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[pct-l] Doing the trail on the cheap...
I kept track of my costs back in 1977.
I had some of my gear (sleeping bag, stove, down jacket) given to me for
birthday and Christmas before. I bought my backpack ($100), tent ($100), ice
axe ($65), boots ($75) and food ($800) beforehand. I bought all of my
out-of-town food ahead of time in this $800.
I saved up approximately $1,500 for town and miscellaneous equipment,
transportation or in-town food supply and motel costs.
So, total of about $2,600 for about 2,600 miles. A dollar per mile isn't a
bad deal even 25 years ago.
Today, I would buy a new pack ($150), a new sleeping bag ($125), a new tent
($150), use existing clothing and make most of my other equipment. I'd try
wearing trail running shoes for all but the Sierras and bring my old
wood-handle ice axe and some other sentimental equipment. I would
pre-purchase only a small amount of my food, make a ton of beef and other
kinds of meat jerky and some awesome gorp. Buy the rest in towns. I'd
figure about $2,500 for town costs now, including a lot of my food for on the
It can be done for much less, though.
- Make your own pack
- Make your sleeping bag
- Make your own tent / tarp
- Make your own stove
- Make your own rain / wind parka
- Make your own fleece jacket
- Pre-dry and make all of your trail food
- Limit your in-town costs
And probably end up spending a bit less than I did back in 1977.
Greg "Strider" Hummel