Thanks for sharing your persepective, much appreciated..
In regards to money, I should point out my new friend never asked for anything - I inquired about how much he had to spend since this can radically alter your plans on a long-distance hike. For example, I spent in excess of $5,000 on my PCT hike because I took a week off in middle of it, hung out with the wife, took motel/cabin in town stops, resupplied mostly from the trail, replaced a broken camera, ate and drank whatever I wanted, and generally had a lovely mid-life crisis.
You can do it for A LOT cheaper - but it takes greater planning, far more discipline and an adherence to some semblance of a schedule. I had the luxury of time and a bit of money saved. But my new Internet Facebook friend is young and lacks experience. I don't think he's grasped the concept of how much food he will need to consume or how much it costs. When I inquired about resupply, I was hoping to get an answer from him that weighed the pros/cons of supplying along the trail versus sending packages to designated supply points. Both have their pluses and minuses - and overall budget is just one issue.
I am not going to send this guy money- hey, I would be happy to send him a food box or two should he get down the trail a bit and show some actual intentions of making a go of it. But budget is an important consideration, just like gear and maps. It really drove me nuts the few times I met people on public assistance (ie. food stamps) who were hiking the trail. That really isn't the purpose of food stamps - it's to help those in need, not to help those who would rather be hiking.
Anyhow, I will keep you posted how things progress - I want this guy to have a positive experience, but I am afraid he's likely going to only learn only from a negative experience.