Friday Five: Five + Five Resupply Points, No Hitching, No Problem

Pop Tarts dipped in cake frosting, here I come!

Five months before my start date and I’m contemplating resupply.

Totally overwhelming when you think of a 2,000 mile hike.

One thing I’ve learned in my research is this: 

Stop Thinking of it as a 2,000 Mile Hike!

(It feels good to get that off my chest.)

Think of it, instead, as a series of 4-6 day backpacking trips, where every 4-6 days you get to go to a grocery store, or a 7-11, or an outfitter, and pick up some things for your next 4-6 day backpacking trip.

7-11, seriously?  

The thought of resupplying at a 7-11 horrifies me a little, since, other than my adoration of Kraft Mac & Cheese, I’m a bit of a food snob.  

I wonder what I’ll think about 7-11 resupply after I’ve cultivated a raging case of hiker hunger?

Pop tarts dipped in Betty Crocker frosting may sound pretty tasty after a few hundred miles.

Because I’m weird about food (by weird, I mean, I care what I put in my mouth and I don’t believe that all calories are created equal), I’ll be prepping some freezer bag meals to send to myself while I’m out there shunning pop tarts.

Let's make this easy

So my task this week was to dive into resupply points and see where it might be most convenient to stop and pick up a package.

Resupply is a big topic.  Today I just wanted to share a tiny chunk.

Here are five resupply points along the AT that are, literally, along the AT.  No hitchhiking required.  You hardly have to break stride because you’ll be walking right past many of them anyway.  

NOTE:  Mileage is for a traditional NOBO hike from Georgia to Maine.  Tips below the list will ensure you get your package.

Drum roll, please……..

For Five + Five No Hitch Resupply Points and where to send your care package to yourself.

  1. Hot Springs, NC.  Mile274.  Post Office, Bluff Mountain Outfitters, various hostels.
  2. Damascus, VA.  Mile 468.5. Post Office, several outfitters and hostels.
  3. Harper’s Ferry, WV.  Mile 1023.  Post Office (short walk), Laurel Lodge.
  4. Duncannon, PA.  Mile 1146.6.  Post Office, the Doyle Hotel.
  5. Hanover, NH.  Mile 1747.  Post Office.

Okay, five more for good measure/one in (almost) every state

  1. Neel’s Gap, GA.  Mile 31.7.  MountainCrossings Outfitters & Hostel.
  2. Delaware Water Gap, PA.  Mile 1293.  Post Office, Edge of the Woods Outfitters.
  3. Salisbury, CT.  Mile 1499.  Post Office, a couple of private trail angels will accept packages and provide beds.
  4. Dalton, MA.  Post Office.
  5. Killington, VT.   Mountain Meadows Lodge (trailside), Post Office (short walk).

The Rest of the Story...

Now that you've made your resupply easy, let's make it work.  Here are a few tips to make sure you get your goodies.

  1. Read your trail guide.  Preferably AWOL's guide.  In it you'll find the addresses and the maps to your pick up points, plus some other good tips. 
  2. Address your packages to your REAL NAME.  Most places require an ID to pick up your package.  
  3. Call the business first.  Call to make sure they're still there and still accepting hiker boxes. Use your guide to find phone numbers.
  4. Be cool.  Buy something, stay at the hostel, support the businesses that graciously support thru-hikers.

All righty, then.  I'm thinking I'll stop in at a 7-11 one day next week and just see if it's possible to put together a meal there.  

I'll let you know.

 

If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment and let me, and your bad ass boot clad peers know, what you'll stock up on when 7-11 is the only game in town.