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Resupply Strategy – PCT ’18

Resupply. This is not only a big part of planning a thru-hike, but it is also most people’s least favorite part. I have been planning and researching my resupply strategy for pretty much a year now, so I thought I would share what my plan is. Everything here is open to change, but this is my plan for the time being. I’m planning to send 13 resupply boxes and be resupplying in towns for the rest of the time. Thirteen boxes is a little over what most people recommend (10 boxes is the average), so if you are able to send a few less than me, you may be a bit happier. I’m a vegetarian, so although I’m not that worried about resupplying in towns, there are a few resupply points that mention only having a gas station or something, so I’m a bit wary of finding enough food for myself at places like that.

There are 3 resupply strategies:


Pros: This is great if you have major dietary restrictions like allergies or you are a raw vegan or something. You may not be able to find food for yourself at some stops otherwise. Also, you may be able to save some money this way depending on where you are shipping your boxes from.

Cons: You may get sick of what you send because you will likely have to prepare all of your boxes before you leave for your hike. By box #9 you may want to die at the thought of another Kind bar. Also, you are subject to crazy post office hours. Post Office’s seem to have the shortest hours of any business on earth, so you have to make sure that you make it into town before they close. This can be stressful and cause you to do super high miles if you’re in a rush. I’ve heard stories of hikers missing the Friday hours and having to stay in town all weekend until the PO opens again on Monday. That sucks.


Pros: This is a great option for international hikers who would have to sell their first born child to send boxes from across the world. Also, it is less stressful not having to worry about the crazy post office hours. You can roll into town at almost any time and still get food, you can also change your resupply town plan at any time and not be nailed down because of a box.

Cons: This can become very expensive because some of the resupply points are SUPER pricey. You’ll also have a poor choice if you only have a small gift shop or gas station to get food from, which is the case for some towns.


This is by far the most popular way to resupply and the way I will be doing it. You share the pros and cons of both, but depending on who is mailing your boxes you can be a bit flexible. I will be buying boxes and food but will stay in contact with my mum who will be mailing my boxes and let her know if I want to make any changes along the way. Try and buy a large variety of food so you don’t get sick of things along the way.

General Tips:

Tip: This is a great tip I learned of just recently: Send one less day of food in each box. Not only does it suck to carry more food than you need, but you will probably always buy at least a little bit of food in town or pick things up in the hiker box. You also may be craving something that isn’t in your box, so you’ll end up buying that in town and then carrying too much food or chucking stuff in the hiker box. Save a bit of money and send one day less food in each box than you think you’ll need. 

Tip: ALWAYS. ALWAYS. Put your name (not your hiker name) on ALL SIX SIDES of your box. Some places will charge you up to $10 if you don’t do this and it will help them find your box faster. Win, win.

Tip: ALWAYS. ALWAYS. Put your ETA on the box. Some places will charge you if you don’t have that on the box. Just put a general ballpark and you should be fine. 

Tip: Decorate your box to make it easier for them to find. Always use hot pink duct tape or cover your box with Disney stickers. Make it stand out so they can grab it faster.

Tip: Always have cash with you because most places now charge you to pick up your box. It could be anywhere from $5-75! (Avoid sending a box to the John Muir Ranch or you’ll be paying $75 for your box!)


Warner Springs (Desert)

Your Name Here

c\o General Delivery

Warner Springs, CA 92086

Your ETA here.

*Tip: Send less food here because you will be just over 100 miles into your hike and your hiker hunger will not have kicked in yet. Most people send too much food to WS, so they end up throwing stuff into the hiker box. The WS hiker box is apparently really good here so you’ll probably be able to grab some supplementary food from there.


• Agua Dulce *****I have decided NOT to send a resupply here******

Your Name Here

c/o The Saufley’s

11861 Darling Road

Agua Dulce, CA 91390

Your ETA here.


Kennedy Meadows (Sierra)

Your Name Here




Your ETA here.

*Tip: This is where you will most likely be sending your winter gear and bear canister. There is a $6 charge on each box so try and consolidate as much as you can.


•Vermilion Valley Resort (Sierra)*

UPS ONLY (preferred method):

Hiker Name

Vermilion Valley Resort

c/o Rancheria Garage

62311 Huntington Lake Rd.

Lakeshore, CA 93634

Your ETA here.

*Tip: There is a $25 charge to pick up your box here.


Sierra City (NorCal)

Your Name Here

c/o Sierra County Store

213 Main Street

Sierra City, CA 96125

Your ETA here.


Belden (NorCal)*

Your Name Here

c/o Braatens

PO Box 4

Belden, CA 95915

Your ETA here.


Crater Lake (Oregon)

Your Name Here

569 Mazama Village Dr.

Crater Lake National Park, OR 97604

Crater Lake, OR 97604

Your ETA here.


Shelter Cove (Oregon)


c/o Shelter Cove Resort

27600 West Odell Lake Rd.

Highway 58

Crescent Lake, OR 97733

Please Hold for ‘Your Name’

Your ETA here.


•Timberline Lodge (Oregon)


Your Name Here

c/o Timeberline Ski Area

Wy’ East Store

Timberline, OR 97028

Your ETA here.


Trout Lake (Washington)

Your Name Here

c\o General Delivery

Trout Lake, WA 98650

Your ETA here.


c/o Trout Lake Grocery

PO BOX 132

Trout Lake, WA 98650

Your ETA here.


White Pass (Washington)

Your Name Here

c/o White Pass Rural Branch PO

at the Kracker Barrel Store

48851 US Highway 12

Naches, WA 98937

Your ETA here.


Snoqualmie Pass (Washington)

Address to Gas Station:

Hiker Name

521 WA-906

Snoqualmie Pass, WA 98068

Please Hold for Thru-Hiker (ETA: MM/DD/YY)


Address to Summit Inn:

Hiker Name

603 WA-906

Snoqualmie Pass, WA 98068

Please Hold for Thru-Hiker (ETA: MM/DD/YY)


Stevens Pass/Skykomish (Washington)*


Please hold for PCT Hiker

℅ Stevens Pass, Thru Hiker

93001 NE Stevens Pass Hwy, US 2

Skykomish, WA 98288

Attn: Tye Creek Lodge Loading Dock

Your ETA here.


Stehekin (Washington)

Your Name

c/o General Delivery

Post Office

Stehekin, WA 98852

Your ETA here.


*denotes that there is debate over whether this is a MUST SEND or not. If you are looking to cut down on resupply boxes, you can omit these locations.

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