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  1. #1

    Default $$ how much to Thru-hike the AT $$

    I am looking for an estimate on how much it will cost to thru-hike AT sobo, I have seen 3000$ total, and elsewhere had posted 1000$ per month, can someone help me out with these numbers. I already have the GEAR, I am just looking cost for the thru-hike

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    Garlic
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    The $1000 per month has worked for me, but then the huge variable is how fast do you hike.

    For a first-time hiker on a budget, $5000 with a $1000 contingency fund is probably a good estimate.

    I know some guys my age with credit cards who quite easily spent over $10,000, and some younger guys have done it for well under $2000, so there's your range.
    "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

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    The $1000 per month has worked for me, but then the huge variable is how fast do you hike.

    For a first-time hiker on a budget, $5000 with a $1000 contingency fund is probably a good estimate.

    I know some guys my age with credit cards who quite easily spent over $10,000, and some younger guys have done it for well under $2000, so there's your range.
    Thanks, I am a first time thru-hiker with no credit cards unfortunately. I am leaving at the beginning of July and am saving every dime I make until then, living the broke life until then will put me right at $6000. I worry about not being able to make it financially, it's so nerve racking lol

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    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Don't overlook $$$$ for transportation to and from the trail.
    Wayne


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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Don't overlook $$$$ for transportation to and from the trail.
    Wayne


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    ?? Are you referring to getting to Baxter state park??

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    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    About 1,000 a month is a good figure. If you have 6k you should be ok. Keep drinking to a minimum or the 6k won't be enough.
    Lonehiker

  7. #7
    The other white meat
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    Another contingency and certainly the biggest in my mind will be how much time you spend in towns. Depending on your cost to get to/from the beginning and end of the trail, that is the biggest expenditure. Are you the type that resupplies via mail drop and heads straight back to the trail or the other side of the spectrum that resupplies in town grocery stores and spends 3 days in motels eating/drinking as much as possible
    Most people fall somewhere in between, but it can be hard to predict if you fall into traveling with a group.

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    If you're watching your dollars you can do it for about $1000 a month and be quite comfortable. I spent more, but that was choice, not necessity.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by show me the monkey View Post
    Another contingency and certainly the biggest in my mind will be how much time you spend in towns. Depending on your cost to get to/from the beginning and end of the trail, that is the biggest expenditure. Are you the type that resupplies via mail drop and heads straight back to the trail or the other side of the spectrum that resupplies in town grocery stores and spends 3 days in motels eating/drinking as much as possible
    Most people fall somewhere in between, but it can be hard to predict if you fall into traveling with a group.
    I'm planning to be the type to stay on the trail as much as possible, maybe a stay or 2 at a little cheap spot in town if need be. Would mailing drops be cheaper than in town supplies?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoBo FlintFlick View Post
    I'm planning to be the type to stay on the trail as much as possible, maybe a stay or 2 at a little cheap spot in town if need be. Would mailing drops be cheaper than in town supplies?

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    Staying on the trail requires you be antisocial.

    Once you make friends, and hike with them, you will do what they do, or else youll never see them again....

  11. #11
    The other white meat
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoBo FlintFlick View Post
    I'm planning to be the type to stay on the trail as much as possible, maybe a stay or 2 at a little cheap spot in town if need be. Would mailing drops be cheaper than in town supplies?

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    Usually. However if this is your first long distance hike, be aware that your appetite will change and unless your mail drops provide an ever changing array of food, you will get tired of eating the same thing. Most frugal hikers do mail drops and supplement with locally purchased food.

  12. #12

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    Do u think a 4000 calorie a day diet will suffice?

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    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoBo FlintFlick View Post
    Do u think a 4000 calorie a day diet will suffice?

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    No right answer. Too many variables... your body weight, fitness level, miles hiked per day, and difficulty in the terrain just to name a few.

    When I did the much shorter JMT thru hike last year (~220 miles, so only 1/10th the distance of the AT), I first got in shape by losing 50lbs. Then planned for 3,000 calories/day. I hiked an average of 13 miles per day, and lost about 7lbs over the course of about 3 weeks.

  14. #14
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoBo FlintFlick View Post
    Do u think a 4000 calorie a day diet will suffice?

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    Probably more like 6000, and you'll still lose weight. That's why hikers gorge themself when in town.

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    Garlic
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    I carried over 4000/day, and I think I ate up to 8000 per day during town stops, but I also averaged 20 miles per day on the AT.

    To compare, my trail food cost was about $700, my town food cost was closer to $800. I did not drink alcohol on my hike, and made a small effort to be frugal.

  16. #16
    Registered User DavidNH's Avatar
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    don't plan on thru hiking on anything less that 5000$ excluding transport costs to and from trail heads and equipment costs.

  17. #17
    Registered User DownEaster's Avatar
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    Rely on mail drops when it makes sense to do so. Are you going to be eating ramen noodles? If so, they're relatively cheap, and the extra cost of buying them at a gas station near the Trail is going to be less than the price of shipping cheap ramen from home. Might you be getting to the post office on Saturday afternoon? If there's a likely "yes" answer to that, then the cost of staying in town until Monday morning for the PO to open would exceed the savings in your box of shipped supplies.

    I'll be shipping one box to myself before I leave, and relying on a friend at home to ship me maybe another half dozen packages, mainly for critical things like the next pair of broken-in trail runners. For the most part I'll be buying supplies in town, and making do with what's cheapest (ramen, mac & cheese) when I happen on an expensive resupply point. If there's a Walmart supercenter instead, I'll buy healthier food and gorge on a big salad and fresh fruit before I get back on the Trail with better-quality consumables.

    To get the right answer for you will require doing some shopping and finding out what supplies will fit into a Priority Mail box. The total cost (supplies + postage) is the comparison price for buying at a trail resupply point. I don't know how to find supply costs at Podunk Gas & Groceries on the Trail, but you can at least calculate ratios. If you shop carefully and postage only increases your costs by 15%, you'll probably be fine using a mail drop. If postage doubles your supply cost (+100%), you're probably wasting money on the shipping.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    I carried over 4000/day, and I think I ate up to 8000 per day during town stops, but I also averaged 20 miles per day on the AT.

    To compare, my trail food cost was about $700, my town food cost was closer to $800. I did not drink alcohol on my hike, and made a small effort to be frugal.
    How long did it take u to complete the trail?

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  19. #19

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    And are you saying you spent $1500 total on food for the through hike?

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    Assuming four days in between resupplies, is it even possible to fit 24,000 calories into a pack and still have room for gear? I figured that I'd eat about 3,000 calories per day on the trail, then binge in towns to make up the deficit. What is the most common experience? I'll be 53 when I attempt my thru, weigh about 190 at 6 feet tall, and slow-hike at least 15 miles per day.


    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Probably more like 6000, and you'll still lose weight. That's why hikers gorge themselves when in town.
    Hiking is the best teacher, it grades on a curve.
    AT miles: 255.5 / Total miles: 905.27

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