Outdoor Excursions – Forcing Myself Outside on the Cheap

17 Mar

My husband and I really enjoy hiking. I love torturing myself and whining about it most of the time. I enjoy the challenge and feel accomplished when we complete a trail that is at least moderately difficult. The only problem we have is that since we are city-dwellers, we have to drive at least two hours to hike anywhere with any kind of elevation. I really would like to hike more and make it a regular thing so I have tried to put some things into place that will push me into hiking more often.

(1) I purchased a parking pass that allows for entry into any of the parks listed on their site, which includes most of the state parks. Given that the pass cost $65 and that entry into any of these parks costs $8/day, I will have to go at least eight times to almost break even.  I can start using this pass April 1st so hopefully I can make it somewhere within that first week.

(2) I let friends know that we plan on going hiking. Sometimes it’s easier to get yourself to go somewhere if you have other people involved. Now the frugal part of me would love if they gave us some gas money or offered to pick up some snacks but the logical part of my brain reminds me that I am inviting them as guests.

(3) We are planning to make one of our weeks of vacation an outdoors trip around the state. During this week, we plan on hitting up as many state parks as we possibly can within reason. I’ll actually be writing about this later when I talk about planning a cheap vacation.

For me, this is a type of cheap fun. At $4/person, my husband and I can enjoy one of the beautiful state parks for the entire day. The only downfalls and added expenses, which can be quite large, are gas and tolls. Since we are quite a distance from any real hiking areas, it really drives the cost of an outdoor excursion up quite a bit. We actually try to take routes that involve less tolls and they are usually only a difference of about five or ten minutes in driving time. We have some pretty expensive tolls in our area so the additional five or ten minutes usually makes sense. In terms of gas, there’s not really much we can do about that. The only thing we try to do is make our way into the adjacent state, since that is part of our route, and purchase gas there; it’s always cheaper by $0.20-0.30/gallon.

Does anyone else go hiking? What do you guys do for fun to enjoy great outdoors? You know, unless you’re a shut-in.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: