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[pct-l] Doing the trail on the cheap...

I never did figure out what we spent on the trip, but I think one could
figure it out.

The big questions are: "what gear do you need?" and "how will you resupply,
mailed packages or buy as you go?" and "what will you do at resupply stops,
stay in a motel, eat in restaurants?". Also, "how will you get to the trail
and back?". And, "do you have any fixed expenses you need to pay for -
insurance, car, house, etc.?"

So figure you transportation cost to and from the trail heads. Add in your
equipment (pack, tent, sleeping bag, several pair of shoes, clothes, etc.).
The clothes don't need to be real expensive, nor do the shoes. Pack - $100,
tent $100-200; sleeping bag $200-300, shoes $40-60 each (maybe 4 or 5),
clothes $200-400. Or will you sew your own? Camera and film are extra.

Figure your meals - if you ship your resupply, you can get better prices at
home and get what you want (or think you want - this is a danger, tastes
change and you may have many pounds of food you wish you didn't have). And,
you need to pay to have packages delivered - $10-20 each.

If you stay in motels at resupply stops, figure $70 for a room if you need
to pay and you don't share. Campgrounds are normally available, so you could
save a lot. A few non post office resupply stops charge ($3-10) for picking
up packages. Then add meals, same cost as you would pay at home, maybe a bit

You will make phone calls - get a calling card.

Using the above, I'm going to estimate:

    5 months - 150 days
        30 stops - 1/2 take room/share
            15 x $30 = $450
        30 stops - buy 3 meals @ $20 = $600
        450 meals @ $2 = $900
            That is about $2000 for on-trail expenses
Wonder how close this is? Probably low. Did anyone really keep track?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Linda Bakkar" <lbakkar@hotmail.com>
To: <CMountainDave@aol.com>; <tigeress@attbi.com>; <pct-l@backcountry.net>
Sent: Saturday, August 10, 2002 1:25 PM
Subject: Re: [pct-l] Doing the trail on the cheap...

My big hike is planned for 2004 or 2005.  This information on doing the
trail "on the cheap" is helpful in planning, but realistically, how much
money should I be putting away in my savings account?  Several thousand
dollars?  A couple of thousand dollars?  I really have no idea.  Thanks.


>From: CMountainDave@aol.com
>To: tigeress@attbi.com, pct-l@backcountry.net
>Subject: Re: [pct-l] Doing the trail on the cheap...
>Date: Sat, 10 Aug 2002 13:26:15 EDT
>In a message dated 8/10/02 5:49:45 AM, tigeress@attbi.com writes:
><<     Apparently, like always, I'll be strapped for cash on this
>particular trip - so I was wondering if anyone would have some
>suggestions on doing a thru-hike on the cheap?
>     Thanks...
>     Caroline >>
>Avoid motels if you will, but budget in some restaurants. Remember, if your
>gear is good quality, your main expense is going to be food and getting
>food to your way stations. I assume you are renting and won't have any
>expenses while you are gone. Free food can be obtained at most post
>offices/lodges along the way in the hiker boxes that they maintain, but
>diet would be quite bland if you relied solely on them. The fewer packages
>that you send the more you save, so try to resupply on-trail as much as
>possible.  Stay in campgrounds instead of motels. If carefully planned, one
>can save hundreds of dollars over the course of a 6 month journey. Of
>if you have the bucks, why not have a motor home follow you from road j
>unction to road junction and be the first person to hike the entire trail
>with nothing in their fanny pack but lunch!
>   Doing the trail on the Ritz: Is it possible to hike the entire
>trail carrying nothing but a credit card and staying only at the finest
>star bed and breakfasts every night? As they ALL say, "Just in case I win
>PCT-L mailing list

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