Saving money for anything can be hard. And, when it comes to saving for a vacation, it’s even more difficult.
But, like with anything in life, if you want something enough, you’ll do what you have to do to obtain it. If you’re planning for a thru-hike or a hiking trip to a backcountry destination in the United States (or abroad), then you’re going to have to start preparing your savings. Any chance you get, put the money away. And, to show you just how easy it is, we’ve done the financing for you.
This is what your money can buy you in the backcountry:
Loose Change=$10 for a Hiking Permit
Loose change can add up very quickly. Even if you aren’t finding quarters on the ground everywhere you go, you can still save a lot just by putting away a $1 or $2 every so often. If you can get your loose change to add up to about $8 a month ($10 for good luck), then guess what? You’ve just afforded yourself a hiking permit or a night at a campground along the trail!
$3 Coffee Each Day=$60 On Select Gear
You need your coffee, we get it. Even when you’re on the trail, you need your pick-me-up. But, instead of buying it each day, why not make it at home? If you give up your daily hot coffee, you can save a lot of money. $60 can buy you a lot of great gear for the outdoors, whether it be clothing, outerwear, a decent sleeping bag, or even a tent!
$15 Meal Out=$120 On Your Food and Toiletry Supplies
Let’s say you eat out twice a week. That easily adds up to $30 a week. If you can forgo eating out at all for one month, then by the end of it, you’ll have an extra $120 in your pocket. That’s a lot of money, folks! $120 can get you all the food and supplies you’ll need for the trail, including a cooking gear, Ziplocs, toilet paper, toothbrushes, etc. Plus, you’ll need to start learning how to cook meals for the trail anyway! Why not start now?
$50 in Gas=$200 on a New Backpack or Flight
Okay…some people have to spend money on gas because there may not be another option. But, if you have the option of taking public transportation or carpooling (just for a month!), then why not? You can save up to $200 to buy yourself a brand new backpacking pack or even a flight to a city nearest to the national park you want to visit. Why not?
$ On Bad Habits=Priceless!
Here on LTBC, we don’t judge. But, the fact of the matter is, if you constantly spend money on anything from cigarettes, to alcohol, to junk food, then changing your habits can actually take you pretty far.
First of all, doing these kinds of things certainly won’t give you the energy you need to hike in the backcountry. And, if you drop those habits, you’ll be surprised as to what you can afford. Buy that GoPro you’ve always wanted or those new hiking boots! No matter what you choose, it’s better than putting it towards the other thing!
Spending time in the backcountry isn’t necessarily expensive. However, if you have to purchase everything all at once, you may be surprised at the number you see on the cash register. Fortunately, if you swap some everyday expenses for low-cost alternatives, you’ll quickly see what your money can buy you in the backcountry!