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Thru-hikes are expensive

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  • Roleigh
    This is an interesting post. I d like to get individual answers or estimates for the JMT. Let s say a hiking friend asks you to join you in doing a JMT. He/she
    Message 1 of 15 , Nov 28, 2011
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      This is an interesting post. I'd like to get individual answers or estimates for the JMT. Let's say a hiking friend asks you to join you in doing a JMT. He/she asks you. How much is going to cost me? Indicate your pace as that affects cost and how many resupply points and if you're going to use a packer for one of the resupplies and if you're going to take a down day at MTR or VVR (or RM) too. I'll post my estimate but I need to do some research first, normally I talk about non-packed item expenses with people, and the cost besides transportation to/from the TH is about $475 apiece but that is only for pooled items/purchases (such as packer, Muir Trail Ranch stay, Curry Village stay for one night, Dow Villa at the end, Reds Meadows cabin, TM Backpacker's camp fee, Spot SAR Insurance. I'm guessing the other expenses would about double that, or perhaps $1000 plus air fare plus gear costs.

       
       

      Sent to you by Roleigh via Google Reader:

       
       

      via besthike.com blog by coach Rick on 11/28/11

      Take a Long Hike has a sobering post …

      … Let’s consider the Appalachian Trail, 2178 miles long. The days of averaging a dollar a mile are long gone, although it can be done. Twenty-three years ago, Roland Mueser, in his later book, Long Distance Hiking–Lessons from the Appalachian Trail, came up with an average cost of $3200.00 dollars or about $1.50 a mile. But that was 1989. …

      So what about today? Figure about $2.50 a mile, or $5500.00 for the A.T., and that is conservative. One recent blogger said he wouldn’t feel comfortable unless he had saved $10,000 for the hike. …

      Take a Long Hike – Thru-hikes are expensive

      Ouch.



       
       

      Things you can do from here:

       
       
    • John
      hmmm, interesting. Depending how many days you take I guess. Off the top of my head my food costs are about $5-7/day and I burn through a half pair of boots.
      Message 2 of 15 , Nov 28, 2011
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        hmmm, interesting. Depending how many days you take I guess.

        Off the top of my head my food costs are about $5-7/day and I burn through a half pair of boots. I'm not big on staying at hotels when I'm backpacking and don't stay in YV or TM. I either hike out for resupply or make other free arrangements.

        No GPS, SPOT or SAT.

        Not including transportation, I'd guess I do the JMT for well under $200.

        JD
        Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
        www.johndittli.com
      • speedcenter2001
        when we hiked the JMT in 1990, we essentially were homeless. Cost us less than being in the home state. The only real expense was getting there - gas was $0.95
        Message 3 of 15 , Nov 28, 2011
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          when we hiked the JMT in 1990, we essentially were homeless. Cost us less than being in the home state. The only real expense was getting there - gas was $0.95 driving out west ($1.49 driving home after Sadam invaded Kuwait while we were on the trail), and we spent 3 months sleeping for free, eating cheaper than we'd eat at home, and everything else was free. We already had our gear, and some of that old stuff is still servicable today.

          A PCT hike today would cost me a lot of money - mostly lost earnings for a few months I don't have saved up vacation time to burn, but I can't see the hike itself costing me more than doing nothing and staying at home.



          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "John" <johndittli@...> wrote:
          >
          > hmmm, interesting. Depending how many days you take I guess.
          >
          > Off the top of my head my food costs are about $5-7/day and I burn through a half pair of boots. I'm not big on staying at hotels when I'm backpacking and don't stay in YV or TM. I either hike out for resupply or make other free arrangements.
          >
          > No GPS, SPOT or SAT.
          >
          > Not including transportation, I'd guess I do the JMT for well under $200.
          >
          > JD
          > Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
          > www.johndittli.com
          >
        • ned@mountaineducation.org
          I know that this thread is about the financial cost of a thru hike, but when I consider the internal benefits, how the trail changes people emotionally and
          Message 4 of 15 , Nov 28, 2011
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            I know that this thread is about the financial cost of a thru hike, but when I consider the internal benefits, how the trail changes people emotionally and spiritually, the experience is priceless and lasts a lifetime!
             

            "Just remember, Be Careful out there!"
             
            Ned Tibbits, Director
            Mountain Education
            South Lake Tahoe, Ca. 96150
                P: 888-996-8333
                F: 530-541-1456
                C: 530-721-1551
                http://www.mountaineducation.org
          • Roleigh Martin
            I m glad the cost is not priceless (which would make it infinite!)! ... Visit Roleigh s Google Profile
            Message 5 of 15 , Nov 28, 2011
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              I'm glad the cost is not priceless (which would make it infinite!)!
              -------------------------------------------------
              Visit Roleigh's Google Profile
              _




              On Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 1:37 PM, <ned@...> wrote:
               

              I know that this thread is about the financial cost of a thru hike, but when I consider the internal benefits, how the trail changes people emotionally and spiritually, the experience is priceless and lasts a lifetime!
               


            • charliepolecat
              I ve often wondered about this phrase; it seems to me that if something is valued as being priceless , it actually has no price and should be free.
              Message 6 of 15 , Nov 28, 2011
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                I've often wondered about this phrase; it seems to me that if something is valued as being 'priceless', it actually has no price and should be free.

                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
                >
                > I'm glad the cost is not priceless (which would make it infinite!)!
                > -------------------------------------------------
                >
              • ned@mountaineducation.org
                It is without price, meaning no amount of money could purchase its worth... Just remember, Be Careful out there! Ned Tibbits, Director Mountain Education
                Message 7 of 15 , Nov 28, 2011
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                  It is without price, meaning no amount of money could purchase its worth...
                   
                   

                  "Just remember, Be Careful out there!"
                   
                  Ned Tibbits, Director
                  Mountain Education
                  South Lake Tahoe, Ca. 96150
                      P: 888-996-8333
                      F: 530-541-1456
                      C: 530-721-1551
                      http://www.mountaineducation.org
                • charliepolecat
                  You are being much too serious Ned.
                  Message 8 of 15 , Nov 28, 2011
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                    You are being much too serious Ned.

                    --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <ned@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > It is without price, meaning no amount of money could purchase its worth...
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > "Just remember, Be Careful out there!"
                    >
                    > Ned Tibbits, Director
                    > Mountain Education
                    > South Lake Tahoe, Ca. 96150
                    > P: 888-996-8333
                    > F: 530-541-1456
                    > C: 530-721-1551
                    > http://www.mountaineducation.org
                    >
                  • ned@mountaineducation.org
                    You know, you re probably right, but there has to be a counterpoint to the ever-present considerations of monetary costs to things these days.... I ll get back
                    Message 9 of 15 , Nov 28, 2011
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                      You know, you're probably right, but there has to be a counterpoint to the ever-present considerations of monetary costs to things these days.... I'll get back to writing up content for the website...
                       
                       

                      "Just remember, Be Careful out there!"
                       
                      Ned Tibbits, Director
                      Mountain Education
                      South Lake Tahoe, Ca. 96150
                          P: 888-996-8333
                          F: 530-541-1456
                          C: 530-721-1551
                          http://www.mountaineducation.org
                    • Roleigh Martin
                      The English language is so rich for ironic meanings. Like a little of awe is great (awesome), while a lot of awe is horrible (awful)--is it the missing e
                      Message 10 of 15 , Nov 28, 2011
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                        The English language is so rich for ironic meanings.  Like a little of awe is great (awesome), while a lot of awe is horrible (awful)--is it the missing "e" that causes that?  Or we park on a driveway and drive on a parkway.  On and on.  Keeps us laughing I guess.

                        -------------------------------------------------
                        Visit Roleigh's Google Profile
                        _




                        On Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 2:01 PM, charliepolecat <kennethjessett@...> wrote:
                         

                        I've often wondered about this phrase; it seems to me that if something is valued as being 'priceless', it actually has no price and should be free.



                        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > I'm glad the cost is not priceless (which would make it infinite!)!
                        > -------------------------------------------------
                        >


                      • John Ladd
                        We must be REALLY off-season, given the amount of posting traffic on semantics of priceless. Getting back to semi-serious, I recently ran the numbers of my
                        Message 11 of 15 , Nov 28, 2011
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                          We must be REALLY off-season, given the amount of posting traffic on semantics of priceless.

                          Getting back to semi-serious, I recently ran the numbers of my 6-day Grand Canyon hike which included 4 days of backroads driving (significantly over 2000 miles) and 4 motel nights.  Though we tried to keep things cheap, the total came to $1100 shared by the two of us.  Adding extra days, though, wouldn't have added much (maybe $5 per day for food).  Gas was the big expense, motels second, food on the road third (but close to motel cost).  Does not include any equipment cost.  Permits more expensive than JMT, but not a big cost contributor.

                          John Curran Ladd
                          1616 Castro Street
                          San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                          415-648-9279


                          On Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 12:28 PM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
                           

                          The English language is so rich for ironic meanings.  Like a little of awe is great (awesome), while a lot of awe is horrible (awful)--is it the missing "e" that causes that?  Or we park on a driveway and drive on a parkway.  On and on.  Keeps us laughing I guess.



                          -------------------------------------------------
                          Visit Roleigh's Google Profile
                          _




                          On Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 2:01 PM, charliepolecat <kennethjessett@...> wrote:
                           

                          I've often wondered about this phrase; it seems to me that if something is valued as being 'priceless', it actually has no price and should be free.



                          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > I'm glad the cost is not priceless (which would make it infinite!)!
                          > -------------------------------------------------
                          >



                        • targetdoggmechanic
                          I m sure the JMT is a bargain compared to the super long hikes like the AT, PCT, CDT, etc. $10,000??? Ouch. For me, if I have all the gear I need (I always
                          Message 12 of 15 , Dec 5, 2011
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                            I'm sure the JMT is a bargain compared to the super long hikes like the AT, PCT, CDT, etc. $10,000??? Ouch.

                            For me, if I have all the gear I need (I always 'want' something, but don't always 'need' something) this is the best guestimate I can come up with from what I took on my trip this year...and I live in CA, so no need for airfare. 12 day trip.

                            Food--$110
                            Travel--Amtrak and buses home, $65 (amtrak paid in advance)
                            Permit reservation--$5, walk-ins are free (paid in advance)
                            Misc cash for food/last minute stuff in Yosemite Valley--$20
                            Cash for burger and beers in Tuolumne Mdws, $20
                            Cash for burger and beers and snacks at Red's, $30
                            Cost to mail resupply to TM and MTR, $20 (paid in advance)
                            Cost to pick up resuppy at MTR, $55 (paid in advance)
                            Cash for misc items/internet use at MTR, $20
                            Cash for burger and beer at Whitney portal, $20
                            Cash for dinner and beers at Lone Pine and trip home, $40
                            1 night's stay at Dow Villa, $55 (paid credit)

                            That adds up to $460, and I came home with about $30. Most of the places above take credit/debit cards, so no need to take large wad of cash on the trail with you. It's best to have cash for MTR, although I think they take credit, and the buses home you will need cash. I usually only carry about $100 with me just in case credit machines arent working. You never know.

                            Mike
                          • John
                            Whether you re on the trail or at home, you would still be eating, right? Therefore, you could realistically deduct another $200 or so for the food and drink
                            Message 13 of 15 , Dec 5, 2011
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                              Whether you're on the trail or at home, you would still be eating, right?  

                              Therefore, you could realistically deduct another $200 or so for the food and drink you listed.  Sure, eating at home is more economical, so you should only count the food cost "differential" to get a better estimate.

                              On Dec 5, 2011, at 9:53 PM, "targetdoggmechanic" <targetdoggmechanic@...> wrote:

                               

                              I'm sure the JMT is a bargain compared to the super long hikes like the AT, PCT, CDT, etc. $10,000??? Ouch.

                              For me, if I have all the gear I need (I always 'want' something, but don't always 'need' something) this is the best guestimate I can come up with from what I took on my trip this year...and I live in CA, so no need for airfare. 12 day trip.

                              Food--$110
                              Travel--Amtrak and buses home, $65 (amtrak paid in advance)
                              Permit reservation--$5, walk-ins are free (paid in advance)
                              Misc cash for food/last minute stuff in Yosemite Valley--$20
                              Cash for burger and beers in Tuolumne Mdws, $20
                              Cash for burger and beers and snacks at Red's, $30
                              Cost to mail resupply to TM and MTR, $20 (paid in advance)
                              Cost to pick up resuppy at MTR, $55 (paid in advance)
                              Cash for misc items/internet use at MTR, $20
                              Cash for burger and beer at Whitney portal, $20
                              Cash for dinner and beers at Lone Pine and trip home, $40
                              1 night's stay at Dow Villa, $55 (paid credit)

                              That adds up to $460, and I came home with about $30. Most of the places above take credit/debit cards, so no need to take large wad of cash on the trail with you. It's best to have cash for MTR, although I think they take credit, and the buses home you will need cash. I usually only carry about $100 with me just in case credit machines arent working. You never know.

                              Mike

                            • John
                              And the electricity/gas your not using etc.....
                              Message 14 of 15 , Dec 6, 2011
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                                And the electricity/gas your not using etc.....

                                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John <jmaddog1082@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Whether you're on the trail or at home, you would still be eating, right?
                                >
                                > Therefore, you could realistically deduct another $200 or so for the food and drink you listed. Sure, eating at home is more economical, so you should only count the food cost "differential" to get a better estimate.
                                >
                                >
                              • charliepolecat
                                I suspect for most of us not living in California, the greatest expense is getting there. Air fares, parking, buses/trains, etc. all mount up, which is why
                                Message 15 of 15 , Dec 6, 2011
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                                  I suspect for most of us not living in California, the greatest expense is getting there.

                                  Air fares, parking, buses/trains, etc. all mount up, which is why this tends to be a once in a life time trip.

                                  And it doesn't help that the cost of such items as renting the bearikade and stashing resupplies at the JMT ranch are considerable. And yes I know everyone has to make a living, I'm just saying.

                                  And when I leave my house, my wife still has the A/C and lights on so we still pay for utilities and such.

                                  It's a little amusing when some say it's just a few hundred dollars to hike the trail.
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