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Thread: $$$$$$$

  1. #1
    Registered User Figgsy13126's Avatar
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    Default $$$$$$$

    From what I read, I should expect to have lil over $3G for a Nobo hike. Seems like this amount may make the trip more luxurious than it needs to be. Yea, it would be a relief to chill at a hostel or two or even a couple steak dinners. What are the real costs on the trail....if I skip the fun stuff and most mail drops (which I hear can cost a pretty penny)...what can I expect to spend on just the typical resupplies? An open ended ?....I'm still in the early stages of planning my quest. I would like y'all suggestions on experiences on the trail I should spend $$$ on..what I should skip.

  2. #2
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    Actually, you'll be amazed how easy it will be to spend $3000.00

    Most folks will spend closer to 4.

    As to how to save money, limit your town stops (especially the ones where you overnight), and discipline yourself on spending when in town.

  3. #3

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    I spent $3000 on my thru-hike.... 8 years ago.

    It can still be done though. Stay out of motels. Zero in the woods. When you stay in town, pick one meal to eat at a restaurant. And (probably most important) $3000 will not allow a lot of beer.

    Somewhere on these boards is an article by Weathercarrot on how to have a cheap thru-hike. Look it over for some cost cutting ideas.

    As for what to spend it on...food. Set some aside for the Inn at Long Trail.
    "I too am not a bit untamed, I too am untranslatable,
    I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world." - W. W.

    obligatory website link

  4. #4

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    No (or very little/few):
    alcohol
    tobacco
    coffee
    drugs
    great restaurant food
    whole pizzas at every opportunity
    hotels
    town zeroes
    big gear replacement
    shuttles

    Lots of:
    work for stay
    hitchhiking
    raiding hiker boxes

    Hardly impossible.

  5. #5
    Garlic
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    I spent about $3500 on my AT hike last year, about $500 less than expected. About $750 went to buying groceries for trail food, no mail drops for me. I doubt you could get by with much less than that. I spent a lot on town food and lodging, about $1500 total, which was mostly discretionary. The rest was for travel and gear. If you're careful about spending in town, you should have no problem with the $3000. But it would be good to have some contingency funds just in case.
    "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

  6. #6
    Captain Caveman paradoxb3's Avatar
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    I asked a similar question recently, with expectations of needing no more than $3000 for my thru hike. I have now most certainly reconsidered. It seems now that $3k is about the bare minimum for a first time thru hiker. You've gotta think, in every situation on your thru are you going to have the willpower to settle for just the bare minimum? I know i wont. I'm shooting for $5k for my 2010 thru now, which SHOULD make for a fairly comfy hike. Selling some extra stuff/clutter before i go will ensure i reach that financial goal.
    "...Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation." -Blind Seer, O Brother, Where Art Thou?

  7. #7
    Registered User Figgsy13126's Avatar
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    Default

    Looks like I'll be bringing around 5k...thanks for the insight.

  8. #8
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    When I am hiking (not just on the AT), I budget approx $5/day for trail food. I can get a pretty good variety of foods for breakfast/lunch/dinner for this amount.

    The main issue you will encounter is that it is nearly impossible to actually carry the amount of food you would need to sustain the calories required for long distance hiking. You will need to go into town occassionally just to feast. The good news is that a lot of trail towns have AYCE (All You Can Eat) places or hiker specials. If you arent picky about the types of food (Mexican/Chinese/Buffet) then you should be able to keep town meals to around $15-20 or less. One town I was in, I hit an AYCE dinner and a AYCE breakfast for a total of $10.

    When in towns, hostels generally are your cheaper option, but you have limited privacy. You may opt to get a hotel/motel room so you can have some down time from all the hikers. A lot of hikers also split the cost of a room with another hiker to limit costs.

    The primary thing to remember is that you want to enjoy your experience. There are some things along the trial that are worth the cost just for the experience. That is different for each hiker.

    Have a great trip. Hope to see you out on the trail.

  9. #9
    jersey joe jersey joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Tarlin View Post
    As to how to save money, limit your town stops (especially the ones where you overnight), and discipline yourself on spending when in town.
    I agree with Jack, the single best way to save money on a thru hike is to limit your time in towns. I hiked the trail for way under 3k, it can be done if you can forgo the luxuries.

    Another big factor in how much your hike will cost is the speed of your thur hike. A 6 month thru hike will cost you a lot more than a 4 month thru hike!

  10. #10

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    Remember to budget in for gear replacement. I went through three pairs of boots alone (I'm hard on shoes in general, though).

  11. #11
    Always keep your head on a swivel
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    Also, don't forget about costs that you may have regarding things that may be needed for the hike, such as storage for your stuff, insurance, etc.

  12. #12
    Registered User Bobbo's Avatar
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    Default before and after

    My experience for what it’s worth………….. I found the AT to be a very social event. I was 25 when I hiked and had images of lots of alone time and living a rather meager existence away from civilization. My experience was different. I met a lot of people who I thoroughly enjoyed and wished to spend time with. I was tired, beat up and cold and wet (early spring). I found myself hiking for about 5 days at a time and then hitting a town for crisply. I usually stayed in town at least one night and hung out with my new friends. This pattern remained in tact for pretty much the duration of my hike. Some towns I spent more then 1 night. I had to replace boots and clothing along the way. I went bowling in Virginia.
    I loved every minute of it and would not change a thing, but it was not what I had planned for. I was not the most disciplined person and I pretty much just went with the flow and it was great. I spent a lot more then I had planned.

    I have hiked other long distance trails since then. I’m older. I don’t indulge as much or at all compared to what I did when I was 25. It would cost me less to thru hike now - although I would probably not share hotel rooms with others and try and avoid hostels for more private quarters when in town.

  13. #13
    Registered User ShelterLeopard's Avatar
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    I'm bringing 5,000 (not including my train ticket to GA), to make for a comfortable time. I'm even planning on staying in a couple INNS. (A three day zero at the Harpers Ferry Inn that's right across from the Secret Six Tavern- in a REAL room. And in one or two other towns- the Inn At The Long Trail comes to mind... But we'll see. I like towns and fresh food. Not skimping there...

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    Registered User slowandlow's Avatar
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    Bring as much as you can and live it up, it is unlikely that you will ever have another vacation this long and this much fun in your life.

  15. #15
    Registered User ChinMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowandlow View Post
    Bring as much as you can and live it up, it is unlikely that you will ever have another vacation this long and this much fun in your life.
    I like this angle.....
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

  16. #16
    Registered User ShelterLeopard's Avatar
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    Me too.....

  17. #17
    Melt-N-Metal GeneralLee10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowandlow View Post
    Bring as much as you can and live it up, it is unlikely that you will ever have another vacation this long and this much fun in your life.

    This is what I am beginning to think myself.
    I don't know

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    One more thread confirming I'm doing a long section hike next year.

  19. #19
    Registered User Doctari's Avatar
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    I'm JUST a Section hiker, but I assure you, regardless of your well laid plans & good intentions, after a week on the trail between towns, you will say something like: "to heck with cost, I'm gonna eat something!!" So the $10.00 you had budgeted for food during your town stop, is gone before you finish lunch, , , and you are still HUNGRY! I have eaten till I could no longer get food in, and I was still hungry Yea, that is a weird feeling: absolutely FULL tummy, & "starving to death" at the same time.

    Anyway, you could probably do it for under $3000.00, but you will be hungry a lot, you may miss showers, supply trips may be harder / fewer, etc. Not counting to & from expenses, I spend about $1.50 a mile on my section hikes, so a bit over $3000.00 IF I could maintain the food intake for a Thru.
    Curse you Perry the Platypus!

  20. #20

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    If you substitute beer for food and sell a piece of equipment in every town you can probably have a great time and get a shower and dry, warm room once a week for a $3000 hike!

    geek

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