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Appalachian Trail 2013


HikingTheTrail

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  • 2 months later...
Duane Hall

I'm seriously considering a thru hike in 2013 - not committed yet, but I'm doing the math. The planning for this long walk seems more complicated than the hike itself.

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I'm seriously considering a thru hike in 2013 - not committed yet, but I'm doing the math. The planning for this long walk seems more complicated than the hike itself.

The AT is on my “maybe someday list”. I just cannot get the time to do it. I agree with you that the planning could be more complicated then actually doing it. It appears the biggest problem is trying to decide what to put in each cache box and where to mail them. If you have never done the hike before, there is no way an individual could know how much food and replacement gear will be needed at each stage. I read an article a while back (sorry, I cannot remember who wrote it) who recommended buying what you need along the way. His argument was that because of the high cost of shipping and the inherent waste from discarding unneeded food and gear, just buying what was needed along the way would be the same or cheaper. This would also allow for schedule and pace changes. If more hikers did this, more stores would carry more food and gear for hikers and bring the prices down. The additional business would help local communities that support the trail.

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HikingTheTrail

The AT is on my “maybe someday list”. I just cannot get the time to do it. I agree with you that the planning could be more complicated then actually doing it. It appears the biggest problem is trying to decide what to put in each cache box and where to mail them. If you have never done the hike before, there is no way an individual could know how much food and replacement gear will be needed at each stage. I read an article a while back (sorry, I cannot remember who wrote it) who recommended buying what you need along the way. His argument was that because of the high cost of shipping and the inherent waste from discarding unneeded food and gear, just buying what was needed along the way would be the same or cheaper. This would also allow for schedule and pace changes. If more hikers did this, more stores would carry more food and gear for hikers and bring the prices down. The additional business would help local communities that support the trail.

I have heard and spoken to several people who are currently hiking the AT and the general feeling while on the trail is that everything is more expensive in the smaller towns as is lodging. One report I read said that a guy who hiked the AT several years ago only spent about $2k on the trail and this year he is going to most likely top out around $4k for supplying while on the trail. I have been working on the logistics of my hike and I am working to get each meal down to $3 or under and then ship as much as needed. As far as Gear goes I have been working with lots of companies who after purchasing their products I have contacted them to see how replacement or fixing of products go and may of the companies have said that if on the trail and I am in need of anything they will depending on the circumstances would just send me a replacement no question ask but I have also spent the better part of the last year connecting with the companies via social networks and my blog.

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I know the planning is taking up your time, but I think many people (including me) would be very interested in what you total cost was for your supplies and shipping. None the guide books or web sites really give specific numbers for costs for doing the hike.

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I know the planning is taking up your time, but I think many people (including me) would be very interested in what you total cost was for your supplies and shipping. None the guide books or web sites really give specific numbers for costs for doing the hike.

I have not thru'd, but I can say that total cost depends on a lot of variables.

Are you planning to premake all your meals and ship them to you, or are you going to resupply at each trail town you come to? Premaking your meals cost's less, but it is more time consuming on the front end, and also, making sure that you reach your pick up point creates a bit of a schedule... which can be a hassle... Then again, so is showing up in a town with hardly any resupply...

Another big factor is how often do you plan to go to a town? The more you spend time in a town, the more money you are going to spend.

Also, how long will it take you to hike the trail? It will cost less to hike it in 3.5 to 4 months than it will to hike it in 5 - 6 months...

Then there is gear...

Are you carrying the right gear? If you have not put a lot of thought into your gear, chances are, you will be replacing it along the way. Do, the homework, get the right gear before leaving and the only gear that you will have to worry about replacing will be the gear that breaks down, and some of it will... It is also important to purchase gear from reliable sources that will actually help you out along the way. Many smaller companies will be of great assistance to thru hikers... be sure to call or email before leaving to confirm warranty issues...

And this is just the beginning... so, it really does vary...

Saying all of that, I have read of people that have hiked it on right at or even just under $1K. OTOH, I have read of others that spent well of $4K.

When I get to thru the AT, I will send a few mail drops at certain towns that are a bit more lacking in resupply options (I think that there are about 7 that I was looking at). The rest of the time, I will resupply in towns. Also, (between the two) I am more of a hiker than a camper, so I am planning to do it in 4 months or less. I have put lots of thought into gear options, so I will be quite prepared on that end...and I don't plan on stopping and overnighting in every town that the trail crosses or comes near...

I would like to keep the cost down, but my goal is to have $5K set aside for whatever may happen. I don't have to use it all, but I would hate to have to leave the trail with just a few hundred miles left because I ran out of $$, which has happened to some...

Hope this helps...

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The AMC calculates it at $3,000 (which seems low). Other places seem around $4-5,000 so Stick, that sounds about right. I have never thru-hiked but give you much props for even contemplating it! :cool:

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  • 2 weeks later...

The AMC calculates it at $3,000 (which seems low). Other places seem around $4-5,000 so Stick, that sounds about right. I have never thru-hiked but give you much props for even contemplating it! :cool:

Thanks! And oh how I wish I could thru...one day I will...but unfortunately, I do not know when that day will be...

I wonder if that $3K is an older figure... I have not really thought about it, but after reading through a thread that has been going on over on WhiteBlaze, I never thought about inflation... fact is, everything is getting more expensive...

So, yeah, at this point, I am still looking at no less than $5K set aside for whatever expense may arise...as I said, I don't have to use it, but to know it is there would be ideal IMO.

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  • 4 months later...
Coloradokid

I have been thinking seriously about thru hiking the trail in 2013. I grew up in North Carolina hiking on the trail but have been living in Colorado for the past 10 years. I live at over 8 thousand feet elevation and hike 14ers on a regular basis so i feel like I would probably be in pretty good physical condition to thru hike in several months. I wanted to start at the end of April and be done before the ski season starts here in Vail. If any of you are going to be starting around the same time I would love to meet up with some fellow hikers. Also, if any of you have any advice it would be greatly appreciated!

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