What’s in a resupply box?

First of all, “What IS a resupply box” might be on the minds of some folks reading this, so let’s respond to that first. A resupply box is a box of supplies that a thru-hiker arranges before the trail to be shipped by someone else while the hiker hikes. We pre-packed about 20 boxes before leaving and Kristen’s saintly parents are shipping them out upon request (roughly 10 day intervals).

Not all hikers arrange resupply boxes and prefer to purchase all food and materials on-trail. We DO shop on-trail to supplement our boxes, but love getting a steady supply of certain goods and the ability to request additional items which are also stored at Mom and Dad Sawl’s place. For us, resupply boxes make sense because many of the items inside the box were registry gifts from our wedding. Yes, some friends and family members purchased the items below as wedding gifts.

So, what comes in these mysterious “resupply” boxes? Lots of stuff… Most importantly–inspiration! But here are the contents of a typical box:

*Some Ellendale honey (for mixing into tea, oatmeal, and peanut butter tortilla wraps).

*Dehydrated Sriracha

*8 packages of Ramen. We typically buy Knorr sides and instant potatoes and mix Ramen in with those.

*Powdered drink mixes like Gatorade and Propel and assorted snacks– Cliff bars, Oatmeal, Goldfish, Kind bars etc.

* Carnation instant breakfast. We like a 3:1 ratio of breakfast packets to water bottles once per day.

*Additional goodies: dried fruit, instant coffee, Cheezits, jerky

*Non-edible supplies: wet wipes, sanitizer, toothpaste, and the paper AWOL guide pages for the next section of trail.

Anything else?


Sometimes we ask Mom for items on reserve. These are things that we either a) already own and feel silly buying and/or b) things that we don’t need a lot of, but you can’t buy in small quantities at grocery stores.

  • 2ft. pieces of aluminum foil to use as a wind-screen around the alcohol stove.
  • Cut pieces of window insulation film which we use as a ground sheet beneath our tent.
  • Travel sized toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Frog-toggs rain gear
  • Hair ties
  • Band-Aids/medicine
  • Ziplock bags
  • Clothing

We like to ship the boxes to places we’ll be staying instead of post-offices, just in case we arrive in a town after business hours or on a Sunday. Most hostels will accept boxes for free if you stay there.

Additionally, once per month Kristen’s Aunt Dana is sending us boxes of Georgia pecans and snacks. These are great by themselves on trail, but are especially tasty in peanut butter honey wraps or in oatmeal!

I think that’s all for resupply boxes. Keep those questions coming!

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