too miserable to be worth it when you are out there to enjoy yourself.

Warren Doyle I believe, said he bought several pair of used tennis shoes at a thrift store for about $1 each, and used them to hike. He also is known for living off of Little Debbie cakes, and simply rolling up in a poncho..no tent. He also has hiked it without a single shower. He has only hiked it what 16 times though, so he may not know what he is talking about...... Granted, he is a different breed than most. But being possible, and being probable, are two different things.

Generally, I think the advice here is spot on. Plan on having enough to be comfortable, then if you want to really dirtbag and not spend it all, great. Just dont get caught short and unable to complete it.

Different Socks
07-29-2012, 17:22
Socks, $10 for dinner? When you've just devoured a large pizza and you're eying up the Dairy Queen across the street for dessert let me know how far that ten bucks went ;) You won't believe how much you will eat, and how much it will cost.

Also all your lodging examples are in the south, things get considerably more expensive as you get further north. A night in Salisbury, CT at Maria'a costs $35 and does not include laundry (but does include a cook your own breakfast, I highly recommend staying there). On the other hand Kincora in TN is free will donation. And if you have to pay for a spot in a hut in the Whites (when the weather is absolutely horrible and there's no work for stay but there is an open bunk) expect to pay about $100! (includes dinner and breakfast). Even the Dungeon, the hut's old furnace room with the floor soaked in diesel oil, at Lake of the Clouds is $20. And depending on where you tent you might have to pay for that too and that's not even a town stop.

Dehydrating your own food is very cost effective even after the price of shipping is included. I met guys who for a year prior to their hike were dehydrating leftovers from dinner. Of course then you're doing the whole mail drop thing which I found was a real PIA.

And to add one more expense to a thru, I went through 5 pairs of trail runners at just over $100 a pair!

Lodging north of Harper's Ferry: Wolfsville Rd--$32(for everything needed), Pine Grove Furnace--$22--25/night, Duncannon--$25/night, Bethel--$25/night, 501 shelter--free, Eckville--free, Palmerton--free, Wind Gap--$50, Delaware Water Gap--donation, Mohican Outdoor Center-$25/pp, Jim Murray Property--free, RPH Shelter--free, Cornwall Bridge--$65.

Total of $262 for 13 lodgings, divide that by 13 and it comes out to just over $20/night!! And yes I did include an amount for the donation.

I did see that some of the possible places to stay are higher priced as you go further north, but why stay at a B & B for $100, when another place is only $65?
I guess what I am realizing is that the hikers I did my thru with and I met when I did the AT were a different breed back then. We watched our money to a degree, but we didn't care if the place we stayed at in town was a motel, floor of a building, basement of someone's home, front porch of a trail angel, a hostel, or a B & B. We would just be glad to be out of the elements, warm and dry and the restaurants and grocety stores were waiting for us to step thru their doors.

Double Wide
07-29-2012, 18:32
We would just be glad to be out of the elements, warm and dry and the restaurants and grocety stores were waiting for us to step thru their doors.

...to get their hands on some of that sweet sweet thousand dollars of cash you did your thru-hike with :D

TD55
07-29-2012, 18:43
why stay at a B & B for $100, when another place is only $65?

Perhaps for the great location, super nice bed and room, hot tub, pool and killer breakfast.

4shot
07-29-2012, 18:43
This thread will not die. To the OP, take $2 - 10k. hike 'til you reach Mt K, Springer or 0 dollars.Or 'til get sick of the thing which is the most likely scenario for most people based on trail data. what's left to say about this topic?

DavidNH
07-29-2012, 19:37
what's left to say is that the OP is blissfully ignorant. Eating nothing but beans and lentils for six months on the trail? I still say no way. that plan won't last two weeks. Hiked 40+ miles through three days of steady rain? I'm sorry but he (or anyone in this situation) IS going to go into town to dry out at a hostel. Town stays can be limited saving some money. but the hike wears on you how long anyone can stay out of town is debatable.

We also need to add in costs of transport to and from trail, mail drops, equipment replacement and so forth. Being 21, I suspect Mom and Dad will be able to be of great assistance here. I say that 4 grand is a MINIMAL expenditure of a 5-6 month thru hike.

Kryptonite
07-29-2012, 19:52
Lodging north of Harper's Ferry: Wolfsville Rd--$32(for everything needed), Pine Grove Furnace--$22--25/night, Duncannon--$25/night, Bethel--$25/night, 501 shelter--free, Eckville--free, Palmerton--free, Wind Gap--$50, Delaware Water Gap--donation, Mohican Outdoor Center-$25/pp, Jim Murray Property--free, RPH Shelter--free, Cornwall Bridge--$65.

Total of $262 for 13 lodgings, divide that by 13 and it comes out to just over $20/night!! And yes I did include an amount for the donation.

I did see that some of the possible places to stay are higher priced as you go further north, but why stay at a B & B for $100, when another place is only $65?
I guess what I am realizing is that the hikers I did my thru with and I met when I did the AT were a different breed back then. We watched our money to a degree, but we didn't care if the place we stayed at in town was a motel, floor of a building, basement of someone's home, front porch of a trail angel, a hostel, or a B & B. We would just be glad to be out of the elements, warm and dry and the restaurants and grocety stores were waiting for us to step thru their doors.

I would double check the prices for motels that have been listed in the AT books. I am not sure that they are all that current because without fail when I have checked the rates on their individual websites, most of them are as much as 25%-50% more than the listed rate. The books do state that these rates are subject to change. The motels may have special deals for thru-hikers in some cases too.

My point is please don't just take the rates in the books as gospel. You might want to call a few of these places first and find out their current rate.

Also, I have heard the stories of Warren Doyle and his $1 tennis shoes. There was a hiker this year (Loner) who bought some $9 tennis shoes at the Dollar Store and he said that he felt every rock along the way. Mr. Doyle slackpacks apparently and the food is purchased in bulk for his whole group. You can bet that he isn't eating Ramen Noodles every night now. I do admire him very much though and do believe he is a thrifty individual. We could all probably learn many things from him!

RED-DOG
08-01-2012, 15:09
Whatever your budget is go have lots of fun and enjoy and if you don't make it, you can always come back the AT isn't going any place any time soon.RED-DOG

Supreme Being
08-01-2012, 19:26
Whatever your budget is go have lots of fun and enjoy and if you don't make it, you can always come back the AT isn't going any place any time soon.RED-DOG

If it is your desire to just hike until you run out of money, this is good advice. If it is your goal to hike a thru, you need to talk with as many of this year's hikers as you can - preferably those who know how to economize and know how cheaply you can get by on the trail. I have communicated with many AT hikers who just had the bare minimum and they were quoting at least $2 a mile. Many thought at first they could do it for $1 a mile, but with the increase in costs, they found this to be impossible. Just talk with others who really know what the current costs on the trail actually are now. Many hikers have only one shot at this; and need to be prepared. Maybe sell a few items or work some part-time jobs - whatever it takes.

RED-DOG
08-03-2012, 10:06
I have completed 3 succesful Thru's and i am going to stand with the 5000 dollar mark. if you take any thing less well good luck with that. RED-DOG

woodstock64
08-24-2012, 22:49
I bought them from based on reviews. They're supposed to be great for carrying heavy loads for long distances. After wearing them, they're quite the boot. Defiently has a little weight to them, but they're just about the same as my other boots I wear everyday. Never bought an expensive backpacking boot before but they seem awesome so far.
My dromedary bag is quite light, bonus msr has a lifetime warranty which I thought was nice.
I got all this for the trip so I don't have much time in with much of it. Although being in the woods my whole life, I've never backpacked, atleast nothing like thruhiking the AT. Since I'm now not going until next year, I'll have a year to work out the little things. I'm thinking about starting with the Batona Trail once the heat breaks. I've got all this awesome new gear now, I see me spending more time than usual in the bush this year.

Saprogenic,
I live about 30min from the Batona Trail and plan on doing at least a two night hike of the Batona sometime this fall. Let me know if you want someone to hike with.

Skyline
08-24-2012, 23:12
. . . The old dollar a mile rule I think is 10 years or more old. Things are more expensive now . . .

DavidNH


Actually, I think it's closer to 25 years.

woodstock64
08-24-2012, 23:18
I think it's safe to say that most people only have a once in a lifetime to thru hike the AT. With that said why would you want to be constantly stressed about financial constraints? You probably will only get one bite of this apple. You should make certain that you are prepared so that you can not only enjoy the trail but be able to spend time with the people you will be sharing this experience with, and that will definitely include trips into town. Better to have enough money and CHOOSE not to spend it than not have enough and be FORCED to not spend it.

Different Socks
08-25-2012, 00:47
"I understand wanting to spred the cost. Somtimes its cheeper to just buy as you go. If if a good sale I'd get it as FarmerChef said most things will last a lot longer the the best by date. When I was in the Navy 1977, we were still eating sea rats from WW2. So anything in a can will last a long time.
If you are going to do mail drops then I would say you would be OK to start buying most thing 2 years out. Some will say not much saving but thats not true. When sectioning I have seen $1.89 pack of Korr going for $3 + and $.13 pack of Romain go for $1 +. When in a smaller town they charge what the market will bear.

There are some things that you just can not get on the trail and these are the things I plan to sent in mail drops. Examples are freezdried vegitables, corn and peas, freezedried meats ,like chicken and hamburger. I buy a #10 can from Mountainhouse about once every three months. I have also sugested to family that they make a good gift. I'm 18 mo. out from my start date and hope to have most of the freezeddried things I need by then."



Thank you for bringing this to light. This is the reason I will still do mail drops on the AT. I mean $3.00 for a Knorr?! Wow! For that much, at home I can add veggies, a meat and even a bagel and still have some money left over. No wonder why so many of the WB people think it costs $4000 plus to do the trail.

IrishBASTARD
08-28-2012, 21:06
TOTAL spent was 10K. Did NOT want to eat beans and rice...and shelter it at any Religious based structure...except it Pearisburgh fantastic HOSTEL and Host. Had a great time on the trail and did not want to short change myself. THIS WAS A LIFE TIME ADVENTURE...so why waste my time nickeling and diming myself?!

Different Socks
08-30-2012, 00:39
Oh yeah. But there is no way that you are including the biggest expense = FOOD in that price unless it was in another century! And what year did you do these hikes?

Did the AT in 1992, the PCT in 1996, the CDT in 1997, the Ice Age Trail in 99--03, the Ouachita Trail in 04, the long Trail in 05. And since i am prepping for a much longer hike of 22 months and 10,000, I already have over 400 dinners made and bagged and only spent less than $500(probably less) so far. So yes I am basing my figures on today's food prices. Hell, the local store just had a sale on noodle dinners--50 cents a box. I bought 60 of them for $30!! Add some veggies and cheap meat like TVP or tuna or jerky and total cost for dinner would be only about $1.50. Okay let's say $1.75. That's a total cost of only $105 for 2 months of dinners. Gee, average 6 months on the trail minus 36 zero days(I know that's alot)= 144 days of dinners X $1.75 = $252 for all dinners for entire hike. Not bad consodering the fact that the dinner meal on the trail is the most expensive to put together.

Different Socks
08-30-2012, 00:41
Did the AT in 1992, the PCT in 1996, the CDT in 1997, the Ice Age Trail in 99--03, the Ouachita Trail in 04, the long Trail in 05. And since i am prepping for a much longer hike of 22 months and 10,000, I already have over 400 dinners made and bagged and only spent less than $500(probably less) so far. So yes I am basing my figures on today's food prices. Hell, the local store just had a sale on noodle dinners--50 cents a box. I bought 60 of them for $30!! Add some veggies and cheap meat like TVP or tuna or jerky and total cost for dinner would be only about $1.50. Okay let's say $1.75. That's a total cost of only $105 for 2 months of dinners. Gee, average 6 months on the trail minus 36 zero days(I know that's alot)= 144 days of dinners X $1.75 = $252 for all dinners for entire hike. Not bad considering the fact that the dinner meal on the trail is the most expensive to put together.

That was supposed to be 10,000 miles.

Kryptonite
08-30-2012, 01:19
A group of us have been following Loner's videos. He had lots of drop boxes; seldom stayed in town; stayed at cheap motels and shared costs; and didn't go drinking with the boys. (Or at least didn't film it if he did! LOL) He didn't even go to that many restaurants when he was in town. That said and done, he said that he would plan $5000 if he had it to do all over again. Prices have really increased on the trail.

silverscuba22
08-30-2012, 01:44
TOTAL spent was 10K. Did NOT want to eat beans and rice...and shelter it at any Religious based structure...except it Pearisburgh fantastic HOSTEL and Host. Had a great time on the trail and did not want to short change myself. THIS WAS A LIFE TIME ADVENTURE...so why waste my time nickeling and diming myself?!

WOW 10k huh...... and you didnt even have money to get back to the trail after the death in your family....... are you ever going to stop with the BS ???

Skyline
08-30-2012, 09:03
. . . That's a total cost of only $105 for 2 months of dinners. Gee, average 6 months on the trail minus 36 zero days(I know that's alot)= 144 days of dinners X $1.75 = $252 for all dinners for entire hike. Not bad consodering the fact that the dinner meal on the trail is the most expensive to put together.

I always found dinner to be the easiest and least expensive to put together and pack, even while dehydrating my own veggies to add to Lipton's/Knorr's meals. It was the myriad commercially available snacks, which were also used at breakfast and lunch time, that seemed to break the budget and add the most weight.

MyName1sMud
08-30-2012, 11:06
I would not leave Springer MT with no less than 5000, ready to spend on the trail for a thru-hike, and thats not including the gear cost before departure.


This.

Unless you're one of those types that already eats the same thing everyday and sleeps on the hard ground year round.

IrishBASTARD
08-31-2012, 22:04
WOW 10k huh...... and you didnt even have money to get back to the trail after the death in your family....... are you ever going to stop with the BS ??? Silver how much did you spend?! My comment does not require a smartass retort. Never said I didnt have enough money...had issues getting back on trail where I left off jackass.

IrishBASTARD
08-31-2012, 22:07
Yeah ask all the B&B's hotels I stayed at slacking and the bars I closed with fellow thrus. As I said what I spent is what was spent...not that what I used was ANY of your business. What did YOU spend on your thru HIKE?

silverscuba22
08-31-2012, 22:18
Silver how much did you spend?! My comment does not require a smartass retort. Never said I didnt have enough money...had issues getting back on trail where I left off jackass.

well you would think someone that had enough money would be able to figure out how to get back to the trail without begging on WB..... did you finally get a ride from roadside ???

Darwin13
09-13-2012, 13:04
well you would think someone that had enough money would be able to figure out how to get back to the trail without begging on WB..... did you finally get a ride from roadside ???


Hahah Got' em. I swear I will come across a loose irishBASTARD comment in the most random forums and he ALWAYS has some reckless, combative dogma to scream about. And the funny thing is, he still doesn't get that everyone can see ALL his comments and ALL the times he's lied, contradicted himself and been a loser. The guys not a hiker. "The douche bags are weeded out quick." - every Thru I've met.

The Solemates
09-13-2012, 14:15
it all depends on how you define "expenses". here was our breakdown.

we saved up about $10,000 to hike the trail. we did this because we worked like dogs to save - it can be done - we were poor college grads.

a look at expenses starts before the trail. we canceled our living expenses (ie no apartment), we canceled our cell phone/TV/internet/etc, we had no car payments on either of our cars, no student loans, and we were 100% debt free.

$3500 of our $10,000 savings was actual on-trail expenses. that's right...both of us spent only $3500 total to hike the trail. thats restaurants, food, laundry, shipping, everything. our nature is to be frugal, but we were not overly frugal. what do i mean by this? We had no reservations about spending on food - we spent what we wanted when we wanted. however, we didnt stop in towns very often (we averaged every 10 days or so whereas a lot of people are half that), and when we did stop in town we were very frugal about where we stayed. lots of hostels and few motels. we dont drink or smoke and didnt waste our money there. we did half mail drops and half resupplies in town (33 total resupplies, 17 being maildrops).

the remaining monies were distributed accordingly: $500 for car insurance while we were gone (let family drive the cars once a week or so while away), $1500 for a 6-month medical insurance policy, $500 for the return drive (gas money) back home (and our trip to springer was virtually free as we lived at the time just a couple hours from springer), we spent maybe $500 on miscellaneous gear before the trip (we had most of our stuff already), we spent maybe $500 on gear/gear replacements while on the trail, and we spent around $500 for a 3-day side trip into NYC (stayed with a friend).

Returning from the trail, we had $2500 to work with. We spent all of that to get our life back in order including renting a new house, and were left with $700 in the bank the day we started new jobs. $700 is not much money to work with, but we made it happen. the only reason it happened was because we didnt scrimp on expenses on the front end.