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#172462 - 11/29/12 01:28 PM AT- Section hiking on a shoestring and a whim?
Samoset Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/08
Posts: 429
Loc: Newnan ,GA
I'm thinking of taking a couple hundred dollars? And maybe a month hike?

Is it reasonable or rational to think one could do a two - three hundred mile section of the At not going over $300.00 or 45 days?

Id stArt at Amicola falls SP not sure what time of year I would leave żI only have a 30f bag?

I would really like to just kinda wing it let the trail,Time and my budget dictate how far I go?

Don't think I would plan any resupply maildrops or anything like that!

Any advice welcomed!
Thanks SAMOSET


Edited by Samoset (11/29/12 01:30 PM)
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Some peopole live life day by day. Try step by step.

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#172470 - 11/29/12 04:34 PM Re: AT- Section hiking on a shoestring and a whim? [Re: Samoset]
Ewker Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 222
Loc: Tennessee
it all depends on how long you stay in towns getting laundry done, eating and shopping for the food to eat on the next part of the trail

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#172587 - 12/03/12 08:29 PM Re: AT- Section hiking on a shoestring and a whim? [Re: Ewker]
Samoset Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/08
Posts: 429
Loc: Newnan ,GA
Yeah I do laundry on the trail 90% of the time! And as far as food goes Ive been known to pull five star quality from random gas stations. I also walk fast. I'm not the tallest but have long leggs for my hight! And I'm a custum to torture thanks to years in hard labor jobs! Ie: masonry, framing ,cooking along with many others.

I do apprecite good food but I'm sure ill have plenty of camp time ! I always have. I also have no problem carrying a heavy pack
through ruff terrain quickly! As I'm sure anyone who has spent 10+ years in the masonry industry wouldnt either!





Edited by Samoset (12/04/12 09:40 AM)
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Some peopole live life day by day. Try step by step.

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#172612 - 12/04/12 01:49 PM Re: AT- Section hiking on a shoestring and a whim? [Re: Samoset]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1146
Loc: Washington State, King County
IMO that's an extremely skimpy budget. I suggest that someone wanting to thru-hike the trail set aside something like $4000, and that's for, say, 150 days or less.

What does the $300 include? In particular is transport to and from the trail already covered? How well could you deal with any sort of unexpected event --- injury, sickness, equipment failure?

Just buying food and nothing else, $300 for 30 days (and if you walk fast you'll surely do more than 300 miles in 30 days!) implies $10 per day for food. Fortunately, prices in the south are lower (definitely give up on this idea farther north on the AT). But you're going to want a shower on occasion. You'll feel somewhat deprived if you never ever eat in any sort of restaurant.

A related question is whether you already have all the gear you need (including guidebook). Any gear adjustments can quickly eat up funds.

I can't respond to the sleeping bag question as I started the AT on the early side, when a 30F bag definitely wouldn't have been sufficient. Search and/or post on whiteblaze.net to get responses from folks who have experience with that part of the country.

My feeling is that you would do well to start perhaps in April, and get good at mining hiker boxes. You've got a big advantage in starting from the very beginning of the trail at the time when many other hikers are just starting --- because people start the trail with a lot of body fat and a lot of fear, so they leave food behind in hiker boxes. Unless you're pretty picky you could keep your food cost down substantially that way. Just talk to folks that know (start out by asking the folks at Mountain Crossings) where the best hiker boxes are along the way.

Being in warm weather helps too, less need to get off trail and get warm/dry when ambient conditions are pleasant.

So I'm not trying to talk you out of this, and given the idea of "go until you run out of money" --- lots of people do this (some planned, some unplanned). Just do leave yourself enough $$ in reserve to do real basic stuff like get a bus ticket at the end and be able to eat en route home!
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http://postholer.com/brianle

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#172644 - 12/04/12 10:15 PM Re: AT- Section hiking on a shoestring and a whim? [Re: BrianLe]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2751
Loc: California
I interpreted the post as doing only a section of the trail, and limiting the entire trip to 30 days. I was not clear if the $300 was extra cash after all backpack food were provided. If you had $300 for, say going to town every 5 days, it may suffice. And if you had family or friends take you to the start and pick you up there would be no transporation cost. If you were planning on buying backpack food (instead of having it already paid for and mailed to each spot) it would be tight. Good quality light weight backpack food can be pricy.

As for emergencies, I would just carry a credit card. It depends a lot on your "support team" at home. If something happened, can you just call them and they will come and pick you up?

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#172670 - 12/05/12 01:43 PM Re: AT- Section hiking on a shoestring and a whim? [Re: wandering_daisy]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1146
Loc: Washington State, King County
Quote:
"I interpreted the post as doing only a section of the trail, and limiting the entire trip to 30 days."

Me too, sorry if I wasn't clear. My comment about cost to do an entire thru-hike was just to put the section hike cost into context.

Tough to analyze that too as O.P. talked about "taking a couple hundred dollars? And maybe a month hike", and then went on to say "two - three hundred mile section of the At not going over $300.00 or 45 days".

A month to 45 days, is a long time to take to hike two to three hundred miles. From low to high ends of both of those ranges that suggests anywhere from 4.4 to 10 miles per day. My own experience on most of the AT was of doing 20+ miles per day. So hard for me to really calibrate things there, but in general lower mileage somewhat reduces options. But it also reduces number of town stops --- which are where money gets spent.

Indeed the devil is in the details on what the $300 includes, but since O.P. also said that s/he doesn't plan on any resupply mail drops, it seems likely that food has to be (the lion's share) of that $300.
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Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

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#172727 - 12/06/12 12:21 PM Re: AT- Section hiking on a shoestring and a whim? [Re: BrianLe]
Samoset Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/08
Posts: 429
Loc: Newnan ,GA
Sorry for my post being kind of vague. I ment that the 300.00 just be for fuel and food. Maybe laundry once or twice. And a possible hotel stay.

As the comuting to and from the trail will be a separate budget.

I'm also sure I have adequate gear for warmer months and I could add a bivy to squeeze a few more degrees out of my bag!

My main question is 300. Adequate for upto a month stove fuel and food. I'll have emergency monies for the unexpected. But would prefer not going over 300.

As I read more I'm thinking of doing three hard weeks hiking with not much in the way of town time.

But I really kinda like the idea of letting these things work them selves out!

I've been dreaming of hiking the At for 7 years now just kinda hard to do with young kids!

Keeping a low budget and not being gone for to awful long are the only ways ill ever be able to convince the wife at letting me attempt a section of it.

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Some peopole live life day by day. Try step by step.

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#172745 - 12/06/12 11:15 PM Re: AT- Section hiking on a shoestring and a whim? [Re: Samoset]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2751
Loc: California
Thanks for explaining. Well, if you just want to "wing it" take the $300, hike hard, and when out of money and/or energy, call your wife and sweetly ask her to come pick you up! You can always pick up where you left off in another year when the kids are bigger (wait until they are teens and have them go with you).

Personally I would prefer to package and mail ahead the dry food and just buy the perishables. To each his own.

But, I think you should go for it! I hope you can make it happen.

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#172767 - 12/07/12 02:26 PM Re: AT- Section hiking on a shoestring and a whim? [Re: wandering_daisy]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1146
Loc: Washington State, King County
Part of the issue is where you end up buying the food --- gas station mini-marts aren't particularly cheap in general, but sometimes that's the sort of location available to you. Still, things are less expensive in the south in general. Buying along the way is IMO generally a better way to go unless a person has particular dietary issues. More flexible, and postage can eat up some or all of your food cost savings.

Have a great time, and I hope you get a lot of bang for your (300) buck out of the trip! :-)
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

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#174339 - 01/26/13 12:01 PM Re: AT- Section hiking on a shoestring and a whim? [Re: Samoset]
Backpackhavn Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/18/12
Posts: 13
Loc: Texas, USA
Wishing you well and hoping that your kids will join you on hiking trips when they are older!
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#174545 - 01/31/13 10:46 PM Re: AT- Section hiking on a shoestring and a whim? [Re: Backpackhavn]
Samoset Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/08
Posts: 429
Loc: Newnan ,GA
Originally Posted By Backpackhavn
Wishing you well and hoping that your kids will join you on hiking trips when they are older!


Thank you
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Some peopole live life day by day. Try step by step.

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