How to Finance a Pacific Crest Trail Thru-Hike

One of life’s biggest stressors—both on and off the trail—is money. Don’t bring that stress with you during a thru-hike, or at least try to minimize the impact. Running out of money will end your adventure.

This most frequently asked question is also one of the hardest to answer. Running out of money is one of the leading reasons people cite for not completing the trail. But how much a thru-hike costs is hugely dependent on the choices you make both before and during your hike.

Gear choices, transportation to the trail, lodging options, and food choices can vary greatly in cost. Most hikers report about $1,000 per month of on-trail costs, and on average hikers take five to six months to hike the PCT, so it’s probably a good idea to save at least $5,000 to ensure you have enough money to complete the trail.

Keep in mind this is just an average. It’s not unheard of to spend over $10,000, nor is it unheard of to hike on under $3,000. And it’s a lot easier to spend more money than it is to spend less.

It is recommended you make and follow a budget for your hike. This way, no matter what you’ve saved, you have a plan to make your money last.

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