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Thread: Food Supply

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    Default Food Supply

    I am starting NOBO from Springer around March 9th. I know it is possible, but is it feasible to go without getting packages mailed to you or doing a bounce box for food supply? I would like to just be able to stop, get what food I need, and keep going. I do not want to have to go into town, just to gas stations/stores just off the trail.

  2. #2

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    Yes, many hikers resupply as they go every year. Not all resupply locales are going to be within a mile of the trail, though. Here is a link to some useful articles on AT resupply:

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/content.php/15-resupply

    A good guidebook, like the AT Companion or AWOL's guidebook, are also useful.
    Last edited by map man; 01-04-2015 at 21:52.

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    There is no need to mail food drops, if you choose not to. There are good articles on this subject from the home page under AT resupply (Baltimore Jack)

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    Quote Originally Posted by map man View Post
    Yes, many hikers resupply as they go every year. Not all resupply locales are going to be within a mile of the trail, though. Here is a link to some useful articles on AT resupply:

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/content.php/15-resupply

    A good guidebook, like the AT Companion or AWOL's guidebook, are also useful.

    I have the new guidebook, just wanted a bit more info. The link has some great info, and broken down nicely. Thank you

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    Quote Originally Posted by comanche8f View Post
    I am starting NOBO from Springer around March 9th. I know it is possible, but is it feasible to go without getting packages mailed to you or doing a bounce box for food supply? I would like to just be able to stop, get what food I need, and keep going. I do not want to have to go into town, just to gas stations/stores just off the trail.
    Yes, very easily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by comanche8f View Post
    I am starting NOBO from Springer around March 9th. I know it is possible, but is it feasible to go without getting packages mailed to you or doing a bounce box for food supply? I would like to just be able to stop, get what food I need, and keep going. I do not want to have to go into town, just to gas stations/stores just off the trail.
    Yes, but you probably won't like the options. And believe me, at some times, you will want/need to go into a town.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tsommers View Post
    Yes, but you probably won't like the options. And believe me, at some times, you will want/need to go into a town.

    No doubt there will be points that I will go into town. I am going to try my best not too. I am comfortable with spending long periods of time in the outdoors, in the elements. That being said, sometimes you just need a hot shower and a mattress. I'm just more concerned with being able to find food while on the trail. I will find a hostel/hotel or regular food when I need it.

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    Find food while on the trail?

    Are you thinking of foraging?

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    This is a very common topic here. The answer depends on your hiking style and experience.

    As mentioned several times, yes, it's possible to hike the AT with no mail drops. I did it. But there are a few areas where it is more difficult than others, and a few areas with limited grocery choices. For instance, if you don't mind hiking 100 miles between food sources, and then finding only hot dog buns and peanut butter and one bruised banana on nearly bare C-store shelves when you get there, and you smile a little and think "what a good story this will make," you'll do just fine without mail drops.

    There are advantages to resupply boxes. If you don't do them, you may need to undertake the occasional longish road walk or hitchhike to get to a town while a hiking companion is getting a CARE package at a PO or business right off the trail, or hike on a little hungry to the next road crossing without resupplying. But to do resupplies well, you need to be organized, well-planned, have a "ground control team" at home, and clairvoyantly know what your trail persona is going to want to eat after a month or three of AT hiking. Some people can do that well, others can't.

    Some hikers take a hybrid approach and mail boxes to themselves from the trail every month or so, and account for changing appetites and hiking style that way. Good luck in your choice.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

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    Once on trail, consider bouncing a resupply up to Bland, VA. That's the only place I recall really hurting for options. Once out of southern VA you'll have plenty of options, and they get healthier once you cross the Mason-Dixon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Connie View Post
    Find food while on the trail?

    Are you thinking of foraging?
    That would be a negative. I just want to stay as close to the trail as possible, for the most part

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    Do you have a guide book? will be a big help.
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kayak karl View Post
    Do you have a guide book? will be a big help.
    I do have the 2015 guidebook. It is definitely very helpful, I was just looking for insight from those who have done it. A lot of the places in the book it will say the trail is 3.2 miles from the picture in the book. So I am trying to stay away from those places, and stop at places that may only have a gas station , but that gas station having enough to get me through until the next stop. Even if it is just old ramen and snickers

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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    This is a very common topic here. The answer depends on your hiking style and experience.

    As mentioned several times, yes, it's possible to hike the AT with no mail drops. I did it. But there are a few areas where it is more difficult than others, and a few areas with limited grocery choices. For instance, if you don't mind hiking 100 miles between food sources, and then finding only hot dog buns and peanut butter and one bruised banana on nearly bare C-store shelves when you get there, and you smile a little and think "what a good story this will make," you'll do just fine without mail drops.

    There are advantages to resupply boxes. If you don't do them, you may need to undertake the occasional longish road walk or hitchhike to get to a town while a hiking companion is getting a CARE package at a PO or business right off the trail, or hike on a little hungry to the next road crossing without resupplying. But to do resupplies well, you need to be organized, well-planned, have a "ground control team" at home, and clairvoyantly know what your trail persona is going to want to eat after a month or three of AT hiking. Some people can do that well, others can't.

    Some hikers take a hybrid approach and mail boxes to themselves from the trail every month or so, and account for changing appetites and hiking style that way. Good luck in your choice.

    I would smear the peanut butter on the hot dog bun, put the banana in it, and have an old fashioned peanut butter/banana sandwich; and walk out of there smiling like a kid on their birthday!

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    the areas are not that built up. if there was a closer place to get food they would mention it. things change a bit up north like in Pa.
    also 3.2 miles is nothing. one hour walk or 10 min hitch.
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

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    For mail drops, I recommend only two. Fontana Dam and Monson, ME.

    Fontana because food there is so damn expensive. You'll pay over $3.00 for a box of mac & cheese that would normally cost you 38 cents at Walmart.

    Monson, Maine because the general store there closed down (might be different now, sorry, haven't checked) and you might have to settle with resupplying at a gas station. It's not all that bad though. Also, hiker boxes there are usually loaded with lots of food if you hit it on the right day. Hikers tend to get big mail drops there and end up dumping a lot of their food into the hiker boxes.

    Everywhere else on the trail, wherever you can pick up a mail drop, you can simply buy your food.
    Flatfoot, Ga->Me 2013

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    Hi, small world. I live in Cambridge. The AT is my after retirement plan. Did many miles in my day. Catch up with me and let's have a beer at RAR! Conrad

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    Excellent! I get it. I'm sure after hiking couple weeks when it comes to food, I could eat ,,,almost anything!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kibs View Post
    Excellent! I get it. I'm sure after hiking couple weeks when it comes to food, I could eat ,,,almost anything!

    Yeah, I probably could eat almost anything, that being said, I still need my 4-6k calories a day. I also prefer it to be somewhat healthy. Well, at least until I do the half gallon challenge

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