14 responses

  1. kathryn
    April 20, 2010

    I didn't start my AT thru-hike with a bounce box, but it was an absolute godsend when I cleaned out some of the crap I was carrying. It is great to have access to some things in town and not have to carry them on the trail. Timing is important though. A few times I was able to hike faster then the post could deliver!

  2. eddie s
    April 20, 2010

    Ok the question is, are you going to have to put the 5 gallon bucket in another box to mail it or is that just for the Photo? Your Camera and Cellphone rechargers do you have an Electrical Adpation unit to fit Scottish plugs and power differences? Are you going to rely on local sources of Clothes washing powder/liquid?

    On my PCT hike I never had any trouble with my resupply box, I used a Bear Cannister inside a heavy duty waxed meat box from a butcher, cost extra but was worth it, other than that I had to make sure I understood the hours of some of the back Country P.O.'s and now some won't be open even on Saturday. So now I make sure my resupply point has a Hotel or Motel so if I have to wait a couple of days it will be in a nice warm Tub of soapy water which I can afford now, but not then,…Do you have a list of Scottish Inn's or B&B's? or are my questions being redundant for you..

  3. Earlylite
    April 20, 2010

    The 5 gallon bucket is getting packed with food to keep the scottish mice out of it. Yep – power adapters in the box too. Washing soap – yes, but I'm thinking about just packing an extra set of base layers and sending the dirties home. I will be doing a lot of fords and should stay pretty clean in a relative way.

    I'm sending the box to the post office to savor the experience. Seriously. I'll be taking a zero in the town, but haven't booked an inn in case I decide I'd rather skip the zero and climb an extra mountain or two. Happy to just wing it. Magical things happen when you don't have a plan.

  4. Ken knight
    April 20, 2010

    I've not used mail drops recently but I have used them in the past when hiking longer stretches of the AT. I've found that they work well.

    I could see using a mail drop for the TGO if I felt confident I could get things all sorted while in th e UK but it won't be happening this year.

  5. James
    April 22, 2010

    Great article. My friend hikes but he doesn't used this service. I wonder if he knows about it but I am going to let him know about this. I think this would be very helpful.

  6. Jugglernick
    April 23, 2010

    Hi Philip, I mailed you before about the gas canister – I have put a 4oz butane/propane screw fitting canister aside for you. Let me know if this is not correct, there will be gas available en route, Fort Augustus should be able to provide. I have watched your route development with interest as it closely mirrors my own, maybe we'll see you for a pint some time.

    Happy hiking,


  7. Earlylite
    April 23, 2010

    Aye – I'll meet you at the Kintail Lodge bar on May 13th at 21.00.

  8. Shepherd of the Hill
    April 25, 2010

    When I hiked the IAT in 2003, the Canadian post offices were no longer providing general delivery service. We had to call ahead to each post office, let them know we were coming, and confirm that they would hold our boxes.

    Question: When you use the bucket, do you also tape the lid on or just snap it on? Do you tape down the handle? I've heard of the bucket method, but haven't used it myself.

  9. Earlylite
    April 25, 2010

    The lid just snaps on. I've never used the bucket method before…I was just going to tear off the handle, or try to anyway.

  10. Earlylite
    November 7, 2011

    I ended up using boxes – much easier to dispose of.

  11. Seth
    November 12, 2011

    - Bucket is mail-able without any secondary packaging. Put postage and address on top of the lid rather than on the side or bottom of the bucket.

    – Have a backup piece of paper inside the bucket with the to/from addresses. (If the label gets ripped off the package, the post office will open it to look for an address.)

    – Removing or taping the handle down is a nice touch.

    – Buckets can often be obtained for free from restaurants.

    – Buckets can be disposed of in a recycling bin.

    – Mailing of fuels is highly regulated and/or prohibited. If fuels are allowed, there are rules about how you package and label your mail piece, the quantity/volume allowed, what else can be packed in the mail piece with the hazardous material, etc. For US Mail, start with publication 52 http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/welcome.htm. This publication also provides guidance for perishables, foodstuffs, and other items we may pack. Private couriers like FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc. have their own rules. Failure to follow the rules can lead to fines and/or imprisonment. I realize some people ignore this stuff and just toss in a couple propane/butane canisters, a bottle of alcohol or white gas, and drop their box in the mail. I strongly advise against that. For the safety of the postal workers and to protect yourself from fines or jail time, take the time to learn the HazMat shipping rules that apply to you and follow them.

  12. ray bruce
    June 24, 2013

    planning on hiking between Rutland and Canadian border, N to S, in Aug 2013. wondering if that section is ok after Hurricane Irena 2 yrs ago. also have guides and map from 2 yrs ago r they still accurate. welcome suggestions on shuttle from Rutland to northern end and mail drops. thanks

  13. Baker
    June 11, 2014

    I’m planning to do tthe northern half of the LT later this summer after I finish teaching at a camp up near Middlebury, and was thinking of hand-delivering my dropbox at the Johnson, VT post office before I begin my hike. Do you know if I’m allowed to store fuel in the box if it’s not actively being mailed?

    • Philip Werner
      June 12, 2014

      It’s becomes mail as soon as you give it to them, so no, I strongly doubt it. Ask a local B&B to hold the package for you.

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