So how much is this thing going to cost??

Money Money

It’s not like I am embarking on this trek to run away from the real world…okay maybe I am. But you can only separate yourself so much. Right?? just kidding, I am running from nothing! hopefully, bears especially…sorry Ma 😉

Unfortunately, going for a 6 month walk is not as easy as it sounds. They say nothing is ever free, ya ya I know, obviously money is going to be involved in an expedition like this. But just how much are we talking??

One dolla, two dolla, three dolla, four!

With the goal to not worry about this ($$$) while making my way North, I suppose this is why I find myself worrying about it now..? I wanna be out there enjoying myself, keeping that space between my ears empty as can be. My thoughts consumed only of things I want! Like miles, the next breath taking view, visitors in whichever state (friends/family that’s you*) or the all you can eat pizza buffet in the town ahead. Well, I suppose all of that does not come without some sort of planning. So stressing now is my only option.

Save Save Save!

My dad told me once, “don’t ruin a good time by being cheap”, wise words pops! Seems simple, but what is cheap, and what is just throwing money away. Is $20 now, living at home here in the city, the same as $20 out on the trail? Na, don’t think so. But I am having such a hard time comprehending what money on the trail is going to be like, compared to money now.

Having a business administration degree means I got to take the ever so enlightening classes of macro and micro economics. So ol Dr. Harshbarger’s power point has still stuck with me all these years?? If ya told me that at the time, I would have given ya a big thumbs down (sarcastically). Sleeping was wayyy more important than that 7 am lecture.

But here we are. Opportunity cost, “the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen”. Cooool, so what is my money worth now vs. my money on the trail? This question has me stuck! Props to you Prof. But every choice and purchase should not come with so much scrutiny.

Like the Taylor Swift tickets I just bought… which also comes as a deadline seeing she is here Sept 1! So folks, what are we looking at in terms of cost.

I went the used gear route once already, mistakenly, and it did not work out. Do I want to take worn down gear on the trail for it to get even more beat up? Does saving a few dollars now save more down the line? Or does it actually cost me more? Not a fan of worrying about stuff like this, and I am not sure if there really is an answer to it. The thing is is that it’s getting to be go time and I wanna make sure I am ready to roll.

2189 miles costs how much?!?

Having my mind set on this for a good 2 years now, I have read plenty of articles, books, blogs, forums, yada yada. And of course not one of them gives me a ballpark number. Sure, everyone’s situation is different, and yes, there is that famous saying HYOH (hike your own hike) *for my people reading this, ya I am adding some new vocab to my Yankee/Minnesooota accent, bare with me folks*

I have heard you can do it at about a $1000/month on trail, 6-7 grand, down to 2-4, and most recently and frightening, $10,000……

I don’t have that, and if I was to continue working my job and not go on this epic adventure, I still wouldn’t have that much!

So I think I will stick with eating PB&J’s for lunch, pinching my pennies, and see just how many miles a few bucks can take me!!


*Open to all tips, suggestions, anything about on trail finances or just stories in general!!!*

See you in March!

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Comments 3

  • David Paal : Dec 14th

    Plan about $2.00 to $3.00 per mile, not including your gear purchases. A lot depends on whether you split the cost in trail town hostels or hotels. A lot depends on your nutrition choices. Most of the mistakes are made on cheap nutrition (ramen noodles are $0.25 a pack but offer nothing in return). Protein costs money, and you’re going to need it for good recovery. Your calories need to be nutrient and calorie dense, and that is what costs money. Don’t binge spend on zero days on beer and stupid purchases. Plan with the end in sight. Getting to Kahtadin takes discipline. Hypothermia is your #1 concern, so get a good shelter setup with a good tent, bag, and layers; don’t skimp. Your socks and shoes will need to pass the test also. Your feet are your most important item to take care of.

  • stealthblew : Dec 14th

    Do you like to party? Add a few extra thousand dollars. Do you wish to stay in town on a regular basis at hotels and / or hostels? Add a couple of thousand more. Do you prefer eating out of supermarkets or restaurants? Add a couple of thousand more for the later. Choices matter. Mix and match by sharing rooms. Are you willing to grab a bite at supermarkets before eating a burger or skip the restaurant and cook food in a park? Can you only using showers / laundry services when in town? You figure it out.

    There are approximately 35 town stops along the way and many more options along the way for a quick hitch to a restaurant from a road crossing. Traveling alone or in a group? Add at least another thousand if choosing the later and someone else is making these decisions for you.

    Buy a quality pack, sleeping bag and tarp / tent. If not certain what that means, just show up and purchase along the way. You can use the internet or stores en route. Most of the remaining gear can be purchased at a second hand store. Down sweaters are nice, but fleece and a wind breaker work well too.

    What does all this mean? Will you be partying and taking full advantage of what towns have to offer regarding accommodations and meals? Maybe purchase some additional gear along the way? Yes, 10, 000 dollars can easily be spent.

    Can you camp on the outskirts of town when others rush for showers, laundry, bunks and meals and make do with adequate but slightly heavier gear purchased items online at discount sites? Then the hike could cost as little a few thousand dollars or even slightly less. This is a lot easier than it sounds. Especially in poor weather with a hiker appetite. Not to mention witnessing new acquaintances enjoying these services.

    It always comes down to choices. How much do you want to spend? What type of vacation are you interested in?

    Take some practice hikes to help decided what gear may work best for you.

  • Mark Cummings : Dec 15th

    Very thoughtful provoking article with interesting, informative responses.
    Thanks to all.


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