WhiteBlaze Pages 2024
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
AVAILABLE NOW. $4 for interactive PDF(smartphone version)
Read more here WhiteBlaze Pages Store

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25

Thread: Food $$$

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-26-2017
    Location
    Emmaus, PA
    Age
    68
    Posts
    111

    Default Food $$$

    Is $12.00 per day about the correct price point for trail food? Thanks in advance for your thoughts/comments.
    zig-zag man

    There is no such thing as free.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-18-2016
    Location
    Richmond Hill, Georgia
    Posts
    124

    Default

    At least $15 per day for me.

    OkeefenokeeJoe

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-27-2003
    Location
    northern whites
    Posts
    4,923

    Default

    With or without town days averaged in?

  4. #4
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-18-2012
    Location
    Dark Side of the Moon
    Age
    64
    Posts
    1,445
    Journal Entries
    6

    Default

    All depends on where you can shop. Some times the quicky mart that sells gas is the only place and you will pay a premium for food and the selection will be limited. A mom and pop grocery store will have a larger selection, but prices will be about the same as the quicky mart. They will have fresh fruits and veggies if that is your style. Major grocery stores will offer the largest selection and at the lowest prices. Pick store brands as much as possible and they are name brand just different labels. Some people prefer organic natural style foods. You can normally find these stores in the bigger cities, but be prepared to pay premium prices. Hope this helps you out. Also you can mix up your menus better at grocery stores and not have to eat the same thing every day. I get by pretty cheap with store brands, lots of pasta, bean and rice dishes, about $10 a day. Would be even cheaper if I didn't love trail mix so much. I even make my own.
    Blackheart

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-26-2017
    Location
    Emmaus, PA
    Age
    68
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    With or without town days averaged in?
    Without town days
    zig-zag man

    There is no such thing as free.

  6. #6
    Garlic
    Join Date
    10-15-2008
    Location
    Golden CO
    Age
    66
    Posts
    5,617
    Images
    2

    Default

    For me, in 2008, my thru-hike averaged $7/day for trail rations, just under $8 for town food. I was somewhat frugal--no alcohol, vegetarian, buying bulk rather than packages. My hiking partner spent nearly twice that, and he doesn't drink either.

    It may be notable that we averaged 20 miles per day, so total food cost for the trip was roughly $1500. I don't know if a slower or faster hike would have changed that significantly. i think I ate more per day than average, but I spent less time in towns and that can quickly get expensive.
    "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

  7. #7
    Garlic
    Join Date
    10-15-2008
    Location
    Golden CO
    Age
    66
    Posts
    5,617
    Images
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zig-zag man View Post
    Without town days
    I think $5 to $15 is a typical range. It all depends on how you shop and what you eat.

    Mountain House meals and packaged bars can quickly get expensive. Bulk oats and nuts and instant potatoes are relatively cheap (but don't try to live only on that if you can afford it).

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-26-2017
    Location
    Emmaus, PA
    Age
    68
    Posts
    111

    Default

    It looks like my budget is going to be $4K-ish for the thru, so I won't have the luxury of late night town parties (not that there's anything wrong with that!) or too many drinks, but I'm sure I'll grab a salad, burger, and fries whenever I stop for resupply. Or a small pizza. But the point is, I won't have the bucks to splurge. $5 seems like the low side to me, but I could see $15 occasionally.
    zig-zag man

    There is no such thing as free.

  9. #9
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-06-2013
    Location
    Chicago, Il
    Age
    45
    Posts
    3,770

    Default

    I got Wendy's the other day- Large spicy chicken sandwich meal and a double stack- $11.
    Not a crazy hiker snack.

    Burger, fries a pint (or two) and a tip is running $20 these days.

    Only pointing that out as really it's town that kills the budget. Most folks can be decently frugal ON TRAIL.
    But hitting town, grabbing a bit of fast food (eat before you shop or you'll buy the whole grocery store), then doing laundry, hostel, and grabbing dinner and a beer with a hiker before you go...

    That's pretty typical. $35 easy just on food.

    You can certainly hit the dollar general and shove food in your face on the front stoop- stuff your pack- and be in and out of town in a few hours fairly cheap.
    None of the wal-martians will look twice if you go right to the deli and shove sandwiches in your face while you shop or consume a bag of doritos while you shop.

    But if you can come up with the money part of the AT is that experience too.
    You can trek for months in more wild places... but the blend of town, social, human, and woods... it's uniquely AT and part of the hike IMHO.

    The other reality... will you skip those options when presented? Lots of folks say yes when budgeting, but no on trail.
    So they blow the weeks budget on a night at the bar then you see them eating ramen and minute rice for breakfast lunch and dinner for the next week.
    Eventually you see them drop- eating frugal is fine- eating food with zero nutritional value for weeks on end is a surefire way to end your hike early.
    Last edited by Just Bill; 08-10-2017 at 09:12.

  10. #10
    Registered User evyck da fleet's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-24-2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Age
    52
    Posts
    516

    Default

    I found it hard to separate a food budget between town and trail. I found I was likely to spend more on town food if my last resupply was at a Dollar General rather than at a full grocery store. Plus its nice to treat yourself every once in a while.

    Most hikers don't enjoy only eating trail food. Many leave the trail once the money runs out because they didn't budget enough. +1 to JBs comment on trail towns being part of the experience.

    If if you can do it on 4K great but I'd focus on enjoying your hike and not worry about whether or not you hike the whole trail.

  11. #11
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-18-2012
    Location
    Dark Side of the Moon
    Age
    64
    Posts
    1,445
    Journal Entries
    6

    Default

    Go into town, find a place to stay and or take a shower. Go eat town food, doesn't have to be extravagant. Then go get your resupply. Shopping for for food on an empty stomach will cause you to overbuy because everything looks good.
    Blackheart

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    07-21-2014
    Location
    Bar Harbor, Maine
    Posts
    620

    Default

    On my section hikes I am spending about $30 per day. I eat a lot! If I had to resupply on trail that might come down. I like to eat healthy foods and often. Yikes!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    Registered User DownEaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-15-2017
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Age
    68
    Posts
    682

    Default

    I think it's reasonable to spend $5 a day for food on the trail. I do a fair amount of real cooking, and basic ingredients mostly cost less than prepared foods. In town, though, it's very hard to spend under $15 a day. You can make your in-town budget more reasonable by grabbing a bag of fruit first thing. Oranges or plums will both satisfy a nutritional need that's not met while hiking and also fill you up for moderate cost. Then you can split a pizza with other hikers rather than getting an extra large just for yourself. And, as others have pointed out, your resupply shopping will be more reasonable if you're not hungry when you arrive at the store.

  14. #14
    T-Rx T-Rx's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-18-2012
    Location
    Cocoa Beach, Fla.
    Posts
    576
    Images
    4

    Default

    JB makes some great points about spending and the town experience being an important part of the hike(IMO). After a few weeks on the trail when the "hunger" sets in you will look forward to the town visits. They represent not only some creature comforts & resupply but also an opportunity to make up for calorie deficit and get some real food with more nutritional value. You will become an eating machine! So I think he is right in that it sounds easy to plan to not spend much but the temptation to do otherwise when the options are presented is very strong. Just my humble opinion.

  15. #15

    Default

    So long as you can get to a Dollar General, chain grocery or Walmart, $5-6 a day is probably a good number.
    Knorr side + tuna packet = $2.00
    Glazed Honey Bun = $1.00
    Assorted lunch stuff = $2.00

    There are times you will pay significantly more for the convenience of not having to go far to get food. If you want to eat good food, you'll pay more too.

    4K is a little skinny for a full thru hike, but with some self restraint you might get away with it. A lot of hikers blow much of their budget in the first couple 100 miles since towns/hostels come pretty frequently and it's hard to do big miles between stops due to the difficulty of the trail and weather early in the hike.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  16. #16
    -
    Join Date
    08-14-2005
    Location
    Fort Madison, IA
    Age
    61
    Posts
    1,672

    Default

    other than gear, not less than 20 a day for expendables - this would include food, beverage, fuel, water treatment chemicals, batteries, toilet paper, non- script meds, insect repellant, sun screen and shipping for mail drops

    I mostly hike off season and will carry nice fresh meat, whole pies/ cheesecakes, vegetables etc out of town - not a big drinker, but if I do it is top shelf - and I share

    IMO it is supposed to be vacation, not concentration camp rations

  17. #17
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-22-2002
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Age
    62
    Posts
    7,937
    Images
    296

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    So long as you can get to a Dollar General, chain grocery or Walmart, $5-6 a day is probably a good number.
    Knorr side + tuna packet = $2.00
    Glazed Honey Bun = $1.00
    Assorted lunch stuff = $2.00
    That's my breakfast and maybe a morning snack right there.....
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  18. #18

    Join Date
    05-05-2011
    Location
    state of confusion
    Posts
    9,866
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    $12-18 is fair on trail depending what eat.

    In town....i can spend $75 or more in 24 hrs on restaurant food. Hard to get good meal less than $25 with tip.

  19. #19

    Default

    On my LASH last year from HF to Vermont ~700 miles total, I hit about the $2/mile figure. So, if I did about 15 miles a day, I spent $30 a day. Not too bad for that section of trail. I figure a full overnight town stop will run between $100 and $150.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  20. #20
    -
    Join Date
    08-14-2005
    Location
    Fort Madison, IA
    Age
    61
    Posts
    1,672

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zig-zag man View Post
    Is $12.00 per day about the correct price point for trail food? Thanks in advance for your thoughts/comments.
    IMO here is the real lurking 600 lb gorilla question:

    is it worth running the risk of heart damage that you will live / die with ( when calorie deficit causes the body to consume muscle) to save a few bucks on food

    better to do a shorter hike than a longer malnourished one

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •