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We have a question about the cost of through-hiking the AT and another about the cost of through hiking the CDT but not one about the PCT which is the other big trail in the United States.

What is the estimated cost of through-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (it's going to vary, but even ranges would be useful).

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Summary:

  • Average monthly on-trail cost: $1,000
  • Up-front gear costs: A complete PCT setup can be purchased for anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on quality level, pre-owned vs new, durability, and weight.

Long form answer:

The "average" figure usually provided by experienced thruhikers as a guideline for on-trail PCT expenses by is approx. $1,000 per month, and most hikers need about 5 months to get from Mexico to Canada.

The weather window for southbounders (Canada to Mexico) is shorter, and most sobo's try to finish in less than 5 months.

Many hikers find that it's not particularly difficult to hike the PCT on less than $1,000 / month, and (obviously) it's quite easy to spend significantly more.

This figure is for on-trail expenses only -- food resupply, town expenses such as restaurants, lodging, and laundry, and perhaps occasional gear repairs -- and does not factor in up-front costs for purchasing gear (tent, pack, sleeping bag/quilt, etc). A complete, very high quality ultralight setup for the PCT can be purchased, new, for less than $2,500.

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