Hikers seem to agree that a letter or care package can really turn around a rough spot on the trail. And I promise to send an awesome letter back to you from the trail! My care packages to you will consist of a few pinecones and twigs, and anything else awesome I find on the trail. Below are a few instructions if you decide to send anything to the trail - I don't want to overwhelm with details, but want to ensure we receive the packages and letters that are sent. Picking up mail on the trail is, obviously, more complicated than it would be from a permanent address.
Letters can be mailed First Class (just normal/regular mail). Easy peasy!
Most boxes must be mailed via Priority Mail through the US Post Office. If you send a box via First Class or Parcel Post, chances are I won't get it. (Don't believe the Post Office if they tell you Parcel Post will make it in time - many of these places are really remote, and according to previous hikers, it won't make it.)
Some mail drop locations only take UPS. These locations are noted in my maildrop list, if UPS is your preferred delivery. However, if you send a box via USPS Priority Mail to a UPS address, I won't get it.
Don't use FedEx.
However you send the box, please make sure that we DO NOT have to sign for it.
What should you put in a box? Care packages don't need to be big. Food is good. Cookies or any homemade goodies, notes from you, chips, newspaper clippings, pictures, etc. are all things I like!
What should you not put in a box? Anything I'd have to carry - weight is always a consideration! Typically, books, toys, etc. can be fun...but they would be difficult to take on the trail.
I don't have firm dates for when we'll be at specific locations. If I say we'll be somewhere on June 5, it's possible we'll arrive a few days early or late. Or we could be off by a week or more. Plans aren't set in stone on the trail, so it's a good idea to plan for your letter or box to get to the town a couple days earlier than the scheduled ETA. You can always check this blog to see if we're still on track.
It's important to address each letter/box exactly as I've detailed on the maildrop list below. And don't forget to write "Hold for PCT Hiker. ETA: (date)" on the bottom left corner of all boxes and letters. It's also helpful if you write my last name in big black letters on all sides of any box. Lastly, surprises are usually awesome, but we will have to ask for all of our mail at post offices and other locations. If I don't know you've sent something, I won't know to ask for it. So if you're sending me something, give me a heads up (email, voicemail, whatever) to let me know. Thanks!