Budget Hiking: Your Guide to Hiking on a Tight Budget

There is an age old truism in outdoor life that “you get what you pay for”. It’s a little more complicated than that. Generally, when we buy gear, we budget to buy what we need. We focus on what we need to do the job without taking into account what we might want. It seems prudent to first choose the right gear for the job. For example, it may be sensible to only buy boots with good tread, and a backpack with good features. You may need a specific stove that is a few hundred pounds, but will last for years. Or, your day pack may be expensive, but it’s practical, versatile and likely to perform for the duration of the hiking trip, and you’ll use it often. In the case of getting the right kit for the job, what you need to do is shop like a student, never quite having enough money to

Why hike?

Hiking has great health benefits, in terms of well being and can also have great environmental benefits such as absorbing carbon dioxide from the air. Some of the best and most beautiful hikes I have experienced have been through the US as they have amazing public access trails and great trails groups to join. Plus who doesn’t want to see more of the earth? When was the last time you were able to spend a weekend doing something adventurous and exciting with your friends or family? Have you seen places you never knew existed? Hiking has the power to bring you closer to the elements of the planet and make you a better person overall. What’s the goal of the hike? The goal of the hike is simple. Take a walk, take a shower, eat lunch or not.

What's a budget hike?

Well hiking is hard work and what it can cost can often exceed the already hefty price tag. All told, to backpack from point A to point B, whether the distance is very short or long, can easily cost hundreds of pounds. For instance, a one-way road walk in one of the local Glasgow hiking routes is estimated to be anywhere from £30-75 GBP one way. The average cost of a one-way hike up north like evermore is £120-200 GBP (depending on distance and the season). Depending on the trail you go on this number can easily be multiplied. Your best bet is to plan ahead and stock up on inexpensive gear. So how do you go hiking without breaking the bank? Pre-trip it: Learn how to identify good gear before you start. Learn to read reviews. Learn to do math. Gear and Fuel: What's the best gear? What's the best fuel?

Choosing a hiking trail and preparing for it

This is probably one of the hardest part of hiking. Everything needs to line up just right and align with what is in the budget. And before we dive into it let’s get to the adventure and start in the right direction. What are we trying to hike? One of the most important thing to consider, we want to be able to put more effort into our trails then we will out of the city. If you are trying to find a way to get you or your family outdoors then the type of hike you want to be on will be determined by what is in your budget. Here are some “must have” items to get you started. Every backpacker wants a quality backpacker tent, this is what it takes to get you out camping at decent prices. The most affordable spot for a good quality model is at REI.

Budgeting for Hiking

Fancy gear travel, gas/fuel for hiking, and guide book costs all add up and can quickly turn the idea of an affordable hiking trip into a vacation in hell. However with a few adjustments, some mild research, and some informed choices you can still get a great hike on a budget. A hiking backpack Make no mistake, Hiking backpacks are one of the most essential parts of your gear list. I recommend spending a few pounds more and buy a top of the line quality , but even a cheap backpack will do the job to an extent should you be on a tight budget. Of course one of the first purchases you’ll need to make once you start your adventure is a backpack. You need one of these. Your Guide To Chooseing The Right backpack For Hiking on a budget is here.

Gear, Fuel, and Travel Costs

Over time hiking in places like loch lomond and up north of scotland, I’ve tried to not use the three big expenses that you could buy yourself, travel/fuel costs and gear expenses. When you have to buy all your gear and travel for camping, you don’t have time for anything else. Traveling around in the backcountry is fun, but it’s not always worth breaking the bank. Unless you have a lot of money and you have every intention of living off the land. In those cases hiking on your own, as with hiking on public lands, can be a fun experience. The last time I visited stirling was last week and I hiked 12miles on the third north reseviour along with a night camping, I travelled by car which was 80 mile round trip that alone took a fair few quid never mind food and other nessesites .

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