Hiking Tip–Mail a Bounce Box

Taking a Long Hike on the Pacific Crest trail through the desert

Anza-Borrego Desert

Thru-hiking the Pacific Crest trail in the Sierras

Near Yosemite

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Manning Park, British Columbia

Canadian border

Say you’re going on an extended hike, and you plan to resupply by hitching into a town once a week. Your plan is to get a cheap motel room, go to the laundromat, buy food, and leave the next morning. If you are beat up and tired, you might even stay an extra day.

Hiking Tip: Mail ahead to the motel a “bounce box” of supplies and personal items.

Mail the box before you begin your hike; ask the motel if they will hold it for you and tell them when you expect to arrive. You could send it to a post office, but if you arrive Saturday afternoon or Sunday, you are out of luck.

Your bounce box contains whatever you need and want, and when you leave town, just re-mail the box to your next stop. Thru-hikers bounce their personal items from Mexico to Canada. I mailed to myself extra shampoo and soaps, town clothes (You’ll need to do all your laundry, so what will you wear at the laundromat?!), pre-clipped guide pages and maps for the next section (Why lug entire trail books and unneeded maps?), pills/medicine, reading and writing materials, envelopes, postcards, stamps, address book, etc. On the A.T., during summer, I mailed my gloves north so I would have them in Maine in September.

The idea is to save time and to be efficient so that your short stay in town is relaxed and enjoyable. Give yourself a break; smell the flowers.

The border picture is just before Manning Park, in British Columbia.

2 thoughts on “Hiking Tip–Mail a Bounce Box

  1. Hi there!
    I’m learning about these bounce boxes because my friend and I are finally going to step it up and do a longer hike where we most likely won’t need a bounce box, but it would be great practice for future thru-hikes. Your blog was really helpful. I pinned you to my pinterest page giving details of your blog and name, but it would be great if you could add pinterest to your “sharing” partners, as I know there are a number of guys and gals on Pinterest who would be very interested in this blog. Thanks again!


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