Monday, July 28, 2014

Nailing Down the Budget Part 1

With eight short months until we leave on the trail, we are getting down to planning in earnest! We made our budget spreadsheet about month ago, since the responsible thing to do before committing to the hike was to figure out if it was financially feasible.

This week is about nailing down some more precise numbers in terms of our off-trail expenses, doing a current gear inventory, and coming up with a shopping list for some things we need to replace or add to our gear stash.  (OH BOY!!  Another trip to REI!)

For our purposes, we are defining the "off-trail expenses" as those expenses that are related to your life back home, and not those directly related to life on the trail.  So, storage rental is an off-trail expense, but a hotel stay in a trail town is not!  If you're planning a thru-hike, here are the off-trail expenses that you might need to consider!  Thankfully not all of these will apply to all thru-hikers!

  • Mortgage
  • Health Insurance
  • Car Insurance
  • Student Loans
  • Credit card debt
  • Other loans/debts
  • Storage
  • Pet boarding
  • Cell phone
  • Utilities
  • Lost Income
Muskrat is pretty handy with spreadsheets, so he's already created a nice budgeting spreadsheet for us.  Now, we just need to gather and enter the refined data!

If you have off-trail expenses to add that we didn't cover in our list, please add your ideas in the comments!

Stick around for discussion of on-trail expense planning, our gear inventory, coverage of a test hike we are planning, mental and physical preparations, and some book reviews!

©2014 Jennifer Magnuson, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. Ironjen, I'm excited to find your blog because my fiance and I plan to be married in November 2014 and leave to hike the trail in April 2015, so your story sounds familiar in some ways. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your adventures!

    1. Congrats on your upcoming marriage! Maybe we will run into you two out on the trail! :)