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Thread: What do you do?

  1. #1
    Thru hike Done, working on a section hike. stickat04's Avatar
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    Default What do you do?

    I was just wondering what people do that allows them to take 6 months off to hike the trail. I plan on doing the trail in 2004 but short on quiting work and loseing insurance I dont see a way around that.

  2. #2
    Yes, I know I mis-spelled "Hamster"...
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    Well I'm 20 (21 on 3/11) and I moved back in with my Mom. Just finished paying UMass $14k in loans, and fortunate enough to have not taken out loans for vehicles, bikes, skimobiles, etc. I'm currently saving up, and leaving my current job August 31st, 2003. This gives me 3 months of full-time fall hikes, and 4 months of winter hiking/snowshoeing/greyhound bus sightseeing. I'll be living fairly humbly those 6-7 months, and may possibly be picking up an after christmas part-time job 15-20hrs/wk (at a fraction of my current pay lol) for weekly incidentals so I don't tap into my funds as much. Then it's off to springer the last week of march for an April 1st Start!

    I can't wait, working 60hrs a week nights really kicks my ass. I've gained about 20lbs too! I also have black curtains and I'm so white that if I get any whiter I'll be semi-clear. Oh do I loathe for normalcy! Speaking of which, I have to be up in 3hrs for a 12hr shift (ugg).
    "A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for life; he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days".
    ...Ralph Waldo Emerson


    GA-ME Someday (Maybe '06?)
    Many Miles in Massachusetts & Vermont...

  3. #3
    Registered User Moose2001's Avatar
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    Don't know how the rest of you manage it. Me... 24 years of military service equates to a retirement check. Enough to pay my mortgage and utilities. Add a loving and understanding wife who works... bingo. I'm on the trail.
    GA - NJ 2001; GA - ME 2003; GA - ME 2005; GA - ME 2007; PCT 2006

    A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will.
    —SPANISH PROVERB

  4. #4
    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    Flower Pot maker
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

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    I'm on welfare, of a sort. Federal research dollars are powering my summer hiking.

  6. #6

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    I'll be in between jobs.

    Hopefully.

  7. #7

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    I'm planning a '04' thru hike too.
    Saving up, then quitting the rat race.
    I'm currently a CPA - no I didn't have anything to do with Enron.
    I plan to keep my medical insurance by paying for it myself via COBRA.

    I don't want to wait another 20 years to retire and then hike, life is to short.

  8. #8
    Donating Member/AT Class of 2003 - The WET year
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    Been dreaming of doing a thru-hike as far back as I can remember. The urge kept getting stronger and stronger and one day I realized that I wasn't getting any younger. Decided I would rather take a risk now than grow old and wish I had.
    I asked for a leave of absence and they turned me down. Submitted my resignation and ...now I'm an unemployed thru-hiker. Fully realize that everyone can't go that route. I had my financial obligations under control and a totally supportive partner.
    Life is short ...dream your dreams !! Energy flow in the direction of thought ! If you want it bad enough you will find a way to make it happen.
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

  9. #9

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    I'm a college prof. which means a natural break from mid-May to mid-August. Unfortunately that's not enough time for a thru, so I plan to break it into a few long section hikes of late-May to early Aug. Probably take a summer off between sections, but we'll see how the first one goes ('04) before I think too much about that.

    I figure that will probably work better for me anyway as it'll be a little easier to be away from home/family for 9-10 weeks than for 6 months.

  10. #10

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    I am a consultant at a healthcare consulting firm and have been there for nearly five years. About two years ago, I decided I had postponed my thru-hike long enough (I've been dreaming about it since I was 8 or 9 years old). So I made a decision and have been planning (and saving cash) ever since. I just gave my notice on Tuesday morning. This thing is really starting to feel real. I will start my hike on April 5, 2003.

    I'm really unsure what I'll do after my hike. I am at a crossroads of sorts and am hoping things will get clearer while I hike.

  11. #11

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    I sold my last motorcycle... exept for the one scattered in a billion peices across the garage. No insurance, I think benefits are a myth.

  12. #12

    Default

    Oh, I totally forgot to answer your insurance question. I'm not going with COBRA. Opting for Fortis Health--temporary plan. $304 for 6-months. $1,000 deductible. Then coverage is 80% (I pay 20%). Out-of-pocket maximum of $5,000. After that is hit, the plan covers 100%. Indemnity plan, so no networks to worry about. Any doctor/hospital/pharmacy will accept it. Pretty good deal. I figure paying $304 is better than risking going in debt if something really bad happens. Which it won't. This plan is only for covering you if you get sick or injured. It won't cover routine care like check-ups, etc.

  13. #13

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    For last years hike, I worked 3 jobs for a total of 70 hours a week. I also had some savings that I used.

    For this year, I decided at the last minute that I would attempt to hike again this year. That didn't give me much time to save. But I have been saving every pay check from one job and paying bills with the other. Oh, and I'm going to sell my car. Anybody looking for a car?

    As for insurance, I won't have any. Any policy I would get would be because of my asthma. But if you read the small print, policies like Fortus do not cover exsisting conditions. So it would have been wasted money.

  14. #14

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    I was lucky enough to have worked for a company that had a 30 year retirement with health care. Also. I have a hard working supportive wife. Just lucked out.

  15. #15
    Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT MedicineMan's Avatar
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    I'm a pharmacist, work a week and off a week...never had a desire to thru- and still dont. content doing sections each month year 'round...next big one is in may, little wolfe creek to Pearisburg-only 50 miles but already something I am looking forward to.
    Start out slow, then slow down.

  16. #16
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    I am a pediatric emergency room nurse who is lucky enough to have been granted a 6 mth leave of absence. Everyone thinks I'm crazy, but they have been extremely supportive. They are even going to hold my position while I'm gone. It is good to be loved!!! Kodiak is taking the year off from school and his work is very flexible. We have both been busting our behinds for the last 3months to save up enough to cover the trip and all of our household bills. We have the money, now it is just a waiting game for April 1st.
    The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. --- Christopher McCandless (aka Alexander Supertramp)

  17. #17

    Default

    One more comment about Fortis. PushingDaisies is right. Short-term plans like Fortis are not affected by HIPAA, so they don't have to cover pre-existing conditions. Most other types of plans (like ones you get through employers) are bound by this law. This just means that if you have not experienced a gap in coverage greater than 60 (I think 60--approximately, anyway) days, your new insurance company is required by law to cover any pre-existing conditions.

    Now I don't have to worry about this, since I have no pre-existing conditions. So Fortis is a logical choice for me.

    On the up-side, any insurance I purchase after the short-term plan will be bound by HIPAA. So if something happens during my hike, my next insurance legally has to cover anything related to the injury or sickness. If I were to go without insurance and something happened to me, I would basically be up a creek. Any insurance I purchase would legally be allowed not to cover pre-existing conditions. I hope this makes sense.

  18. #18
    Yes, I know I mis-spelled "Hamster"...
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    I may purchase some emergency insurance for my AT hike starting 4/1/04. $300 isnt so bad. I will be without my health insurance once I leave my job at the end of this upcoming summer though. Worse case scenario, I get some free aid. Well actually considering the fact that I paid out about $1200 for medicare taxes this year, I don't feel so bad...

    Perhaps it will encourage a nationalized free-health care system!

    My moms also an RN, so I can get some free care at home.

    I also have no pre-existing problems, and haven't taken prescription drugs in about 5 years (needed amoxicillin for an ear infection). I did get a crap load of water-born disease immunizations through my job though (I'm a wastewater treatment operator).

    Depending on how I do on my AT attempt (I plan to finish sometime in september), I may pick up a few part time jobs from September to March and try my hand at the PCT the following spring. Thats looking way too far ahead though!
    "A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for life; he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days".
    ...Ralph Waldo Emerson


    GA-ME Someday (Maybe '06?)
    Many Miles in Massachusetts & Vermont...

  19. #19

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    Nationalized health care, hey it works for the commonwealth of Norway! Heil Konung Harold! ooops, I mean I pledge allegiance to the flag.... Just kidding, nationalized health care may become necassary at some point. I haven't had a job with benefits since I quit wrenching professionally and got a stamp put on my Union book. Even working for multi billion dollar companies.

  20. #20

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    RagingHampster

    If you are curious to see roughly what your premium would be for a short-term policy through Fortis, you can get a free quote at http://www.temp-insurance.com/ .

    Some counties will allow for even higher deductibles which would bring the premium down even further. My county only allows as high as $1,000.

    Also, keep in mind that you can only renew a short-term policy once (total of 12 months in a row). Hope this helps a little.

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