Well, I guess I have officially begun the research.
I kept telling myself that I could actually do this “thing.” But I could see a couple of problems, right off the bat.
What do I do about my job? Do I just quit? What about my debt? I still have to pay off my car, and some of my credit cards. And I had already read somewhere that the average hiker spends between $2k and $8k, about $5k per person. WHAT? I do not have that kind of money just lying around. Plus, what dangers are there as a woman? Especially, if I choose to go alone?
I made a conscious decision this year to spend money on adventures. I mean, I went on a roadtrip in October last year, to SF at the end of the year, Arizona a couple of times, a TobyMac concert, Disneyland pass, Washington State, and freaking Havasupai! I have also spent money on a hotel near the beach a couple of times, and it has been an overall good time. But I did spend a lot of money. For Havasupai, I think it was at least around $1,000 because I did end up buying all my own stuff instead of borrowing it. I knew that was what the year was going to hold, and that I would then pause and start working on my debt.
Now what do I do?
As far as my job, T actually told me that I could request a “personal” LOA. How does that work? I am not sure. I actually need to inquire to see if I could actually do that as a per diem employee, and for how long. The next question would be, what would I do after if I lost my job? and what about my school options? I would have to still look for alternative options and if i can wait another year off of school to pursue them.
The biggest thing on my mind was the money. I mean, worst came to worst, I lose my job and I have to come back to school to retake some classes to continue my education. But I think at that point, it will be worth it. However, I still needed to have some type of financial plan in order to not completely screw myself. I do not want to burden my parents with it anyway.
So I began researching what I may need. I began reading a lot of blogs which have been giving me a lot of insight. For instance, I began by printing out a list of gear that this gentlemen recommended. One look at it and I was instantly overwhelmed. I did a lot of research for my Havasupai trip, but I could not recognize ONE brand name of equipment that he suggested and had really no idea what he was talking about when it came to logistic. So I put THAT list away for a bit.
Another gal decided she would hike the PCT after only one month since she decided. She said she was a bit OCD, and therefore planned EVERYTHING. All her meal packages, I believe there were at least 12 of them, or 14, plus her itinerary. However, she learned that the most money spent was on food while on the trail and that she wished she had not prepared as many boxes for herself as she did.
Same with another guy. He mentioned that he created this brilliant excel worksheet that had all the data, locations, information, and list of the things that need to be mailed to him and by when. What he did not realize then was that on the trail he would not want a lot of those things. He said he would call his point person and change almost the entire list of box because the things he needed and wanted changed.
I also read that you definitely want to pack yourself extra socks each time you send yourself a box. They are more of a necessity than a luxury and will definitely come in handy. Plus, brings LOTS OF CHOCOLATE. I will still lose weight if I stuffed my face.
In conclusion, I decided, I will not spend so much food before my hike and on meal drops. Except for really big things, like a bear canister or other things I have yet to discover. I will anticipate spending a lot of money on food, so I will try to cut back on things I may not need pre-hike so that I am not overwhelmed with the amount of money I have already spent, while on trail.
There is STILL so much left to learn about food for a through hike, especially for a time during the High Sierras, where EVERYTHING has to fit with that small heavy little bear can. Which brings up another question? What size to buy? lol.
This is only the beginning. More to come soon.