What does a thru-hike cost?

Home / Planning / What does a thru-hike cost?

How much money you will be spending on your thru-hike is completely dependent on the trail you want to complete. A trail where you will be sleeping in huts will be more expensive compared to a trail where you are able to camp. Despite this, we can make some calculations to get an idea of the costs for thru-hiking. Which factors do we need to consider?

1. Accommodation
2. Food & drinks
3. Country & transportation
4. Equipment
5. Insurance, income, and other costs

Mountain hut or tent


Accommodation will, in most cases, have the most impact on your budget, especially when you will be sleeping in mountain huts, hostels, or hotels. Depending on the type of accommodation, prices vary between 20-60 euros per night. This increases the cost of your hike drastically when you are hiking for a longer period. These costs can be reduced when you plan to camp. In some countries, you are allowed to wild camp, which is free, whereas in other countries you need to stay at designated camping spots or campings where a fee is required. When you want to camp, you need to make sure that you have a suitable (lightweight) tent to reduce the load of your pack. In large(er) cities it might not be possible to camp, so therefore it is important to add some nights in a hostel or hotel when traveling through cities to your cost calculation. Some people chose to stick to campsites outside the city, but a nice warm shower every once in a while shouldn’t be underestimated!



Food & drinks

When hiking you will never have too much food or water. It is important to stay nourished and hydrated to make sure that your body is able to perform the required exercise. The costs for food and water will depend on the type of trail and accommodation. If you are camping and cooking your own meals, costs will be a lot lower compared to staying in mountain huts. Preparing your own meals will cost you approximately 10-15 euros per day, whereas meals in mountain huts will be 20-25 euros minimum. This does not include lunch, snacks, and possibly water, so therefore the end costs might be more around 30-35 euros per day.


Country & transportation

Costs will also depend on the country you want to visit. Some countries will be more expensive than others: New Zealand or Norway are generally more expensive than Eastern Europe or Asia. For some countries, you might need to arrange a visa or permits in order to hike a trail. Transportation costs to get to the start of the trail should not be forgotten. In some cases, it might be cheaper to book your flights early or to try to carpool with fellow hikers.



The right equipment is essential for every (thru)hike. If you do not have the right gear, you need to buy it. Maybe you need a new backpack or down sleeping bag? It helps to prepare a gear-list so you can see what you already have and what is missing. Maybe friends have some things you need and can borrow or maybe you can find some second-hand gear online. The right gear is not necessarily new gear! Another thing to remember is that when you are hiking for several months in a row, you might need to buy new shoes and socks multiple times.


Insurance, income, and other costs

Before starting your thru-hike, you should not forget ongoing costs in your calculation. This can include rent or mortgage, insurance, and other fixed costs. If traveling for a longer period of time, it will pay off to cancel any subscriptions you have. This will save you money in the long run. A additional cost is the correct travel insurance for long-distance hiking. And lastly, you need to calculate for the loss of income when hiking. Maybe you are taking a gap year or paid leave from work? Both are suitable options as long as you have calculated how they will work in your situation. Most important is to not let the costs get in your way. On the trail, you might be spending money instead of earning it, the new and life-changing experiences you will get out of it will be very rewarding!



When considering all the factors mentioned above, you are able to make a good estimation of the costs that are needed to complete the trial that you chose.
Lets take the Slovenian Mountain trail as an example:
During this thru hike you will be sleeping in mountain huts and you have the option to eat here as well. Total costs will be around 35 euro per day. If we add another 15 euro per day for lunch and snack, total costs will be 50 euro per day for accommodation and food. The trial will take approx. 35 days to complete, so 35 days x 50 euros = 1750 euros. In the case of traveling from the Netherlands, additional costs for equipment were 200 euros and transportation costs (train ticket + regional transportation) were another 250 euros. Insurance was 50 euros in total and a permit is not needed. Luckily, this trail can be completed in a normal amount of vacation days for Europeans, so you should not have to make extra arrangements for work. The completion of the Slovenian Mountain Trail will therefore cost around 2250 euros.

Happy trails!

Take also a look:

Discover the best timing.
Let’s get you started.
Think about your resupply strategy.


Help us built the community! 🧡

Join us on Instagram 🤝