Hiking on a Budget

If one is a wilderness lover, a person who enjoys being outdoors and experiencing all that goes along with it, hiking is the utterly perfect activity. The very nature of it is cheap, designed for a frugal person on a budget. There are all sorts of places to go and things to see without having to empty one’s wallet in order to get there. This gets a bit harder if one lives in the city, but it is surprising how many good hiking trails there are close to urban centers, where just a short drive can make one feel as if they are in the middle of the wilderness. Many hiking areas are also government protected, and thus government funded. There are a plethora of opportunities to get out and experience the world in all its natural beauty, something that is new for many and well-loved by many more.

For starters, it’s all about finding the right place to go. Michigan’s Upper Peninsular has miles and miles of open land that is owned by the government, and places such as Tahquamenon Falls and Pictured Rocks have hiking trails that one can take for free. These are quite a drive to get to, so gas has to be factored in, but the actual hike itself is free. There scenery there is beautiful and will leave the hiker very satisfied with what they saw and experienced. The nice thing about hiking is just that open land is always so perfect to those who love the out of doors, and so a fancy destination is not required.

Another great spot to go is the Grand Canyon. The hike is free and there are even guided tours that are free, as the government pays for them. The guides are very knowledgeable and will tell the hikers many fascinating things about the canyon as they go down and come back up again. This is worth it for certain; many times attractions like the Grand Canyon are forgotten simply because they are so well-known. People are always looking for newer and greater ideas, and have a tendency to forget that some of the popular ones became that way for a reason. The Grand Canyon is certainly one of those attractions, and it is ideal for those not looking to spend a lot of money.

To save money on equipment, something that every frugal hiker is looking to do, buying second-hand is a great way to go. This works for the gear that needs to be of a high quality: boots and the like. Many people will sell good hiking boots online or through second-hand shops not because the gear is of a poor quality, but because they feel that they do not use it enough to justify owning it. This can be a goldmine to those looking to get into the activity, since hiking boots that have been used twice are almost as good as boots that have never been used, and they come at half the price.

A lot of the gear can be found at department stores. A specialty store will charge twice what a department store will for a simple t-shirt or a heavy jacket for cold weather hiking. Making use of these savings may not seem like a lot to start, but it all adds up. If one buys some good jeans, a jacket, and a number of t-shirts from a big department store instead of a specialty store, the price tag could be cut in half. Things of that nature do not need to be of any specific quality; the specialty stores just are able to raise the prices since the atmosphere in the store makes people feel they are getting better equipment.

Frugal hiking is very possible, since hiking is at the core a simple and inexpensive hobby. Travel costs are going to be the worst, so using frequent flier miles are carpooling with other hikers would save a lot of the money that the trip costs. From the beginning hiker to the most experienced, all can cut down on the price of hiking and concentrate more fully on having a great time out in the wilderness and enjoying nature.