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  1. #1
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    Default What's The Least Amount of $ Anyone Here Has Spent Hiking The Trail?

    As a 99.9% hiking novice it's my objective to simplify my planned hike; starting at Harper's Ferry, WV and ending at the Northern Terminus, Mount Katahdin, MN. My planned launch will be May 18th and I've only since acquired a pair of hiking boots (an excellent pair of Merrell's just south of $200) and a 78 Liter pack (Osprey, "Crescent 70": Large - 6 lb 9 oz / 2.97 Kg. 4700 cu in / 78 L) Which is - even though used but well kept - an excellent pack! So in lieu of this I have been worrying a bit about financial and logistical matters as I still have gear to purchase and stuff in my pack. My hope is that the trail is intuitive enough that I may just embrace the "just hike" mentality and not worry too much about getting lost, I also hope that I may have enough money by the time my planned launch date arrives to survive for the estimated three months (acceptable for 1,165 mi?) I will be hiking. If you experienced folks would advise me on what to expect considering my circumstances (and maybe even ease my anxieties), I'd appreciate it. I really have a strong desire to hike the trail this summer but I want to be reasonable about what sort of commitments I need to be mindful of...thanks!

  2. #2
    Registered User kayak karl's Avatar
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    about $2000-$2500 plus gear would make it comfortable.
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmsidell View Post
    As a 99.9% hiking novice it's my objective to simplify my planned hike; starting at Harper's Ferry, WV and ending at the Northern Terminus, Mount Katahdin, MN. My planned launch will be May 18th and I've only since acquired a pair of hiking boots (an excellent pair of Merrell's just south of $200) and a 78 Liter pack (Osprey, "Crescent 70": Large - 6 lb 9 oz / 2.97 Kg. 4700 cu in / 78 L) Which is - even though used but well kept - an excellent pack! So in lieu of this I have been worrying a bit about financial and logistical matters as I still have gear to purchase and stuff in my pack. My hope is that the trail is intuitive enough that I may just embrace the "just hike" mentality and not worry too much about getting lost, I also hope that I may have enough money by the time my planned launch date arrives to survive for the estimated three months (acceptable for 1,165 mi?) I will be hiking. If you experienced folks would advise me on what to expect considering my circumstances (and maybe even ease my anxieties), I'd appreciate it. I really have a strong desire to hike the trail this summer but I want to be reasonable about what sort of commitments I need to be mindful of...thanks!
    around $2500 in 1986. around $12,000 in 2000.

  4. #4
    Registered User kayak karl's Avatar
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    LOL he's only hiking 1165 miles. since he lives in maryland that will save him trip to start.
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

  5. #5
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    Zero dollars and zero cents. Of his own money anyway. Spent no money for gear either. Met a guy in 07 or 08, trailname of Bojangles just North of the Smokies. Claimed he had hitchhiked to Springer with nothing but the clothing on his back and not a dime. He had a home-made bag slung over his sholder like the kind the paperboy uses to carry newspapers. He made it himself out of a old jacket. He had a blanket that some section hiker gave him and a big sheet of plastic he pulled from a dumpster in Helen. He wore a big long coat. He did work for stay and work for food, he also went to churches and gave them a good story about how they should help this poor sinner along his way. He maxed out on hiker boxes and trail magic. He also got people to send him care packages and even money to post offices ahead of him on the trail. I don't know for sure if he made it or not. He could have been BS-ing me but he looked the part.

  6. #6

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    around $12,000 in 2000.
    Darn, the price sure has come down since 2000...
    "Mountains desire to be conquered"
    Me, unless anyone else has said it?

    If you're interested in my hike my website is http://www.thruperspective.com/

  7. #7

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    Man I wish you could edit posts. I just made an ass out of my self. I now realize LW was saying that's what he spent. Sorry LW.

    I'm hoping to do it for less than $3000 plus my gear is probably MSRP $1000-1500 over the years only including what I am bringing.
    "Mountains desire to be conquered"
    Me, unless anyone else has said it?

    If you're interested in my hike my website is http://www.thruperspective.com/

  8. #8
    Registered User turtle fast's Avatar
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    From Harpers Ferry northbound with half the trail to do...unfortunately that part of the trail is the expensive part. You are looking at $1500 to $2000 without your initial gear with many town stops limited to resupply and not staying overnight in a lot of hostels.

  9. #9
    Registered User Edwardo Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Yea am planing my hike for next year and gear is what going to run cost you some money the problem is if you go check then that piece of equipment could brake down and you have to exit the trail because I have some of my gear already and have to upgrade parts of it am looking at 1,500 to equip myself. For my food am going with half mountain house dinners and store bought dinners. Like turtle mention am planing not to stay in many hostels or motels just going into town to get my food and a comfort food that I might be craving.

  10. #10
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    Save up by practicing eating cheap before you leave. If you can live on $5 per day now, food, drink, eating out, you should be able to live on $15/day on trail. That is food budget only. Any hostel, hut, or motel stays, and transportation home would be extra. That will translate to about $1 per mile at 15 miles per day.

    Incidentally, if you go to a pack that is 5 pounds lighter, you should be able to hike an extra 0.4 miles per day, saving you about $0.40 per day, which would pay for a $100 UL pack in 250 days.

  11. #11
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    By cheap, I don't mean poor nutritiom.
    Staples:
    3 pound Oatmeal
    1 pound Skim milk powder
    1 pound dried fruit (raisins, currants, or dates)
    1 pound nuts/seeds (sunflower seeds, almonds, or walnuts, etc.)
    1 pound legumes (lentils, split peas, dried green peas, etc. )
    4oz of dried vegetable mix
    4oz of dried onion mix
    4oz of herbs and paprika
    4oz of tea, coffee, spices
    canola oil, amount depends on whether you are overwieght or not
    that should do you 2 weeks at home, 5 days on trail

    At home, and in towns on trail, add some fresh fruit and vegetables whenever you can. This night will add cost but is worth it. Shop smart. Also fresh meat or fish once or twice a week. Avoid processed food, junk food, and fast food. Walk whenever you can to reduce transportation costs and get in shape.

  12. #12
    Registered User moytoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    By cheap, I don't mean poor nutritiom.
    Staples:
    3 pound Oatmeal
    1 pound Skim milk powder
    1 pound dried fruit (raisins, currants, or dates)
    1 pound nuts/seeds (sunflower seeds, almonds, or walnuts, etc.)
    1 pound legumes (lentils, split peas, dried green peas, etc. )
    4oz of dried vegetable mix
    4oz of dried onion mix
    4oz of herbs and paprika
    4oz of tea, coffee, spices
    canola oil, amount depends on whether you are overwieght or not
    that should do you 2 weeks at home, 5 days on trail

    At home, and in towns on trail, add some fresh fruit and vegetables whenever you can. This night will add cost but is worth it. Shop smart. Also fresh meat or fish once or twice a week. Avoid processed food, junk food, and fast food. Walk whenever you can to reduce transportation costs and get in shape.
    My trail food is very close to your list JAK. I use one min. Oatmeal because it cooks faster and I also eat it raw. I would add 1 pound of peanut butter (natural if available). I think PB is the cheapest high cal. protein you can buy. I don't worry herbs much but that is just a personal choice. Good List.
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  13. #13
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    Peanut butter, or peanuts, is probably a better choice when higher calories are needed also. The lentil soup thing I do at night, with the dried vegetables, onion mix, herbs, paprika, and some spices, doesn't work so well if you are trying to choke down lots of calories, but it works well when you have lots of body fat to burn. I am somewhat weary of the hydrogenated fats in most peanut butter.

  14. #14
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    Look at this article for suggestions on an inexpensive hike: https://whiteblaze.net/forum/show...2959#post22959

    The range I've seen goes from pennies per mile to over $5 per mile. You can kind of tell the difference on the trail, too. My 2008 AT thru hike cost about $1.50/mile and I didn't skimp on rooms and restaurants.

    Quote Originally Posted by moytoy View Post
    ...I use one min. Oatmeal because it cooks faster and I also eat it raw....
    Just a quick note; rolled oats out of the box are not raw. They are parboiled in the milling process. The quick oats are just a finer grind, and instant oats are finer yet. Same mill process. I also eat them "uncooked" all the time, both on the trail and at home. Great cheap food. Got a bowl in front of me right now.
    "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

  15. #15
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    Also good browned canola oil before adding whatever for a sort of instant granola.
    This allows you to scarf back more calories in the morning, but drink lots of water in hike.

  16. #16

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    The first thing I'd do is find a smaller/lighter pack! 6 1/2 pounds and 78 L is a winter expedition pack for when you got a lot of bulky stuff to carry.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  17. #17

    Default Welcome to the club!

    Quote Originally Posted by pdcolelli42 View Post
    Man I wish you could edit posts. I just made an ass out of my self.
    Don't worry about it. Everyone on WB has done it at least once, and probably multiple times. Wear it like a badge of honor! It means you are one of the gang!
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    "Rhode Island...3% larger at low tide!"

  18. #18
    Registered User turtle fast's Avatar
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    Edwardo...and others, you do not have to buy expensive Mountain House meals and have them mailed to you at post offices...unless you really like them. You can buy your food along the way with maybe 3 mail drops of food needed. Saves you money on mailing costs. Most hikers eat Knorr sides, Mac and cheese, oatmeal, ramen noodles, things that mostly require boiling water and add ingredient AND then add a protein tuna packet, hot dogs, vienna sausages, peanut butter, etc. A good exercise is to go to your local grocery store and look at foods that would work like stuffing mixes, pastas, instant mashed potatoes, instant soups, etc. It will give you an idea of the variety of things you can buy along the way.

  19. #19

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    Back in '77, my girlfriend and I decided to try a thru-hike with only $700. (between us)
    We were owed some money (that never materialized) and still made it from Springer to Delaware Water Gap, PA.

    Thought we did pretty good although I am glad I don't have to hike like that anymore.
    Being THAT frugal probably wouldn't stop me, but, it sure takes some of the fun out of the hike.

    Oatmeal, rice, grits and lentils gets old. Especially when you see others eating pop tarts and M&Ms.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  20. #20

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    Also saw someone said they like to bring skim powdered milk. For some extra calories look for Nestle Nido. It is a hispanic branded whole milk powder and a great way to add calories. I wouldn't bother carrying powdered milk otherwise.
    "Mountains desire to be conquered"
    Me, unless anyone else has said it?

    If you're interested in my hike my website is http://www.thruperspective.com/

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