Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 28
  1. #1
    Registered User fullcount's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-30-2010
    Location
    Hampton, VA
    Age
    57
    Posts
    46
    Images
    1

    Default Bounce Box Instructions?

    Okay,

    I have searched and seen a couple of small blurbs about bounce boxes, but I really cannot tell how they work.

    Can you bounce a box if it has been opened? Can you open it at the counter and still bounce it forward. How big of a box? Can I use a 5 gallon pail and bounce that? What are some good things other than batteries and hair cutting stuff to put in a bounce box?

    I really need someone who used bounce boxes extensively to elaborate. I may not have a support team to send me stuff, so I am looking how I might do some of this on the cheap with a bounce box.

    I am all ears. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    AT 9,500 Miler
    Join Date
    01-06-2003
    Location
    Dayton, OH
    Posts
    279
    Images
    1

    Default

    Don't confuse bouncing a box with forwarding a box. Yes, you can open a box at the counter, add/remove contents, and mail it farther down the trail. You pay new postage though. You can't legally forward it if you have opened it. If you sent the box via US Priority Mail and you have not opened it you can forward it to a new destination without additional postage (usually). I don't believe you can forward UPS or Fed Ex packages once they have been delivered.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-15-2003
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,949

    Default

    Here's a tip- if you want to bounce your box forward, announce to the postal clerk that you "do not want to take possession of the box but bounce it forward to a new address". Make it clear. I learned this the hard way after one rude clerk charged me new postage saying once she laid it on the counter I "took possession" of it. I called BS but didn't win that fight.

    Most postal clerks are polite and work with thru hikers. Just set expectations early on.......

  4. #4
    Registered User 4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-02-2007
    Location
    Rhome, TX / Monroe, NH
    Age
    61
    Posts
    7,280
    Images
    27

    Default

    Okay. Just a few tips regarding the mail itself, not what stuff you may wish to bounce all the way to ME.
    1) Don't use spackle pails or such. They are heavy and will add to the postage cost unnecessarily. Boxes get handled better and a box will survive an impact that will crack a spackle pail.
    2) Do not use parcel post EVER. It is not forwardable (you must pay more postage) and only marginally less than Priority Mail to start with and can take much longer. Use Priority Mail with delivery confirmation and keep your tracking number in case it's ever needed.
    3) It is often cheaper NOT to use Flat Rate boxes if you are only moving a bounce box a hundred or two hundred miles up the trail as postage prices go by zones. Usually a 10 lb box will cost somewhere between a medium and large flat rate price. If you are mailing fuel canisters, you must adhere to quantity restrictions (for hiker puposes = 3 small 110 gram canisters) and put "ORM-D" (other restricted material-domestic) AND "Surface Mail Only" on the box. Same goes on the ORM-D on any other restricted materials. Ask the clerk or postmaster nicely. There's a big chart and also info in the DMM(domestic mail manual).
    4) Do not take possession of the box at the PO counter unless you are going to open it. Just tell them you have a General Delivery Priority box there AND that you would like it forwarded to another PO.
    5) Take a list of PO phone numbers you will use so that, if for example you arrive on a Sat afternoon and the PO is closed, you can call the office Monday and have it forwarded.
    6) Use as small a box as is practical. If you stick to priority boxes, they are free, so if it starts getting torn up, just get a new one. Note that you can not use "flat rate boxes" unless you pay the flat rate postage, so pay attention

  5. #5
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-14-2005
    Location
    Virginia, 10 miles from the AT near SNP
    Age
    54
    Posts
    10,470
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    171

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Spokes View Post
    Here's a tip- if you want to bounce your box forward, announce to the postal clerk that you "do not want to take possession of the box but bounce it forward to a new address". Make it clear. I learned this the hard way after one rude clerk charged me new postage saying once she laid it on the counter I "took possession" of it. I called BS but didn't win that fight.
    Oh man, that stinks.

    Was it Kent? The man there was SO rude to me, everyone was staring in disbelief at him and the fellow postal work looked embarrassed. It wasn't a bounce box situation, I only wanted to ship some stuff home.
    Last edited by Blissful; 01-24-2012 at 21:29.







    Hiking Blog
    AT NOBO and SOBO, LT, FHT, ALT
    Shenandoah NP Ridgerunner, Author, Speaker


  6. #6
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-14-2005
    Location
    Virginia, 10 miles from the AT near SNP
    Age
    54
    Posts
    10,470
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    171

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    2) Do not use parcel post EVER. It is not forwardable
    Yeah and it can sit on a loading dock in some city for weeks. And then workers run off with it (I lost two boxes to Maine that way in '07)

    Great advice.







    Hiking Blog
    AT NOBO and SOBO, LT, FHT, ALT
    Shenandoah NP Ridgerunner, Author, Speaker


  7. #7
    Registered User fullcount's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-30-2010
    Location
    Hampton, VA
    Age
    57
    Posts
    46
    Images
    1

    Default

    Thanks gang...much appreciated. I take out of the string of advise, I want to use Priority Boxes (not flat rate) as these can be bounced forward if I announce it before they put it on the counter.

    Now as far as stuff, I am thinking batteries, toothpaste refills, maybe medicines, maps for the upcoming areas, any cold / warm weather change outs. Any other good ideas for the supply box that gets forwarded as you go? I figured on food and fuel as needed purchased locally (not shipped).

  8. #8

    Default

    You will need a marker (sharpie) or ink pen, packing tape , laundry detergent and other things that are sold only in larger size.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-15-2003
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,949

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blissful View Post
    Oh man, that stinks.

    Was it Kent? The man there was SO rude to me, everyone was staring in disbelief at him and the fellow postal work looked embarrassed. It wasn't a bounce box situation, I only wanted to ship some stuff home.
    Can't remember exactly bu it was in New England for sure.

    Don't get me started on Kent!

  10. #10

    Default

    I used a bounce box and loved it. I used the $13.00 flat rate box. In the box I had packing tape, a sharpie and index cards so I could easily pack up and address the box. I also kept shampoo, town clothes, refill ibuprofen, refill q-tips, refill band aids, lotion, etc. I kept treats and greeting cards to send my husband so I could always send him a card every time I got the box. Sometimes I put extra food in the box when I had too much food but it was something I really liked that I could use further up the trail. I put maps and pages from my thru hiker guide in the box so I only had to carry the minimum. My camera battery charger was also in the box, plus extra pole tips, photos from home, letters I'd received that I didn't want to have to carry, etc. Every once in a while I'd ship a bunch of stuff I no longer needed back home, to make room in the box for new stuff.

    I rarely mailed my box to post offices. The hours were too difficult. I mailed the box to places I was staying or to outfitters in the towns I went through. I liked having a flat rate box because several times I mailed it from a hotel or even the garden center in NY by printing a label from the proprietor's computer. People were very willing to help and I was very appreciative! I didn't need a scale and I could pay for the label online and print it. Being able to take care of my bounce box without going to the PO was a big help as I was a female hiker hiking alone and this kept me from having to hitch or walk all over creation to post offices.

    Good luck with deciding about your bounce box!
    "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver
    http://wildandwhiteblazing.com

  11. #11
    Registered User 4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-02-2007
    Location
    Rhome, TX / Monroe, NH
    Age
    61
    Posts
    7,280
    Images
    27

    Default

    Good stuff Zipper. Just curious though, how much did you spend on postage moving the box along the trail. The cost of bouncing many supplies vs buying local is always being debated here, and some hard data would be interesting.

  12. #12
    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-23-2008
    Location
    Athens, GA
    Age
    50
    Posts
    2,850
    Images
    7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ALLEGHENY View Post
    You will need a marker (sharpie) or ink pen, packing tape , laundry detergent and other things that are sold only in larger size.
    Some hostels sell little single serving baggies of laundry detergent (NOC comes to mind)

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Good stuff Zipper. Just curious though, how much did you spend on postage moving the box along the trail. The cost of bouncing many supplies vs buying local is always being debated here, and some hard data would be interesting.
    Hi Buzzard,
    I spend about $175 on postage that didn't include sending food. Just bouncing and sending back gear and stuff. I was really not paying attention to $$ - I had saved a ton and was going to do whatever I wanted on the trail.

    As for food, I tried not to carry more than about 10 lbs of food at a time, and at the start of my hike I packed food and sent it to myself so I could have more variety in smaller quantities than I could get at the store. But really, it was a luxury. Part way through my hike, my mom got into it and put together my food boxes. It was a lovely luxury to receive a package with everything already in perfectly-sized ziplocs, etc, and exactly what I wanted, plus treats an a sweet note!

    Realistically, I think it's probably more inexpensive to purchase food along the trail, and if you're a strapping young 20-something, you'll have no trouble carrying a giant container of pb, or frosting or nutella or whatever's floating your boat at the time. I liked my method for me, but I don't think it's necessary.
    "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver
    http://wildandwhiteblazing.com

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blissful View Post
    Oh man, that stinks.

    Was it Kent? The man there was SO rude to me, everyone was staring in disbelief at him and the fellow postal work looked embarrassed. It wasn't a bounce box situation, I only wanted to ship some stuff home.
    I hope your reported this rude clerk to his supervisor (the Postmaster/Postmistress at the location or the regional USPS manager).
    Handlebar
    GA-ME 06; PCT 08; CDT 10,11,12; ALT 11; MSPA 12; CT 13; Sheltowee 14; AZT 14, 15; LT 15;FT 16;NCT-NY&PA 16

  15. #15
    Registered User 4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-02-2007
    Location
    Rhome, TX / Monroe, NH
    Age
    61
    Posts
    7,280
    Images
    27

    Default

    Thanks Zipper!

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fullcount View Post
    Thanks gang...much appreciated. I take out of the string of advise, I want to use Priority Boxes (not flat rate) as these can be bounced forward if I announce it before they put it on the counter.

    Now as far as stuff, I am thinking batteries, toothpaste refills, maybe medicines, maps for the upcoming areas, any cold / warm weather change outs. Any other good ideas for the supply box that gets forwarded as you go? I figured on food and fuel as needed purchased locally (not shipped).
    You can forward both "regular" Priority Mail boxes and Flat Rate Priority Mail Boxes. In either case, you can get a free box at the post office (one is labelled only "Priority Mail" while the other is labelled "Flat Rate Priority Mail". You can also use your own box or other contain for "regular" Priority Mail. What will be cheaper depends on the weight of the box and the distance it is being sent. I agree with another poster that many times a Priority Mail box can be mailed at lower cost than a Flat Rate Priority Mail Box. On the PCT and CDT, I often bought food in towns with large markets and sent it ahead. In those cases, I found the flat rate boxes to usually be more economical.

    On thing I was able to do a couple of times when I knew I would be getting into a town with a priority mail package addressed to myself c/o general delivery at the PO, was, after checking with a hostel, motel, or business, call and have the PO forward the package so I wouldn't have to delay leaving town when the PO would be closed over a weekend or long weekend with holiday.

    I used a 5 gallon orange Home Depot bucket with the lid secured by zip ties through holes I drilled through it and the bucket top as my "bounce bucket" on both the PCT and CDT. It contained spare socks, spare batteries, spare prescriptions, spare "whatever", maps/guidebook pages for upcoming sections, clothes and equipment I wouldn't need for the next section, etc.
    Handlebar
    GA-ME 06; PCT 08; CDT 10,11,12; ALT 11; MSPA 12; CT 13; Sheltowee 14; AZT 14, 15; LT 15;FT 16;NCT-NY&PA 16

  17. #17
    Registered User Grampie's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-25-2002
    Location
    Meriden, CT
    Posts
    1,297
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    2

    Default

    Advise given as someone who had thru-hiked. Reconsider using a bounce box. They don't serve any purpose. Anything you will need,ie. toothpast, batteries and other expendable hiker needs are easily purchased in trail towns. These folks know hiker needs and have what you will need.
    Don't tie your schedule to a post offices open hours. You will regret it. A bounce box will do this.
    You may want to have someone back home that can send you something that you will need like replacement gear you may already have. If you get to New England you may need additional cold weather stuff also. I'm sure you can make the arrangement to have that sent to you.
    Enjoy your hike. Leave as many responsabilities of off trail life home. The trail will give you plenty of new responsabilities to deal with. Happy trails, enjoy your adventure.
    Grampie-N->2001

  18. #18
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-13-2010
    Location
    Kingsville, Texas
    Age
    70
    Posts
    2,224

    Default

    Lotsa stuff you won't easily find along the trail. I used a bounce box that I actually went in about once a month. I had hair clippers, big ole file I used to trim my toenails, tweezers, Thermarest patch kit, lithium batteries, stuff I didn't want to carry for awhile. It only cost a few bucks to mail it an nothin' if you just forward it.

  19. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-15-2003
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,949

    Default

    Trail towns don't always have everything you need.

  20. #20

    Default

    See how the USPS "bounces"a box:


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yY6dN5pY4y4
    Proposed new state slogan:

    "Rhode Island...3% larger at low tide!"

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •