Ordering food / maildrops online?

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Ordering food / maildrops online?

Postby Birdman » Fri 09 Nov, 2018 2:54 am

Hi,

I'm new to this forum and new to Australia! I would like to do some hiking in Australia next year so I'm investigating what the options are and how things work over there.

In the last two years I have thru-hiked the Arizona Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail in the USA. There I did almost all my resupply using maildrops that I ordered from a webshop that caters to thru-hikers. This worked really well for me. Not only because I didn't have to waste much time looking for food in trail towns, but most important: I was always guaranteed to get food that works well for me. Because you never know what you can buy in that one tiny shop in a trail town...

Now I'm wondering if similar companies exists in Australia. Webshops that have a range of hiker foods and snack like pasta and trailmix and that can send it to post offices or other locations to pick it up?
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Re: Ordering food / maildrops online?

Postby Gadgetgeek » Fri 09 Nov, 2018 8:04 am

There are a few companies around that do food, Strive, Campers Pantry, and others, also Go native which do a great MRE style meal.

Look into getting an Australia Post account, I think you can use that to set up drops to post offices around australia, and they have their own ID system (you get a wallet card) Although I've had stuff just general delivery while on the road, its not ideal. With their system, you can also get SMS notification of availability.

There are others here and threads regarding areas that are great for longer hikes, as well as members who know where safer car parking or even drop-offs can be found.
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Re: Ordering food / maildrops online?

Postby Mark F » Fri 09 Nov, 2018 8:08 am

You will be rather hard pressed to find a hiking route that has the possibility of accessing a food store let alone a post office and I am unaware of anybody offering a resupply service. For instance, the AAWT (5-6 weeks) has only two intermediate points where services are available and crosses only two roads that carry more than a handful of cars per day once away from those points of civilisation. The standard process for these walks is to pre-place food caches along the route where small dirt roads touch the route and then retrieve the empty caches once the walk is finished. For me the idea of hitching into a town every few days rather diminishes the remoteness and enjoyment of the walk.
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Re: Ordering food / maildrops online?

Postby Aardvark » Fri 09 Nov, 2018 9:01 am

Mark F wrote: The standard process for these walks is to pre-place food caches along the route where small dirt roads touch the route and then retrieve the empty caches once the walk is finished. For me the idea of hitching into a town every few days rather diminishes the remoteness and enjoyment of the walk.


Exactly the case for the extended walk we just completed on the Scenic Rim in Queensland. It is preferable for us not to see anyone and to remain in the parks and on the watershed.
Having had four go's at it now, there are two instances which involved me taking time out to dash home (hitch). I was able to drive back out to where i left the route and resume the walk. I would never do that unless it was essential and i'm fortunate enough to live near and have the resources. Certainly not for food. It's been caches most of the way.
We have modified our approach to this over time. This last traverse included a couple of variations. Detours for coffee, a night in a retreat, including certain waterways and simply taking more time.

'There I did almost all my resupply using maildrops that I ordered from a webshop that caters to thru-hikers.'

It is a huge undertaking for us to deposit and collect caches. I can't ever see many people trying something like the 'Scenic Rim' unless they are somewhat local.
A service like that could only really work if someone delivered the caches. We did mail one cache to a retreat in Lamington NP. That was a side trip.
I would assist anyone who was planning to do it but 'as a business' i can't see it being cost effective.
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Re: Ordering food / maildrops online?

Postby north-north-west » Fri 09 Nov, 2018 9:32 am

The only formal walks I can think of where something like this might work (and would be useful) would be the BNT, the Heysen and the Bibbulman. Otherwise, as has been said, there simply isn't anywhere near enough to the tracks to make it practical.
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Re: Ordering food / maildrops online?

Postby Birdman » Fri 09 Nov, 2018 6:43 pm

The trails I'm currently looking at are the Bibbulmun, Larapinta and Tasmania Overland.

The Tasmania Overland shouldn't be a problem because it is only short. Regarding Larapinta, I know people who have hiked it in 10 days without resupply. I have done desert stretches in the US of similar length without resupply but I think the Larapinta is (much) rougher and I haven't looked into the water situation there yet (in the US I carried up to 8 liters).

Regarding the Bibbulmun, my understanding was that there is relatively good access to towns at least once a week or so, but again I haven't looked into the specifics yet.

I have no local support so caching food or water is not feasible for me. If without that Australian Bushwalking is not possible, then I'll look for a different destination.

Thanks everybody for the replies!
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Re: Ordering food / maildrops online?

Postby north-north-west » Fri 09 Nov, 2018 7:40 pm

For those tracks you should be OK. There are commercial companies that will do food drops for you on the Larapinta - and it is more than feasible to do that with only one drop. Not dirt cheap, but otherwise you might be carrying more supplies than you're comfortable with. The Overland is relatively short and a drop isn't necessary; just stock up in Launnie or Devonport before heading into Pencil Pine.
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Re: Ordering food / maildrops online?

Postby ChrisJHC » Fri 09 Nov, 2018 7:48 pm

The food drops on the Larapinta are DIY not mail order.
i.e. you buy the food and pack the boxes and the company will put them in the sheds for you.

You can also hire a car and do the drops yourself but you’ll need suitable containers.
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Re: Ordering food / maildrops online?

Postby Warin » Sun 11 Nov, 2018 4:42 pm

Postal orders.
Yes there are web stores that will mail dehydrated/freeze dried food to you . Snowys is one.

Postal 'General Delivery'
'General Delivery' tends to be American .. Poste Restante for other places.
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poste_restante
It works. But you have to be carefull .. if it waits too long at the post office they send it back. Possibly 30 days? - https://community.auspost.com.au/s/arti ... ost-office. A personal pone call to them might get you some extra time if your running late. Best to keep not only there address but a phone number for them so you can check.

Postal to a place your staying.
Organise it with the hotel/motel/pub. Should be ok.

-----------------------
Tasmania Overland - not a problem.
My personal preference is to spend a few days at Dove lake and take in the sights - short walks around the place.
Then do the OT.
Then get a resupply to go back in for Pine Valley.
This way I can spend more time and not be in a hurry anywhere. The resupply can be done if you organise it with the firm taking you to Dove Lake and back from the finish - Lake St Clair.

Larapinta
Commercial firms do it. Best done with them. Several reports on this site about it.

Bibbulmun
No idea - have not looked.
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