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Boxes for Thru-Hikers

December 26, 2022

Pickup lockers where self-supported thru hikers can mail themselves resupply boxes

The Background

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Thru hiking is becoming a massive hobby worldwide. 

Thru hiking is when you hike for long periods of time. Like up to a year. 

Some of the most famous thru hikes are thousands of miles long like the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail.

One of the main divides in thru-hiking is supported vs. self-supported. On a supported hike, your friends meet you at various points on the hike to deliver supplies, food, etc. 

On a self-supported hike, you need to do everything yourself. But if you're going for a fast time, you don't have the spare time to go to stores and buy all the supplies whenever you need to restock.

So, what most self-supported thru-hikers do is mail packages to themselves at set intervals along the trail. So they might send themselves a box with food and new shoes every 200 miles or whatever.

But the main problem with the current method is that these boxes get sent to sporting good stores, convenience stores, etc. And many of these close at 5 or 6 pm. So it can often be the case that when you finally get there the place is already closed. Or, it's very far off the trail.

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The Idea

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Sorry for the lengthy preamble. 

Do you know those Amazon pickup lockers that they have in cities? Where you get your packages shipped there and then they give you a code to unlock it?

The idea is to have something almost identical to this, but specifically for thru-hikers.

You would mail your supplies / box of goodies to a specified address. It'd then be put into the lockers and you'd be given a code. 

The lockers would be located right along the major thru-hiking trails, and would be accessible 24 hours.

You could also have a vending machine with thru-hiking essentials like new socks, granola bars, and water purification tablets.

You could charge a low fee per day that the package is in the locker. I bet you'd be at full capacity for the majority of the time. And the operating costs would be fairly low.