Hiking is a rewarding outdoor activity and one hiking trip per year is definitely worth it but if you haven’t booked a hiking trip yet because of your finances, you’re not alone. Nearly 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and it is only logical for hikers from this population to forego the trail of their dreams. The good news is, there are ways for you to finally go hiking without breaking the bank.

The Magic of Crowdfunding

Anyone can start a crowdfunding campaign and you can do this online through platforms the likes of Indiegogo and GoFundMe. According to Janel Healy, a hiker who raised $10,000 for her trip to the Appalachian Trail, crowdfunding your dream hike is possible. However, you would need to put in a lot of work before you launch the campaign to ensure that your community knows how important this hiking trip is to you.

If it doesn’t work out or you only raise a small portion of the amount you need, you can always look for other ways to help augment your budget. While taking out a personal loan is a big decision, borrowing money for travel is actually good for your finances, according to Jean Kim. M.D., a cultural psychology expert, because it will make you more productive after the trip. Dr. Kim adds that hiking and travel in general count as relevant experience as well which means that you can put your next hiking trip on your resume.

Look for Grants

If you have big hiking plans that involve going to exotic parts of the world, you can opt for climber or hiker grants. The Mountain Hardwear McNeill-Nott Award, for example, gives a grant of $5,000 each year to remember Karen McNeill’s and Susan Nott’s adventurous spirit. Another option is the Mazamas Alpine Adventure Grant. A grant for experienced climbers or hikers, it awards a whopping $20,000 to fund six to eight climbs a year. Television channels such as the BBC and National Geographic also have their own grants. BBC Journey of a Lifetime offers a yearly grant to storytellers while National Geographic has a Young Explorer Grant that targets applicants ages 18 to 25.

Exploring the great outdoors by going to different hiking trails around the world is an experience of a lifetime. Hiking offers scenic views but it offers more than that because the excitement that goes with it is unparalleled. For hikers, these alone should be reason enough for you to get the funding you need for your next hike.

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