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  1. #1
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    Default Can i thru-hike on $1000

    I know that it isnt a big budget, but i have amazing willpower, i had to eat through a straw once for 2 months and lost 35 pounds, and i survived that. i have my gear but my budget for the hike is 1 grand. im gonna do it anyway, even if i only get to eat every other day, and live on white rice. Also, given i eat i can hike very fast upwards of 20 mpd. what do you guys think. and i never intend to stay in a hotel, hostel, and i dont drink or smoke. i am very bare bones, thank you guys. I just got out of the military and i am starting a new life and this will be my first challenge, Thank you all.

  2. #2
    BYGE "Biggie" TOMP's Avatar
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    You probably can do it and I am sure someone has. Just seems like it would take a very special personality to actually get by with that little. Most people sure couldnt and would become a burden to the hikers around them and probably a bother when they turn into a moocher. With that said I dont mean to insult you and if you really think you can accomplish this then go for it. You can always quit if it doesnt work out.

    Also I recommend brown rice and beans better get some protein in you at 20mpd.

  3. #3
    Registered User BFI's Avatar
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    Thats about .48cents per mile..... I'd be concerend about being healthy when you finish. Everything I've read states your body will use 3-4000 calories a day and I dont think you can eat that much white rice to replace what you are going to burn. Plus you have to eat more than white rice. I think is more realistic to budget for $1.00 per mile and stay strong and healthy. It's just my take on your question.

  4. #4
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    It would be awful tight. If you can hike it in 120 days it comes out to something like $8.33 day. Food is one thing you can only cut back so much. Even if you never eat in town I don't think you can eat for 8 bucks a day considering where you have to buy your food.

  5. #5
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    lol, ive actually gained about 20-25 pounds of body fat in advance for fuel. and i plan to hike in about 4 months, so yeah around 120 days. but i might be able to squeeze a few hundred more dollars into my budget, but without a doubt i will not have any more than 1500. also i appreciate everyones input. ive actually been returning splurge purches like high end gear, in exchance for cheaper stuff.

  6. #6
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    what would you guys say are the most important pieces of equipment that i should skimp on the least. In my opinion i "spent" on my pack, tent, boots, and a UV purifier for my water. the rest is gonna be from Target and wal mart most likely, and i got a Jetboil for free from a friend.

  7. #7

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    If you are physically and mentally able to hike the AT on $1,000 (only), then you are surely able to work hard and double or triple that amount in the meantime.
    It will greatly increase your chance of success.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  8. #8
    Registered User Rusty Nail's Avatar
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    Go until you only have enough money for bus fare. Met a guy here in NJ who thought about hitting the trail and left the next day from MA. He had NO money left when I met him at the not-so-secret shelter. Trail name Grubby.

  9. #9
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    You're going to need to replace your boots at least once over the course of a hike. Don't skimp on your sleeping bag.

  10. #10
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    Some guy did it on nothing but peanuts and peanutbutter. When asked why peanuts and peanutbutter he replied, "Variety". Earl Shaffer did it with very crude equipment, very basic food and little of the support we now have in 120 days. You can do it. You might start by reading his account.

  11. #11
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    I remember that one blog talks about one guy that ate out of hiker boxes and only spent $25 until NY.

  12. #12

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    JetBoil stoves are pretty efficient but you still have to replace canisters. Don't forget to factor that into your budget. Perhaps you can find freebies in hiker boxes from hikers who dropped out.

    For calories & nutrition, buy oatmeal - not the packets but tubs of Quick Oats which will save alot of money over packets. They're flavorless but invest in a small can of cinnamon to offset the dry blandness of the oats. All Quick Oats need is boiling water.

    Re your WalMart & Target purchasing, you need a good waterproof jacket and make sure the stuff in your pack is waterproofed, probably using trash bags. You want a set of dry clothes. You didn't mention sleeping bag - I think the key is if you really can do the hike in 4 months, then don't start until May 1 - that way you can better get away with a cheap sleeping bag but you may have some cold nights in the Smokies and later on, in the Whites.

  13. #13
    BYGE "Biggie" TOMP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bender8982 View Post
    what would you guys say are the most important pieces of equipment that i should skimp on the least. In my opinion i "spent" on my pack, tent, boots, and a UV purifier for my water. the rest is gonna be from Target and wal mart most likely, and i got a Jetboil for free from a friend.

    1500 dollars is a little more doable still hard and hardly anyone can do it, I plan to spend around 2k-2.5k but I have more money if I need it. Packs are relatively cheap, you can get a good one for 50 bucks on sale, tents around 100, boots/trail runners for as low as 25 bucks, and UV purifer can easily be swapped with bleach or aquamira chemicals (no batteries this way). Personally I would spend money on a nice down sleeping bag, down sweater/vest, and boots (Just bought a La Sportiva pair for 87 dollars). In fact there is no item in my pack that cost more than 100 dollars and I have tons of name brand hiking equipment. You can buy clothes at target just dont buy cotton.

  14. #14
    Digger takethisbread's Avatar
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    You can easily do it!!

    Ramen is about $1 a day. .50 a day for fuel and you are golden. That's about $180 right there. That gives u $800 for extravagant expenditures like town meals and hostel stays..

    Not to mention hiker box treasures and general mooching and yogi-ing.

    Then there's hiker feeds and all that if you are lucky.

    You can do it Bender. (holy I hear that asswipe teachers voice in
    My head from breakfast club right now).
    YOUTUBE: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCMDkRcGP1yP20SOD-oiSGcQ
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    AT 2x, LT, JMT, CT, Camino, Ireland Coast to Coast, HWT, WT, NET, NST, PCT

  15. #15
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    Concerning your question about where not to skimp: Feet. Pamper them. Treat them like spoiled brats.

  16. #16
    Springer to Elk Park, NC/Andover to Katahdin
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    Look at it this way… go as far as you can. It will still be an experience that you will not forget. Don'y forget about hiker boxes at hostels along the way. You will be able to find a lot of discarded food in most of them and fuel also. Good luck!!!
    I am not young enough to know everything.

  17. #17
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    Main staples: Oatmeal, Skim Milk Powder, Lentils
    added to Oatmeal: Dried Fruit, Nuts, Seeds, Canola Oil, Spices
    added to Lentil Soup: Dried Herbs, Dried Vegetable Mix, Dried Onion Mix, Paprika, Spices
    added to Skim Milk: tea, spices

    Oatmeal is under $4 for 4000 kcal when you buy it by the 1kg bag.
    Skim Milk Powder is about $5 for 500g, making 5 litres for about 1600 kcal.
    Canola oil is about $3 a litre for about 8000 kcal, and is high in omega 3.

    If you are lean, you need more calories, but the extra calories can be fat, which is cheap. If you are overweight, you need the same protien and carbs as though you were lean, and the money you save by burning body fat versus canola oil and peanut butter and stuff you probably spend by carrying more body weight.

    I think a hiker with a lean body mass of 150 pounds needs about 5000 kcal for 20 miles a day.
    That should be about 100-125g protien, 400-500g carbs, about 300g fats, less fat when initially overweight.
    Cost using my diet is under $10 a day for 20 miles per day, so I think $1000 is theroretically doable, but just.

  18. #18
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    Canola oil is also cheap fuel, but smokey. Use jute twine for a wick. Use wood sticks when you can.

  19. #19
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    Practice such a diet at home before you go. Great way to save for trip and test your meals, see if you like it.

    Try this. Pour some canola oil in a frying pan and heat it up some. Add mostly oatmeal, with a little skim milk powder, sunflower seeds, and raisins or currants mixed in. Let the oatmeal brown some and soak up some oil. Then add some skim milk and water, but not as much as you normally would for porridge. You can down alot of nutritious calories this way. Spices can be added also. I use the same spices I add to my tea for making chai. But different every time, and sometimes more porridgy, and sometimes more crunchy like granola. You can definitely scarf down more calories when it is more like granola, but you will need to drink more water when hiking after such a breakfast.

  20. #20
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    I would definitely be looking into grits vs oats when down south. Might be cheaper. Not sure.
    I'm sure I could find some people that know how to do grits, and how to get them cheap.

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