So, you want to thruhike the Triple Crown, the Appalachian trail, the Pacific Crest trail, and the Continental Divide Trail.
Let's say, that you cancel everything and sell all of your assets (or store what you can with family or something)
What do you need to pay for besides food?
There's a few things that 'most' of us have to have in order to function.
I know we Can't all be so lucky as to have the luxury of a razor flip phone from the late 90s, but most of us do have some form of smart phone. Keep in mind that while you are hiking for 6 months to budget in the $80-$210 a month for your phone. (why some of you pay over $100 a line for phone service is beyond me)
2: Satellite Tracking/Messaging Service
I have a Garmin InReach mini. I love that a monthly fee which is less than a cellphone bill I can text those most important to me at anytime, anywhere. My mom is a horrible get fan. The device itself I picked up at REI for $300 new, and then paid $56 a month for unlimited texting. Yes that can add up, but you also have the emergency panic button with GPS/GIS marking to help first responders find you when you follow that squirrel a little too far down that steep ravine... Or get washed away in a river.
I do NOT recommend the Spot Brand. I started with one of their SpotX v2 and it imploded when I most needed it. Don't waste your money.
3: Hotels, Showers, Campgrounds, and Laundry
If you think that you aren't going to stay in a hotel or take a shower, or do laundry, A) you're nasty and B) you're fooling yourself. Even if it's only once a week, doing laundry and showering is a must. It can be done without hotels, I stayed at a ton of State Parks and Campgrounds that offered showers, but it gets morale draining to go too long without some creature comforts. Make sure to budget in a few hundred dollars for hotel rooms. You can thank me later.
These aren't the only costs that accrue while hiking but definitely are ones overlooked. Some of the major costs being transportation to and from trail and shoes, so many shoes... If you are planning to undertake this insanity, make sure to plan for ALL of the expenses, not just food and gear.
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