Time and Money, The Dilemma of Hiking

This post spawns from a conversation with co workers, a barber shop, and my growing awareness. Last week I went to Zion National Park and hiked the Narrows. (hopefully you checked out the post) Now rewind a few days before the trip and focus on a conversation my buddy had with his co-workers. My buddy was bragging that he was going to Zions which is not out of the ordinary for him. He in return was  called “rich” by his co-workers, implying that its expensive to go on such a trip.

Now fast forward to Thursday (July 5th) while I was sitting in a Great Clips. I was having a conversation with the lady cutting my hair and of course the topic of hiking came up. She had mentioned to me that she had never been to Zions and out of curiosity I asked her if the reason was time and money. Her response was, as I expected, yes. She felt like it was something that would take too much time and money to go do. And thus finally the growing awareness part. I feel like many people don’t go out and explore this wonderful world simply because they “don’t have the time or money.” Time to address this concern.

Introducing the “St. Andre Vacation,” the quick convenient way to spend time with family and friends through out the state of Utah! (or anywhere near you) Let me explain the idea. After choosing a destination that is both interesting and also a 1-2 day adventure, you set aside a weekend to go.

The preferred day to leave is Friday, but you can also leave early Saturday. Drive to your location; camp and hike till Saturday night or Sunday morning, then head back home. Now you have spent a weekend doing something interesting and unique without interfering with your work or even church schedule if you plan it right. This is how most of my trips have gone down. Now that time has been covered lets talk about money.

This is the next big dilemma of the deal. There are three categories of people on trips. 1- The Hotelors- those who only go places and stay in hotels. The challenge is that it’s expensive and sometimes you will be in some sketchy hotels and will not have quick available food. 2- The Cumpfy Camper- Those who camp with some comfort like air mattresses, stoves, ex. RV’s fall into this category, along with me on most occasions. Finally the Hard Cores- They use tents or the sky as their canopy with small inflatable hiking pads for some minor comfort. They cook with the camp fire and tin cans. They eat freeze dried meals only and they can handle almost every situation.

Each category has its own costs and advantages. Type one is often preferred by women, so its a great way to get your better half (if your a guy) to come out with you. But dirt cheap hotels are still $30+ more a night then simply camping at a campground. It also requires being near a city with places to eat out because your not bringing your own cooking equipment. Now tag on gas and your trip goes way up.

Type 3 requires the gear and since this post is focused towards the average person we are going to skip this. Now lets talk about type 2. Any one can be a type 2 camper. All it requires is a tent, a cooking device, this could be from the simple and cheep butane burners to the propane grill my dad has, and a sleeping bag.

Most of these things don’t cost too much, depending on the brand and quality. They are great gifts for dads on Christmas, birthdays, and fathers days. They can be acquired over time so you don’t have to drop $300 in one weekend. Or if you’re lucky you have a friend who already has the stuff so you don’t have to worry too much about it. Once you have them, every trip from that point will be relatively cheap. Gas will be the most expensive part. At Calf Creek we camped for free and payed 2 dollars for parking. I spent $25 to go into Zions to go to the Narrows, and stayed with a friend for free. The hot springs and Donut Falls only cost gas. Willis Creek only cost gas. Hopefully you are beginning to get my point, going to these locations doesn’t cost much. The most expensive part about the deal is getting the tools and the gas to go.

Since I mentioned a few things to buy I can list them

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Air Mattress (get what fits best for the situation)
  • Stove
  • Camping chairs
  • Head lamp
  • Knife. Always have a knife.

These are the things everyone needs to make any trip a successful, comfortable, and easy trip to anywhere.  How much you spend on food is up to you but overall I bet most trips can be accomplished for less then $100. For me when I was in college, I was shooting for about $30 or less. Like always adjust this according to your situation.


One response to “Time and Money, The Dilemma of Hiking

  1. Great job Nate,
    I enjoy your post a lot. Oh, yes, always be prepared with first aide stuff.
    accidents can happen to the best hikers..
    love you ,,,grandma

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