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Thread: On Trail Budget

  1. #1
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    Default On Trail Budget

    I am working out my budget for the next five months and trying to figure out something for when I am hiking. I was hoping that I could get some examples of on trail budgets.
    "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

  2. #2

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    I think the rule of thumb is $1000 a month. Its nearly impossible to give an example because each person does things differently. Some might spend 2 or 3 nights a week in some sort of motel or hostel. Others might spend 1 night a month.
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    Hike Safe.

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    I am planning on being in town very little. I want to stay as close to the trail as possible. If a hostel is with in walking distance of the trail I will stay there if possible, or split with other hikers of course. Budget's are tricky because you never know how things will turn out but, if you stay in your tent/shelter most of the time and are frugal but effective with your food you can keep costs down. Looks like beer and hotel stays are the biggest expense on trail! LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by sympathetic joy View Post
    I think the rule of thumb is $1000 a month. Its nearly impossible to give an example because each person does things differently. Some might spend 2 or 3 nights a week in some sort of motel or hostel. Others might spend 1 night a month.
    Yeah I'm working on less than that and will be putting money aside for emergencies.
    "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmputeeHiker View Post
    I am planning on being in town very little. I want to stay as close to the trail as possible. If a hostel is with in walking distance of the trail I will stay there if possible, or split with other hikers of course. Budget's are tricky because you never know how things will turn out but, if you stay in your tent/shelter most of the time and are frugal but effective with your food you can keep costs down. Looks like beer and hotel stays are the biggest expense on trail! LOL
    I'll totally split with you!
    "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

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    Sounds good to me Farren! That would be very cool.

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    Hey Farren. Clear your Inbox, it won't let me send you anymore

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmputeeHiker View Post
    I am planning on being in town very little. I want to stay as close to the trail as possible.
    EVERYONE says that. that's a fantasy. the reality is much different. mark my words

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    So, AmputeeHiker what's the story behind your name?

    "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."
    Isaiah 55:12

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    LW- I know but I will give it a shot :P

    Yankee- I am a life-long lower right leg amputee. No real cool story about how I lost it. My leg just never fully developed a lower bone structure so the tiny foot was amputated when I was about a week old. So it's all I've ever known I am missing parts of a couple fingers as well, due to the same condition. You can "see" me on youtube at www.youtube.com/amputeeadventure to get an idea of what I'm talking about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    EVERYONE says that. that's a fantasy. the reality is much different. mark my words
    It is when your doing this on a shoe string budget.
    "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmputeeHiker View Post
    Hey Farren. Clear your Inbox, it won't let me send you anymore
    Darn there goes all my black mail!!
    "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

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    hahah!!
    She who laughs last, gets left at the Shelter :P

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    If your going on vacation, plan to spend adequate money to enjoy yourself.

    Breaks, showers, beds, and food are something to look forward too and keep your outlook positive. You also feel great when you get back on trail, compared to the run down wore out feeling you might have when you roll into town.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farren View Post
    It is when your doing this on a shoe string budget.
    What Lone Wolf says is very true. The total "wilderness experience" sounds great at home but the draw of town once on trail is tough to ignore. Many shoe string budgets result in having to go home early due to lack of funds. Save as much as you can now and enjoy your "once in a lifetime" adventure.
    Order your copy of the Appalachian Trail Passport at www.ATPassport.com

    Green Mountain House Hostel
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  16. #16

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    You can only spend what you got. I am not sure why people assume that you HAVE to go to town and spend money on hotels, waitresses, and burgers.

    Truth is that if you ain't got it to spend, you ain't got it to spend. I am personally separating from my wife on Friday and then planning to hike several trails on a very limited budget. It can be done with a little self control even if it's a vacation.

    Example: ever went on a cruise or amusement park on a budget?

    I go to disney world literally 5x per week. Don't spend a single dollar. I pack my food from home. Most people cant and won't do that. In fact, most days I just wait until I get home to eat and drink. It's all in your mindset.
    "Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither." - Benjamin Franklin

  17. #17

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    After three straight days of rain or snow, town looks mighty attractive.
    Order your copy of the Appalachian Trail Passport at www.ATPassport.com

    Green Mountain House Hostel
    Manchester Center, VT

    http://www.greenmountainhouse.net

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    The people who usually are the biggest advocates of "you don't need burgers, town stops, and ice cream" usually have not done a long distance thru-hike.

    Get a thru-hike under your belt first, see how it really is and then share your budget tips. And getting some money from Mom and Dad and/or mail drops to help you out counts towards your budget!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunner1776 View Post
    You can only spend what you got. I am not sure why people assume that you HAVE to go to town and spend money on hotels, waitresses, and burgers.

    Truth is that if you ain't got it to spend, you ain't got it to spend. I am personally separating from my wife on Friday and then planning to hike several trails on a very limited budget. It can be done with a little self control even if it's a vacation.
    We're not assuming that people HAVE to go to town, we're speaking based on what most hikers end up doing in reality. We obviously can't tell you what your hike will be like, but the majority of hikers end up spending more than their initial budgets.

    I live in CT and frequent the area of the A.T. that is around the 1500 mile mark from Georgia. You would be shocked at the number of thru hikers I have met over the years that admit that they had run out of money already and were at the point where they were funding the rest of their hike 100% on credit cards.

    Example: ever went on a cruise or amusement park on a budget?

    I go to disney world literally 5x per week. Don't spend a single dollar. I pack my food from home. Most people cant and won't do that. In fact, most days I just wait until I get home to eat and drink. It's all in your mindset.
    The fact that you can do this probably puts you well ahead of the curve for self control with spending, kudos for that. I think you'd agree that the average person doesn't have the restraint to do that.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  20. #20
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    It is quite true you can hike for cheap, even on the AT.

    That said, and I was shocked myself at this fact, The AT is a social trail. You may be anti-social in town, but hikers tend to like hikers. You tend to make friends, even if you don't want to. You tend to violently appreciate all the things you escape when entering the woods.

    Yes, you can take a zero, sleep in the baseball dugout, eat your granola bar at a restaurant, and raise a pint of water with your trailmates at the bar. You do not have to spend money.

    But it's a sad hike on the AT indeed that doesn't include a mad dash to an all you can eat buffet, the best hotel room you'll ever sleep in even though it only cost you $30, or most important of all; a well earned beer hoisted with a fellow hiker.

    Even if you don't drink or socialize. You're missing a hell of a lot the trail has to offer if you ignore town. People pay thousands to tour the countrysides of Europe, people pay thousands more to tour our historic east coast. You pay nothing to stroll through it when you hike the AT. It costs nothing to wander the streets, check out the architecture, or visit with strangers. It costs nothing to sit on a bench and learn how folks live in an area you haven't been to before. It could cost you much to miss these experiences.

    If you want the wilderness, go there. A canoe traverse of the Boundary Waters, Alaskan adventure, or hundreds of other trips await you if that's what you seek. If money is really tight, those are cheaper trips overall. If you want the AT, don't put your head down and walk past a third of what it has to offer. You don't get any extra points or wilderness cred for skipping town. Don't delude yourself into cheating yourself out of the trail you've chosen to walk.

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