Budget and Actual trail spend Appalachian Trail 2018


 Appalachian Trail  2018 – Draft Budget / Equipment
Item Quant Cost
Flights –  To Atlanta £800
Flights –  Boston to  Heathrow
Travel Insurance £280
Travel to and from trail:
Shuttle Trail to Town £100
Shuttle  to Airport £80
Equipment: New 2018  £1074
Clothing : New 2018  £186
Maps Guides £77
Sub Total £2697.00
Hiking  Costs  (trail Costs)
Mobile phone costs  $50 month 6 months $300
Town accommodation @ $75 visit 25 Towns $1875.00
Food per day  ($15)   180 days $2,700.00
Replacement  Kit  $800
Resupply Postage  – USPS  Mail $200
Other Travel, Bus taxi $100
Subtotal $5975.00
 Pound £4475.27
 Grand Total to  hike the AT  in 2018 £7,072.27


 This is my Draft Budget for my 2018 hike

I have based this on a 6 month hike (180 days) so if you hike faster, your hike will be in theory cheaper 


This again is unknown and won’t be finalized to the last minutes, public transport, Bus train normally works out cheaper that private shuttles unless you’re in a group 


Most  of  the  kit  I still have  from my  last  hike ,  But  several pieces I wish  to  change  a different  tent , a smaller  lighter pad  etc.  so  Also  I have purchased a PLB   which was an item I could  not  afford  before


Again I have a few items although most of it I sent to a charity shop in Canada


Trail life itself is cheap. All you really need is food (and maybe fuel). Depending on your food choices and local prices, you can expect to spend around $10-$15 per day on food. Some towns are quite expensive, so it’s possible to spend up to $20 per day. Let’s use $15 per day as an average. For a 5 month hike (150 days), that totals to $2,250. For a 6 month hike (180 days) that totals $2,700.

Postage Costs

These are a little unknown I am using a bounce box   and have allowed $200
Also as I am from the UK I am a tourist and like to send postcards

Town Costs

Towns are the places that suck your money. Restaurants are irresistible. Beer is tempting. A warm bed can feel priceless. There are plenty of ways to save money in town, and you can save even more money by avoiding town altogether, but for budgeting purposes, estimate a reasonable amount of town days and multiply that number by $50-$75. This should allow for enough money to split a hotel room or pay for a hostel, plus a couple of meals and some beer. For planning and budgeting purposes, let’s plan for one town day per week. That’s 25 town days for a 6 month hike ($1250-$1,875), or 21 for a 5 month hike ($1,050-$1,575). You could certainly take far fewer town days, but plenty of people do more.

Replacement costs

Budgeted $800 (This  includes  3  pairs of  shoes )

Saving Money 

Hiking faster is the most effective way to save money. If you finish the trail a month faster than you planned, that’s a month of of trail costs you just saved yourself. You don’t have to be a fast hiker to hike more miles, you just have to hike a little longer. In the middle of summertime, it’s light before 6am and not dark until well after 9pm. Do that extra mile or three. It adds up. Once you have your trail legs, those extra miles don’t require much extra effort.

Actual On Trail Costs

Category Actual Cost Budget Diff
Transport 329 280 -49
Phone 300 300
Postage 332 200 -132
Accommodation /camping /hostel 1942 1875 -67
Food Resupply 1666 * *
Town food meals 1970 * *
Beer 867 *
Replacement Kit 722 800 =78
Gas/ Fuel 72
Laundry 22
Total (dollars) 8222.3

1, Transport
On budget

2, Postage
This was for bounce boxes,  but I did ship a box back to the uk costing me $80 !!

My Budget was $1875  I spent $67 dollars more  which wasn’t a huge overspend.
The total budget could easily be halved  by using hotels less or by splitting rooms  with over hikers and or avoiding hostels and camp,

4,Food Costs
My original Budget  was $2700 based on a 180-day hike, which equalled  $15 a day
this was  under budgeted and didn’t consider when eating out that there was an expectation to leave  at least a 20% tip, And some states were  very expensive .
My hiking duration was 160 day   and the actual food cost was $3636 over 160 days  equals  $22.75 per day  which would be better to budget at $25 a day

Also, I’m a big beer drinker and my beer spend  was $867 divided over 5 months  =$173 a month
this could be easily halved by drinking local beer rather than craft Ale  (but I like craft Ale )
There were far more towns on the Appalachian trail,  so I did overspend .
But you don’t have too!