Both Tomás and Viriato are genuinely adventure seekers. They appreciate the hardships of the environment. It’s a challenge, and that’s pretty much a lot of the their fuel. To challenge themselves.
On the planning phase of the trip, it was settled that we wouldn’t use any public transportation while travelling, the cross would be only done through hiking, after and before the cross, hitchhiking would be allowed. On the matter of transportation, that would be settled. Even on the trip back home, the plan would be go all the way from Venice to Portugal, just hitchhiking. That didn’t happen because Viriato had a chance to go to Lesbos, Greece, volunteering to help on a refugee camp that was in need. As such, only Tomás did the way back home, through hitchhiking.
When preparing the bags for the big trip we made quite the effort to only take what was absolutely needed. We had cloth for the sunny days, shorts and a shirt, and a better settlement for the cold ones. We not only took thermal clothes that we would wear when we would go to sleep, rainproof vest, pants and boots, and on the safe side, an emergency blanket. Well geared, there was no need to spend any money buying anything that was missing. Although Tomás lost one of Viriato’s aquashoes while diving on a waterfall. Viriato is still bitter to this day :P.
Spending the night
Both me and Viriato are big users of Couchsurfing, the platform that opens a whole world to hosting foreigner people. As such, we tried to make the most out of it, we stayed with people in Chamonix, Les Bossons, Turin, Venice, a whole bunch of places, but as we predicted, there were a lot of days that we wouldn’t have the time, or just simply no internet, so we couldn’t arrange such. For the trip we brought a light (2 Kg) camping tent, that was quite easy to set up. It wasn’t particularly warm, but we had the clothing to fill that need.
This spirit-seeking challenge made it easy to camp in the middle of the woods. While hiking we would analyse the terrain ahead of us with the GPS so we could foresee when and where to stop and prepare camp. Even on the rainy days. Ouch.
Food & Energy
As much as we wanted to save, we knew that we needed to eat well in order to have the energy to keep hiking, to be in a good mood, and to be ready for any circumstance. And by circumstance I mean any ledge that would beg to be jumped. :P We brought a small gas camping stove, to give us the freedom to cook what we wanted.
The most important point here was definitely what to buy. We kept it quite cheap; oats for breakfast with either cookies or chocolate, vegetables and pasta for breakfast and dinner, (although sometimes bread and cheese, if we didn’t want to waste time stopping and cooking) and energy bars. Despite everything, we would always buy enough for us to feel full after the meal, because as much as we wanted to save, to make a trip and spend half the time hungry - well that’s not fun. Food was the only thing that we spent money on.
This is viable for people that seek the challenge and the uncomfortable side of adventure, there were nights sleeping under the rain, where we were soaked wet, though, but at the same time, it’s really easy for anyone to travel not spending much. Feel free to contact us for any more specific questions.