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[cdt-l] (Guest Post) Unexpected Costs



Steve asked:
>Can anyone give me an approximation of what a thru-hike of the CDT will 
>cost (Not including gear/clothes)? Any suggestions as to how I could reduce 
>some of my costs. Anyone have old guidebooks/maps that I could purchase?
>

Like most long hikes, it largely depends on how much time you choose to 
spend in town (more than you expect) and whether the unexpected happens (on 
the cdt, it will, count on it.  I didn't plan the $1000 medical bill I ended 
up with after my accident in the Bitterroots, but I was glad I had the spare 
cash to cover it.)  Generally the cost of a long hike is about $1.50-$2.50 
per mile, though it varies with the individual. (I've known AT hikers do 
that trail on as little as $600 and as much as $10,000.)  There aren't as 
many towns along the trail as on the AT or PCT, but we ended up staying 
longer when we hit them, because it HAD been so long between towns and we 
needed to eat up to get the weight back that had been lost (Jim lost 55 lbs 
on the CDT.)  Transportation can add to the expenses too, if you have to 
flip or skip sections because of snow.  Gear changes can add to the costs, a 
lot.  Jim went through 5 pairs of boots on the CDT.  You can save money by 
camping instead of going to motels.  Many towns have free or inexpensive 
campgrounds.  Going fast can mean some savings as well.  Get guidebooks that 
are as current as possible - the more info you have, the better.  The trail 
changes too much to use really old books.  Yes, that is a big expense, but 
on the CDT, it is a necessity.  We knew a couple of guys who mailed all 
their food and only had $25 to spend per town for food/beer/cigarettes -- 
that's the low end.   I like hot showers and clean sheets, so we were on the 
high end, though we did some camping, hostels and local trail angel 
hospitality as well.  Best advice - save more than you think you'll need, 
and keep the visa card handy.

Ginny
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