My PCT Resupply Logistics

During my thru-hike, I’ll resupply my food in towns along the way. For towns that have limited or expensive food options, many people choose to mail themselves prepacked boxes of food. The logistic details of my resupply plan are below, and here is how I planned and assembled each box.

Resupply Research

There are a few ways to resupply yourself on trail. You can buy food in towns, you can have a support person mail you boxes of food, and you can send yourself boxes from large towns to coming smaller ones. In the research I’ve done, it seems like most people do a combination of these. Buying food in town allows you to buy what you crave, and you’re more able to adapt to your changing hiking pace. Random town food is also sometimes more expensive in remote or resort areas, and your options can be limited to a gas station, drugstore, etc. Most people choose to send at least a few boxes to themselves, either from a big town or with the help of someone back home. For my hike, I’ve packed 13 boxes of food and my mom is going to be sending them. I’ve chosen where I think I’ll want them mailed, and we’ll adjust along the way.

To choose my resupply points, I compared several hikers’ resupply blog posts and videos, and read their tips. Chaunce’s resupply video is helpful because she explains where she sent a box, and what she would’ve done differently. Dixie’s blog post talks about where hikers typically sent boxes, even in the fire closures she was unable to reach in 2017. Halfmile’s PCT Resupply Notes offered addresses and details on every mail stop I needed to look up. I also looked through the results of Halfway Anywhere’s Annual PCT Thru-Hiker Survey, which gave me popular locations but also showed that a majority of hikers felt they would’ve preferred sending themselves fewer boxes, and with less food in each box.

I made a master list of possible resupply point options, aiming to send about ten boxes. There are campgrounds, general stores, resorts, hotels, church camps, state parks, and gas stations along the PCT that will hold boxes for you (sometimes for a steep fee, be careful). Some trail angels will even accept packages for you. You can also send yourself a box marked general delivery with your ETA to any post office. Keep in mind that sometimes a hotel or store may be open on nights and weekends when a post office wouldn’t be. It might be disheartening to make it to town Saturday night knowing your food is stuck at the post office till Monday morning.

A piece of my resupply master list. My current planned resupply locations are highlighted in green.

Doing the Thing

With all of that in mind, and otherwise feeling inexperienced and slightly clueless, I started buying food. One weekend, my mom and I went to HEB (a Texas-based grocery chain) and Sam’s Club (a bulk store). She patiently waited as I stared and did math and overthought about Pop-Tarts and ramen noodles and instant coffee. I had no way of knowing exactly how much to buy, or what I’d really want to eat after a few months of hiking. So I bought only things I liked, and tried to pick a decent variety. When I got home and sorted everything, I had enough food to fill 13 boxes intended to last roughly five days each. I also set aside food to start the PCT with, and had almost enough left over for the 96-mile thru-hike of the Lone Star Hiking Trail I’m planning to do in March. I anticipate needing to buy a little extra food in towns where I send boxes, but I’m hoping to avoid having to leave too much excess food in hiker boxes because I can’t (or don’t want to) carry it.

Sorting the food to see how far it would stretch.

I expanded my original list of resupply points from ten to 13. I added locations in the Sierra and Washington, places I thought I might want extra food or that people had mentioned being more expensive. I avoided sending a box to Timberline Lodge and Cascade Locks, because I’m planning to go into Portland and can resupply there. Below is my current list of planned resupply points. I expect it to change some as I go. If you have any tips or experience with specific places, feel free to leave them in the comments. This is my first thru-hike!

My Resupply Plan

If you’re planning a mailed resupply, be sure to write your estimated pickup and arrival date on each box. I’ve also wrapped each of my boxes in duct tape and written my last name on the sides to make them easier to find later on.

 

Warner Springs, CA – Mile 110

Shipping address:

c/o General Delivery

Warner Springs, CA 92086

Also include: PCT Hiker, ETA

 

Agua Dulce, CA – Mile 454

Shipping address:

PCT Hiker

c/o The Saufleys

11861 Darling Road

Agua Dulce, CA 91390
Note: Read more here.

 

Kennedy Meadows, CA – Mile 702

Shipping address:

c/o Kennedy Meadows General Store
96740 Beach Meadows Rd.
Inyokern, CA 93527

Also include: PCT Hiker, ETA

Note: This is where most people choose to send their snow gear. Keep in mind that the general store charges $6 for every box you pick up, so consolidate your boxes if possible.

 

Sierra City, CA – Mile 1195

Shipping address:

c/o Sierra Country Store
213 Main Street
Sierra City, CA 96125

Also include: PCT Hiker, ETA

 

Belden, CA – Mile 1287

Shipping address:

c/o The Braatens at Little Haven

PO Box 4

Belden, CA 95915

Note: The location is available in June and July only. Donations accepted. Call the Braatens at 530.283.9880 when you get to town to arrange pickup or delivery. Hours: 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Read more here.

 

Crater Lake (Mazama Village), OR – Mile 1822

Shipping address:

c/o Mazama Village Camper Store

Mazama Village

Crater Lake, OR 97604

Also include: PCT Hiker, ETA

 

Shelter Cove Resort, OR – Mile 1907

Shipping address:

c/o Shelter Cove Resort & Marina

27600 West Odell Lake Road, Hwy 58

Crescent, OR 97733

Also include: PCT Hiker, ETA

Note: This resort accepts UPS only.

 

Big Lake Youth Camp, OR – Mile 1995

Shipping address:

c/o Big Lake Youth Camp

26435 Big Lake Road

Sisters, OR 97759

Also include: PCT Hiker, ETA

Note: Donations appreciated.

 

Trout Lake, WA – Mile 2229

Shipping address:

c/o Trout Lake Grocery
PO Box 132
Trout Lake, WA 98650

Also include: PCT Hiker, ETA

 

White Pass, WA – Mile 2295

Shipping address:

c/o White Pass Rural Branch PO
At the Kracker Barrel Store
48851 US Hwy 12
Naches, WA 98937

Also include: PCT Hiker, ETA

 

Snoqualmie Pass, WA – Mile 2393

Shipping address:

c/o Summit Inn
603 WA-906
Snoqualmie Pass, WA 98068

Also include: PCT Hiker, ETA

 

Skykomish, WA – Mile 2464

Shipping address:

c/o General Delivery

Skykomish, WA 98288

Also include: PCT Hiker, ETA

 

Stehekin, WA – Mile 2571

Shipping address:

c/o General Delivery

Stehekin, WA 98852

Also include: PCT Hiker, ETA

 

Just about ready to go! (box three is much bigger and headed to Kennedy Meadows, Calif. It will contain my snow gear for the Sierra.)

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