View Full Version : International Drops

04-13-2012, 14:36
Hi I was wondering does anyone know if i
Dehydrate my own food and put it in mail drops can I mail it if i don't live in the USA or are there food transport restrictions?

04-13-2012, 14:46
I don't know if there are any, I guess you should check with Customs. But I think that would be a logistics nightmare. Why not just buy your food here as you go. There are plenty of towns close to the trail.

04-13-2012, 15:13
I would check with customs, but I believe it would be fine to do.

That said, may I suggest not doing it? Just buy your food along the way here. It'll be a lot cheaper and easier.

04-13-2012, 15:32
I am still planning and don't see an economical method for mailing foods (regularly and/or many that is). The efforts and upfront costs are substantial vs. resupply on the move.

Maybe dehydrate the cash to save weight? :)

04-13-2012, 15:42
I think food from other countries would need to be inspected to clear customs. Your chances of legally shipping dehydrated home made meals is very small. Customs regularly confiscates food in the mail or airplanes.

04-13-2012, 15:58
Sorry, I just re-read that these are home-made dehydrated meals. No, that's not legal to do; they would have to be cleared by customs, which they wouldn't be... any boxes that customs intercepted would be destroyed.

Again though, don't bother doing this. Just buy along the way.

04-13-2012, 16:18
Thanks guys... Guess im buying on the way

04-13-2012, 18:33
I think food from other countries would need to be inspected to clear customs. Your chances of legally shipping dehydrated home made meals is very small. Customs regularly confiscates food in the mail or airplanes.

I don't know, best to check. I think the restrictions only apply to freash fruit or live plants which might carry invasive insects. I recently mailed a quart of locally produced maple syrup (which I helped make by being the wood tender) to a fellow in Belguim and there were no restrictions on sending it on either end. BTW, he said it was well worth the $25 to ship the syrup to finally taste some real stuff.

Although you can probably mail yourself the food, the cost is going to be insanely expensive. The other problem is the time it takes to clear customs can be highly variable. Sometimes it can be days, other times a month. You don't want to send too much ahead in case for some reason you have to get off the trail and that complicated ensuring it will be where you want it when you want it. All in all, just too much trouble when food is easy enough to get here.

04-13-2012, 19:09
A Canadian I hiked with sent just a couple of big boxes from home to early trail stops, then split up the supplies into smaller boxes and forwarded them as necessary in Priority boxes. I won't say it wasn't a hassle. The international boxes took forever to arrive, and then there's the issue of boredom with same food that everyone who pre-packs deals with.

04-13-2012, 21:47
I'm Canadian and I was on the trail for 3 months last year. I did 14 maildrops with my own dehydrated food. None were seized at the border - and on the customs form, I clearly stated the package contained dehydrated hiking food. It all arrived (although 2 arrived late and I didn't stick around waiting for them). But they did not take "forever" to arrive. And I didn't get bored with my food. I guess I know what I like. I'm going back again this year for 1 month and I'm using the same strategy. Last year, I did send myself more food than I really needed, so I'm trying to cut back some this year. Some food I did buy along the way (PB, tortillas, etc) Sometimes it was a hassle, but I didn't have to pay $40 for crappy food at a service station and survive on Ramen! I do have some food sensitivities, so for me it was well worth it to feel healthy during my hike. Supplying along the way and maildrops both have their pluses and minuses. Only you can decide what's the best strategy. But international mail drops are very doable.

The Old Boot
04-13-2012, 23:17
Here's a link to what can be mailed into the US from outside the country. The list of what CAN NOT be put in is extremely extensive.


While NBHiker managed to get his packages through, IIWM I wouldn't count on it, particularly if you're spending all that time dehydrating at home only to have the package either never arrive or be sent back.

Heck as a Canadian driving across the border, there's a list longer than my hiking poles of what I can and cannot bring into the states....surprisingly enough, even things like Ramen noodles if they have a meat flavouring pack in them are on the no-no list.

The best plan would be to order freeze dried foods that can be made up into your favourite meals, set aside a day or two before your hike for putting together pre-made meals and set up drop boxes to ship to yourself. I'd have the shopping list all planned and ordered before leaving the UK so that all you had to do was the packing.

Northern Lights
04-13-2012, 23:30
I sent my own maildrops last year and it was not an issue. You just can't bring in any raw products. Fish, beef, bird of any kind and fruits and vegetables.

04-14-2012, 00:42
Add rice, seeds, flour. One big concern is insects or seeds that could become invasive. By the time you omit all the banned ingredients you would starve.