Resupply

When, How and Where to Ship Your Resupply
[Specific instructions for shipping resupply packages can and will change! Be sure to check the web site for each resupply point to ensure that you have the most current information.]


Plan to resupply food every 5-10 days. Make your own food! And use online calorie calculators and the PackIt Gourmet spreadsheet to ensure that you're hauling no fewer than 100 calories per ounce.

Common resupply points
- Reds Meadow Resort (58mi from Yosemite)
- Vermilion Resort (87.6 mi)
- Muir Trail Ranch (107mi)
- Post Office in Independence, CA (Onion Valley via Kearsarge Pass 178mi)


Some helpful quotes we assembled from various blogs, apologies for poor linkback and attritbution...
"The John Muir Trail is the longest stretch of the Pacific Crest trail with no towns or highway crossings, so food drops are a problem, particularly if you are not doing the 20+ miles per day of a PCT thru-hiker. I went from Yosemite south, so had a drop at Reds Meadows' Resort, one 4 days later at Vermillion Resort, and then had a friend with llamas do one in LeConte Canyon."
"As a resupply strategy, if you have to hike out to Onion Valley to get a food drop, you might consider setting setup a dry camp at the PCT junction. Empty absolutely everything out of your  pack except emergency gear and empty water containers, then make a fast round trip."
"If you're going North to South and don't want to carry a full load of food up from the valley floor, drive/shuttle a resupply up to Tuolumne Meadows where there are plenty of bear vaults. Alternately, just ship a box to yourself at the Tuolumne Post Office but know that it's closed on the weekend.
Vermillion Resort is one of the highlights of the trip with meals, and sleeping facilities for hikers, and a small store. They make a special effort to welcome both PCTers and JMTers - first beer and first night are free. Great pie. ATT cell service works at VVR. They also have internet via satellite.
Muir Trail Ranch is a couple of days south of Vermillion Resort and does hiker resupply. MTR welcomes hikers, but just does resupply. Its lodging & meals are for their paid guests only. Hikers can stay a short distance from the ranch where plenty of established sites sit beside the San Joaquin River across from Blaney Hot Springs. MTR is located at the east end of Florence Lake if you're looking to exit or have someone rendezvous with you. A ferry shuttle service goes across the lake every two hours in summer. Some people have used this for a west side entry to the JMT, but it requires getting your permit in Prather, and a $300+ taxi ride.
I've heard rumors that a Pack Station at Bishop Pass will pack food in, and place it in a 50 gallon barrel at LeConte Ranger Station."

"A 2005 backpacking forum message said the packer from Onion Valley resupplied them at Charlotte Lake, over Kearsarge Pass. One packer and one horse, no extra mule cost $225.00. They have a sealed, buried 55 gal drum at Charlotte Lake Ranger Station, so you don't have to meet them. The food in the drum can only stay there one day.This apparently is not Berner's drum - see below. I've seen such a drum at Le Conte Ranger Station, but don't know rules for its use. The pack station out of Onion Valley is run by Berner's Pack Outfit, Brian & Danica Berner. They also run the Pine Creek Pack Station. Contact them at 760-387-2797 or 800-962-0775. Their address is Berner's Pack Outfit, Pine Creek Pack Station, P.O. Box 968, Bishop, CA 93515. I heard they will hold a resupply box for $75, but contact them to be sure. Warning! ask your packer if they have a current permit to go into Sequoia Kings Canyon NP. If they do not have a permit to bring animals into Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, they cannot do a drop at Charlotte Lake Ranger Station. This news from a couple who had a prearranged food drop at the ranger station, only to arrive on time and find a note that their food drop was on top of Kearsarge Pass due to Berners not having their permit yet. They had to abort their trip. Berners now has their permit effective 7/7/09."

We never really explored resupply by horse since friends and family came to our rescue. Commercial resupply is an expensive way to go but here's some links to check out...
For horse or mule resupply from the east side of the Sierras check the pack station list at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/inyo/recreation/packstations.shtml or a list of east side packers:http://www.bishopvisitor.com/activities/exp_pack_trips.php3

Regarding Resupply Fuel:
We resolved to use ESBIT solid fuel which is no problem to mail.
  • Below 9000' one cube brings a liter to boil. 
  • At 9-10k feet, you'll need 1.5 cube to boil one liter. 
  • Above 10k' you'll need two ESBIT cubes
ESBIT is not the only option but shipping gas or alcohol means knowing your postal regulations...
It's best to buy at resupply point. Fuels can't be flown. US Postal Service will allow butane/propane canisters and alcohol to be mailed ground only provided they are packed and labeled properly. See Ken Power's link on this: http://www.gottawalk.com/shipping_fuel.htm . I mailed an unopened can of alcohol to Mt. Laguna for our section A PCT hike, properly packed - wrapped with paper towels inside a ziplock inside a well padded box. Good thing I followed the rules because it did leak - not a lot, but all the paper towels were damp - nothing into outer box.
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Shipping Your Resupply Buckets/Boxes
NOTE: The below instructions are provided only to give a sense of what's involved in preparing and shipping resupply packages.  Do not rely on this info since the specifics can and will change! Be sure to look up each resupply point for current information.

In the lower corner of each side of your package mark with your last name, "Hold for JMT Hiker" and "ETA:[month and day]" (ETA = Estimated Time of Arrival).

Tuolumne Meadows Our est. arrival is Friday, Aug. 13th [SEND USPS 1st Class]
Box contains 5 Days of food

Send resupply package to the post office in Tuolumne Meadows
[hiker's name]
c/o General Delivery
Tuolumne Meadows
Yosemite National Park, CA  95389



 Red’s Meadow Our est. arrival is Wed.Aug.18 (ship Aug.10th?)  [SEND USPS 1st Class]
Box = 4 days
Our Policies
  • • We must have your signed authorization to pick-up your package.
  • • 35.00 charge for Red’s pick-up at the Mammoth Post Office (Includes delivery to Red’s Meadow General Store and 5 days storage)
  • • $1.00 per day for storage of hand-delivered packages. (Begins with first day until package is picked up)
  • • Packages may be picked up at Red’s Meadow General Store between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. ONLY.
  • • We do not arrange for return of packages to you in the event you do not pick-up the package.
We are in Mammoth Lakes approximately 4 times per week. We will pick up
packages only when we are in the Mammoth area. (Suggestion: Mail your package so that it
arrives several days before you get to Red’s Meadow. Parcel Post recently seems to be taking 30 days, so if your arrival at Red’s is less than 30 days from mailing your package, mail it 1st class, so you will not be detained or inconvenienced)
*****************************************************************
Enclosed is $35.00 per package, I authorize Red‛s Meadow to pick up my package(s)
in accordance with the above policies on or about ____________.
(approximate date you expect us to pick up your package)
Your Name: _________________________________
Your Address: _________________________________
_________________________________
Signature: _____________________________ Date Signed: _____________

Return this form and mail packages separately to:
Red’s Meadow
PO Box 395
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546


Vermillion Valley Resort - Est. arrival= Sat. AUG 21st  (Box must arrive Aug. 7th)
Box contains 3 Days of food
http://www.edisonlake.com/hikers/resupply
The Vermilion Valley Resort offers a Resupply Package Service for hikers traveling the John Muir Trail / Pacific Crest Trail. Packages can be mailed either U.P.S. or U.S. Mail.
Help us reduce YOUR cost by following the simple instructions below.  Please understand that not following the instructions could result in additional charges, or worse - your resupply being returned!

Packaging Rules

  1. Packages are limited to 25 pounds each
  2. Your name and Estimated Arrival Date must be clearly visible on 4 sides of your package.
  3. You may use either a box, or a bucket to send your package, as long as it doesn't exceed 25 pounds.

Please send your package via United Parcel Service (UPS), which is the preferred method for sending your resupply.
For packages sent via UPS ONLY, the address is:
Vermilion Valley Resort
c/o Rancheria Garage
62311 Huntington Lake Road
Lakeshore, Ca. 93634

Note:  Any mail sent via the US Postal Service to Rancheria Garage will be promptly returned!  We are serious when we say United Parcel Service (UPS) ONLY!
If you wish to use the US Postal Service, please. 
For packages sent via U.S. Mail ONLY:
General Delivery, Mono Hot Springs
c/o VVR - [hiker's name]
California  93642

Don't worry about the "General Delivery" - it's just "post office speak" to ensure that the mail gets to Mono Hot Springs.  Your package will be picked up by VVR personnel and kept at VVR if you follow the instructions provided above.  Failure to follow the instructions may result in a $10 surcharge being assessed for every package not in compliance.  (This is why we highly recommend sending via UPS to Rancheria Garage).

Resupply Handling Fees

There is a $18.00 fee for pickup and storage of each package, collected at the end of your visit.
There is a $10.00 charge PLUS postage per item to mail packages of excess items home from VVR.
Your unclaimed package can be returned to you for $25 plus any postage.  Simply call us with a credit card number, or send a check to cover the fees.

Timing your Resupply Package

VVR at Edison Lake is approximately two hours from the nearest U.S. Post Office or the U.P.S. drop point. Because of this we only pickup packages once or twice a week. Keep this in mind when planning your package arrival date.
Please be sure that you send your package to arrive 10-14 days before YOU arrive!

If you must send it within 2 weeks of you arrival, be sure to send it via UPS to ensure that it will arrive in time.
Please note:  Packages are limited to 25 pounds each. Any packages left or not picked up by the specified date, will be held 30 days unless special arrangements are made. After that time period, we place the food in a hikers box for other hikers in need of extra supplies at no charge.
Please put your name and expected arrival date on all sides of the box - it helps us store your box properly, and then identify it quickly once you arrive!

VVR Hiker Barrel Rules:

We place two 55 gallon drums outside the store for hikers to place or donate their excess food and supplies. We have a separate Rubbermaid container located next to the barrels for fuels and non-food items. We ask that the hikers police themselves and others by keeping these barrels free of spoiled or unedible foods.
If for some reason you are unable to pick-up your box and don’t wish to have it returned to you and you would like all the contents of your unclaimed box to go into the hiker barrel, simply call us with a credit card, pay the $20.00 and we will gladly put all the contents into the Hiker barrels.


Muir Trail Ranch Our est. arrival= Aug.25 (needs to arrive Aug.11)
Box contains 8 days of food
http://www.muirtrailranch.com/resupply.html
RULES and COST
Put your stuff in a plastic bucket with a tight-fitting lid (5-gallon is most popular, other sizes OK)  Send your bucket so it will arrive at the post office about two weeks ahead of your expected pick-up date. $50 per bucket. It should weigh at most 25 pounds . Additional weight = $2.00 per pound. We are open seven days a week from 8 AM to 5 PM, holidays included. Buckets are held 14 days past expected arrival, they can be returned for FREE if sent by Priority Mail.

We have recycling barrels available for your sorted trash. We’ll recycle your bucket, too.
How do I pay?
There are several ways: You can use VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Discover by going to our credit card payment page. Or you can mail a check or money order payable to Muir Trail Ranch when you mail your bucket. The address is the same, but don’t put your payment in the bucket. Send it under separate cover to:

Muir Trail Ranch Resupply
PO Box 176
Lakeshore, CA 93634
Can I pack stove fuel in my bucket?

Common carriers don’t allow flammable fluids in packages that travel by air. We strongly suggest you use the US Postal Service. They don’t allow flammables. At the ranch we have white gas and denatured alcohol for sale by the ounce
Shipping FROM Muir Trail Ranch
Yes. the cost will be determined by the weight and nature of the shipment. There is a $10 handling charge plus postage for a Priority Mail flat rate box. If you are sending out too much for that box, there is a handling charge of $20 plus postage.
Computer Access We rent computer time to hikers, and our satellite connection to the Internet works just about 100% of the time. We also have postcards and stamps for sale.
How do I ship my package to the ranch?
Labelling instructions: Include email on label. http://www.muirtrailranch.com/labels.html
The best way is by US Mail. We have found them to be extremely reliable in getting hikers’ buckets to us. We strongly recommend that you use Priority Mail with delivery confirmation. That way you can call a toll-free number or use the Internet to see if your package has arrived at the post office. (You may receive a message saying that delivery was attempted but not successful. Don’t worry. Until we pick up your package, that qualifies as an unsuccessful delivery attempt. If it is at the post office, we’ll pick it up within a week.) You can also drive to Florence Lake and leave the bucket at the store. 

Vidette Meadows/Center Basin Creek Our est. arrival = Fri. Sept. 3
Box contains 6 days of food
==============
Tips:
At places with a shower, send yourself a hotel sized bottle of shampoo, a mini-bar of soap, and a bit of moisturizer. Don't forget to resupply with batteries, suntan lotion, new socks, first aid supplies, (moleskin), medicines, and maybe a memory card or film. If you read on the trail, it may be time for a new book.
Everybody parties at the resupply points, though Tuolumne Meadows is patrolled by serious Federal Cops disguised as Rangers, as well as Wilderness Rangers. Muir Ranch is a hit and run situation, so you may have time for a wine and cheese lunch after you resupply, and before you depart. Every other resupply point parties freely.
Packing an extra day's food for the distance between each resupply point. This will give you the chance to stop for two half-days, or one full day, at the most beautiful places






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