The national average cost of a pack of cigarettes is around $6.00. Therefore, a pack a day smoker spends nearly $45.00 a week on smokes. If you spread this out for an entire year, it adds up to an astounding $2,340.00! That is a lot of money to spend on something that will likely cause harm to your body.
So, you are probably pondering what you could do with an extra two (plus) grand a year? Well, there are countless possibilities, but what I used all of my extra cash on, was creating a new healthier hobby. Rather than spending my money on ultimately killing myself slowly, I started saving it to go on extended backpacking trips across the country.
I’ve got to tell you, by immersing yourself in a wild environment during backpacking distracts you from any thoughts of smoking, and also gives you a chance to reverse some of the long term effects that smoking did to your body. It is pretty hard to hike long distances and climb mountains in some of the most beautiful places in our country, while smoking a cig.
Since I quit smoking, I have had the chance to use that extra two grand and take several trips throughout the United States. Backpacking in itself is relatively inexpensive, so primarily all of that money you saved from quitting can be used on transportation to the wonderful parks and landscapes this country has to offer.
Just last year, I took five major trips to go backpacking using the money I had saved from quitting. I spent a week hiking in Northern Georgia on the Appalachian Trail. I had the opportunity to travel to Wyoming and visit a friend and climb Cloud Peak (13,167 feet above sea level) in central Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains. I spent a week in the Badlands of South Dakota camping alongside herds of wild bison, coyote, and pronghorn antelope. I hiked several sections of the 1,000 mile Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin. Finally, because I had saved so much money by quitting, I had the opportunity to go to Colorado last winter and backpack in Rocky Mountain National Park.
As a result of quitting smoking, I saved enough money to find not only a new hobby, but a whole new healthy lifestyle free of any distractions from smoking. I essentially replaced something harmful with a new passion and have since had the opportunity to visit many amazing places and meet hundreds of great new hiking friends.
So, if you are looking for a way to save some money and possibly find a new passion, whether it be hiking or anything else, I suggest just sitting down and thinking about something that you have always wanted to do and either did not have the money to do it, or had the possibility hindered in part by your smoking. Now say to yourself “I am going to quit.”