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Tom Rankin
05-11-2006, 11:50 AM
It seems a lot of folks are talking about money on the board the last few weeks. Maybe it's gas prices, maybe something else.

Anyway, I used to think that hiking would be a cheap hobby. After all, you just go out and walk in the woods, right? Bzzzt! Wrong! I learned that having the right gear is essential and I'm constantly buying new stuff, upgrading, replacing worn out stuff, etc. And let's not forget the cost of gorp, gatorade, (beer! :D), hotels, gas, flat tires, tickets, tolls, oil changes, etc.

I haven't really added it up yet, so I don't know what my expenditures are on a yearly basis, but I'll bet it's pretty high! :eek:

dr_wu002
05-11-2006, 11:57 AM
It seems a lot of folks are talking about money on the board the last few weeks. Maybe it's gas prices, maybe something else.

Anyway, I used to think that hiking would be a cheap hobby. After all, you just go out and walk in the woods, right? Bzzzt! Wrong! I learned that having the right gear is essential and I'm constantly buying new stuff, upgrading, replacing worn out stuff, etc. And let's not forget the cost of gorp, gatorade, (beer! :D), hotels, gas, flat tires, tickets, tolls, oil changes, etc.

I haven't really added it up yet, so I don't know what my expenditures are on a yearly basis, but I'll bet it's pretty high! :eek:
I don't spend much on gear. I run things into the ground and then replace them. I don't even wash my hiking clothes (I leave them out in the rain instead) so I save on those costs! As far as food, well it's a sunk cost. I'd be eating lunch at home if I wasn't on the trail. Gas is about the only thing. Luckily my 8 year old, dog-vommit Saturn gets 40mpg.

-Dr. Wu

forty8
05-11-2006, 11:57 AM
I tend to spend very little on gear on a yearly basis; the stuff lasts a long time! The biggest expense in the last few years has been an annual hut to hut trip with the kids. But I do love the huts.

Tom Rankin
05-11-2006, 11:59 AM
I don't spend much on gear. I run things into the ground and then replace them. I don't even wash my hiking clothes (I leave them out in the rain instead) so I save on those costs! As far as food, well it's a sunk cost. I'd be eating lunch at home if I wasn't on the trail. Gas is about the only thing. Luckily my 8 year old, dog-vommit Saturn gets 40mpg. -Dr. Wu

I spend more on food because I usually end up eating out when I travel. I usually bring a cooler full of food too, to help keep the cost down.

Remind me never to drive anywhere with you! :eek:

The Sikes
05-11-2006, 12:04 PM
I too was under the illusion that hiking was inexpensive. :o but even though I try to be careful, everything I do is times 3 and the kids are growing constantly as much as I try not to think about that. I cut corners where I can. Gas has to be the worst part right now. Don't know how much I spend and don't think I really want to know. ;)

Tuco
05-11-2006, 12:07 PM
Need is a funny thing. I convince myself regularly that I need something new, but do I REALLY need it? More often than not, no. Buying gear can be fun- just like trip planning during times when one is not hiking.....

sli74
05-11-2006, 12:11 PM
I spend a LOT on hiking but mostly because I am a gearholic and am constantly upgrading or buying something different etc. Gas money and eating out money are the two most likely expenses that I would otherwise save if I had a hobby my parents' approved of . . . um . . . like stamp-collecting, a hobby truly suggested by my father to replace my existing "crazy hobby" :D

sli74

Kevin Rooney
05-11-2006, 12:12 PM
I don't spend too much on gear anymore, just the occasional replacement piece. What eats up my budget is airfare, car rentals, climbing permits, etc, plus the usual gas, motels, etc.

marty
05-11-2006, 12:19 PM
I noticed people responded in the poll that they spent over $3,000.00 per year. If I did that, my better half would have me looking like Tuco's avatar. ;)

cbcbd
05-11-2006, 12:24 PM
This and last year have been high spending years for me - new sports, higher involvement in existing sports - all require purchases of new or improved gear :D

Climbing gear, ice climbing gear, mountain bike (stolen last year, I need a new one ;) ), road bike, upgrade the kayak, etc... all that is easily close to $5000.

Previous years I did not spend this much, probably under $200.

dreamstream
05-11-2006, 12:52 PM
It often costs me less to be on the trail or river than work with the cost of commuting, parking and a couple lunches a week, though the multi sport thing hurts the pocket book.

Teli skiing, Cross country
MNT biking
Hiking
Bit of climbing (want to revive this hobby a bit)
Canoeing, Kayaking

Some gear crosses over, but a lot does not.

Some years get expensive, but I know people that drop 5-10k a year playing golf and 500$ a day to drive a big boat in the afternoon after the morning round of golf:confused: :eek: .

the starchild
05-11-2006, 12:58 PM
gas is a killer, especially these days.

Shewolf
05-11-2006, 01:11 PM
Gas money and eating out money are the two most likely expenses that I would otherwise save if I had a hobby my parents' approved of . . . um . . . like stamp-collecting, a hobby truly suggested by my father to replace my existing "crazy hobby" :D

sli74

Oh Sli you have got to be kidding... Your parents and my parents should get together...My folks aren't exactly keen on my hobby either...

I've cut down on my expenses greatly since moving to upstate NY...Gas is about my biggest expense now that most of my hiking trips are day trips.

deanmacg
05-11-2006, 01:27 PM
It`s amazing how much $$ you can free up for gear when you don`t drink.

MadRiver
05-11-2006, 01:28 PM
Iím pretty well set for gear for the time being (famous last words). Gas is probably the highest expenditure I have on a regular basis. Normally we drive from CT to NH every Friday night. 235 miles door to door. Because of the gas situation and a few other issues, we havenít been in NH for 5 weeks. We are heading up this weekend for a trip to Greenleaf, which will kickoff our spring hiking season. Iím hoping to work the streets during lunch so I can afford the gas.

adirobdack46r
05-11-2006, 03:21 PM
Gas and food are inevitables. As far as gear, I find that I will spend less money in the long run if when I want a new item I buy the one I really want no matter what the cost. It was hard to sell the wife on this but I have a history of buying a cheeper version of something to save money then upgrade several different times to end up with the one I should have bought in the first place. Wasting money like that makes hiking cost more then it should.

carole
05-11-2006, 03:41 PM
Gas :mad:

KayakDan
05-11-2006, 03:48 PM
It`s amazing how much $$ you can free up for gear when you don`t drink.

But...if I didn't drink..well what would make me wanna hike back out to the trailhead? :confused: :D

Jaytrek57
05-11-2006, 04:19 PM
I would say my biggest cost is airfare each year.

It is amazing how much drinking you can do if you don't buy gear. ;)

Peace.

trailbiscuit
05-11-2006, 04:22 PM
Last year, it cost us a whole house!!! :eek: :D ;)

http://homepage.mac.com/daniellenryan/AppalachianTrail/Personal22.html

una_dogger
05-11-2006, 06:22 PM
I run my gear into the ground.
Everything works, so I don't replace it.
It took me years to build up my equipment
and I did make some bad purchases along
the way.
I think my biggest outdoor expense is
gas for driving to trailheads!

Sabrina

TMax
05-11-2006, 06:25 PM
Well, it used to be a cheap past-time until I caught that virus talked about in Rankin's thread! But I got the 11k version (I guess I didn't tend to the 4K one and it got worse:o!) so now my treatment calls for regular trips out West. Damn, I better cure this virus soon before it turns into the 20K version:eek:!

chas
05-11-2006, 06:58 PM
This past year was an expensive one for me as I was getting back into hiking and needed to upgrade a bunch of older gear (ie; pack, tent, boots, that plus I'm somewhat of a gear freak. I don't like the gas prices but a tankful in my Honda gets me to and and back home from most places in the Whites and Maine. That's a worthwhile price for the fun of being up in the hills and woods, IMO.

Chas.

Kevin Rooney
05-11-2006, 08:49 PM
Speaking of gas prices - gas in Lincoln & Woodstock, NH is always at a premium. Good places to eat, but don't gas up! Don't know why but it seems like they're always .10-.15 higher/gallon.

When I lived in VT the Jiffy Mart in Wells River, or the Cumberland Farms in Woodsville were pretty close in price and reasonable. The Irving Station near the Fabyan doesn't soak you, either, which always surprised me due to the promixity of Bretton Woods. In Twin Mtn either station (Foster's or the one on the other side of the road whose name escapes me) were also about the same as Irving. But, I avoided the Mobil Station towards Bethelem due to high prices, but it's never open early/late anyway.

jrichard
05-11-2006, 09:18 PM
Winter and climbing gear can be expensive. But hey, it's pumping up the GDP! But that's another story.

For three season (sans ropes) use, I find gear can be very reasonable, if I keep it simple. Heck, like many here, I spend more on the gas then the gear.

Pete_Hickey
05-11-2006, 09:34 PM
Everybody talks about gas. See why I take a trip by bike?

Typically, when cycle to the Adirondacks for a hike, I'll spend about $5.00-7.00 for a burger and poutine. I think my least expensive trip was $1.25.

I do take a car. In fact, that's about the only thing I use my car for. I commute by bicycle, so my car sits in my driveway between trips.

jrichard
05-11-2006, 09:49 PM
I commute by bicycle, so my car sits in my driveway between trips.

Bikes have some costs (maintenance, parts), and one has to factor in the risk of an accident. But given that avatar, the cars probably give you a wide berth!

It's off-topic, but I'm curious. What sort of chain lube do you use? Keeping the chain lubed (but clean and dry too!) is one of my pet peeves for daily bike travel.

Pete_Hickey
05-12-2006, 07:19 AM
Of course, spending a lot of money is not necessary. My son, who spends 5 days a week ni the mountains, bought his entire summer wardrobe (except shoes & socks) for $15. Sure he looks like a used car salesman, with his plaid polyester pants.. or the bright blue ones.

Goodwill stores can provide things inexpensively.

For many people, 'shopping' is part of the fun of the sport.



It's off-topic, but I'm curious. What sort of chain lube do you use? Keeping the chain lubed (but clean and dry too!) is one of my pet peeves for daily bike travel.I have a good touring bike, an old 3-season commute bike, and a 'disposable' winter commute bike. I don't care about the clean&dry part. I don't like the daily maintenence winter riding entails, so I sacrifice ride quality. I buy inexpensive things at garage sales and ride them into the ground.

Lube: 10W30

chuck
05-12-2006, 08:02 AM
0$s got all my gear at the "Free Stuff" store on Downes Brook Trail.

Rick
05-12-2006, 08:30 AM
I absolutely love scouring sites for low cost gear, but I do spend a lot on gear every year - Probably $500. Thing is, though I usually sell it on EBay within 1-2 years and recoup at least 75% of the cost (especially if I bought it name brand on close-out). That is a big consideration in my being able to use "disposable" income for gear. That and the fact that I really have no other hobbies that are costly.
I drive a 4-year old Diesel Golf that gets 47-49 MPG so driving to the trail is not an issue.
All of my hiking clothes double as my regular clothes for when I am NOT in the office (otherwise Khakis and button-downs) so I really don't consider them an expense either. (Also, I am old enough so I don't care if I am fashionable or not. :D )
All-in-all I feel pretty lucky I don't have expensive hobbies, like my wife with her Creative Designs Scrapbooking - Ouch!!!! :)

Grumpy
05-12-2006, 09:02 AM
Being a daytripper and not a winter climbing sort, I donít spend a huge amount on gear. I buy good equipment and clothing, and most items last a long time before they become unserviceable. Much of my clothing doubles in ordinary daily service.

Right now and in recent years a major chunk of my hiking budget goes for transportation -- what with drastic increases in gasoline prices. Overnight lodging and vittles probably looms large in there, too.

My collection of maps and guidebooks grows each year, by compulsion. Need more be said about that?

One significant item in the annual budget is dues and contributions to organizations that look after my hiking interests (GMC, ADK and AHS are examples). I hold memberships in several, and ordinarily shell out a few hundred bucks a year to this account. Well worth it, in my opinion.

G.

pilgrim
05-12-2006, 09:18 AM
Gas, gas, gas.


Everybody talks about gas. See why I take a trip by bike?Yep. I found the TR you recently posted very interesting.


One significant item in the annual budget is dues and contributions to organizations that look after my hiking interests (GMC, ADK and AHS are examples). I hold memberships in several, and ordinarily shell out a few hundred bucks a year to this account.Hokey Smokes! That's a lot of clubs.

Grumpy
05-12-2006, 09:29 AM
Hokey Smokes! That's a lot of clubs.

The organizations I support with dues and contributions look after my hiking interests in different places I enjoy hiking.

Many of the hiking opportunities I've enjoyed in 50 years of tramping around were created and secured by organizations like the GMC and ADK well before I came along. Those organizations continue to look after hikers' interests (let's not debate the details of that in this thread). I am not an "active" member in the sense of being a big time participant in organized activites. You might call my dues and contributions "conscience money" -- some small thing given back in return for the joy I've derived. Maybe it will help secure the opportunity for others' joyful hiking in the future.

G.

MadRiver
05-12-2006, 09:47 AM
The organizations I support with dues and contributions look after my hiking interests in different places I enjoy hiking.

You might call my dues and contributions "conscience money" -- some small thing given back in return for the joy I've derived. Maybe it will help secure the opportunity for others' joyful hiking in the future.

G.

I too wish I had more discretionary funds to contribute to other hiking and environmental groups. As it stands, I contribute my time and energy as a trail maintainer, and pay dues to both the AMC and RMC. Iím also seriously considering joining the ATC as well.

jmegillon149
05-12-2006, 11:59 AM
not sure what the gas and food talies work out to, but otherwise, I proably spend in the low hundreds. This year my big purchase was $200 on snowshoes, then $30 or so each on rain pants and a hydration bladder. Other than that it was just some under $15 items: Glove liners, batteries, leki pole locks, stuff like that.

I have found that hiking is expensive in the "initial investment" department, but its not like a lot of things where you have to keep spending and spending. I admittedly have a few thousand dollars in gear, but when the shelf life of packs, tents, sleeping bags (had mine over half my life) are in the decade plus range, and boots are close to that(actually my dayhikers are about 12 and going strong, backpackers need replacing at 7), its not so bad. If I spend under $300 on gear a year its not too bad. As much as it adds up over time, consider the alternatives:

Skiing (my other beloved hobby), where you've got lift tickets which can reach hundreds a year(my threedom was over 300), golfing - which I don't want to think about, and even my gym membership is 300+ a year; hiking starts to look like it is in fact an inexpensive hobby afterall!

HikerAmiga
05-12-2006, 12:28 PM
How about this one? It's costing me completing a college degree!!

Since I started hiking seriously last summer, I put off taking courses each semester to instead do "an independent study of Mountaineering 101" or maybe by this time, it's already a higher level course!! :D

I think it's been worth it as I have a great instructor-hiking buddy! :)

Tom Rankin
05-12-2006, 01:02 PM
Gas, gas, gas.

Here's a link to a car that gets over 8,000 (sic!) MPG! :eek:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060512/wl_uk_afp/britainenvironment;_ylt=AldaVhNuuhZ7oyaTqo4g50YUew gF;_ylu=X3oDMTA3b3JuZGZhBHNlYwM3MjE-

Pete_Hickey
05-12-2006, 01:50 PM
Here's a link to a car that gets over 8,000 (sic!) MPG! :eek:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060512/wl_uk_afp/britainenvironment;_ylt=AldaVhNuuhZ7oyaTqo4g50YUew gF;_ylu=X3oDMTA3b3JuZGZhBHNlYwM3MjE-
Yeah, but that's a British Gallon. It's larger.

Lawn Sale
05-13-2006, 12:32 AM
I spend a couple of hundred a year on hiking, which includes the lawn sales, Goodwill, retail stores, and food. But, the gas just to get to the Whites is getting a little steep, so I'm planning longer trips less often and doing more cycling instead.

mavs00
05-13-2006, 02:31 AM
Hmmmmm, good question, lets see now

** Edit **

I spend alot, way more than your "bottom total"......

pedxing
05-14-2006, 07:29 PM
I had to admit with gas, food, shelter fees etc... I average well over the 300 mark. But when I consider that this includes a 2 - 3 week vacation, shorter backpack trips and day hikes, its not bad. When I figure in other days out, its probably 15 dollars a day for vacation expenses, including transportation?

Hey, if I compare that to a vacation in Europe - I'm in the black, saving big bucks by hiking. Yeah, that's it - I save so much backpacking that if I did it all the time, I'd be rich. So, all that gear I buy is really a sound investment (if only I could convince someone other than myself).

explorer13421
05-14-2006, 08:03 PM
I am not sure how much money we spend a year. My wife and I tend to buy medium to good quality stuff that is multipurpose. I found that she is more willing to get stuff after watching Hurricane Katrina and when I suggest something is a good idea cause we could use it after a natural catastrophe. We actually had a natural catastrophe (straight line wind, trees down all over, power out for 56 hours), and we used our car camping gear (Coleman stove and light). So, is the purchase for hiking or disaster preparedness?

I also consider hiking expenditures to be a little like health insurance. I have had two significant surgeries to repair consequences of my appendix that ruptured and healed over and open up blocked sinuses since I got serious about hiking in the Adirondacks. I have no doubt that I got back to work much earlier than I would have if I had not been doing the hiking.

So, regardless of the amount spent, excellent value is received for the expenditure for hiking and camping equipment.

That is my story and I am sticking to it.

cushetunk
05-14-2006, 08:27 PM
I think hiking is like many things that don't appear expensive until you tally up all your costs and finally look at the resulting large number.

The only way to give this number any meaning would be to take other things in your life and add them up in the same way. For example, how much do you spend on buying lunch at the deli instead of bringing it from home?

Or, compare it to your paycheck. Most people are making an annual income that seems impossibly large when compared to day to day expenses. (Although probably never as impossibly large as one might like.) That money is going to all sorts of things, and unless you are putting away lots of savings, all those 5 and 6 digit salaries are getting spent on something.

Anyway, to answer the question, I have no idea how much I spend hiking. But I enjoy it all the same!

spaddock
05-17-2006, 02:10 PM
But...if I didn't drink..well what would make me wanna hike back out to the trailhead? :confused: :D

Try the burger or pizza I dream about at the top! :cool:

-Shayne

chipc
05-17-2006, 03:05 PM
If I use the "I'm saving money by not vacationing in europe" rationalization and then also consider that I would probably donate to conservation/trail organizations anyway, I can come in at the 300-1000 range.

Gasoline is definitely my largest expense.

Heard about this car on On Point this morning on WBUR
http://www.commutercars.com/

If the battery range was little longer and USFS put in charging stations instead of bathrooms then I'd be set, provided I was hiking solo, without my dog and a small pack (and that part the car currently costing >100 K).

sapblatt
05-17-2006, 03:19 PM
If I could just live with what I have it could be a cheap hobby...but, I never used to hike in winter, but now I do...the big snowshoes I had were not good for alpine stuff...oh yeah, better get crampons...and damnit - you need an ice axe...
The thing that is getting me now is ultralight...just got a great pack that weighs ounces and will need to get a lighter sleeping bag, etc...
At least I do not usually eat out...and our cars get decent mileage...

Quietman
05-17-2006, 03:23 PM
Most of my gear has an "X" scrawled in black marker over the logo 'cause its from EMS and was a sample or return. The rest came from the recycling center. My most recent acquisition was a very nice daypack given to me by Carole.:)(THANKS!!):)
I'd be very surprised if I spend over $50/year on gear. Kids and college tuition will have me hiking in my skivvies before long, but I'll still be having fun.

LenDawg
05-17-2006, 03:27 PM
I'm hoping that since I am new to hiking, most of my costs are simply front-end "needed" items and that I will not need to buy so much this coming year. Wishful thinking, I guess. :rolleyes:

mudhook51
05-17-2006, 03:35 PM
It`s amazing how much $$ you can free up for gear when you don`t drink.
Is it more fun looking good with better gear, or looking like hell and enjoying beer? I now have alot of nice gear, but...
I find I always need new snow shoes or a lighter paddle or new gadget of sorts, I never get rid of anything so it can be expensive but whats money if you enjoy it? I'd say travel expenses are the biggy and getting bigger. glad I live in the mountains.

DougPaul
05-17-2006, 04:48 PM
I'm hoping that since I am new to hiking, most of my costs are simply front-end "needed" items and that I will not need to buy so much this coming year. Wishful thinking, I guess. :rolleyes:
Depends on how good you are at avoiding the tempatation to upgrade once you have a serviceable set of gear.

Doug

Woody
05-17-2006, 11:08 PM
I probably spend way too much. A lot of the expense is on rock and ice climbing for gear, guides, airfare. A new addiction to 14er's - which probably won't get too crazy with 5 more years of kid's college tuition to pay. :eek: Hiking in the Whites is isn't too bad except that I like to stop and eat after a hike at the Common Man on my way home. I think of it all as an investment in my health and sanity. Hiking, climbing and playing ice hockey year round keeps me in good shape. I hate going to the gym. I find it boring. My job can be pretty stressful and getting out into the mountains and trails helps to keep me focused. Thinking about what I spend would probably raise my blood pressure, so I'll just go out and hike and not add up the cost.

trailbiscuit
05-18-2006, 08:51 AM
My job can be pretty stressful and getting out into the mountains and trails helps to keep me focused.
Then think about what it "cost" if you didn't go out. That would be really get "expensive."

timmus
05-18-2006, 09:17 AM
I say the more someone is exposed to advertisement and marketing (and influenced by it), the more he's gonna spend on hiking gear. It's a fact, nothing except our own body is really essential to go for a walk. We're brainwashed by TNF, MH, EMS or whatever. All they want is the money in your wallet. I'm one of their thousand of victims, that's why I hate them.

What if all that money was used for the next VFTT gathering ? We could have everybody in Glacier Natl Park, with an amazing BBQ, tons of beer and a million gallons of ice cream.

onestep
05-18-2006, 10:53 AM
I just replaced my worn out (sole seperated) pair of NB 'runners at the Grand opening of their new outlet in Oxford ME. That, and 2 synthetic tee's and I'm good to go...

Onestep

Mike P.
05-20-2006, 02:37 AM
I voted in the 300- 1000 range but it's close to the 1000. Not much gear these daysbut I have bought a ton of it in years past. Now mostly gas, some hostels, parking & food.

Woody
05-20-2006, 04:22 PM
Trailbiscuit:

You are so right! I see so many guys my age with major health problems. Keep on hiking! :)

snowshoe
05-21-2006, 06:05 PM
I have to admit I spend more than I have to for hiking. I think my biggest problem is my other outdoor hobies, Climbing, Mt biking, XC skiing. fly fishing, and my water garden :eek: Those dont help. If I go to crazy I have to hear it from my wife. Thats why I wait until she buys something then I get what I need :D

Frosty
05-21-2006, 07:50 PM
I have to admit I spend more than I have to for hiking. I think my biggest problem is my other outdoor hobies, Climbing, Mt biking, XC skiing. fly fishing, and my water garden :eek: Those dont help. If I go to crazy I have to hear it from my wife. Thats why I wait until she buys something then I get what I need :DDon't wait for her to buy something. Be proactive. Any time she admires something, anything, any article of clothing, tell her she should get it. If she confesses that she spent a little much at the mall, be lavish, liberal, lofty, and loose with the loot. Tell her she deserves it. Tell her she deserves even more. Tell her how good she looks in new clothes, how she really needs to go to Tweeter and have that super CD changer installed in her car. Make sure that she is spending more than you are and your life will be filled with gear.