How Not to Starve on the PCT
Pick a Resupply Strategy
1) Buy as you go
This strategy involves going town to town and just resupplying as you need. Simple and effective. You buy whatever you want when you’re craving it. This way you never get bored of your food.There are a few things to think about with this strategy. If you only do this you run the risk of possibly not finding what you need (for those with dietary restrictions), paying to much for food, or buying a lot of heavy food.
2) Send yourself packages
This means you will be preparing meals and packing them up. If you do this for the whole trip you are bound to the post office schedule. This is also a lot of work, and you have to pay for the cost of shipping. Also, you will either have to mail in advance or find a wonderful soul to mail them out for you.
3) Do Both
I think the best strategy is a combination. Figure out the locations where you absolutely have to send packages.
Where do I send resupply packages?
Figuring out where you want to send your resupply packages is completely up to you. There are many resources out there to help you decide. Here are a few I used.
- Halfway Anywhere: This site has a resupply survey where former thru-hikers tell you where they sent and where they wished they had sent boxes. It is super helpful.
- Yogi’s book: Tells you where and how to send boxes, This book was amazing for resupply and town information.
- Pctplaner: This page estimated your location based on your mileage, so you know when you should send your resupply box.
My locations ( well the suggested locations from Halfway) are as follows.
- Warner Springs (Desert)
- Kennedy Meadows (Sierra)
- Crater Lake (Oregon)
- Shelter Cove (Oregon)
- Big Lake Youth Camp (Oregon)
- Trout Lake (Washington)
- Snoqualmie Pass (Washington)
- Stevens Pass/Skykomish (Washington)
- Stehekin (Washington)
What to Put in your packages
When creating boxes hikers can make them as fancy as they want. Things to consider calories, weight, and how much time and money you want to spend. There are hikers that spend countless of hours dehydrating and calculating the calorie intake for each meal. Others survive of-of top rommen and oatmeal. My boxes include a lot of dehydrated meals, mostly Backpackers pantry (only possible because of a Pro-deal ), protein powder, Granola bars, trail mix, energy chews, and chili covered mangos!
Just know where to find food and water and eat every few hours and it will all be ok.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.