Although I have a budget in mind, I really have no idea as to what my journey will cost other then the expense reports I have read from other thru hikers. My goal is $8.00 per day, which means no staying in hotels or motels and pitching a tent each night either at free campsites, in National Forests where permitted, or in the yards of kind folks who permit me to spend the night yard camping with them. By buying my groceries at local grocery stores or at Walmart I should be able to reach my daily goal. Getting water along my route should be easy and not cost anything, and I will be keeping my menu really simple. I plan to wash my very limited supply of clothes by hand as needed when I take an off day to rest. Right now I plan to do that at least once per week, or whenever my body tells me its time to take a break.
So far I’ve been able to maintain the $8.00 per day budget I’ve set for my journey. Many days I’ve spent nothing due to the kindness of strangers I’ve met along the way. So far my expenses are mostly related to the food I eat each day, and occasionally the nightly cost of staying at a campground. My morning meal usually consist of flavored oatmeal that I just add hot water to and instant coffee, my mid morning and afternoon snacks are Cliff Bars of varying flavors and sometimes fruit, and my evening meals consist of different types of Ramen noodles. My tiny wood burning stove has proven to be a joy to use. Setup and cleaning are very easy, and in four to five minutes I can have a boiling pot of hot water. My small, lightweight cooking pans and utensils have worked out well, and so far I am very happy with my cooking arrangements.
“Learning to cook with a very small wood burning camp stove should be fun and interesting as well, provided I am not so tired after walking all day that I really feel like cooking. Ramen noodles will probably be my go to quick meal for a while.”