Total Cost of my 2022 PCT Hike Broken Down

I’m a stats gal, so from the purchase of my first piece of gear, I knew I wanted to track all my funds that would go into my 2022 PCT journey, down to the last can of coke. All costs are in USD.

Cost Influences From My Style Of Hike

There are several reasons why my particular experience of the PCT will have cost more than the average person, and a few why it may have cost less.

$$$ The average time on the PCT is five months, whereas I spent six, so that’s an additional month of expenses. My extended time was due to opting for more ’zeros’ and ‘neros’ than the average hiker – which significantly increases accommodation and food costs. I also did not hold back with eating out for meals. 2022, like most years nowadays, was impacted by many fires. I chose to bounce around the fires, then return to multiple closed areas later in the season. This increased time on trail, time in towns, and transport costs. I flew from and returned to Scotland (via the east coast of the US), which significantly increased travel costs. I had no lightweight thru-hiking experience prior to the PCT so I bought everything (aside from my hiking poles that were kindly gifted to me) new before trail—which is a HUGE expense. It also meant I bought very little gear while on trail because it was new and good quality. 

$$ I was very fortunate to meet different members of my family along the way who covered a total of two of my town accommodation stays and two resupplies. One of my lovely trail family friends generously covered one additional town stay. More often than not, I would stay in paid accommodation in town, which usually included showers and laundry, meaning those expenses appear low in the breakdown.

$ The expense I imagine I spent significantly less than the average hiker on would be Trail Resupply Food. I am incredibly not-picky when it comes to food and often found food I was happy to eat from Hiker Boxes. I also benefited greatly from generous trail family members gifting me excess from their resupply boxes. I chose to not send resupply boxes, so only spent money sending snow gear ahead to myself and box pickup fees for a couple of boxes family and friends kindly gifted to me.

The Cost Breakdown

Gear: $4,289.66 

Gear bought before starting trail: $3,264.51

Gear bought while on trail: $1,025.15 (Garmin subscription, shoes x 4, bear canister rental, cold weather additions, etc.)

Food: $3,672.03 

Meals bought in town: $2,750.76 (Breakfast: $718.09, Dinner: $700.48, Lunch: $661.81)

Alcohol: $362.83

Snacks during town stays: $307.55

Food bought for trail resupplies: $921.27

Travel: $2,199.00 

Flights: $1,873.76 

Public transport while on trail: $159.24 

Trail Angel lift donations: $166

Accommodation: $836.30 

I paid for a total of 25 nights in accommodation, so that’s an average of $33.45 per night 

Mobile Phone Plan: $278.47

I started with a plan that gave me 5GB per month but upgraded to 15GB, which cost $40 a month

Misc: $110.10 

Town clothes for 4th of July/Trail Days, trail magic gifts for other hikers, PCT donation/medal upon completion 

Self Care: $105 

$95 physio donation, $10 miscellaneous meds 

Campsites: $60

I paid for a total of eight paid camping sites, so that’s an average of $7.50 a night 

Laundry: $28.75

Almost always shared with other hikers to reduce costs 

Mail Boxes: $28.44 

Cost of sending one package; remainder was pick-up fees

Showers: $16.50



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Comments 8

  • Margot Favennec : Jan 6th

    Thanks for this, super informative!! I’m a data nerd myself and I’ll be coming from Europe too for my SOBO hike this summer, so super interesting 🙂

    • Sierra Peters-Buckland : Jan 12th

      Oh exciting! Good luck for your hike and glad this post was helpful 🙂

  • Stephen Marsh : Jan 7th

    Nice breakdown. I’m sharing this.

    • Sierra Peters-Buckland : Jan 12th

      Thank you, share away!

  • Hikepackers : Jan 9th

    Really interesting that how people can remember every single expenses. Awesome ?

    • Sierra Peters-Buckland : Jan 12th

      Not a chance I would have remembered any of it without tracking as I went! I used the app ‘Tripcoin’.

  • Scott w. : Jan 10th

    Very informative and insightful. I would like to point out however, that many of your expenses would have been incurred if you stayed at home. For instance, you would have had a cell phone bill, you would have washed your clothes, you would have eaten, you would have paid for some lodging of some sort, you would have paid transportation, but I would definitely would have saved money on alcohol. Haha.

    I guess my point is that many the expenses that you listed are a wash just due to the cost of existence.

    At least that’s what I try to tell myself when I go on extended trips. I have to eat no matter where I go. I have to have transportation no matter where I am. And I have to have a place to sleep. Over the course of 5 or 6 months I’m going to buy clothes and shoes too.

    • Sierra Peters-Buckland : Jan 12th

      The purpose of this post is for people to estimate what they may spend in order to budget etc and out of pure curiosity for myself!
      I’m ok with the money spent 🙂


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