Is it still possible to backpack through America? I'm becoming increasingly... depressed about my life and I would like to see many things that I have not. I get motion sick in cars, and I do not have a license, so I am left with either my feet or a bike.
I planned on working and saving up in order to buy the supplies I need, and I am curious if it would be better to simply walk or ride. I figure walking would be cheaper but not as effective. I am also a little worried about being hit by a car whilst biking and also not being able to take in as much, if that makes sense. I also thought about hiking the AP but I feel that it's so routine now and there isn't much wonder left beyond testing yourself.
America is pretty big so if you don't want to hitchhike, the bike is a better bet than feet, though people have walked it. Our very own Tourfat biked it with no preperation, and so can you.
Go for a weekend trip, then a week, get a feel for what it's like, and it won't be as scary.
Walking is a horrible idea unless you mean hitch hiking. Biking would be my choice. You can actually cover enough distance to see things and could carry a tent. Don't worry about dying as you are already dead inside. This is a chance to live. A once in a lifetime adventure. Make sure you sign up for food stamps so you can eat well and stay strong. En bocca Al lupo!
I spent a year biking around the US and finished up in September. I definitely recommend going by bicycle. You'll see more, you'll spend less time in boring areas, and you can carry more shit. I tell ya, nothing soothes the soul like biking through the Rockies.
>never long distance hiked or bike toured before
>the AT is "too routine".
Way to be a hipster faggot. You're fantasizing about a trip that will some how cure your depression, but here's the thing: No matter where you go, there you are.
How about you start out by hiking an overnight and slowly acquiring gear and developing hiking or touring as a long term hobby instead of fantasizing about some cure all magic into the wild cure-all bullshit.
Here's a rough idea:
Hammock + ropes
3 wool blankets + sleeping clothes
Tarp + Ground Sheet
bar of soap + toothbrush/paste
Fixed blade + Folding + Backup knife + Small axe
Matches + Lighters + Fire steel
fishing line + sewing kit + billy pot
5kg Food (2 days + 1 day)
10L Water (2 days + 1 day)
Shove that into a duffel bag, never walk more than 4 days away from civilization, replace the things that run out as they run out.
You would need to take more or less depending on how comfortable you are fishing or gathering plants for food, and sleeping in shitty weather.
Should take you about 600 days of walking, 300 days of working. If you don't work along the way to sustain yourself you will need at most $6000 USD, $500 on you at all times and up to $5500 in savings to draw on whenever you hit an ATM. If you stop in places and work for 1-2 weeks at a time, assuming cash in hand labor $50/day, you could get by with just your starting 500 and a backup of 500 in a bank account.
eg. walk for a month run out of money, stop and work, walk for a month.
Very low barrier of entry anon, you just need a decent pair of shoes and a desire to see the country you call home.
Question for you anons that say you've spent a year/months doing this. Do you quit whatever job you had to go do this? Did you quit/get fired and then just decide to do one of these longterm trips before you have to go back to another job? Did you just save up that much vacation time?
I considered trying this out two different times that I was fired, but it took me 9 months (that felt like 2 months) into a job to get me to feel the urge enough to quit and start the preparation process.
usually this stuff works because
a) you are not in your usual environment
b) you have daily activities you alone judge/grade
c) less or no people
d) no boss/family/neighbors/etc just you yourself to work shit out/destress/unload
e) camping has been going on for several hundred years now possible thousands, just remember who owns that land when you use it
Leave no trace is more about not pissing off locals and your future children than some moral standards.
I quit. I don't know anybody who can take six months unpaid leave, so I would imagine that everyone who thru-hikes is either temporarily or permanently unemployed, or possibly has non-employment income.
I know a guy that ended up building something stupid like two years of paid leave over his career because he had a scare with being sick and not having sick days, so he never took a day off again. Counted towards his retirement too as an extra two years with the company.
I bet he was too old to hitchhike across America when he got that, though.
The way I see it is that there won't be social security by the time I'd retire and the value of the dollar decreases by a factor of 50% every 23 years on average, so there's no sense in saving money. I'm going to end up working forever. I may as well just enjoy life as much as possible while I'm young, and start working again when I'm older.
That's even more reason for you to save money though. Good retirement options can grow at a rate of 10% annually (conservative estimate) so after a little over four years the 50% value depreciation that will occur in the next 23 years is completely negated, giving you nineteen years of pure growth. Additionally, the sooner you start investing money the more it will grow. I know that I'll be working when I'm older because I can't sit around and do nothing (but that may change as I grow older), but having the security to do what I want to do as a job and not what I need to do to pay the bills is great peace of mind.
Hey OP, I have a ton of experience with what your talking about. My father went on a hike on the appalachian trail. He loved the expiernce but he is a full on outdoorsman until he dies. He rather live in a shack by himself outside than in a city, that's just how he is. The trail does effect you physically and psychologicaly. You run on little food until the next drop and sweat a ton. Also being alone for so long made my father develop terrible anxiety in crowds and after he completed the trail he couldn't be with more than four people before going into an obvious panic attack. The trail really does seperate the weak from the strong and I am glad my father did it and I know it is probably his best memory. I plan on doing the trail soon after college so if you also do, I plan to see you there. If you have any questions I'd be glad to help.
>I have a ton of experience
It sounds like you should put your dad on the phone instead. How does having an /out/ dad with severe social anxiety give you a ton of experience?
Should we just make a transcendentalism general for this kinda faggotry? Every fucking time I go on the catalog there a thread about this very topic
It's possible, but way easier to hitch rides. You're gonna have a hard time walking through the desert, or trudging across Kansas. YOu really gotta know where you're gonna be able to get clean water next and how far to your next resupply. Carry some kind of phone with you. I carried an iPod Touch to get free wi-fi at mcdonalds, subway, etc.
Riding a bike would be much easier, both on supplies and the mental game. You can get hit by a car walking the same as you can on a bike. I wouldn't really recommend walking anywhere but along the roads. A lot of people get testy when you walk through their cattle grounds...