On the American long trails, there are various ways to resupply along the way. Without a support team to bring everything to the trail, you can’t avoid the occasional visit to a town, but a bed and a shower won’t go amiss in the meantime anyway.
Shopping on the trail
If you have little time for planning, this is the option that takes the least time. However, you should bear in mind that there is a lot to do in the city anyway – such as laundry and resting. It can also be difficult to accommodate special dietary requirements or food intolerances, as shopping options may be limited.
it was on the PCT in 2013 that I first encountered the concept of mail drops. The United Postal Service offers a General Delivery Service designed for people without a fixed address. This allows parcels to be sent in advance to post offices for collection within 30 days. However, this requires a longer preparation time and you may not be able to see the contents of your parcel after a few days. In addition, post offices have limited opening hours and are only open in the morning on Saturdays and closed on Sundays. So if you’re unlucky, you’ll be standing in front of a closed door. There are also additional costs associated with sending parcels, which should not be underestimated.
Since I have limited time in the US, I’ve already bought a lot of groceries in the last few months that I’m allowed to bring in. Of course, I will also go shopping in some places, either because it’s convenient or because I might not arrive until Sunday and have to shop then. I also try to eat vegan whenever possible. A mail drop makes a lot of things easier.
My Arizona Trail Resupply Stops
Since I have very little time after landing and I don’t know if the mail will be faster than me, I will go shopping in Patagonia. The trail used to go straight through town, now it’s about an 8 km diversions.
Since there are no overnight accommodations in Vail, my care package goes to Colossal Cave. Unfortunately you can’t get a shower there, but it’s just closer to the road. I will also drop it off there beforehand with the rental car.
One package goes to Oracle, where I will collect the food and probably spend a night. On the way to Oracle you have to pass through Summerhaven, where you can also do some shopping. However, the accommodation there is too expensive for me to make a serious stop.
Address: XXX, General Delivery, Oracle, AZ 85623
I might not hit this place until Saturday or Sunday, which is why I’ll be shopping here.
There is no post office on site, but I guess the shop accepts packages for hikers. Shopping is supposed to be limited and since I’m actually skipping Payson, I’m packing food for 6 days here.
Roosevelt Lake Marina
28085 N. Hwy. 188
Roosevelt, AZ 85545
A short 2 mile diversions to which I will send a packet.
Address: XXX, General Delivery, Pine, AZ 85544
Actually I wanted to send my parcel to Mormon Lake. But the post office no longer exists. I guess the alternative is Happy Jack. While Mormon Lake is on the way, Happy Jack is about a 10 km diversions.
Address: XXX, General Delivery, 290 AZ-87, Happy Jack, AZ 86024
A big town and actually a good reason to stop and shop here, because you’re sure to find everything you need. Maybe even new shoes?
There’s no way around it and I know from experience that it’s a good place to shop. So I won’t bother with the postage.
I guess Jacobs Lake doesn’t accept parcels any more. I take the diversions anyway, hoping to be able to buy a few small things for the last few days. A diversion of about 8 km.
Alternatives to my resupply stops can be found here: Gateway Communities