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Backpacking Success!

September 23, 2008

I hiked 16 miles this past weekend, and now that it is Tuesday, the soreness has subsided.  We had to carry all of the water we needed, because we heard there wasn’t any available along the way (not true!).

It wasn’t that cheap either, which was the whole idea of this backpacking hobby.  Still, it was very rewarding to reach the top.  (For the curious, we went up to San Jacinto Peak via the Fuller Ridge trail, and camped over night.)    It was so exhausting, but we had a really good time.  The thing I get most excited about is the stars.  They remind me of summer nights back home in the Midwest.  You just don’t see the same night skies in the city.  I might have been more impressed with the lit sky than the summit!

Here’s the estimated cost breakdown:

  • Gas:  $50
  • Adventure pass:  $30 (lasts a year, good for parking in many nearby state parks )
  • Food: $40 (estimated).  It may have been a little less, but we did get a lot of lightweight high calorie stuff.  Those sports bars aren’t cheap, and we also got some dried fruit and jerky.  We had leftovers, but you have to bring extra.
  • Socks: $15, I needed another pair of wool socks
  • Disposable Camera:  $10 (i forgot my memory card.  Dumb!)

That is about $100 in things that will not be reused (gas, camera, food), which isn’t that bad after all since T paid for half.  It isn’t that bad, but I’m not making my budget this month, even though I suspended my Roth IRA contribution.  That is sad!  I’ve given up, though I’m still watching my spending.  Spending seems much more normal now, and I’m optimistic for October.

I determined definitely need insoles for my hiking boots (maybe my running ones will fit as well).  My knee was acting up big time on the steep downhill switchbacks.  I’m glad that I know the reason (overpronation) and a likely fix (insoles).  I think I’ll switch health plans next year and try to see an official foot doctor about it, but it is prohibitively expensive on my current plan.  For now, store bought insoles should suffice.  Maybe I should be wearing them every day, but I don’t do that much walking at work.

Economy side note:
This see-saw market makes me nervous, as does the bailout plan.  This weekend on APM’s Marketplace Money, John Bogle was interviewed.  While he said we shouldn’t be panicking, he also said “if you aren’t worried, you aren’t paying attention.”  I almost wish I wasn’t paying attention!  By the way, NPR has a new Planet Money podcast, which attempts to help us make sense of what is going on in Washington and on Wall Street.  Highly recommended.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 23, 2008 3:00 pm

    Mr finance and I love hiking especially in Colorado.I can not convince him to hike in CA because he believes we live in desert here which is partially correct. 🙂 As far as Economic situation gies, I wish I didnt understand the details since I have BA in Economics , I hate what I see….

  2. September 23, 2008 3:08 pm

    It is a little less of a desert if you go up in the mountains!

    I don’t understand all the details, but I know enough to know it is bad bad bad.

  3. sfordinarygirl permalink
    September 24, 2008 10:07 am

    Same here I don’t understand all the details but just reading the bailout plans and watching the market topsy turvy is making me nervous, very nervous that I don’t know if I should stop spending money or cash everything.

  4. September 24, 2008 9:23 pm

    Your hiking trip sounds great! You don’t usually think of hiking as a huge deal physically (well, at least I don’t) and then you get home and the soreness sets in!

    The market is pretty scary right now, isn’t it?! I started investing about a year and a half ago… when the market was at it’s peak! 😦

    … talk about bad timing. I sometimes wish that I wouldn’t have learned so much about personal finance until now!

  5. Andrew Stevens permalink
    September 24, 2008 10:26 pm

    We all have good reason to be worried, but for two hundred years nobody’s gotten rich by betting against the United States. I certainly wouldn’t suggest anybody’s doing so now. (For one thing, if enough people did, it might be a self-fulfilling prophecy.)

    Stacking Pennies said in a previous post:

    Say all you want about long term investing, how this is good for my future, how stocks are on sale, and the number of shares I own are going up. It still sucks emotionally. I’ve been inching towards $30k in retirement for the entire year.

    This is a perfectly understandable sentiment. But I truly believe that if you just stick with it and keep investing, that you’ll wind up better off, given your youth and time to invest for all of this having happened than you would have been without it. I believe it was William Bernstein in The Intelligent Asset Allocator who remarked that young people ought to “get down on their knees and pray for a market crash.” I don’t actually agree with this sentiment (market crashes cause pain which isn’t wholly limited to investors and young people often have more vulnerable jobs), but it’s easy to see where he’s coming from. Would you be even better off if, as Trevor says, you hadn’t started investing until right now? You bet, but that’s water under the dam.

    Personally, I’m just hoping that the market doesn’t recover too well until January when I can sink another $10,000 into our 401(k)s.

  6. September 25, 2008 8:04 am

    @trevor – i started investing in mid 2006, so about the same. Hmph. But I like to remember that I was getting a 75% match on part of my 401k. Still though. I always thought of that as my money, immediately. 🙂

    @andrew – thanks for your comments. I do (logically) believe I should keep investing, though it is hard to keep the faith in times like this.

    That is my biggest concern–not so much that my investments will become worth less, but that the economy will get so bad that layoffs will run rampant, the job market will be tough, etc.

  7. Andrew Stevens permalink
    September 26, 2008 1:26 pm

    That should indeed be your biggest worry. I’m an optimist, but a pessimist could rightfully say that I was optimistic after Bear Stearns went down that the end was near and I was wrong. Things have gotten worse since then. I still think we’ll pull through just fine in the long run, but that could take a few years.

    By the way, I had a typo in the earlier comment. When I said I was hoping to sink $10,000 into the market, I meant into our IRAs, not our 401(k)s, of course.


  1. Running success (or… failed summit) « Stacking Pennies

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