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High gas prices keep backpackers away?

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High gas prices keep backpackers away?

Postby maverick » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:02 pm

Will you be one of those backpackers?
As prices inch up toward the $4/Gal mark again, and there talking about $5/Gal by
the summer.
At what price will you have to start considering dropping a trip or two because of
affordability?
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Re: High gas prices keep backpackers away?

Postby gary c. » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:07 pm

Gas prices won't make any difference on my main trips but I was planning on some quick up and back weekenders that may not happen. It will probably have more effect on things like stopping to eat, cheap fast food instead of good sit-down meals and maybe campgrounds instead of hotels the night before picking up the permit.
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Re: High gas prices keep backpackers away?

Postby oldranger » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:48 pm

I am lucky right now so increased cost of gas will not impact me. About 60% of our miles are in a Prius. The other 40% in the 4 Runner. A lot of my winter skiing involves ride sharing with other old farts.

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Re: High gas prices keep backpackers away?

Postby Tom » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:33 pm

My old Honda only gets 36 miles to the gallon...I don't know what I will do.

Oh, wait. I would sell my soul to get to the traiheads so gas doesn't make a difference.

I would discourage everyone else from paying too much for gas. We wouldn't want to crowd the trailheads with energy consuming vehicles and overload the trail systems that I use.

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Re: High gas prices keep backpackers away?

Postby rlown » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:08 pm

i burn diesel, so i'm at the $4/gallon already. I can generally turn a trip on a tank and a half (unfortunately big tank), and regardless of price, I'm going. As I usually go with others, the cost is pretty reasonable when shared.
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Re: High gas prices keep backpackers away?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:30 pm

I am very sensitive to gas prices. I do not go out less, but do trips with shorter drives and back up two trips without coming back home each time. I also try to find someone to go with as splitting the gas costs helps a lot! When gas prices are very high I also stay in the Sierra instead of doing trips in the Rockies.
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Re: High gas prices keep backpackers away?

Postby Hetchy » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:43 pm

I am putting my pickup into storage for the summer.
At zero miles per month I will be getting better mileage than any prius.. for once.
Covering 2,175 miles on foot and wont spend a single penny on gas.
Of course there is the small matter of flying in a 727 jet plane for 3,000 miles to and from
the trail head.. but i am "jetpooling" with 100 total strangers and their no-doubt screaming children.
I feel sorry for my buddies stuck here working in the SF Bay area. All of the little contractors that are barely holding their own against the undocumented workforce that pays no taxes or insurance. Now fuel goes up another buck and they can barely afford to idle their work trucks to the job site. These are folks that NEED a truck to carry their tools or they don't get hired.
It's brutal here. ](*,)
Most of my friends in the plumbing and electrical trades are going belly-up and losing their homes.
I have decided to keep hiking.
What else can I do?
Stay here and be pissed off without work and pay $5 a gallon for gas rolling around trying to find the one crappy(sorry plumbing humor) plumbing job and "undocumented worker" hasn't taken?
If you can't earn money you might as well hike. $3,000 bucks makes for an easy thru hike of 5 months or more. No rent, gas, or bills to pay. Just hiking.
It's okay to hate me. I am hiker trash afterall.
AT, here I come! :D
You can make more money, but you can't make more time.
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Re: High gas prices keep backpackers away?

Postby oldranger » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:23 am

Hetchy

Hate you? Why? I have a firm belief that if you can you should retire when young enough to really enjoy it. While your thing is not the same as mine, in late 1979 I made a similar decision and quit my job so I could live in the Sierra. Did so 5 years full time then returned for the summer the next 5 before family responsibilities caught up with me. In 98 I started to play again full time but live in Oregon and try and get several weeks in the Sierra every summer.

No I think more of our friends here are likely to be envious because you have had the opportunity to choose to do what you are doing in tough times. Many of our friends here do not have that opportunity and have, as you know, a tough time making ends meet and getting time in the Sierra. Go for it!

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Re: High gas prices keep backpackers away?

Postby Cross Country » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:00 am

Hmmm, high gas prices. I wonder what causes that? I have a degree in Econ and believe I know the answer, but almost no one on HST wants to here it. Why do you think the prices are high?
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Re: High gas prices keep backpackers away?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:23 pm

Ok. I probably will get slammed - but honestly, I do not think gas prices are that high. Compare to paying $1 for a quart of bottled water. Now what technology does it take to simply filter and bottle water? I am a geologist and worked many years in mining and drilling. It actually surprises me that gas is cheap as it is. It takes lots of exploration dollars and production technology to produce gasoline. We are "high-grading", living off cheap foreign oil. But it is not cheap because we have to pay the costs of fighting wars to keep the oil flowing, all subsidized by our tax dollars and deficit spending - fighting a war "off the books". How many people think we would actually be in the middle east if it were not for oil. I also know human nature (mine included). Real conservation only occurs when it hurts our pocketbook enough.

Another interesting point. I find that all that running around in town - grocery store, etc. actually uses more gas than my backpack trips. And if you commute to work, this adds up quickly. Car pool to work and you will have lots of gas for backpacking!
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Re: High gas prices keep backpackers away?

Postby rlown » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:10 pm

Doubt you'd get slammed for the observation, WD. It's all true. I don't know how truckers afford it, but obviously, the cost get's passed along.

Not backpacking is never an option, for gas reasons..
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Re: High gas prices keep backpackers away?

Postby Cross Country » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:25 pm

riown, I agree. It's almost never a good reason. I liked WD's observations about war too.
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