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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    Nobody said you had to fund another's hike.

    And that is the crux of my contention. It is what you make of it. For you it's a vacation and thus should be self funded thus you feel like everyone should be self funded, as if they are not, the thru hike is not a vacation, but something more meaningful. So you need it to be a vacation, but please keep that to yourself, the AT is really much bigger than the box you try to put it in and respect other hikers and how they chose to hike their own hike.

    As for charity work, let each person decide how they want to help please. Your solutions don't work for everyone. Also not everyone wants or needs your suggestion or a organization to help humanity. Actually I would argue that helping fro one's heart, and not at the suggestion of another's ideals as to how one must help and without the organization is more effective help for humanity. My way of giving back is gift of my gifts, what I excel at, what I am able to give abundantly, though sometimes it is needed to give out of one's scarcity, but as one is gifted, one should certainly give.
    You say... " as if they are not, the thru hike is not a vacation, but something more meaningful." Why am I required to keep my thoughts to myself, but you are free to share your thoughts on this forum? You've asserted as fact what a thru-hike is. Why can't I do the same thing?

    And you say... "As for charity work, let each person decide how they want to help please.". How have I interfered with anyone's choice? If I think it's gullible to donate to a thru-hike, how does that hurt anyone? Donate all you want.
    I have sympathy for those in need. If an acquaintance needs food, I might help him buy groceries. If someone needs a place to stay, perhaps I'll help. If someone needs clothing, or education, or medical help, I may pitch in to help. But if someone comes to me and says they need to spend months on the trail "finding themselves" and would like my donation, I'll laugh in their face. And I consider myself a lover of the trail.

    I have friends who live in Africa. Would you contribute part of your salary so they can spend 6 month in the wilderness (unemployed) "finding themselves"? Is it really such a good cause that perhaps World Vision should get involved to make sure African villagers can "find themselves" too? If this is so important, why do only rich westerners get a chance to "find themselves"? And should we chip in for those that want to bring Marijuana to make sure they can afford that too? (not accusing all thru-hikers of being drug users)

    I'm not stopping anyone from thru-hiking and I'm not stopping anyone from asking for nor giving money for a thru-hike. Yet if my children were asked to donate to such a cause, I'd suggest their money would be best spent somewhere else.

  2. #22
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    Thank you to those of you that gave me actual advice and thank you for not thinking I was a free-loading, young person looking for charity. I appreciate your advice a lot! Most of what you guys suggested I am already doing. I work part time in an outdoor gear store so I am able to make money and save on gear. I will take into account starting my hike later, that was something I didn't think about so thank you. A gofund me is out of question for me, I agree in the fact that I don't think it is the correct reason to use that website, but I appreciate the though.

  3. #23
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    Thank you for your advice. I will definitely think about starting later. I have a part time job at an outdoor gear store so that is very helpful in that I make money and I save a lot on gear.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perkinse View Post
    Thank you for your advice. I will definitely think about starting later. I have a part time job at an outdoor gear store so that is very helpful in that I make money and I save a lot on gear.
    There're are two factors that reduce the thru costs. Caution: if a thru NEWB, as most AT thrus are, it's typical, to switch to lighter wt kits replacing some gear especially the Big 4 at some pt. You hedge against it because you work in an outdoor gear store.

    Dont mind the naysayers and grump-ups. It's par for the course around here. Do understand thru budget cost questions could very well be the most asked questions so WB people can bristle. If you search here you can peruse 100's of worthy comments this topic has been so beaten to death.

    The young man has a job and isn't begging anyone for $. He's seeking some advise not ridicule and hard unsubstantiated judgments.

  5. #25
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    I understand and accept to some hiking/Thru hiking/backpacking is defined and approached as a vacation or recreation. But that definition does NOT have to utterly define everyone's hike, the way everyone conducts themselves on a hike! I see it as Tipi Walter does and StarChild can. I also see it as my way of maintaining a standard of holistic fitness - body, mind, and spirit. To me health is not optional. It is mandatory. To maintain a stronger connection to Nature and emotional and psychological well being than the economy- money - is some folk's greater and certainly valid goal. For anyone, especially someone who hasn't completed a longer duration hike, to suggest hiking/thru hiking is avoiding commitment and accountability those that complete their intended hikes would disagree. And to intolerantly suggest hikers including LD hikers are somehow generally lazy and unemployed not making contributions to society is a fallacy and harsh judgement based on one's own short sighted approach and limited observations as if another's path in life has to each be like our own. There are lots of ways to be productive.

    The idea of spending 30-40 yrs at one or two jobs, working, especially for primarily another's profit 50-60 hrs/wk because rampant consumption, Materialism and waste is the norm, two wks off per yr, having the tax return spent before it's calculated, 2.2 kids, black lab, a 30-40 yr mortgage, white picket fence, soccer and baseball little leagues, sedan and SUV, brainwashed by the LCD big screens in nearly every room, McMansion, cul de sacs, living in a hoity toity sub-development with a blue blood name like Dogwood Meadows with an overly landscaped(we're special) faux (cultured stone) masonry front gate, crushing enslaving debt load, and relegating oneself to accumulating their little slice of the pie(their material possessions) and landscaped 1/4 acre is NOT the way all U.S. citizens define their goals. It does NOT mean everyone who doesn't hold these goals isn't doing it THE RIGHT WAY, YOUR WAY.

  6. #26

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    If I'm not mistaken, the #1 reason why thru hikers quit the trail is running out of money. The sense of freedom is exhilarating, you meet a bunch of people your age from all over the country and the world and the temptation to party is very strong, especially in the south where you have many hiker friendly towns, good local beer, moderately priced hostels, etc. Your savings are disappearing like an ice cube in the middle of August and you find yourself in PA with most of your budget gone. Probably to do SOBO is a good advise in term of keeping your costs in control, but then you miss all of the social aspect of the trail, and the experience of summiting Katahdin after 2200 miles.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephanD View Post
    If I'm not mistaken, the #1 reason why thru hikers quit the trail is running out of money. The sense of freedom is exhilarating, you meet a bunch of people your age from all over the country and the world and the temptation to party is very strong, especially in the south where you have many hiker friendly towns, good local beer, moderately priced hostels, etc. Your savings are disappearing like an ice cube in the middle of August and you find yourself in PA with most of your budget gone. Probably to do SOBO is a good advise in term of keeping your costs in control, but then you miss all of the social aspect of the trail, and the experience of summiting Katahdin after 2200 miles.
    Thanks for the advice! Unfortunately I kind of have my heart set on hiking NOBO since I want to summit Katahdin at the end of it. I'm not much for going out to drink but I am sure there will be a handful of times I find that I need a beer! It's good to know though that down south it's easy to spend your money quick. I'll keep that in mind!

  8. #28
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    If I'm not mistaken, the #1 reason why thru hikers quit the trail is running out of money


    i would say it's a big factor but probably not number one overall......maybe after about half of a thru hike, yes....

    cause large amounts of people drop out before they hit GSMNP (going north that is) due to other factors like being outta shape, trail being harder than they thought, etc etc etc....

  9. #29
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    From earlier in the thread:
    I think a young person hiking the AT to “find oneself” is anexcellent notion.
    And because you are out on the trail for 5 – 6 months youprobably have enough time to find a couple or three other folks too.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Typically if a young person would like to do something in today's time you can beg and plead with hard working citizens of the community and they will foot the bill for you.
    Or you could start a youtube channel and post a video once a day and people will be awaiting for you at road crossings and take you to pay for your meals and lodging and shoes and new gear.
    Or if your a pretty lady you will have an abundance of sprite young lads wanting to hike with you and coincidentally someone will always pickup the tab.

    Or you can be like the other 99% and get a job and save. You will need $4500 after gear expenses, and enough money left over to reenter the reality and get a job.
    Hahaha all true
    -tagg

  11. #31

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    -In grad school I had a friend who would sell plasma (blood) for extra money.
    -I tutored for extra money while in grad school. I pretty much set my own hours. I put my name on a list with the department secretary. Those needing tutors would pick someone off the list.
    -Drive Uber or Lyft. I like things where one can set one's own hours and has the option of tips.
    -Hang a sign in a Laundromat or similar place offering to do chores for cash. As a teenager I landed a retired gentleman who needed help with yard work. His tools, mower, etc., my labor. It lasted all summer. Again, I set my own hours but usually had to have stuff done within a week.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Perkinse View Post
    Thanks for the advice! Unfortunately I kind of have my heart set on hiking NOBO since I want to summit Katahdin at the end of it. I'm not much for going out to drink but I am sure there will be a handful of times I find that I need a beer! It's good to know though that down south it's easy to spend your money quick. I'll keep that in mind!
    Whichever way you choose, you are in for a unique and a life changing experience. Good luck and happy trails

  13. #33
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    If you can save up the money to hike right after graduation, go for it!

    That said, I personally would have been uncomfortable using up most or all of my savings immediately after graduating, not knowing for sure whether I could get a job in time to start supporting myself before my budget ran out after Katahdin. So instead, I finished school, got my masters (consciously choosing a program that would not put me into debt), worked a few years, then quit my job and turned 25 during my 2018 thru-hike. I found this approach to be ideal for me for a few reasons:
    1) I had enough savings that I never had to stress about the possibility of being financially forced off trail in the event of unforeseen circumstances (doctor visit, gear replacement costs, flights home in family emergency, etc.)
    2) I had already started putting money into retirement accounts from ages 21-24, so even though there was significant opportunity cost associated with taking a year off from "real jobs" at 25, I knew I already had money in the bank working for me. (Not a lot, but still "ahead of the game" for my age.)
    3) I had enough experience in my field that I knew I would easily get job offers once I finished the trail.
    4) After three years into my career, the thru-hike was a good opportunity to really reflect on whether my life was going in the direction that I wanted. While I think that time for reflection could certainly be valuable for a new grad (my 500-mile Camino hike at 22 was definitely a good time for reflection too!), I felt like it came at a good time for me on the AT.

    Of course, this approach wouldn't work for everyone. Some careers are harder to pause once you've started than others, and some people find obligations in their first few years after graduation that could prevent them from thru-hiking -- a mortgage, a relationship, etc. -- but just wanted to share how I was able to thru-hike as a young person without getting anyone else to foot the bill for me, vlogging, or manipulating sprite young lads.
    A.T. 2018 Thru-hike Hopeful
    Follow along at www.tefltrekker.com

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by perrymk View Post
    ...
    -Drive Uber or Lyft. I like things where one can set one's own hours and has the option of tips.
    ...
    Others are good suggestions, however look into it if you are interested in driving, if you can actually make money by driving Uber or Lyft. It's been analyzed many times and As I have seen basically after depreciating one's car and other car related expenses, one can break even or perhaps make something like $2-$3/hour after expenses.

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    Others are good suggestions, however look into it if you are interested in driving, if you can actually make money by driving Uber or Lyft. It's been analyzed many times and As I have seen basically after depreciating one's car and other car related expenses, one can break even or perhaps make something like $2-$3/hour after expenses.
    I did my own analysis a while back. As a living, I agree with you. As a short term way to earn some cash, it's OK. One is essentially borrowing against one's car. If one's car is likely to be replaced soon anyway, and this is likely with a college student soon to graduate, the time is right to occasionally drive for cash.

    The OP knows his/her situation better than I do and which plan is right for him/her.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    Others are good suggestions, however look into it if you are interested in driving, if you can actually make money by driving Uber or Lyft. It's been analyzed many times and As I have seen basically after depreciating one's car and other car related expenses, one can break even or perhaps make something like $2-$3/hour after expenses.
    I have looked into Uber and Lyft but my car is too old for me to use

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnightErrant View Post
    If you can save up the money to hike right after graduation, go for it!

    That said, I personally would have been uncomfortable using up most or all of my savings immediately after graduating, not knowing for sure whether I could get a job in time to start supporting myself before my budget ran out after Katahdin. So instead, I finished school, got my masters (consciously choosing a program that would not put me into debt), worked a few years, then quit my job and turned 25 during my 2018 thru-hike. I found this approach to be ideal for me for a few reasons:
    1) I had enough savings that I never had to stress about the possibility of being financially forced off trail in the event of unforeseen circumstances (doctor visit, gear replacement costs, flights home in family emergency, etc.)
    2) I had already started putting money into retirement accounts from ages 21-24, so even though there was significant opportunity cost associated with taking a year off from "real jobs" at 25, I knew I already had money in the bank working for me. (Not a lot, but still "ahead of the game" for my age.)
    3) I had enough experience in my field that I knew I would easily get job offers once I finished the trail.
    4) After three years into my career, the thru-hike was a good opportunity to really reflect on whether my life was going in the direction that I wanted. While I think that time for reflection could certainly be valuable for a new grad (my 500-mile Camino hike at 22 was definitely a good time for reflection too!), I felt like it came at a good time for me on the AT.

    Of course, this approach wouldn't work for everyone. Some careers are harder to pause once you've started than others, and some people find obligations in their first few years after graduation that could prevent them from thru-hiking -- a mortgage, a relationship, etc. -- but just wanted to share how I was able to thru-hike as a young person without getting anyone else to foot the bill for me, vlogging, or manipulating sprite young lads.
    All great information! It is very helpful to see how someone else is tackling this challenge while still being in school. I too have looked at grad schools but like you said, I think that my career would be hard to put on hold.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perkinse View Post
    Thank you to those of you that gave me actual advice and thank you for not thinking I was a free-loading, young person looking for charity. I appreciate your advice a lot! Most of what you guys suggested I am already doing. I work part time in an outdoor gear store so I am able to make money and save on gear. I will take into account starting my hike later, that was something I didn't think about so thank you. A gofund me is out of question for me, I agree in the fact that I don't think it is the correct reason to use that website, but I appreciate the though.
    You sound like a young person with a good head on your shoulders. You will be fine. Good luck and have a great hike.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  19. #39

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    Work as much as you can, that way you make more money and don't have time to spend it. If you can find a side job(s) that requires physical labor, even better. And as stated wait until mid-April to May to start. The better shape you are in the faster you can move and the less time and therefor less money needed.
    The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
    Richard Ewell, CSA General


  20. #40

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    OP, do you take classes in the summers? You might consider working at a Girl Scout or Boy Scout camp. They teach you a lot of outdoor skills, give you an opportunity to get certified in wilderness first aid, provide your living accommodations, and there’s no place to spend the money you earn.

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