Bounce Box?

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  • #94
    Mark_F
    Member

    Appalachian Trail thru-hikers use Bounce Boxes to send some items ahead to pick them up when they arrive. For example: town clothes, battery chargers, computer. Has anyone done that on the NFCT? Does a list of places which will hold mail (Post Offices, B&B’s, outfitters, etc.) exist?

    Planning to take a 10 foot kayak with limited space. The ability to have mail including my own awaiting my arrival would be helpful.

    Mark_F.

    #205
    aniemela
    Member

    @Mark_F 125 wrote:

    Appalachian Trail thru-hikers use Bounce Boxes to send some items ahead to pick them up when they arrive. For example: town clothes, battery chargers, computer. Has anyone done that on the NFCT? Does a list of places which will hold mail (Post Offices, B&B’s, outfitters, etc.) exist?

    Planning to take a 10 foot kayak with limited space. The ability to have mail including my own awaiting my arrival would be helpful.

    Mark_F.

    Mark, to answer your question, I did not use a bounce box bec. However, I did have my wife ship items to me in towns along the way, of which there are many. At least until you get to Maine. I don’t have a compiled list of the post offices that I used but feel free to post a question about a town/area and I’m sure plenty of us will have input about it. Some of the more remote areas where there are no post offices/towns, there are businesses that might be willing to receive items for you.

    #206
    Walter
    Keymaster

    From Through Paddler Justine Jarvis:
    We had 22 food boxes , many of which we bumped half ahead when we hiked the appalacian trail. But on the N.F.C.T. we only did one food box. A 13 day supply of food delivered to Rockwood on Moosehead lake. Because too much to resupply at Rockwood store. And not much resupply places after that.The Rockwood Post office was very understanding. Mark your boxes “Hold for Northern Forest Canoe trail paddler” with an estimated pick up date and I think most PO will have your stuff waiting when you get there. I hope you do use this method as the more places that know about the trail and thru canoers, the easier it will be for paddlers who follow in our footsteps. Please email me anytime if you have any more questions. ps before we left I wrote all the post office zip codes for all trail towns in my guide book….way easier to do ahead of time. Remeber also that mail travels slow in back country areas.
    ps….do not rely on any iphone service anywhere along the trail for info….when you need it most….you won’t have service. The oldfashioned way of pencil & paper in waterproof envelope is always the best method in the back counrty….GOOD LUCK, we wish you well.

    #209
    Arthur
    Member

    I think that we did 4 drop boxes for the whole trip. I rarely did this on the AT, but it came in handy on the NFCT. Can’t remember all of them, but North Stratford, NH and Stratton, ME were a couple of them. Almost all post offices will accept general delivery packages and hold them for 30 days. Sending parcel post will save you money if you plan ahead. If you send it priority mail though, you can “bounce” the box once for free if it is unopened, i.e. if you get there before you’re package and have to move on due to your schedule. We had to do this with our first drop box. Just make sure to label your box for general delivery with something along the lines of “Please hold for NFCT thru-paddler.” The P.O. in Stratton, ME is especially used to this, as they are an AT trail town as well and get gobs of packages for hikers. Be sure and stay in the hostel there and hang out with the thru-hikers for a bit.

    Arthur Wilke
    NFCT thru-paddler ’10

    #207

    Great question. In my opinion, mailing food or equipment is a waste of time and money, and a detriment to the local economy. Everything you could ever need on the NFCT to cook nutritious, delicious food is available at the grocery store in the towns you paddle through. Buy from them. Carry a half dozen ice bags or other durable, tall, non-ziplock bags and rebag in the parking lot. Toss the superfluous packaging.

    Better yet, this can mean you never need to carry more than 3-4 days worth of food at a time. At 1.5 pounds of food per person per day for a single tandem boat, that is only 9-12 pounds of food per leg. Plan portages through towns and hit the supermarket. Print out store hours (and other pertinent hours, like library, sandwich shop, etc) and carry them with your documents. From Jackman to Allagash Village is the longest stretch without a good grocery store. Rockwood has a general store with most of what you would need, however.

    I did the NFCT in 2007 in 32 days, and carried between 3-4 days of food at a time, with 5-6 days of food for Moosehead to Fort Kent.

    For two 19 year old men (boys?) we ate very well with 70 pounds of food, costing $450, and taking about 5 hours (over a month) to plan, purchase, and pack for the entire expedition.

    #204
    Chris Gill
    Member

    I agree strongly with Zand about buying food and services from local business along the trail. On a technical note, no one should expect to find any supplies between Rockwood and Fort Kent. To the best of my knowledge there is no store in Allagash Village. While through paddlers may speed their way from Rockwood to Fort Kent in 6 days chances are it will take most parties several days longer.

    #208
    Mark_F
    Member

    Thank you all for the replies. My preference always is to support local businesses. Bounce Box intended for items such as battery chargers and computer. That will allow me to upload photos, maintain a blog, etc. Will compile a list of PO’s and Zip Codes. Hopefully, the local postmasters are familiar with the NFCT, thru-paddlers, and receiving mail for them.

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