You may have your heart for the great outdoors. However, your time and budget can hinder you from doing what you love, like hiking.
After all, it requires you to bring the right gear like hiking poles and rain jackets. You may also need to book accommodation, depending on your hiking destination.
Luckily, there are budget-friendly ways that you can do to enjoy nature without shelling out a hefty amount.
Consider Joining a Group
There is beauty in hiking alone. But it is more cost-effective to hike with a group.
That’s because you can distribute the cost to all the members of the group. This can include gas, tourism courtesy fee, payment for the guide, and more.
However, you also need to consider the maximum capacity that a mountain can carry. Keep in mind that hiking camps can only accommodate a limited number of hikers.
This is to lessen the negative impact of hiking on the trail, the mountain, and the environment.
Look for Couchsurfing Friends
Aside from distributing the hiking cost, joining a group allows you to save from accommodation. One example is couchsurfing.
In a nutshell, couchsurfing is staying in a friend’s home using an improvised sleeping arrangement. This is ideal if you are hiking somewhere outside of your hometown.
However, we advise that you couch surf with your friends. This is to ensure your safety. Luckily, you can meet many people and many new friends when hiking.
Another thing you should keep in mind is to return the favor. Allow them to sleep in your place if they’re hiking nearby your location. More so, if you will be joining your friend’s hike,
Bring Your Own Food
Going on a hike does not necessarily mean you should spend money on expensive granola and protein bars.
Depending on the length of your hike, consider bringing your own food. Some examples are dried fruits and nuts, homemade protein bars, and hearty salad. These healthy and filling travel snacks are easy-to-make and light-to-carry.
Mind you, most of the time, healthy hiking snacks are available in your kitchen. So, skip the fancy food and pick a piece of apple.
You can also save money on food to share the responsibility with your hiking group. For example, someone will carry the cooking materials and utensils, while the rest can bring raw ingredients and instant food.
This is to ensure that you can eat something sumptuous without exceeding your bag’s weight limit.
Choose Water Over Energy Drinks
Another thing you should avoid for a budget-friendly hike is to bring energy drinks. For one, it is expensive and can only do so much for hydration. Opt for house water instead.
What’s important is you stay hydrated while hiking. And water can do the job.
But if you find water to be boring, an affordable alternative is coconut water. Just look for the most nutritious coconut water that you can afford.
Plan Your Meals
In relation to bringing your food and water, meal planning can help you save some money on food.
According to Roel Zerner, a little foresight and planning can cut down your cost when buying hiking supplies.
This means that if you are planning to hike, consider the length of time it will take to finish it. You should also take your accommodation into account.
That way, you will know how many meals you need to buy and prep. It is also helpful if you consider how you will carry your meals.
Moreover, you are ensuring that you will have a nutritious and filling hiking meal.
Skip the Fancy Gadgets
Sure, you will need to spend money on hiking gears, accommodation, and more. But that does not mean that you should go fancy.
Mind you; some fancy gadgets are less reliable than your paper maps and OG compass.
When bringing hiking gadgets, consider taking stuff that is meant for communication and security. Even better, bring a device that can do multiple things like your smartphone.
Handle Your Gear With Care
Sure, hiking gears can be expensive. But what’s cool about it is that it can be long-lasting. After all, you do not need to buy a dozen hiking poles or a new rain jacket every time you go on a hike.
Nonetheless, you should handle your hiking gears with care. Think of it as an investment.
They may come with a hefty price, but you can use them over and over. Plus, it ensures your health and safety while hiking. And the best thing that you can do is take care of your gear.
Visit the Thrift Store
You may need to spend money on your gears, but not as much with your hiking clothes.
You would be surprised at how you can find sturdy hiking clothes in a thrift store. This includes decent raincoats, backpacks, and thermal wear.
The best part? You can score these apparel items for less!
Even better, supporting thrift stores is supporting the circular economy. This means you are doing your part in saving the environment.
Book and Plan Early
If you are going on an international hike, it would be best to plan your tour early. This also includes booking your flight early.
Doing so allows you to checkout travel and accommodation discounts. Plus, you can file your vacation leave with ease.
PRO TIP: Consider traveling during your destination’s off-peak season, while ensuring your preferred trail is open for hikers. That way, you can maximize your travel savings.
Remember: There are Things That You Cannot Bargain
We understand that hiking can be an expensive endeavor. This is why we have come up with this money-saving guide.
But that does not give you the right to be a cheapskate.
Keep in mind that there are things that you cannot bargain for. For example, is the amount you pay for a hiking guide. When you impose a low fee, your guide may end up being uncooperative.
This can compromise your safety. So, you might as well save money for these kinds of things.
The key here is to plan for everything. That way, you will know when and where to cut costs and where you can indulge.