To Mail Drop or Resupply; That Is The Question

Planning your resupply is usually a big part of getting ready for a long distance hike. Some people choose to do mostly mail drops (where you prepare a package from home full of the food and supplies you’ll need for a certain number of days and have someone from home mail it to a town on the trail) and some people don’t do any mail drops and just buy food as they go. On the Appalachian Trail we did a combination- we had about 15 mail drops and just bought food in town for the other resupplies. We definitely wished we didn’t have as many mail drops as we did. It’s difficult to anticipate what food you are going to get tired of over the 5 or 6 months and it’s hard to predict what your appetite is going to be like. It gives you more flexibility to buy as you go and you can easily make changes based on how hungry you are and what you feel like eating.

I would like to not have any mail drops on the PCT but after doing some research, there are a few places, such as Drakesbad Guest Ranch and Timberline Lodge, that are right on the trail but don’t have any resupply offered. Sending mail drops to places like these could save me a lot of time and hitch hiking so I think it will be worth it. My plan right now is to have about 5 mail drops and buy as I go for the rest of the resupplies. As it gets closer to my starting date of April 20, I will be making phone calls to a lot of the places I plan to resupply to make sure they do in fact carry hiker food.

While planning for the AT, Bad Camel and I were pretty stressed out about the resupply planning because there is a lot to think about, but after having one hike under my belt I feel more confident in my planning abilities. There is still a lot to think about and in a lot of ways the PCT is a more difficult hike to plan for. The AT conveniently goes through or very near a lot of towns but it seems like towns are a little further away from the PCT, which means hitch hiking longer distances. So if mail drops can reduce the amount that I have to hitch hike then they will be worth the trouble. One of the things that my fundraiser money will be going towards is resupplies so if you are interested in helping out, considering making a donation or funding a mail drop!

We have almost reached $1,000 in our fundraiser so far! Thanks to everyone for your generosity and support, I could not do this without you! https://www.crowdrise.com/projectpct/fundraiser/kaylamccarthy

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