Hiking the Katy Trail on the Cheap

I’m currently hiking the Katy Trail.  It is primarily known as a bicycle path, but it can be hiked also. The trail is about 240 miles long.  I’m hiking out and back to my car each day which means I’ll have hiked about 480 miles if I complete the whole thing.

Since I’m hiking back to my car each night I can drive to get food or to find somewhere to sleep.  I plan on camping or sleeping in my car most nights to keep the cost of the hike down.  I will have an occasional hotel stay so that I’m not always roughing it.  My travel rewards credit card will reimburse me for the hotel stays up to about $350 so that shouldn’t add to the cost of the hike. I also plan on coming back to KC at least once to break up the trip.  My meals should be pretty cheap too.  I don’t plan on spending more for food on this trip than I spend when I’m at home.  I’m also doing some restaurant mystery shops to help keep that cost down.

Yesterday was the first day of my hike.  I hiked 18.2 miles which was definitely too far for my current fitness and fatness level.  It was cool and intermittently sprinkling when I hiked out and I felt good.  When I started back the sun came out and my energy level was quickly depleted.  When you’re doing an out and back hike though once you’ve hiked out you have no choice but to hike back.  The town I started from offers free showers and free camping to those using the Katy Trail.  I felt a lot better after taking a shower and getting some food and beverage.  The free campground was too brightly lit and too close to the highway noise for me to be able to get to sleep.  I gave up on sleeping in the campground and went to my car to sleep.  It wasn’t the most comfortable sleep, but I was tired enough to fall asleep anyway.  Now I know that I can in fact sleep in my Ford Focus.  With the back seats down I can just barely stretch all the way out if I lay diagonally.  I might spend a little money to improve the car sleeping situation.  Since sleeping in the car is a lot cheaper than a hotel I can justify the expense.

That is my plan for hiking the Katy Trail.  The hike shouldn’t cost me any more than what my usual daily expenses are and it might be even cheaper.



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