Backpacker Radio 114 | How to Afford a Thru-Hike

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are bringing you another advice based show.  Today’s episode is all about how to afford a thru-hike, which includes overall tips for how to budget, how much to budget, what items you can skimp on, what items you should splurge on, tools for automating the process, and much more.

We wrap the show with a triple crown of items that we love for less than $25, a wild story about a multi-day grizzly bear attack, and we discuss whether a calendar year triple crown is anti-thetical to the thru-hiking ethos.

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Path Projects: Go to and let them know BPR sent you.

QOTD: How long is the lifespan of a fly/mosquito? And why aren’t dead ones all over the ground? 

The Trek Resource: How To Afford a Thru-Hike by Kelly Floro

BPR is doing a live podcast at Hop Haus in Fitchburg, Wisconsin from 6:00pm – 8:00pm on Friday, October 15.


Tip #1 (Chaunce): Use apps that set aside money for you.

Apps mentioned (not sponsored):


Tip #2 (Zach): Know what gear to splurge on.


  • Footwear
  • Shelter
  • Sleeping bag/quilt


Tip #3 (Elise): Leverage the Financial Independence community (and finding your Coast FI number for peace of mind).

Some FI resources:


Tip #4 (Chaunce): Budget smart while you’re actually on trail. 


Tip #5 (Zach): Know where to skimp on gear.


  • Headlamp
  • Base layer
  • Rain gear
  • Water filter
  • Sunglasses
  • And more


Tip #6 (Elise): Figure out how much your life actually costs, then figure out how to cut further or earn more. 


Tip #7 (Chaunce): Take on a side job where all earnings are specifically for thru-hiking.

Some ideas:

  • Uber/Lyft
  • Instacart
  • Rover


Tip #8 (Zach): Decide how much you think your thru-hike will cost, then add 20%.


Tipe #9 (Elise): Surround yourself with people who either support your goals or have similar ones.



Trek Propaganda 

Colleen Goldhorn’s Posts

2019 Thru-Hiker Survey

Triple Crown of things to spend $25 on

Gross or Not Gross

  • Zach being barefoot on an airplane

Mail Bag

Cinnamon Court 

Check out our sound guy @Paulybooyshallcross.

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