I have created a variety of little backpacking planning tools to help me plan backpacking trips. These tools can help you better understand costs affiliated with thru-hiking. These tools are given freely to the community with no warranty.
Thru-Hiking Resupply Social Cost Calculator (COVID)– This is a backpacking tool to help backpackers determine the social cost of their resupply actions during the COVID-19 pandemic. In general: if you have any symptoms, evacuate from the trail immediately without making contact with any individuals. Avoid close proximity to people, and minimize duration of exposure. You should never hitch-hike, as the probability distributions put you at substantial risk. More information can be found here.
Thru-Hiking Cost Estimator – The Cost Estimator is a tool to put total thru-hiking costs into perspective. This includes direct costs, such as food and gear purchases, as well as other real costs such as lost wages. Feel free to download the spreadsheet and enter in your own details if you are considering a thru-hike.
Marginal Cost Calculator – This is a tool to estimate how much you should spend for each ounce of weight reduction for your gear. This is highly dependent on the estimated gear lifetime, as well as the amount you hike in a given year. How much can you spend per ounce of weight you save.
Backpacking Trip Generator – the BTG is a route optimization tool that was developed in Python. This tool will link together trails (from the HikingProject database) to create a potential backpacking loop in a location that is specified. Due to issues with trail databases, as well as complexities in defining out-and-back hikes versus loops, the tool will remain as a BETA tool for the foreseeable future. That is: use at your own risk.
Note: just because these tools work for me does not guarantee that they will work for you. If you have questions or complaints, please feel free to contact me.