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  1. #1
    Registered User fullcount's Avatar
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    Default Will hostels accept and forward a bounce box?

    I know I may have to pay for it each time I mail it forward, but I really do not want to have to depend on getting to a PO on time.

  2. #2
    Registered User wcgornto's Avatar
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    Plenty of hostels will accept a package ... resupply or bounce box. I don't know of any that will run post office errands on your behalf.

    Getting to the post office on time can be an issue, but it is manageable with proper planning. The biggest issue is that none are open on Sunday, some aren't open on Saturday and those that are generally close at noon. If you get to a trail town on Saturday after noon with your package at the PO, you have to wait until Monday morning to do PO business.

  3. #3
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    Having a bounce box requires some planning on your part. Try to ship the box to a PO in a town that will see you arrive in the middle of the week. Once you get on trail if find out you can't be there when the PO is open, you can call them ahead of time and have them ship the box to wherever you want. As long as its in a priority box they can send it to another PO or the next hostel. Once a priority box is out of the PO's possession or its opened they will charge you to ship it again. But, if a priority box never leaves the PO possession you can ship it indefinitely. I don't think a hostel would handle mail runs for you, nor would I feel comfortable asking them to, but that's me.

  4. #4
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Yeah, most hostels will accept a package for a guest. Some have a fee for non-guests, and it's polite to offer a few bucks anyway if you change your mind and don't stay there. It's always worth calling ahead before shipping.

    Hostel owners are not in the business of running your package down to the post office for you, or bringing your package to the road crossing when you call them on your cell phone and demand that they do so (true story.) There may be some hostel owners who are willing to take your package and mail it, but I wouldn't expect that anywhere.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  5. #5
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    post office will pick up

  6. #6
    Registered User kayak karl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    post office will pick up
    not in rural areas. many hostels do not get mail delivery.
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    post office will pick up
    +1 on the pickup advice for Priority Mail.

    I would also guess that many hostels do NOT have mail delivery, but with planning from a trail town, conversation and trust of a local - you should be able to bounce a box. Check the USPS website and click 'order pickup' - you can research there.

    Again, key would be planning.

  8. #8
    Registered User jdc5294's Avatar
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    I never used mail to resupply but met people on the trail who did, and I know lots of hostel owners are willing to make post office runs for you if not the day of, then the next day.
    There's no reward at the end for the most miserable thru-hiker.
    After gear you can do a thru for $2,000.
    No training is a substitute for just going and hiking the AT. You'll get in shape.

  9. #9
    Son Driven
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    Yes, most hostels, and many motels will receive and hold your packages for you. The ones that do publish the service in AWOL's guide. Personally logistics is for working people. When I am on the trail, I buy what I need along the way. And the only thing I concern myself with, is that I got enough at this resupply to get me to the next. However, it is your hike, and hike it your way.
    Last edited by Son Driven; 01-05-2014 at 16:46. Reason: an to am
    03/07/13 - 10/07/13 Flip flop AT thru hike "It is well with my soul"

  10. #10
    Registered User jdc5294's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son Driven View Post
    Yes, most hostels, and many motels will receive and hold your packages for you. The ones that do publish the service in AWOL's guide. Personally logistics is for working people. When I an on the trail, I buy what I need along the way. And the only thing I concern myself with, is that I got enough at this resupply to get me to the next. However, it is your hike, and hike it your way.
    You also don't know what you'll get tired of a month down the road and then all of a sudden you have a week of the same damn oatmeal coming to you in a mail drop and ohmigosh.
    There's no reward at the end for the most miserable thru-hiker.
    After gear you can do a thru for $2,000.
    No training is a substitute for just going and hiking the AT. You'll get in shape.

  11. #11

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    There are a few places who will ship a box for you, but not many. Not enough to count on to be a practical alturnative to making sure YOU get to a PO on time. If that is going to be a problem for you, don't do a bounce box.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fullcount View Post
    I know I may have to pay for it each time I mail it forward, but I really do not want to have to depend on getting to a PO on time.
    Some hostels accept packages. Some do not. Some have to pick up mailed packages away from their Hostel location/address. Some may be able to mail something for you but besides the USPO cost of mailing a box ahead(in some situations) I would NOT ALWAYS automatically expect every hostel to mail a box without a fee for mailing it for you(running it to the PO). Most hostel owners that cater to hikers are pretty nice and amenable but you are asking for an additional service THAT DOES NOT NORMALLY come with the price of a hostel stay. Act accordingly by recognizing that! Asking for such a service without being a paying Hostel customer I would definitely, at the least, offer compensation for the service.

  13. #13
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    If you decide to do a bounce box Fullcount and are expecting to rely on hostels to mail it ahead for you you should contact those Hostels ahead of time BEFORE you mail it there or expect them to mail it ahead for you to see if they will do this for you or else you may find you have a bounce box in a location without an easy means of bouncing it ahead. LOL, IMO this situation on the AT contributes to shweet loaded free for the taking hiker boxes at some locations. I've seen it occur a multitude of times.

  14. #14
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    I never had a issue. If the PO was thruhiker accessible they it was up to me, if not a simple request never failed. Trust the trail, it will never lead you astray (well maybe in Harriman Park NY for a short time). Most people are more then happy to help a thru hiker.

    My advice is be reasonable and trust your trail and that your journey is meant to me.

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