Is Hiking Expensive? – (How Much Do I Need To Start?)

Many people tend to ask a lot of questions at the beginning of their hiking journey, and one of that questions is very accurate which is “Is Hiking expensive?”. How can you think about starting something without knowing the real price of it? You can be sure that it will cost you your free time, and effort but money is often a barrier that isn’t always easy to overcome. That’s why we have created this guide to explain to you all the necessary items and what expenses you have to know about.

Let’s start with answering the main title’s questions “Is hiking expensive?” fortunately for new hikers it is one of the cheapest sports activities to do, so you don’t need to spend a lot of money to start your first hike, but there are some items that are considered to be a necessary as a bare minimum and items that are just good to have, and we will tell you about both types, but let’s start with necessary items.

What is required for hiking?

Hiking is a sport where you don’t need a lot to start, and even most of those items you can already have in your home, so look for them before you will try to buy them online or in your local store. The items required for hiking with their approximate price are:

  • Shoes – Even cheap runners will be enough for your first hiking trip, but they are not the best option, so be aware that a longer hike can make you feel uncomfortable and the lack of a good sole will make it even harder to walk. So try to pick the shoes that have a good trekking sole, and will protect you from the water, also make sure that you can walk with them a lot without feeling uncomfortable. The best option would be to buy trekking shoes but more on that later. The approximate price for cheap shoes is around 40 USD.
  • Warm clothes – You don’t even need to look too much to find something that can warm you up. A worn-out hoodie or an old scarf can keep you warm. Everyone has something in their wardrobe that can be used for that, so we won’t add the price for it, because we are sure that you already have something like that.
  • Jacket – A good jacket should protect you from the wind, cold, and even water, and those aspects of your jacket will be the most desirable. Most jackets for autumn can protect you from all those things but if you need to buy a new one the cost of a cheap one can be around 60 USD.
  • Long socks – People often underestimate good long socks, but they are very important because they are protecting your feet from getting chafed. While you are hiking your feet are doing thousands of movements and during that process, the feet inside your shoes will move a bit, and that can lead your skin to chafe, that’s why you should wear a sock that reaches taller than your shoe because that will prevent feet and the lower parts of your legs from chafing. Also, make sure to buy thick socks just to make a bit more space for your feet inside the shoes. The approximate price for a pair of long socks is around 2 USD.
  • Backpack – Hiking without a backpack is a big mistake. You need an item to store all of your hiking gear like food, water, and even a medkit. Sometimes the wheater will surprise you, and carrying clothes for change or a jacket to protect you from the rain can be a good idea. You can’t carry everything in your pockets, that’s why an old backpack will be good enough even if it’s worn out, but if you would like to buy a new one you will have to pay at least 20 USD.
Is hiking expensive?
Is hiking expensive?

The best thing about all those items above is that you are most likely have all of them near you at your home, and you don’t need to buy new things for hiking.

What is good to have for hiking?

We talked a bit about the minimum requirements for hiking, but now we will focus on items that can improve your hiking trips. Those items will give you additional protection or make your hikes easier, and some can even make you faster, so let’s find out what items are good to have for hiking:

  • Trekking shoes – No matter the terrain that you are going to hike on, you will need a pair of solid boots to protect your feet from the ground, keep them warm, and protect them from water. Also, they need to be comfortable for a few miles hike. Previously we said a few things about shoes, but trekking shoes are a few leagues above normal shoes. The approximate price for them can be around 80 USD which is double the price for normal sports shoes.
  • Trekking poles – Poles are very common in the hiking community, but they are not necessary. They will give you additional power and endurance when walking uphill, increase speed and protect your knees. Cheap trekking poles are around 100 USD.
  • Hat – People tend to forget how too much of the sun can be dangerous for us. You need to protect your head from the sun, especially while hiking in an open space without too much of a shade to hide. We most likely have a hat that will be gout for your next hiking trip, and if not then the price of a trekking hat will be around 5 USD.
  • Sunglasses – Your eyes can be endangered by the sun, as much as your head. Also, it is hard to hike when there is the sun in front of you, so for your own comfort and safety, you should bring sunglasses with you. You can find cheap sunglasses for around 10 USD.
Trekking poles
Trekking poles

As we can see there are a lot of items that you can already have, but things specially designed for hiking like trekking shoes or trekking poles are the most expensive items on our list, that’s why you should focus on the basic required items for hiking, and buy more expensive ones only if you will know that you are going to hike more often.

Is 100 USD enough to start hiking?

If you are not sure if you can afford hiking then don’t worry because there is a high chance that you won’t need to pay even a penny on your hiking gear because if you will start to look around your home then you will find a lot of items that you can use for hiking.

Is 100 USD enough to start hiking?
Is 100 USD enough to start hiking?

Even if you think about spending money on additional gear, you should think about the transport for your hikes. If you really have a small budget like 100 USD then the cost of traveling, food, and water should be your priority. Anyway, 100 USD is more than enough to start your hiking journey.

In summary – Is Hiking expensive?

Hiking is not expensive because most of the items required for hiking you already have in your home, but if you would like to buy specific gear for hiking like trekking poles or trekking shoes you should prepare at least 200 USD, but we highly recommend you abstain from additional purchases until you will be sure that hiking is the thing that you will do at least few times in a year.

If you are not sure that you will like hiking, then you should check out our new article about “Does Hiking Get Boring? – (How Long Will It Last)” That will give you the overall idea about hiking and if you are really suited for it, so make sure to check it out!