View Full Version : real life stuff

10-02-2012, 20:26
I really want to do a thru hike but maybe more experienced hiker can help with these questions.

what do you do with you stuff while you are gone?
ex car/truck?

stuff you own?

I am single and don't have alot of family, some that may help with some things.
I rent as well but if i am out on the trail 6 months what is the best way to pay for rent, storage of things, insurance on car?
or is one supposed to simple give all these things up to go on a thru hike..if so im not sure my family would store my stuff..and if one of them would let me live with them when i came back..im not sure they would.

im looking for advice..thanks in advance

10-02-2012, 20:54
Storage, i think would be a better option for your things. Costs less and will have better security. Climate control, paid six months in advance. My wife is staying home and sending boxes, but i will drop insurance coverage on my truck to storage to save money. She can't drive it anyway.

10-02-2012, 21:40
Storage, for sure, is your first and best bet. Friends and family after that if it's possible, and then fellow hikers in your area, if you can reach out make friends before you leave. I thru-hiked in 2009 and had support from several other hikers at that time, in addition to family, and since then I have helped others with their thrus and/or attempted thrus. This is a great community.

10-02-2012, 21:40
ok thanks sounds good. anymore advice>?

10-02-2012, 21:42
Storage, for sure, is your first and best bet. Friends and family after that if it's possible, and then fellow hikers in your area, if you can reach out make friends before you leave. I thru-hiked in 2009 and had support from several other hikers at that time, in addition to family, and since then I have helped others with their thrus and/or attempted thrus. This is a great community.
that sounds good, i know or think that i have some family that should help..at least 1 i guess im going to have to see how much.

10-02-2012, 22:47
The problem is you don't really know if you'll actually be gone 5 or 6 months. Most who start a thru-hike end it well before that, some in the first week!

If you leave everything where it is now and continue to pay rent, you know you can go home at any time. However, this may not be a good thing, as knowing you can go home at any time and knowing your still paying rent for no good reason can be a factor in making you decide to quit.

Or you can terminate your rent, sell the car and most of your stuff, keeping just the most valuable and irreplaceable things which don't take up much room and are easy to store in someone basement. Now you have nothing to go home to, so there is more encentive to stay on the trail and finish. Many people find they want to simplify thier life and reduce the amount of "baggage" they own after a thru, so you might as well get it over before hand.

Spirit Walker
10-02-2012, 23:38
Lots to think about before you go. See http://spiriteaglehome.com/TH_faster.html for some of the issues.
For each of my hikes, I gave up jobs and put everything in storage. For my first hikes, I was renting, so leaving was easy. For our last hike, we sold our house. Had a family member keep track of our mail and forward anything urgent to us on the trail. Same person dealt with getting the car inspected when necessary. Registered it online. Pre-paid car insurance. Had family members drive the car occasionally. Left some checks with the family member to pay off any bills that hadn't been covered before we left.

10-03-2012, 04:54
In the event you decide to keep an apartment, you are probably aware that most utilities can be paid online (phone, electric, etc.). If not, they can be pre-paid. When I had a job that required extensive travel (in the days before online billing) I would occasionally miss a payment due date. So realizing my electric was under $100 per month, I sent the electric company $200. I was good for at least 2 months, no more late fees. When I would get home, I would see my bill with a balance, nothing due. I could then decide whether to send in more or not to avoid late fees for the following month.

10-03-2012, 05:45
I've got a mortgage and I live alone. I'll be doing my bill paying online via cell phone, but most things will be set up for automatic payment. Some bills, I'll pay six months of up front. I've got one brother house-sitting, and I'm forwarding all my mail to my sister, who will open it and check for unexpected things, like jury notices. Things that will come due in the middle of the hike, like my triple A membership, I'm renewing early.

It's a pretty overwhelming endeavor. Oh, and I didn't ask them as though it was a favor. I'm paying my house-sitter very well, and I included that in my hike budget when I was saving up.

10-03-2012, 06:04
I researched what the retired RV crowd did when they were away from home on their year long trips. The standard stuff is online banking and mail forwarded to a friends house and have them check your place every week or so while your gone.

I carried a balance on my main credit card and set up an automatic minimum payment during my hike, then settled up after I got back. Now with smartphones and electronic billing you really can just pay on the fly.

Don't forget to use gas stabilizer if you plan on storing your car.

10-03-2012, 08:53
Make sure you have a place to stay AFTER the hike too. You can sign a lease 6 months out, or couch surf untill you get a place. Also it's not a bad idea to have some money for when you come back, jobs aren't easy to get these days.

Old Hiker
10-03-2012, 11:57
If you look into storage units, be sure to ask for any "specials" - I got a nice one where I paid 6 months in advance and got 2 months free. Not for my hike, but for my son's stuff while he was in jail.

For utility bills, I paid extra on each bill for about 6 months to where my wife didn't have to pay the utilities while I was gone. My natural gas bill is still paid so far in advance, I won't have to pay it for about 2 years.

turtle fast
10-03-2012, 12:10
Paying 6 months worth of rent while away makes no sense. Unless you are locked into a lease or in an extremely competitive market, or have some great rent control (NYC for example) where you can't possibly go wrong with paying 6 months of rent. Like others have said, clear out the clutter in your life get rid by selling or giving away the junk you got and just keep the stuff you want in a storage locker....it is a lot cheaper than rent and it gives you options. As with your vehicle, if you have no special attachment to it you can sell it as an option or put that too in storage. Just remember that your gas needs to be stabilized and that it may be tough to start and run a little rough when you get back for a little bit. With no apartment, you have no utility bills and worry about break ins, water leakage, etc. As well, many landlords have clauses that talk about when you are not going to be at an apartment for an extended period of time.

10-03-2012, 22:12
lot of good advice. i am in a lease..so i would have to deal with that, and i am attached to my truck even though it does have apprx 280 thousand miles on it, i really would not want to give it up. jobs are very hard to find esp where i live so that is a tough one, all i know is it seems busy right now so im going to try and save up while i can.

10-04-2012, 09:06
one thought, a friend did this last year, as he had a little money left over, couch surfed (on mine too), and did alot of handy man stuff around the neighborhood. After 2,000 miles on the trail, he was the fastest grass cutter ive ever seen!! :)

Im not sure where you reside, but Atlanta is picking up in the job market. Food service and construction is coming back, and quickly.

Good luck to you.