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  1. #1
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    Default Sending Packages to Hostels

    I know there are a ton of options for resupply along the trail including sending your packages to hostels that offer to hold them. Can anyone drop off a resupply box at a hostel to be held? Or does it have to be a post carrier? I have a support team along the East coast that could knock out all but northern New England to save on cost if possible.

  2. #2
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    How long would it be between packages being dropped off and your getting there? Ideally it shouldn't be more then a few weeks. Hostels have limited space to store packages and yours isn't the only one. They need to have a fairly fast turn over. You can't treat them as a long term storage locker and you may or may not ever get to them anyway.

    If you can call someone and say "hey, I'll be at such and such in a couple of days". "Mind delivering a package for me?" That might work, assuming your contacts have the time to do so when you need it.

    Now how do these people get the stuff in the package to drop off? Do you expect them to buy it for you? Or are you going to make up all these packages and mail it to them? If you have to mail the packages to these people in the first place, why not just send them to where they need to go?
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  3. #3
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    It's several family members that live and travel the east coast for work that would drop them off. The packages wouldn't be dropped off more than 10-14 days ahead of us passing through, especially when a good amount of them have a 21 day hold. We will see them all before we start in March and would leave food and gear changes with them to drop off at certain pales when the time came. That part is all planned, I just need to know if a family member or a coworker can show up with a box at a hostel that's marked for us with a pick up date.

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    Seems like a lot trouble with a lot to go wrong, but I can't see a problem someone dropping off a package for you. Might want to give them a call before hand though to make sure. There may not be anyone around to accept the package at certain times if they also run shuttles.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcmcwill View Post
    I just need to know if a family member or a coworker can show up with a box at a hostel that's marked for us with a pick up date.
    I'd be extremely surprised if the hotels and other trail establishments that accept postal boxes don't accept drop off as well. Why wouldn't they. Use your AWOL guide and give them a call or email if you're still unsure after reading some responses on here. But I agree with a statement below, seems like a lot of time and gas money to save some modest postage, but I sure don't see anything that could go "wrong". I mailed my boxes for an entire AT hike, 95% to hostels and such (one and only one PO !) never lost a box or had one misplaced.

  6. #6

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    That was "hostels" not "hotels" in my first sentence, though even hotels seem to accept packages along the trail. Even chain hotels, not only mom-and-pops.

  7. #7
    Registered User Sir-Packs-Alot's Avatar
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    At Top of Georgia Hostel and Hiking Center we ask folks to label the package with the same name on the photo I.D. they will be asked to present when they pick up their packages. We also ask that they put an E.T.A. on the box - and something that really helps the hikers - is to put THEIR CELL NUMBER on the outside of the box. Itineraries change and we are glad to call you to figure out what to do with your box. How long a hostel will hold your box varies as well. We will keep packages for up to 21 days before calling the number on the box (if there is one) or then "returning it to sender" (home) unless we hear from a hiker about forwarding it ahead. If you use USPS you can keep forwarding an unopened box ahead free of charge. Not so for UPS or Fed-ex.

  8. #8
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcmcwill View Post
    I know there are a ton of options for resupply along the trail including sending your packages to hostels that offer to hold them. Can anyone drop off a resupply box at a hostel to be held? Or does it have to be a post carrier? I have a support team along the East coast that could knock out all but northern New England to save on cost if possible.
    Yes this strategy would work. As mentioned a quick call to the hostels to confirm their policy would be appropriate and would only take you a few minutes.
    Lonehiker

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir-Packs-Alot View Post
    If you use USPS you can keep forwarding an unopened box ahead free of charge. Not so for UPS or Fed-ex.
    Only if it's a priority mail box. Does not apply to first class or parcel post, but most use the flat rate priority mail boxes these days anyway.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    How long would it be between packages being dropped off and your getting there? Ideally it shouldn't be more then a few weeks. Hostels have limited space to store packages and yours isn't the only one. They need to have a fairly fast turn over. You can't treat them as a long term storage locker and you may or may not ever get to them anyway.

    If you can call someone and say "hey, I'll be at such and such in a couple of days". "Mind delivering a package for me?" That might work, assuming your contacts have the time to do so when you need it.

    Now how do these people get the stuff in the package to drop off? Do you expect them to buy it for you? Or are you going to make up all these packages and mail it to them? If you have to mail the packages to these people in the first place, why not just send them to where they need to go?
    I remember the "hiker box" at one hotel I stopped at (well, the only one I stopped at) on a section hike. There was a package addressed to a hiker -- that was over a year old. It had just been sitting on the shelf since what must have been eighteen months before.

    But seriously, if I planned to mail something to a hostel I would probably call them, and send them ten dollars for the service of holding it for me or combine the mailing with a reservation. Not mail something on with a hostel as the return address where it would end up on a shelf forever.

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