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Thread: Thru hike money

  1. #1

    Default Thru hike money

    Ok, been wanting to do a thru hike for years now, and it seems like I may have an opportunity to do it in the next month or two. Problem is, not sure if I have enough money to do it right now.
    Have about $1500 at the moment that is available for the trip.
    I am looking for work, so I don't know how much I would be able to save in the meantime. Is that enough to do the whole trail if I do it frugally, is it possible

  2. #2

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    By the way, already have most, if not all of the year I would need, so that is not a concern

  3. #3
    The other white meat
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    Depends on a lot of factors. Do you have all of your gear? Will you be resupplying via maildrops? Travel to and from the trail? Motel stays in towns?

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    Garlic
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    Most say you need at least twice that amount, possibly more. $1000/month is a good estimate, but you don't know how fast you hike yet. Think of how much it costs you to eat when you're not on the trail, then increase that because you won't be getting deals in supermarkets, and increase it again because you'll be eating a lot, and there'll be lots of restaurants. Say $10/day. A five month hike could cost you $1500 in food alone (I spent about that much on a 3.5 month hike).
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

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    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    It is not enough.
    Lonehiker

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    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    You would surprised how fast that $1500 gets spent. There are shuttles into towns and back for re-supplies. Then the food itself will eat (pun intended) away most of that money over time. I would hike with the assumption that you will run out of money and not let it be a concern.
    Enjoy the trail while out there and get back out there again next year with more saved money to reach the next goal. Don't let the free spirit of a life long ambition be diminished and unfulfilling due to lack of money for a thru hike. The trail will be waiting for you when you decide to rejoin it again.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  7. #7

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    I would say, hike until the money runs out and then go home.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

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    No, it is not enough to hike the whole trail.

  9. #9
    Registered User Hoofit's Avatar
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    Five grand plus gear is more like it but hey, you may be very frugal and have lots of drops sent to you and have the transportation taken care of.....

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    Gurus correct me if I'm wrong, but if the gear is inappropriate, a shakedown at Mountain Crossings will eat up most of that $1500. How will you feed yourself after that?

    1. Hiker boxes
    2. Trail magic
    3. Hiker feeds
    4. Yogi-ing
    5. Rubbing dirt off of Gummi Bears and Skittles on the trail
    6. Starvation

    Are you really willing to take the chance? If I was single, between jobs, had that $1500 in the bank and the equipment I've got in my storage room right now, I'd be gone tomorrow. But I'd have no expectation of hiking the whole trail. If through some sheer stroke of good fortune you made it to Katahdin on that budget, I'd buy your book. "Hiking Hungry?" Who knows. I'd still hit the trail. Make sure you leave enough for a bus ticket home.
    Hiking is the best teacher, it grades on a curve.
    AT miles: 255.5 / Total miles: 905.27

    Author of "Hiking Into Trail Days"



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenlight View Post
    Gurus correct me if I'm wrong, but if the gear is inappropriate, a shakedown at Mountain Crossings will eat up most of that $1500. How will you feed yourself after that?

    1. Hiker boxes
    2. Trail magic
    3. Hiker feeds
    4. Yogi-ing
    5. Rubbing dirt off of Gummi Bears and Skittles on the trail
    6. Starvation

    Are you really willing to take the chance? If I was single, between jobs, had that $1500 in the bank and the equipment I've got in my storage room right now, I'd be gone tomorrow. But I'd have no expectation of hiking the whole trail. If through some sheer stroke of good fortune you made it to Katahdin on that budget, I'd buy your book. "Hiking Hungry?" Who knows. I'd still hit the trail. Make sure you leave enough for a bus ticket home.
    I'd hope the OP has knowledge of his gear.....

  12. #12
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    Hell no it is not enough, unless you are an accomplished moocher.

    $3000 minimum for a thru hike.

    $4000 preferred.

    $5000 ideal.

    I suggest you get off your a-double-you-know-what and go get a job at McDonalds, Hardees, Taco Bell, Home Depot, or hang out where the illegal alien day laborers hang out and take all the odd-jobs you can find. In 4-6 weeks you should be able to add a couple of grand to that $1500 easily.

    OkeefenokeeJoe

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    Ive spent more than that on a one month hike.
    Not nearly enough for 99.9% of people

    Impossible ...no.
    Improbable....hell yes.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 05-04-2016 at 23:55.

  14. #14

    Default

    Check out will wood on YouTube. http://youtu.be/KQvUVKtZ3wA

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PennyPincher View Post
    I would say, hike until the money runs out and then go home.
    Good advice

  16. #16
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    $1500 makes for a great hike on The Colorado Trail. Consider that instead perhaps?
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
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    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mags View Post
    $1500 makes for a great hike on The Colorado Trail. Consider that instead perhaps?
    I agree with this. He knows more about it than me. You can have an enjoyable hike somewhere else, but on the AT its not going to take you very far. Maybe even do a section of the AT.

  18. #18
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    $1500 makes a great luxurious Long Trail hike, too, with money left over

    To the OP: it may still be possible for someone to do a thru-hike on $1500, but it's less and less likely each year. Twenty or thirty years ago the conventional wisdom was $1 per mile, or $2200 for the trail, but prices have gone up a bit since then, and there are FAR more places to spend money along the trail. My personal experience is that I need $800-1000/month on the trail, which makes for a comfortable hike with a hot meal and a cold beer when I get to town, and a place to spend the night/zero day once a week to shower, resupply, and clean gear.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  19. #19
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    $1500 makes a great luxurious Long Trail hike, too, with money left over

    Oooh..nice one. And then perhaps do the BMT after. 600 miles of awesome backpacking. Transit costs lower than the CT as well.
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
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    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  20. #20
    Registered User dudeijuststarted's Avatar
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    Please don't. Try to have $5000 devoted to the hike before you set out. Trail magic is not intended as a primary source of sustenance.

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