PCT Resupply – Part 2 – What to put in your resupply box

Now that you know how to post packages, it’s time to figure out what to post.


Resupply – Part 2 – What to put in your resupply box

  • Food – breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, condiments
  • Maps & Yogi’s town notes
  • Toiletries / Medicine
  • Example 6 day resupply box 
  • Dehydrate your own food


*** The key to enjoying your food and looking forward to picking up your resupply box in each town is: VARIETY! ***


Food – breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks & condiments

  1. Breakfast: 
    • Carnation Breakfast powder mix (5 flavours)
    • Coffee Sachets (single serve) – add to Carnation Breakfast mix with water and shake in a powerade/gatorade bottle, strawberry CB mix was my least favourite with the coffee, vanilla was like an iced coffee and chocolate like a mocha!
    • Nature’s Valley Granola Bars – I like their sweet and salty nut range
    • Quaker Oats (eat cold or hot, just add water to packet)
    • Cereal – I didn’t carry any but some people would carry granola or their favourite cereal and add milk powder and water
    • Justin’s Peanut / almond butter sachets (pricey but delicious and good for you)
    • Nutella sachets
    • Bagels – I didn’t carry any as I thought they were too heavy but some people did and would eat them with cheese/peanut butter etc
  2. Lunch:
    • Tortilla wraps
    • Crackers
    • Justin’s Peanut / almond butter sachets (pricey but delicious and good for you)
    • Nutella sachets
    • Cheese – hard cheese like cheddar would usually last a week or I liked The Laughing Cow soft cheese for their different flavours
    • Salami / dried meats
    • Packet tuna / salmon
  3. Dinner:
    • Ramen
    • Knorr pasta / rice sides
    • Cous Cous – the only brand I could find in America was Near East – In towns I would empty the cous cous into a ziplock to pack out then add boiling water straight into the ziplock and stir, rather than using my stove
    • Idahoan mashed potato – cheap and light to carry with lots of different flavours. Some people could still eat them even after the PCT but I couldn’t touch them after California! Rather than getting your stove dirty, add boiling water straight to the packet and stir – works better if you tear off the side part, not the top – there’s a picture below
    • Mountain House / Alpine Aire / Backpacker’s Pantry, Mary Janes Farm dehydrated meals – Usually between $6-12 per packet at REI (try to buy in bulk from Amazon), I would pack one per resupply box as a treat and my favourite was Mountain House lasagna. ** At the beginning I bought the single serve packets but once I got my hiker hunger I needed the 2 serving packs
    • Stove Top Stuffing mix – I tired of this pretty quick but it’s cheap and light
    • Packet tuna / salmon
  4. Snacks:
    • Chocolate – snickers, M&M’s, milky way
    • Sweets – gummy bears…
    • Nuts
    • Jerky – Krave was my favourite
    • Trail mix
    • Pretzels
    • Chips – most people carry Fritos/Doritos
    • Dried/dehydrated fruit (dehydrated is much lighter to carry)
    • Bars – pro bars meal (my favourite), lara bars (2nd favourite) clif bars, clif builders bars, luna bars,  bounce bars, chia charge flapjacks (UK), kendal mint cake(UK)
    • Justin’s Peanut / almond butter sachets (pricey but delicious and good for you)
    • Nutella sachets
    • Pork Crackling
  5. Condiments:
    • Salt / pepper / herbs
    • Hot Sauce
    • Olive oil – great to add to all hot meals for good fat
    • Parmesan
    • Dehydrated/freeze dried vegetables
    • Mayonaise / ketchup / mustard packets
    • Honey
    • Bacon bits
    • Milk powder – I didn’t carry this but some people like to add it to Carnation Breakfast mix or cereal, I used water for the CB mix and didn’t carry cereal
  6. Other:
    • Protein powder – I didn’t use this but some people used it daily
    • Coffee / tea bags
    • Hot chocolate
    • Electrolyte tablets – I used Nuun
    • Crystal Light flavoured water mixes (I’d never heard of these before the PCT but they made drinking water more enjoyable – my favourite is lemonade, followed by Raspberry)


Maps & Yogi’s town guide

In each resupply box I put the corresponding maps from Halfmile and Yogi’s town guide into a ziplock. I rarely used the paper maps because I used the Halfmile / Guthook apps instead but I carried them just in case. The town notes were useful to look up accommodation and I think Yogi has done a great job with these but her town maps were terrible.


Toiletries / Medicine

  • Tissues / toilet paper / wet wipes
  • Antibacterial hand gel – one in every box
  • Toothpaste / spare toothbrush (every month or so)
  • Lipbalm (every month or so)
  • Sunscreen (every month or so)
  • Shampoo / conditioner to use in town (most hotels didn’t provide any) – Before leaving London I went to a few of the Aesop and Khiels stores and asked for sample packets of their shampoo and conditioner. I ended up with enough to put a shampoo and conditioner packet in every box I sent
  • Disposable razor
  • Vitamins
  • Any medicine you need
  • Painkillers / ibuprofen
  • Ziplock bags, always handy to have for rubbish and keeping things dry


Example 6 day resupply box

6 day resupply


  • 6 x CB mix powder
  • 6 x coffee sachet
  • 6 x quaker oats
  • 6 x granola bars (only two shown here but it wasn’t enough!)
  • 6 x peanut/almond butter packets to spread on granola bar


  • 6 x tortilla wraps (more if you want more than one per day)
  • 1 block of cheese
  • 1 pack of salami / dried meat
  • 6 x nutella sachets


  • 1 x Mountain House or equivalent
  • 1 x Ramen
  • 1 x cous cous
  • 1 x stuffing mix
  • 1 x Knorr pasta/rice side
  • 1 x Idahoan


  • Dried/dehydrated mixed fruit
  • Almonds and pretzels
  • 12 bars – 2 for each day (pro bar / clif / bounce bar / luna / lara)
  • Chocolate – large pack of M&M’s and chocolate bars
  • Sweets – gummy bears worked for me


  • Maps
  • Yogi’s Town Guide
  • 1 x Antibacterial hand gel
  • Tissues, wet wipes, toilet paper
  • Vitamins
  • Nuun electrolyte tablets (1 tube per box)
  • 6 x tea bags
  • 1 shampoo and conditioner packet for using in town
  • 3-4 ziplock bags, always handy to have for rubbish and keeping things dry


Dehydrate your own food

If I lived in America, I probably would have bought a dehydrating food machine and dehydrated a lot of my own food to take with me. I met heaps of people who had done this. One couple I met started the process about 6 months before coming on the PCT – they started making larger portions of their dinners each night and then dehydrated the leftovers, this meant that on the trail they were eating food that they were used to and enjoyed. Heaps of people dehydrated fruit and ate this as a snack, some dehydrated vegetables to add to their dinners. Imagine if you are buying these fruit and vegetables in bulk and at a discount, then dehydrating them yourself, it has to be a cost-saving.


*** The key to enjoying your food and looking forward to picking up your resupply box in each town is: VARIETY! ***

NB: I’ve mentioned lots of brands above mainly for people coming from overseas who might not be familiar with these brands or what they are – I didn’t know most of them before doing the PCT.

7 responses to “PCT Resupply – Part 2 – What to put in your resupply box

  1. Now that is what I call being really organised. I do think the dehydration idea is well worth the investment for those long hikes! What are your plans for 2016 now that we are hurtling through January?


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