Thru-Hiking Essentials: Secure Your Adventure with Comprehensive Travel Insurance

You've planned your thru-hike for months. Don't let an emergency derail your dreams. Get the right thru-hiking travel insurance to protect your adventure.

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Josh Koop

I live with my wife and daughter in Katy, Texas and my local trail is the Lone Star Hiking Trail which is an amazing way to experience the Sam Houston National Park!

person on a hiking path with a superimposed leg injury highlighting dangers every thru-hiker worries about
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You’ve quit your job, packed up your life into a tiny backpack, and set out on a journey to hike a trail from end to end. Congratulations! You’re embarking on an incredible adventure.

But as you’re well aware, adventures come with risks. That’s why you must ensure you’re adequately insured in an emergency. Here’s what you need to know about thru-hiker insurance for your travels.

The Importance of Thru-Hike Insurance

Thru-hiking travel insurance is a type of insurance designed specifically for people who are planning to hike long-distance trails.

It generally provides coverage for medical emergencies, evacuation, search and rescue, and lost or stolen gear. Some policies will also cover trip interruption and cancellation.

In today’s world, with pandemics like Covid hitting and sometimes impacting people for weeks, insurance has become even more critical.

Safety Wing provides specifics on coverage on these issues here along with virtual visits and more.

Don’t Let an Emergency End Your Hike

In short, thru-hiking travel insurance is essential because it will keep you safe in an emergency. Accidents can happen no matter how well you plan or how experienced you are.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need medical attention, evacuation, or rescue, having insurance will ensure that you get the help you need without breaking in the process.

The truth is, that even the most experienced hikers can find themselves in unexpected situations. If you were to break your leg 10 miles from the nearest trailhead, for example, you would need to be evacuated by helicopter, which will cost thousands of dollars.

Then add in the possibility of gear going missing whether lost or stolen, you would be responsible for replacing it out of your own pocket.

With thru-hiking travel insurance, you wouldn’t not need to worry about these things because you, when picking a plan, would choose to be covered for these. That way, you could focus on getting better and enjoying the rest of your hike.

Budgeting for Thru-Hike Insurance

The cost of thru-hiking travel insurance will vary depending on factors like the length of your hike, where you’re hiking, and what type of coverage you need.

A good rule of thumb for normal travel insurance is to budget about 2-5% of the total cost of your trip for insurance.

For example, if your thru-hike costs $6,000 total, you should plan to spend $120-$300 on insurance. That may seem like a lot, but it’s worth it for peace of mind knowing that you’re covered financially in case something goes wrong.

Choosing the Right Policy for You

First, what does your current health insurance plan cover? If you have a good plan, it may cover emergencies that happen outside of the country. However, it is unlikely that it will cover routine care or prescriptions, so you will want to take that into account.

Second, what is your budget for this trip? If you have a limited budget, travel insurance may not be the best use of your money. However, if you can afford it, it may give you peace of mind knowing that you are covered in case of an emergency.

Third, where are you going on your thru- hike? If you are hiking in a developed country with easy access to medical care, you may only need specific travel insurance.

However, if you are hiking in a remote area or in a country with limited medical resources, detailed comprehensive travel insurance may be a good idea.

Finally, how long will you be gone? If you are only gone for a few weeks, travel insurance may not be necessary. Travel insurance may be something to consider if you are gone for several months or more than a year.

Finding Comprehensive Thru-Hike Coverage

There are a lot of different travel insurance plans out there, so choosing the right one can be daunting.

However, there are a few things you should keep in mind that will help make the process easier:

  • First and foremost, make sure that your chosen plan covers medical emergencies and evacuations.
  • Secondly, be sure to read the fine print so that you understand exactly what is and isn’t covered by your policy.
  • Third, don’t be afraid to shop around until you find a plan that meets all of your needs at a price you’re comfortable with.

Personally, I believe Safety Wing is the best option as they can cover you for many things, they aren’t limited to just the United States so thru-hikes in other countries are possible as well as domestic inside the United States.

Planning a thru-hike is no small feat. There are a lot of logistics to take care of, and one of the most important is making sure you have the right travel insurance.

After all, you’ll be spending months on the trail, often in remote areas, and you’ll want to ensure you’re covered in an emergency.

Some Details on Safety Wing

Safety Wing is designed for travelers just like you. They have coverage for all kinds of issues like lost gear, delays, and even emergency evacuation.

With Safety Wing, you can purchase your policy online and extend it while you’re on the trail if you need to. They also have a 24/7 medical assistance helpline so you can rest assured knowing help is always available if you need it.

They offer a variety of plans so that you can tailor your coverage to your needs. Their base plan includes coverage for medical expenses, repatriation, lost or stolen belongings, trip cancellation and interruption, and more.

They also offer optional add-ons for things like adventure sports coverage and rental car insurance.

One of the best things about Safety Wing is that they offer flexible payment options. You can pay for your policy in full upfront or pay monthly installments (though this will come with an additional fee).

This makes getting the coverage you need easy without breaking the bank.

Why Safety Wing is a Great Option

They are a great option for thru-hikers looking for comprehensive coverage at a reasonable price.

Their flexible payment options make it easy to get the coverage you need without having to pay all at once, and their wide network of providers means that you’ll be taken care of even if something goes wrong while you’re on the trail.

Protect Your Dream Thru-Hike with Insurance

Only you can decide whether or not to purchase insurance for hiking during your thru-hike. There is no right or wrong answer; it depends on your circumstances.

I highly recommend Safety Wing or World Nomads for their comprehensive coverage and flexible payment options.

Each has everything you need to keep yourself safe on the trail, so you can focus on enjoying your hike.

However, I hope this article has given you something to think about as you prepare for your upcoming adventure.

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