How will I get mail while hiking? This is a great question. With the right instructions, most post offices will hold packages for folks. I’d love to get letters and care packages from you!
I know there are a lot of instructions here, and I’m not trying to scare you. I’m just trying to make sure that I actually do get the packages and letters that you send to me. Picking up mail on the trail is much more involved than simply going out to the mailbox in front of my house.
I do not have firm dates for when I’ll be at specific locations. Plans are never set in stone on the trail, so it’s a good idea to plan for your box or letter to get to the town a couple days or even a week earlier than my scheduled ETA.
It’s very important that you address each letter/box exactly as I’ve detailed on my maildrop list below. And don’t forget to write “Hold for <insert name here>. ETA: (date)” on the bottom left corner of all boxes and letters. It’s also helpful to write my last name in big black letters on all sides of any box.
Surprise packages are nice, but I’ve got to ask for all of my mail. If I don’t know you’ve sent something, I won’t know to ask for it. So if you’re sending me something, please send me a text or email to tell me about the letter or package.
Most boxes must be mailed via Priority Mail through the US Post Office. If you send a box via First Class or Parcel Post, I probably won’t get it. Don’t believe the Post Office employees when they tell you they can have a Parcel Post box to me a week to 10 days from now. It’s not true.
Please do not use FedEx or UPS. I will not get packages sent via these carriers because I can only guarantee that I will be stopping at locations that accept USPS. Please ensure that I DO NOT have to sign for packages or letters.
What should you put in a box? Food and love. Updates on your life and the real world. Things with lots of calories. Cookies, [healthy] junk food. Care packages don’t have to be huge. Food is good. Cookies, notes from you, cookies, and cookies are all things that I like.
What should you not put in a care package? Anything illegal or anything non-consumable that I would have to carry. Plan any practical jokes accordingly. 😀 I can make exceptions for small bottles of mind-altering beverages.
Below you will find four locations where you can ideally send me things, along with a rough ETA. Do not send packages now, because the post offices/locations will not hold them for long periods of time. If none of these work for you, you can send me a text or email, and I might have an idea of where and when you can send me something. Please allow a few days for me to respond, as it might take that long (or longer) before I get reliable cell service.
- Jacob Lake Inn, mile 772, ETA Sept. 25th
- <my name>, c/o Jacob Lake Inn, HC-64, Box 15, Fredonia, AZ 86022
- Grand Canyon South Rim, mile 691, ETA 1st week of October
- <my name>, General Delivery, 100 Mather Business Ctr Grand Canyon, AZ 86023
- Mormon Lake, AZ, mile 537, ETA 2nd week of October
- <my name>, General Delivery, 1 Mormon Lake Road Mormon Lake, AZ 86038
- La Posta Quemada Ranch, mile 164, ETA 4th week of October
- <my name>, c/o La Posta Quemada, 16721 E Old Spanish Terrace Tucson, AZ, 85710 CALL BEFORE MAILING: (520) 647-7275