Sunday, January 07, 2018

5 Ways to go-fund Your Long Distance Hike

I just saw a post on a Facebook group of two hikers that set up a fundraiser on GoFundMe so folks can donate to their upcoming long distance hike. I must say, it raised my ire. To ask for money to fund a hike when there are people that need the cash--their house burned down, their loved ones are facing incurable illnesses, they have fallen on bad times—seems selfish and immature to me. It shows a lack of discipline, determination, and independence. It also shows a lack of planning for a venture.
A hike is not a necessity. It isn’t something one must do to survive. It is, for all intent and purpose, a trip for pleasure. Some say a vacation even. I myself waited thirty years for the funding and the right time to do my hike. 

But a long distance hike is a pricey adventure when one considers gear, travel and the hike itself. So what are some legitimate and worthy ways to raise the money you need to fulfill your hiking dream?
Here are some ideas.

1      Save. This is the most obvious but one that is overlooked. We are not a saving society but a spending society. It takes great patience, determination and discipline to set aside money. And that determination and discipline ultimately transfers to a hike itself. If you take the time to save and fund your hike, it will mean more to you anyway. So put away cash bit by bit over time. Say no to that caramel macchiato at Starbucks and put it in your account instead. Maybe don’t eat out. Look for other ways to cut money out of your daily/weekly/monthly budget and put it in a hiking savings account.

2       Work overtime at your present job. Or look for an extra job on the side like temporary work to make
some bucks. Seek extra opportunities. Even shovel snow off driveways, mow lawns, pet sit. Be disciplined.  

         3. Sell things. I have seen hikers sell used gear on Craigslist, used hiker sites, yard sales, etc. to raise money for their hikes. Or if you are creative and want to make items to sell on Etsy, etc. do that too.

          4. Look for ways to budget on your upcoming hike. There are blogs here on Blissful Hiking on how to hike on a budget. Realize right out that you may not be able to stay at the fancy places, take lots of zero days, or indulge in food and drink. Check out the blog on a hiker that did an AT hike on $1000. But that doesn’t mean you become a beggar on the trail either. Live within your means and the money you have. But realize you don’t need the most expensive or fanciest gear either. Look around for deals on your gear, clothing, etc.    

5.       Don’t go on your hike until you are financially ready. Too many strike out then find they are spending way too much and have to abandon their hike due to lack of funds. Don’t let this be you. Have the money you need before you go. The trails are not going anywhere. Save up and go when the timing is right. You’ll have a much better opportunity then to be successful in fulfilling your hiking dreams and goals.  And the hike will mean much more to you, too, when you can say – I hiked it AND I paid for it with hard work and determination.

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1 comment:

Mr. J said...

Good words LauraLee.