Lots of people spend a lot of time meticulously planning their resupply strategy for their five month walk on the PCT. I'm not one of them.
My plan is to figure it out as I go along. I don't really know how much I'll eat, for one: I tend not to eat much when I'm hiking, which makes it more difficult because I know I will get hungry after a few days and have no idea how much I'll want to eat. Now, I could prepare and buy a lot of food for that eventuality and mail out 27 different boxes of food that I may or may not eat (or even like).
Or I can just see how it goes--it's fairly easy to get to well stocked stores for the first month, and put some more concrete plans for a few difficult spots where there aren't a lot of resupply points.
Here's what my plan looks like, with mile markers and dates. C-Store means "convenience store", often a gas station or small grocery. Later dates are fuzzier.
Southern California resupply plans
|Mar 17||0||Start||Campo||Start with 6 days food|
|Mar 23||109||USPS||Warner Springs PO||4 days food|
|Mar 26||183||Buy||Idyllwild||6 days food (and decide if Palm Springs is a rest day)|
|Mar 28||201||Buy||Palm Springs||Possible resupply at Palm Springs, 4 days food|
|Apr 1||266||Buy||Big Bear City||Vons, 6 days. Plus a rest day|
|Apr 5||341||Buy||I-15 El Cajon Pass||Small resupply as needed at c-store|
|Apr 7||369||Buy||Wrightwood||4 to 6 days food|
|Apr 13||465||Buy||Agua Dulce||5 days food|
|Apr 16?||566||Buy||Tehachapi||Albertsons, 7-8 days food|
|Apr 23?||702||USPS||Kennedy Meadows||Ice ax, crampons, bear canister, warmer clothing, with 7 days food|
|May 1?||789||Buy||Bishop/ Independence||10 days food crammed into bear canister (or maybe a day's worth of bulky food in a sack for a bear box storage at night). Might need a USPS package sent from home.|
|May 11?||902||Exit||Mammoth||Get off trail at Horeshoe Lake|
Post-Mammoth resupply plans
After a short break, I get back on the trail, staying overnight in Mammoth the night before..
|May 25||902||Buy||Mammoth||Vons, food for 12 days (that's really too much to carry)|
|May 28||940||Buy||Tuolumne Meadows||Food top up, if store is open|
|Jun 2?||???||USPS?||Central Sierra?||Need a resupply. It's 12 days walking from Mammoth to South Lake Tahoe. It's early season as well; Tuolumne Meadows Store may not be open, and TM is only 2/3 days from Mammoth anyways. Plus bears, so food has to be compact.|
|Jun 8||1092||Buy||S Lake Tahoe||Raleys. Food for 5 days, ship ice ax, crampons home.|
|Jun 13||1192||Buy||Sierra City||Grocery, food for 7 days|
|Jun 17||1265||Buy||Bucks Lake||C-Store top-up as needed|
|Jun 18||1290||Buy||Belden||Grocery, food for six days|
|Jun 24||1415||Buy||Burney||Safeway, 7 days. Perhaps USPS, and motel?|
|Jun 29||1506||Buy||Dunsmuir||Grocery top-up to 7 days|
|Jul 4||1607||Buy||Etna||Grocery top-up as needed. Maybe a rest day|
|Jul 7||1661||Buy||Seiad Valley||Groceries|
|Jul 11||1726||Buy||Ashland, OR||Groceries in-town and a rest day. Mail resupply package ahead to Crater Lake|
|Jul 17||1829||USPS||Mazama Village||Crater Lake NP|
|Jul ??||1989||Buy||Sisters||Groceries and a rest day|
|Aug 1||2154||Buy||Cascade Locks||Stevenson, WA has bigger grocery stores if needed|
|Aug 9||2302||Buy||Packwood, WA||Probably overnight from Whites Pass and pack USPS supplies for Snoq Pass and Stehekin|
|Aug 14||2402||Buy||Snoqualmie Pass||Limited options for food; might USPS|
|Sep 1||2668||Exit||Manning Park, BC||Done!|