How to address packages to an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker.
If you are looking to have resupply boxes mailed to you or if your family and friends want to send you a care package of goodies while on the trail, you may wonder how to exactly do it! I know I did!
Two things you will need to know:
- The address of where you want the package to be mailed.
- The ETA of your arrival.
How to address packages if sending to a hostel/hotel/business:
This is typically the easiest as most of them will also accept UPS and FedEx packages on your behalf as well (make sure to check though). They also don’t typically have weird hours like most small-town post offices. For most, you will address it as such:
CITY, STATE, ZIP CODE
HOLD FOR AT THRU HIKER (INSERT YOUR NAME) ETA (INSERT DATE YOU EXPECT TO ARRIVE)
You will also need to put the HOLD FOR AT THRU HIKER wording on the side of the package in addition to under the address.
So it should look something like the pictures below:
How to address packages if sending to a post office:
You cannot send UPS or FedEx items to a post office, so keep that in mind. Also, keep in mind that many of the small-town post offices have weird hours and some are not even open on weekends. So plan ahead!
C/O GENERAL DELIVERY
TOWN NAME, STATE, ZIP CODE
HOLD FOR AT THRU HIKER (YOUR NAME) ETA (INSERT DATE YOUR EXPECT TO ARRIVE)
Some things to remember:
FedEx & UPS cannot be sent to Post Offices
Hostels and Businesses go out of business. Always call beforehand to make sure that they are still in business and that they are still allowing mail for thru-hikers.
Most hostels and businesses will charge a small fee for you to retrieve your package if you are not staying with them. Make sure to have small bills in hand to pay that fee.
Always include a return address in case the package is not deliverable. It is also best to also include a phone number or email under the return address so there is a way to contact the sender in case it is delivered to the wrong place.
If sending to a post office, keep in mind that larger towns may have more than one post office. If you know where you plan to stay in that town, make sure you are sending it to the closest post office.
Only use your real name on packages. Many companies along with the post office require a photo ID in order for you to retrieve your package!