View Full Version : mail drops

12-08-2010, 22:09
i know there are a handful of maildrops that are somewhat recommended... just not sure where. Could someone list them in short order please, and maybe the reason's why on each? I know Jack Tarlin's excellent resupply info article has them, but it's a lot to read through just for this list right now... thanks in advance for the help.

12-08-2010, 23:37
Neels Gap (Mountain Crossings)
Fontana Dam (stock at convenience store can be lean at times)
Damascus, VA
Harpers Ferry (trust me)
Waynesboro, VA (Swap out cold weather gear)
Glencliff, NH (Swap out warm weather gear)
Pinkham Notch Visitor Center (if staying at Joe Dodge Lodge)
Caratunk, ME (it's just easier that way)
Monson, ME (last push and the 100 mile wilderness)

Some do less, some do more, some do none. You decide.

Be sure and write your (real) last name in big black magic marker letters on the outside of two adjoining corners of the box. The post office workers will thank you for it.

12-08-2010, 23:48
I'd add NOC - convenience store was lean there too (esp when I went SOBO)
I found the Dollar General at Damascus adequate, IMO
Drop at the Red Barn at the I81 Interchange in Groseclose, VA (convenience stores are pricey)
Waynesboro, though, has a huge Kroger. (?)
I'd drop at Port Clinton, PO right on the trail (or you have to get a ride to Hamburg, I think it is - ?)
Easy drop at Delaware Water Gap, PO right off the trail (all there are are pricey convenience stores near the Interstate, or you need a bus to East Stroudsburg)
Monson has a pretty good general store, but you may want to supplement - if heading NOBO though you will do that stretch in lesser time than SOBO

12-08-2010, 23:55
Spokes - Why Damascus?

12-09-2010, 00:00
Spokes - Why Damascus?

ChinMusic, you're right.... I got my bounce box sent there and needed it!

Good call on the NOC Blissful!

12-09-2010, 00:11
I just went through NOC a few weeks ago and was able to resupply at the outfitter. The general store was even closed when I went through and I had no problem. I could have hitched to a larger store down the road but didn't need to.

12-09-2010, 02:39
I went with 5 boxes this year, and I found that to be just right --- primarily to get new shoes, and prescription medication (30-day supply each time).

My five locations:

1. Fontana Dam, NC distance from start: 162.6 A helpful place to get a food resupply, allowed me to stretch to make Pearisburg with second box. I started the trail with shoes that had a lot of miles on them, and I also decided en route to change shelter and raingear plans so got that stuff mailed in this box.

2. Pearisburg, VA 463.3 miles from last box. I mailed home some warm clothes from there, swapped from 20F sleeping bag to 32F bag, etc

3. Harpers Ferry, WV 386.9 miles from last box. About the right distance for a "next box", and was a helpful place to get a food resupply by mail

4. Kent, CT 443.1 miles from last box About the right place for a "next box" to space others out, at a place close to the trail that was easy to get to.

5. Glencliff, NH 398.5 miles from last box. Got back some warm clothes and warmer sleeping bag prior to entering the Whites; also was a helpful place for a food resupply. Post office literally across the street from the hostel (and nothing else there).

To be clear, these were just my personal choices, I don't present them as any sort of universally correct answer, but this plan worked out well.

12-09-2010, 07:38
I have also sent 5 and every single time I picked one up I realized that it wasn't really necessary.

Point is, mail drops *just for food* are mostly for convenience and can make things easier but they are not necessary anywhere.

Of course I had to hike the trail to really believe that - if I had it to do over again I would not ship any food at all.

Serial 07
12-09-2010, 11:36
Neels gap has all you need...

NOC when i was there is expensive and has some stuff...but it's only a couple days to get to fontana dam from there so maybe there's enough...i've traditionally sent a package there...

Fontana Dam is a must! the post office is located in a resort/hotel area and things around there are kinda expensive...the hotel rooms are only $66 for hikers and are probably the best rooms on the trail...the restaurant there is expensive, so i send myself as much food there as i can and eat in the room mostly...there is a general store that has lotsa snack items and whatnot, but i would send myself at least meals and a few snacks that i know i like and pick up snickers & stuff from the store...

harper's ferry was another that i remember...it's hard to get to a real grocery store in that town...

port clinton is another that lacks a grocery store...

delaware water gap has a gas station and a bakery, but that is all...

does waynesville, NY have a PO?

i sent one to caratunk, ME as well...

there are others that are worth it, but that's all i can think of off the top of my head...

12-09-2010, 12:37
If you're talking food drops, I do:

- Neels Gap
- Fontana
- Standing Bear (it's only 2 days to Hot Springs but why carry more than you have to through the Smokies?)
- Hot Springs (resupply from the outfitters is also a possibility)
- Harper's Ferry unless you're taking a zero there. Hotels, grocery stores in Charlestown which you can catch the bus to.
- Port Clinton
- Dalton, MA (has a small general store but it can be sparse)
- Andover, ME (I've always stopped here. Small general store but again, can be sparse)
- Monson, ME

Serial 07
12-09-2010, 12:58
standing bear has a resupply building that sells everything individually...no reason to send anything there...

Jack Tarlin
12-09-2010, 16:54

Were I to thru-hike again, here is where I'd consider sending some food:

*The Nantahala Outdoor Center Things are much better here than they
used to be, with a convenience store acroos the street (and another one
just down the road), but the food selection in the NOC itself is lousy,
overpriced, and always has been. I'd send a small drop here; one needs
about 2 1/2 days of supplies to get to Fontana Dam.

*Re-supply in Fontana is also better than it used to be but it's still not great.
I'd send 4 days worth of stuff if you're getting off the Trail at Newfound Gap
and going into Gatlinburg; I'd bring just under 7 if you're going all the way
thru the Park and then re-supplying at Standing Bear Farm.

*I'd send a small drop to the ATC headquarters in Harpers Ferry, enough to
get you to one of the small stores in maryland or southern PA.

*Tho most folks manage to get into Hamburg to shop, I'd send a small parcel
to Port Clinton PA.

*Assuming the P.O. is open, I'd probably send something to Bear Mt., NY.

*I'd send something to Caratunk ME.