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Re: [at-l]cash on the trail

Ryan -
A few thoughts about money on the trail -

In 92 I used travelers checks in the South but then switched to the ATM's
as I got further north.  One part of my planning was to find out where the
ATM's were located along the Trail. Go to your bank - they should have a
booklet that lists the location of all the ATM's in your system.  The MOST,
CIRRUS and PLUS systems are among the largest and most common on the
AT.  In 92 the firstATM I saw was at Roan Mt, TN.  Nearly every town
stop north of Harpers Ferry had one.  Also, my VISA card doubled as
an ATM card so I didn't have to carry both.   I looked at the latest
CIRRUS listing last night and it shows ATM's at Hiawassee and
Blairsville in GA, Franklin and Cherokee in NC, Roan Mt, Gatlinburg
and Pigeon Forge in TN, and Atkins, Troutville, Pearisburg, Buena
Vista and Waynesboro in SW VA.  Note that there were none in Hot
Springs, NC or Damascus, VA (although there is one in Abingdon, VA).
Not a lot for the first 750 miles of trail - but enough if you plan
carefully - or if you use travelers checks.   There are other listings
for the MOST and Plus networks, so don't take this as a "final" word
on the subject - do your own planning.

A lot of places along the trail will accept plactic - but it's better to
have cash sometimes.  How much cash are you comfortable carrying?
Conversely, how much cash do you need to make you feel comfortable?
Two totally different questions.   I carried between $300 and $0 in

Travelers checks - at least one small store was reluctant to take
travelers checks - they wanted only cash.  Those who are hiking
with their spouse and use travelers checks might also want to get
the travelers checks that either party can cash.  Most travelers
checks can only be cashed by one person.

Debit cards - are good if you're the type of person who's careful to
record ALL your checkbook transactions.  But if you're not too careful
about it, a debit card can get you in trouble.  The problem with a debit
card  is not the card - it's the person.

Walk softly,

>I have a question for the thru-hikers out there: how much cash should I
>be carrying at any time on a thru-hike?  Do most places along the Trail
>accept plastic?  Are there ATMs anywhere, or should I expect to have to
>have maildrops for traveller's checks?
>                                Ryan

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