Budget for Appalachian Trail

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Budget for Appalachian Trail

Postby jobell » Wed 01 Aug, 2012 1:12 pm

I was wondering if there might be someone on this forum who has walked the Appalachian Trail end to end and can give me an idea of what their costs were to complete it...???
"Not all those who wander are lost." J.R.R.Tolkien
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Re: Budget for Appalachian Trail

Postby Nuts » Fri 03 Aug, 2012 10:49 am

Iv'e seen this as a topic on one of the american forums somewhere. iirc there were lots of variables, mainly depending on what you did on non walking days. I'd imagine it would be very similar to doing such a long walk here. I guess loss of income for 5/6mths would be the biggest expense (to start). I imagine it would be a great experience though!
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Re: Budget for Appalachian Trail

Postby Mark F » Fri 03 Aug, 2012 11:29 pm

Google "appalachian trail cost". There are estimates from US$2,000 - $ 9,000 with 3K to 5K representing a comfortable trip. Food costs will be relatively constant but the zero days will vary according to your tastes (and budget).
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Re: Budget for Appalachian Trail

Postby Turfa » Sat 04 Aug, 2012 6:58 am

Hi,

I thru-hiked the AT in 2006. My total cost was about $6,000 including airfares. That did not include gear puchases as I already had plenty of equipment & was already lightweight, so i did not need/want to replace any gear as many people end up doing. There are a few things that will vary your costs.
1. How long you take to hike it. Obviously the faster you go the cheaper it is. I finished the trail in just over 4 months, which is slightly shorter than average, so my costs would have been lower.
2. How many 'zero' days you have. Rest days in town cost a lot more than days hiking as you pay for hotels/hostels etc. and restaraunt food etc. I had 5 zero days on my hike which again is lower than average & would have reduced my costs.
3. Your tastes & financial situation - While I do not have expensive tastes, I was working full time when I hiked & had saved plenty of money for my trip, so I did not need to really budget. many people on the trail are just out of college or retired & so have to be careful with what they spend. So this would have pushed up my costs compared to the average.

So as usual the answer is....it depends !...... but it is certainly doable in fairly comfortable 'average' manner if you have about $5-6,000.
There are a many websites with information about the AT, but one of the most useful ones for cost information is

www.whiteblaze.net

It is an amazing experience & I would encourage anyone to do it if you have the opportunity. let me know if you have any questions about the trail...happy to help out !

Cheers,

Chris
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Re: Budget for Appalachian Trail

Postby jacko1956 » Sat 04 Aug, 2012 11:07 pm

Whiteblaze has a current thread under title Money Money Money that discusses this.
It would appear that for US hikers about $5000 upwards is considered a good budget. To have a lower budget would involve a lot of $ watching that would be a very negative effect on the hike. About $7000 is a better budget. As a foreigner you should probably look at at least 10-20% more as you do not have "local" support etc. Then you need to factor in airfares and a few other items, e.g. $160 for a visa and substantially more for insurance, and you really should ensure you have about $10k as a budget. If this seem a lot it is for a 5 - 6 month stay in a foreign country.
If you decide to go let me know as my son and I expect to start late March 2013.
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Re: Budget for Appalachian Trail

Postby jobell » Sat 04 Aug, 2012 11:18 pm

Thanks very much! Lots of good info there, and leads to follow up. If I manage to get the time away to do it I'm keen to not have to rush through and be able to take pleny of "zero" days to explore the towns along the way, whilst still keeping an eye on being able to finish it within the season. I've been reading heaps of blogs; the more I read, the more I want to go! One thing I won't have to worry about it a visa and overstaying; I have dual citizenship. Jacko - will be in touch for sure if and when!
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Re: Budget for Appalachian Trail

Postby jacko1956 » Sun 05 Aug, 2012 1:27 am

GOOD LUCK.
One problem with zero days is that you generally will not get a visa that goes over 6 months so with with "extra" for getting in and out of country you really need to plan on walking it in 5 months and having 2-3 weeks up your sleeve in case of some time off for sprains, injury and sightseeing etc (you do pass within 34 miles of New York). Read some journals on trailjournals.com and find hikers that match your own idea of your age, physique etc from the last few years journals and see their "stats" pages. This should help in deciding your zero day level. My son and I plan on just being steady and focussed early and are using the "15 mile spreadsheet" on Whiteblaze as a guide for a lot of our planning.
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Re: Budget for Appalachian Trail

Postby John Sheridan » Sun 05 Aug, 2012 7:18 am

Where do you start the Appalachian Trail, and where would you get a plane to in the US, Aussie to New York then make your way to the start by car or bus or train ??

Just like to know, sounds like a nice hike :)

Cheers.
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Re: Budget for Appalachian Trail

Postby Turfa » Sun 05 Aug, 2012 7:46 am

Getting to either end of the trail is a little complicated. Most people start at the Southern end. This means flying from Australian to Atlanta, Georgia, then either a 2 hour drive with a pre-booked shuttle service, or a train ride to the northern suburbs of Atlanta and a shorter pre-booked shuttle ride. Either way this gets you to Amicalola State park where you have a 13km walk up into the mountains to get to the start of the trail.........

At the other end you have an 8km walk down out of the mountains to Baxter State park, then you pretty much need to hitchhike into the nearest (small) town called Millinocket. Then you can get a bus out to a larger city like Bangor, maine where you can then fly to New York or Boston & then on back to Australia............


Oh, and I forgot to make then point that my numbers were obviously in 2006 dollars, so 6 years later the figures would be higher, say $7-8,000......... but Jacko's point about having a $10K budget is a good one........ I saw many people have to get off the trail due to running out of money... that would be a terrible way to have to end your hike. Best to have plenty of spare cash available in case of injury (need to rest for a week or two in town) or if you need to replace gear, or if it just takes you longer than you thought............
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Re: Budget for Appalachian Trail

Postby russ752 » Mon 05 Nov, 2012 7:53 pm

jobell wrote:I was wondering if there might be someone on this forum who has walked the Appalachian Trail end to end and can give me an idea of what their costs were to complete it...???

Hi Jobell, I walked the trail 2011. Realistically you will need $7000 - $ 8000. You can do it much cheaper( I met one hiker who only spent $1500 ) but you won't have a good time. Zero days cost money and you will most likely want to visit DC when you reach Harpers Ferry and New York as well. In the South accommodation is very cheap but the further North you go the more expensive it gets. If you have any queries send me a PM
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Re: Budget for Appalachian Trail

Postby jjs6791 » Fri 09 Nov, 2012 11:33 pm

There are some good answers here - I second the recommendation of whiteblaze.net.
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