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View Full Version : South African needs help next year



Mulungu
08-29-2012, 16:03
My wife and I will be doing the trail from springer mountain to harpers ferry ( can't stay longer because of visa requirements) but wondered if there wer any kind folks who would help with dropboxes. It is to expensive to post from cape town south Africa.

10-K
08-29-2012, 16:09
What exactly are you asking for?

Moose2001
08-29-2012, 16:10
You can easily do your own drop boxes from the trail. Just buy, package and mail to a town up the trail. Not a big problem.

Mulungu
08-29-2012, 16:11
Some kind sole to post the dropboxes on to the required post offices. We will of course pack the boxes and will be happy to pay postage.

Mulungu
08-29-2012, 16:12
Would you be able to post them all from Atlanta and will they still be there a month and a half later

10-K
08-29-2012, 16:14
Well... what Moose says is a great idea.. When you get here just make up boxes and mail them.

And the truth is, unless you have special requirements you can hike the AT easily without mailing anything.

Hitchin' Post
08-29-2012, 16:20
When will you be on the trail?

Moose2001
08-29-2012, 16:21
Go to the home page of WB. On the left hand side click on the link for resupply info. It's broken down into 5 parts but is a great description of where and how you can resupply along the trail. As 10K said, it's not hard and you need no or a very small number of boxes.

hikerboy57
08-29-2012, 16:45
how do you intend to get the drop boxes to us in the first place?

hikerboy57
08-29-2012, 16:55
will you be paying by money order?

10-K
08-29-2012, 16:58
will you be paying by money order?

Careful, he might have a Sawyer In-Line Water Filter (SILWF).

hikerboy57
08-29-2012, 17:04
Careful, he might have a Sawyer In-Line Water Filter (SILWF).

i was hoping for spam singles. seems like theyre going around lately.

Ender
08-29-2012, 17:09
Honestly, don't worry about drop boxes. Just buy food as you go, and use a single bounce box to mail ahead to yourself if needed.

Crazy Larry #1
08-29-2012, 19:57
There is so much resupply along the trail you should not have to worry....

Pedaling Fool
08-29-2012, 20:18
Would you be able to post them all from Atlanta and will they still be there a month and a half laterLike someone else said you don't need mail drops. However, if you do want them, then how many are we talking about?

I wouldn't want to leave a box in a mail room for a 1-1/2 month. However, one option would be to send all of them to your first 2 or 3 maildrop locations (just because if you have, say 7 boxes I wouldn't want to send them all to one post office). As you get to your first post office just bounce the box(es) you don't need up a few towns. and continue that all the way up the trail.

It's important to know that you can bounce a box up the trail for free. However, if you accept the box than that's not an option, you must pay to send it up the trail. So make sure you only accept the box you need for that town.

Don H
08-29-2012, 20:19
One of the things he might be thinking about is what to do with his cold weather gear. If he has warm weather gear he wants to pick up at some point and drop off other gear it would cost too much to send the cold weather gear directly back to South Africa, it's cheaper to take it home in baggage. So maybe he needs someone to hold gear and send it to him in Harpers Ferry.

Since most Post Offices along the trail will hold a package for a month he should be able to send warm weather gear to Pearisburg, VA as an example and from Pearisburg send his cold weather gear to Harpers Ferry so he can take it home with him.

My German hiking buddy Mammoth ran into this problem last year. He ended up having multiple offers to send his stuff to be held by the family of friends he met along the way.

If we're talking only food just buy it along the way.

I suggest you get a copy of "The A.T. Guide" by David Miller and read the articles on White Blaze's home page. They will go a long way to answer your questions. Of course you can always ask here if you can't find an answer.

I can understand how this could be confusing to someone from another country.

Kryptonite
08-29-2012, 20:48
A lot of the post offices WILL allow you to accept the box, you just can't open the box before being able to bounce the box ahead.

Something I have noticed about bounce boxes is to be sure to fill them with more expensive items. I have seen hikers fill them with ramen noodles and pop tarts when these are very inexpensive in the stores. The items you might want to bounce are the dinners, etc. that are inclined to cost more in the trail towns.

Odd Man Out
08-29-2012, 22:31
If you are concerned about having a package sit in a post office for too long, another option would be to mail to hotels or b&b's or hostels or other establishments along the trail that cater to hikers. Contact them by e-mail before you leave and get the info on how to ship (each place may have different rules, fees, etc...). Do all your shopping and shipping from Atlanta and then you won't have to worry about timing your shipments just right or having to rendezvous with your package at a post office.

Or just resupply as you go, as suggested above, or a combination of both.

Mulungu
08-30-2012, 01:16
Hi
thank you for all your great ideas. We will leave cape town middle of April and will hopefully start around 25 or 26 April. Our reading tells us that we should not require serious cold weather gear. Just good rain gear.

scree
08-30-2012, 01:29
Are you bringing biltong? Love that stuff.

Mulungu
08-30-2012, 01:38
Scree
If I can get it past immigration yes
if you want we can send a parcel.
Send your details to me by private mail

scree
08-30-2012, 12:43
Scree
If I can get it past immigration yes
if you want we can send a parcel.
Send your details to me by private mail

Thank you very much for the offer - very tempting! I am almost certain, however, that it would get intercepted and don't want to take the risk. Might meet up when you're here though. On the chance you're unable to get some in with you or if you just want a reasonably local source for solid information, I would recommend getting in touch with the owners of "The South African Food Shop" which is located in Matthews, NC. You can find their contact info and inventory here: http://www.southafricanfoodshop.us . Matthews, NC is not, unfortunately, located anywhere near the AT but I imagine you could work with them to have something shipped and held at a post office. Their biltong and boeri is sold under the "Bleddie Lekker" label which is reasonably close to an accurate description... at the very least it's the best and most authentic you will find in the States. I've had very good luck with their pre-sliced biltong and droewors and it's practically always a major part of my trail food. Beware, however, that most other biltong sold here is actually beef jerky with biltong spices and tastes terrible.

Mulungu
08-30-2012, 13:23
Thank you for the awesome bit of information. I will definitely get in touch with the store. Perhaps they can put some good hiking boxes together. I tried some of your jerky a while ago. I found it very sweet.

We are hoping that we can do springer mountain to harpers ferry in about 2 months and have some time left to see some other parts of America. Unfortunately we can only stay for 90 days ( visa requirement)

Gray Blazer
08-30-2012, 13:26
What exactly are you asking for?

He has $47,500,000.00 to transfer to your account.
He is a civil servant and is, by law, not allowed to transfer which is why he needs your assistance.
25% for you.
Risk free on both sides.
He needs the following documents from you:
a) Your banker's name, fax numbers and account numbers.
b) Your private phone # and Fax # (for confidentiality and easy correspondence).
c) Your personal letterhead paper stamped and signed.

colorado_rob
08-30-2012, 13:36
Our schedule might coincide, keep me in mind if there's anything I can help with. I am planning on bringing a light insulating layer for the first couple of weeks (It does snow in April and even early May in the Smoky Mtns). You wouldn't believe my gear closet and how many of these I have, my point being if you need to borrow a layer, I'd be glad to provide, if you're anywhere near a US size large (men's) and small (women's). My wife is not joining me for the entire hike, but will join me for four separate stretches, one of which being right after the smokies, so I'll just send the warm stuff home with her. Holler! I'll be starting mid-late April, a bit TBD because of a grandchild "arriving" right about then (mid April). Enjoy our country, stop out to Colorado as part of your 90 day adventure (but I, of course, won't be there, I hope, at least).

scree
08-30-2012, 13:48
Thank you for the awesome bit of information. I will definitely get in touch with the store. Perhaps they can put some good hiking boxes together. I tried some of your jerky a while ago. I found it very sweet.

We are hoping that we can do springer mountain to harpers ferry in about 2 months and have some time left to see some other parts of America. Unfortunately we can only stay for 90 days ( visa requirement)

Glad to help out. Once you get up towards Shenandoah National Park feel free to contact me if you need anything. I live about an hour from Harpers Ferry and will likely be doing weekend hikes in the area.

Feral Bill
08-30-2012, 15:51
He has $47,500,000.00 to transfer to your account.
He is a civil servant and is, by law, not allowed to transfer which is why he needs your assistance.
25% for you.
Risk free on both sides.
He needs the following documents from you:
a) Your banker's name, fax numbers and account numbers.
b) Your private phone # and Fax # (for confidentiality and easy correspondence).
c) Your personal letterhead paper stamped and signed.

Equating a South African with a Nigerian is like equating a Canadian with a Guatamalan. And what exactly has this person said to suggest he is anything but a aspiring AT hiker?

colorado_rob
08-30-2012, 16:15
And what exactly has this person said to suggest he is anything but a aspiring AT hiker? Nothing. What ridiculous paranoia. Simple precautions in the .00000000000000000001% chance this is some sort of a fraud would prevent any thing bad from happening from this side of things. Let's embrace our overseas guests, not alienate them.

hikerboy57
08-30-2012, 16:43
I must admit I was a little suspicious at first but I agree I've met people from all over the world on theAT. they need to be welcomed

Mulungu
08-31-2012, 06:40
thank you all for such great laughs and amazing support. Unfortunately I cant offer you unlimited wealth because your uncle has died in a far off country or that your reputation has crossed the oceans and I know that you are a trustworthy indivuidual that will not run off with all my money.
sorry to dissapoint you all but all we want to do is hike this trail and hopefully meet some great people at the same time.
we spent 10 days in the alps july/august this year and some of the nicest people we met were americans... :D

hikerboy57
08-31-2012, 06:45
Some of my best friends are ameriicans

Mulungu
08-31-2012, 06:52
ome of my best friends are africans:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

Gray Blazer
08-31-2012, 07:30
Equating a South African with a Nigerian is like equating a Canadian with a Guatamalan. And what exactly has this person said to suggest he is anything but a aspiring AT hiker?

I thought I was being funny. I'll bite my tongue harder next time. Welcome Mulungo.

Mulungu
08-31-2012, 07:32
I thought I was being funny. I'll bite my tongue harder next time. Welcome Mulungo.

no offence taken . though it was a good bit of humor and enjoyed the laugh

hikerboy57
08-31-2012, 07:51
its become a running joke at work, every time i open up my email, i yell out "Im Rich!!!! Some guy in Nigeria wants to send me 6 million dollars!!"
Welcome to whiteblaze:banana!
if you really want to laugh, visit the cafe. its the WB resident nuthouse, where old worn out threads go after they die.

Mulungu
08-31-2012, 07:55
its become a running joke at work, every time i open up my email, i yell out "Im Rich!!!! Some guy in Nigeria wants to send me 6 million dollars!!"
Welcome to whiteblaze:banana!
if you really want to laugh, visit the cafe. its the WB resident nuthouse, where old worn out threads go after they die.

thank you for the welcome, i am starting to feel at home. feet up glass of good red wine....
And i thought it was just us dumb south africans that were sent these amazing e mails tell you you have won the lottery. if only i had a thousand rand for every time i won the lottery......
i am off to the cafe to get my daily dose of laughter.

Water Rat
08-31-2012, 08:07
thank you all for such great laughs and amazing support. Unfortunately I cant offer you unlimited wealth because your uncle has died in a far off country or that your reputation has crossed the oceans and I know that you are a trustworthy indivuidual that will not run off with all my money.
sorry to dissapoint you all but all we want to do is hike this trail and hopefully meet some great people at the same time.
we spent 10 days in the alps july/august this year and some of the nicest people we met were americans... :D

Great reply! I am still laughing! :) Dang, I was hoping someone had finally found my long lost (embarrassingly rich) uncle... I guess I will just have to keep asking when those emails come in.

Mulungu
08-31-2012, 08:13
Great reply! I am still laughing! :) Dang, I was hoping someone had finally found my long lost (embarrassingly rich) uncle... I guess I will just have to keep asking when those emails come in.

I have a friend of a friend who may know of a rich uncle who for a small price i am sure would adopt you.. you may have to come and meet him here in africa. :D

Water Rat
08-31-2012, 08:49
I have a friend of a friend who may know of a rich uncle who for a small price i am sure would adopt you.. you may have to come and meet him here in africa. :D

Okay, but only after I send my check...

hikerboy57
08-31-2012, 09:00
Okay, but only after I send my check...
we only accept money orders no checks

Water Rat
08-31-2012, 11:06
we only accept money orders no checks

Hmmm... Maybe I should just sign up to be a mail order bride instead...

OzJacko
08-31-2012, 20:41
Mulungu have you considered talking to US consul/embassy for an extended visa.
Australians can only go for 90 days WITHOUT a visa.
For about $160 I will be getting (hopefully) a 6 month visa.
Also you could do Springer to Harpers Ferry < 90days, duck off to Canada for a fortnight in Banff and then do the rest in another 90 days.
This assumes that you really do have a rich uncle of course....

Supreme Being
08-31-2012, 21:13
Mulungu have you considered talking to US consul/embassy for an extended visa.
Australians can only go for 90 days WITHOUT a visa.
For about $160 I will be getting (hopefully) a 6 month visa.
Also you could do Springer to Harpers Ferry < 90days, duck off to Canada for a fortnight in Banff and then do the rest in another 90 days.
This assumes that you really do have a rich uncle of course....

That sounds like a great idea! And you would get to hike in Canada, Mulungu.

scree
09-01-2012, 00:41
That sounds like a great idea! And you would get to hike in Canada, Mulungu.

Yeah, and hopefully stay outside and avoid the curiously small hotel rooms that Canada seems to like:)

Mulungu
09-01-2012, 00:45
[QUOTE=Supreme Being;1332113]That sounds like a great idea! And you would get to hike in Canada, Mulungu.[/

We have considered that as an idea however to get a new visa you have to go to a country across the ocean. Canada and Mexico are specifically excluded when you want to apply for an additional stay. In any case my credit card does not extend to to such a long stay in the states. My rich uncle is unfortunately just a figment of my imagination. The exchange rate also makes this a great challenge.

So springer mountain to harpers ferry it is for 2013 and then who knows when we will be back to finish finances will tell.

OzJacko
09-01-2012, 00:50
We have considered that as an idea however to get a new visa you have to go to a country across the ocean. Canada and Mexico are specifically excluded when you want to apply for an additional stay. In any case my credit card does not extend to to such a long stay in the states. My rich uncle is unfortunately just a figment of my imagination. The exchange rate also makes this a great challenge.

So springer mountain to harpers ferry it is for 2013 and then who knows when we will be back to finish finances will tell.
That's a bummer.
I didn't know about the overseas bit because I have always intended to go for the 6 month visa so didn't fully research it.
We'' have to keep in touch via journal etc.
I've never much liked biltong but my dutch heritage makes me super keen on salted licorice.

Mulungu
09-01-2012, 00:54
That. Visa thing is for south Africans so not sure how it applies to you. Salted licorice is not something I have not tried, perhaps if we meet we can swop, one stick of biltong for some salted licorice.
When are you starting this walk about

OzJacko
09-01-2012, 01:15
That. Visa thing is for south Africans so not sure how it applies to you. Salted licorice is not something I have not tried, perhaps if we meet we can swop, one stick of biltong for some salted licorice.
When are you starting this walk about
Not looking at a calendar in front of me but my son and I hope to start the week befor Easter (end March).
Keen to get the first 3 days or so under our belt and in and out of Walasi-Yi before the Easter crowds arrive.
Will fly into Atlanta a few days before to have a last minute shop at REI etc and organise bounce box.
We will supply as we go and bounce a box about 5 times for gear changes for the seasons etc.

OzJacko
09-01-2012, 01:16
Will not be bringing licorice - it would require extra toilet paper...:D

Don H
09-01-2012, 07:27
Mulungu, back to your original question about drop boxes.
What are you thinking you need to ship in drop boxes, food, gear or both?
Have you reviewed the information about resupply in the articles on this site or in any of the AT guide books?
Have you decided how you're going to do this?

Mulungu
09-01-2012, 14:08
Mulungu, back to your original question about drop boxes.
What are you thinking you need to ship in drop boxes, food, gear or both?
Have you reviewed the information about resupply in the articles on this site or in any of the AT guide books?
Have you decided how you're going to do this?


I have the 2012 guide book and have read quite a lot about drop boxes. I also learned a heap of stuff from this forum. At this stage not sure if we are going to use drop boxes or just re supply along the way

etboy
09-01-2012, 16:09
I presume you're coming in on the 3 month visa waiver program. Are you aware that you can get the traditional 6 month visa (dont know what its called) thus facilitating the completion of the entire trail if you so wish?
All the best. ET

Mulungu
09-01-2012, 16:14
I presume you're coming in on the 3 month visa waiver program. Are you aware that you can get the traditional 6 month visa (dont know what its called) thus facilitating the completion of the entire trail if you so wish?
All the best. ET

The challenge there is that you apply for the visa AFTER you buy your tickets. Secondly my understanding .... Is that that it is only upon arrival can you request permission to stay longer. I visited the states 5 years ago and received a 15 year entry visa but can only stay for 90 days at a time.
so two reasons not doing the whole trail next year. Not sure we will get the 6 months on arrival and finances dictate a shorter trip. We would like to see a little bit of your great country before we leave. So Seattle and the west coast are on the plan

Feral Bill
09-02-2012, 22:53
The challenge there is that you apply for the visa AFTER you buy your tickets. Secondly my understanding .... Is that that it is only upon arrival can you request permission to stay longer. I visited the states 5 years ago and received a 15 year entry visa but can only stay for 90 days at a time.
so two reasons not doing the whole trail next year. Not sure we will get the 6 months on arrival and finances dictate a shorter trip. We would like to see a little bit of your great country before we leave. So Seattle and the west coast are on the plan DO consider the Wonderland Trail in Mt Rainier National Park. It's near Seattle and good summer through early fall.

gunner76
09-02-2012, 23:09
no offence taken . though it was a good bit of humor and enjoyed the laugh

got me laughing. hope you have a great time on your hike.