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  1. #1

    Default how many is tooo many mail drops?

    i have been collecting food for two years.this is free food postage is all it will cost.three cases of tvp,beef and chicken,two cases eggs,all #10 cans,10 banana boxes of miss. box full of bubble gum,pasta ,the best is dry dumplings, just like pasta but stick to your ribs good. the problem is just how many food drops are possible within reason?
    the best is the oatmeal i have 3 cases of 28 boxes.heartsmart the good stuff,i plan to give a lot of it away. what do you think

  2. #2
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    One, but that is just one white boy's opinion.

    For more indepth info check this out: LINK

  3. #3
    Springer - Front Royal Lilred's Avatar
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    I would mail my drops to the places I planned on staying, hostels, hotels... Rarely did I send one to a post office. I section the AT and waiting for Monday to arrive if getting to town on a Saturday would have drove me nuts.
    some people will say you can't send too much, others will say one is too much. If you've already got the food, I'd use as many maildrops as necessary till the food was gone.
    "It was on the first of May, in the year 1769, that I resigned my domestic happiness for a time, and left my family and peaceable habitation on the Yadkin River, in North Carolina, to wander through the wilderness of America." - Daniel Boone

  4. #4

    Default Number of maildrops to send...

    Well, Pirate would say the correct answer is zero, as none of them will possibly get there. (Leaving aside that I had over 25 mail drops on my thruhike last year, ALL of which I did receive...)

    I would say that the # depends mainly on how specific your food requirements are. If you can live with what Joe Bob's Convenience Store in Deliverance, Maine will have, then half a dozen is fine IMO. There are places like Neels Gap, Monson, Fontana, Kincora, and much of New England where mail drops are a real blessing to have done, but you can get by with very few.

    The order of preference for where to send a mail drop IMO are, from best to worst:

    Hostel you'll be staying at (open 24 hours/day, 7 days/week)

    Outfitter (open 7 days a week, usually, but not 24 hours/day)

    Post Office (open 5-6 days/week, limited hours, plus often inconvenient location for hikers, esp if not in tiny town, but that means even worse hours)
    ================================================
    You're also going to want to use drops to exchange or replace gear. Switching from winter to summer gear in S. VA, and back again in Glencliff, are typical.

    Whatever you do, DON'T seal your mail drops ahead of time. You will develop cravings and revulsion for various trail foods that you can't guess at ahead of time. Plus, this way you can have your support person add in replacement gear as needed.

  5. #5

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    Hoping you have someone off trail to help you out. If so, try your first three or four planned stops for mail drops. After that you'll find yor rythym and become familiar with town stops, prices etc. Also, the pace you plan to keep will doubtfully match the one you come to agree with the trail with, sending too far ahead may cause headaches for you while you're trying to enjoy yor hike.
    If you now have enough food for the whole trip, disregard the above but I'm thinking expiration date and a growing disenchantment with your options.

  6. #6

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    This really doesn't answer your question ( I guess it's a very individual thing) but I can share a few ideas.

    In 06 I had too many to start with, I actually lost a great pair of Frogg Toggs that I had sent forward, and completely forgot about when I ended up off trail with an injury.

    At mountain crossings I got my first box, and ended up giving away most of the cool stuff I had sent myself (food wise).

    On a 30 day section in 05, Rubberbandman and I planned for a drop at Harper's Ferry, and got to the P.O. a few minutes after they closed, and that was a total drag.

    I plan on using them very sporadically, or "on demand" from home a week or so ahead if I need anything.
    ad astra per aspera

  7. #7
    Thru-hiker Wanna-be Fiddler's Avatar
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    There's a lot of food in those #10 cans, and they have a very long shelf life. But before you open them and begin making individual meals with them check on how long the food stays good after the can is opened. You don't want to prepare too much in advance and then can't use it.
    Remember this - - Even the best of friends cannot attend each other's funerals.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mozzie View Post
    the problem is just how many food drops are possible within reason?
    Wrong question. The question should be, why have ANY? What exactly will you need on the trail that you can't buy locally?

    Oatmeal? Pasta? You've got to be kidding. Hiker boxes from GA to ME are overflowing with the stuff.

    Speaking for myself, the main thing mail drops are good for these days are maps. The ATC maps are heavy. Mail drops are a pain. Try to minimize them. Use them specifically for items that you absolutely need but cannot buy locally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mozzie View Post
    i have been collecting food for two years.this is free food postage is all it will cost.three cases of tvp,beef and chicken,two cases eggs,all #10 cans,10 banana boxes of miss. box full of bubble gum,pasta ,the best is dry dumplings, just like pasta but stick to your ribs good. the problem is just how many food drops are possible within reason?
    the best is the oatmeal i have 3 cases of 28 boxes.heartsmart the good stuff,i plan to give a lot of it away. what do you think
    your chances of hiking the whole trail are slim. buy as you go. no mail drops

  10. #10
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    Default how many is tooo many mail drops?

    Quote Originally Posted by L. Wolf View Post
    your chances of hiking the whole trail are slim. buy as you go. no mail drops

    The above is the clear and simple answer. On the other hand, some people received stuff in care packages that I envied. A world-class napper got small bottles of alcohol that he shared with his fellow hikers (great man ). Couples got interesting, frivolous but some times useful stuff. Then there were all those packages that just got emptied into the hiker boxes... thanks for the free re-supply. Oh yeah, then there is the one person who can actually make mail drops work.

  11. #11
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Mozzie did say in the original post that all the food was free. Telling him to buy it along the way is nice (and there are generally good reasons for doing so), but free food is free food. Sure, he can get oatmeal anywhere, but he already has it. If all he needs is postage, that's not a bad thing.

    So, to sum up:

    1. Have someone pack and mail the boxes as needed, rather than mailing them all to yourself before you hike;
    2. Mail them to hostels, rather than post offices, where possible;
    3. Be careful about shelf life of canned items after the cans are opened;
    4. Be aware that your tastes may change over the course of the hike;
    5. Be willing to supplement your maildrops with food you buy in town.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  12. #12

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    Donate those powdered eggs to a homeless shelter or something. Yuk!

  13. #13

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    Hey there Mozzie. Of course the stuff in #10 cans and the bubble gum won't not do you much good on the trail; however, the rest you could use in your mail drops if thats your plan. Those dumplings sound interesting.

    Just Jim

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    I'd take the stuff in the #10 cans and dehydrate them.

  15. #15
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katagious View Post
    I'd take the stuff in the #10 cans and dehydrate them.
    Good idea. We dehydrated chicken from cans, no problem. Also beef - minced and dried in the oven to add to meals.

    Agree though you can find oatmeal and pastas in bounce boxes. Mail drops are good for having meals made up that you prepackage yourself (ATC has a great cookbook) esp if you want more nutritious well balanced food and / or you get bored with the usual staples of Ramen, mac and cheese and potato mixes. You will need someone on the home front to help, though. And that is a good way to get a good friend or family member involved with your hike.

    Jack T has a resupply article which can help decide where you need boxes and where you don't. There are areas that have very little or very expensive supplies or you spend time hitching and scrounging or walking to get food.







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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by katagious View Post
    I'd take the stuff in the #10 cans and dehydrate them.
    I misread your original post, I didn't realize the stuff was meat. I thought it might creamed corn or something!! My bad! Dehydrate away!

  17. #17

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    the stuff in the cans is tvp. pure protien.half chix half beef.the chix can be pork with pork bullion. it is already dehidrated.tvp is the same stuff you eat in ravioli ,chef boardi,cant spell it,spag. and meatballs in a can.the things you can do with it is unlimited.just imagine the posibilitys.im going to open the cans and seal a meal any number of dinners out of it.

  18. #18

    Red face

    about the dumplings,southern style.tvp can be found at any health food store.but a can or pouch of chix will do
    bring water to a boil,with your chix ,chix bullion lots of pepper and salt.parsly and torn up or sliced tortilias flour.bring to good boil.then let sit.do this over and over,until the tortilias gets thick and puffy ad alittle pot. flakes to make it stick to your ribbs mmmmmmm home cookin in the middle of the woods

  19. #19

    Thumbs down Tvp...

    Quote Originally Posted by mozzie View Post
    the stuff in the cans is tvp. pure protien.half chix half beef.the chix can be pork with pork bullion. it is already dehidrated.tvp is the same stuff you eat in ravioli ,chef boardi,cant spell it,spag. and meatballs in a can.the things you can do with it is unlimited.just imagine the posibilitys.im going to open the cans and seal a meal any number of dinners out of it.
    Humans, especially males, should limit or avoid soy products, of which TVP is one. The estrogen analogues, the nutrient-blocking components -- surely no one here is so broke that they can't be at least a little selective about their diet from a health perspective. (TVP has excessive sodium, too, BTW.)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by minnesotasmith View Post
    Humans, especially males, should limit or avoid soy products, of which TVP is one.
    Do you have a cite for this claim, MS? It sounds like BS to me.

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