Hiking Tip–Mail a Bounce Box

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

Anza-Borrego Desert

English: Abies lasiocarpa trees. Skyline II Tr...

English: Abies lasiocarpa trees. Skyline II Trail, E. C. Manning Provincial Park, British Columbia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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. I love the question, “Why hike?” If you have time and two feet, why not? Between reading your weekly posts and the book, Following Atticus, there’s no doubt in my mind that this is not only a healthy experience for your body, but for your soul.


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