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Pacific Crest Trail: Resupply Logistics

One of the main keys to a successful thru hike is logistics, which mainly means having enough food. My general strategy for resupply on the PCT was to avoid hitchhiking when possible (even if it meant carrying extra food or mailing a package) and when in civilization prefer to buy food, rather than mailing a box. I did have someone at home mailing my packages, so I did not have to worry about sending them further up trail myself. I am not a very picky eater, which made finding food a bit simpler. There are a million different resupply options on the PCT, but planning seemed less overwhelming than on the CDT. I am not sure if things really were simpler or I have just gotten better at it.

MailPicked up a package with all my food for the next section
BuyBought all my food for the next section from a store
Buy snacksBought only additional snacks from a store
RestaurantAte a restaurant, but did not carry out any extra food

PCT Resupply Logistics
StateLocationDistance (mi)MethodCommentsChanges1
CaliforniaWarner Springs109.5Mail
Paradise Valley70Restaurant
IdyllwildBuy Skip2
Ziggy and the Bear30Mail
Big Bear City56.5Buy
Cajon PassRestaurant Buy snacks
Agua Dulce112.5Buy
Kennedy Meadows135.5Mail
Mammoth Lakes205Mail bear canister, buy food Skip. Mail food and bear canister to VVR3
Yosemite Valley36BuyOr buy in Tuolumne Meadows if skipping the valley
Echo Lake152BuyMailed bear canister home
Sierra City103Buy
Belden92BuyBuy if Belden Town Resort store is open, otherwise mail
Chester46Buy Skip4
Old Station46Restaurant Mail
Burney Falls42Mail Buy
Dunsmuir83Buy Mail to Castella
Seiad Valley155.5Buy
Crater Lake (Mazama Village)102Mail Buy
Shelter Cove83Mail
Big Lake Youth Camp89Mail
Olallie Lake53Buy snacks Buy
Timberline Lodge54Mail Do not mail a package, eat buffet
Cascade Locks48Buy
WashingtonWhite Pass148Mail Buy
Snoqualmie Pass99Buy
Barring74Buy Mail package to Stevens Pass

1 If I hiked the trail again, I would make these changes to my resupply
2 Going into Idyllwild was unplanned, but necessary because of the Mountain Fire closure. Resupply at both Idyllwild and Ziggy and the Bear was overkill. If the trail was open I would have skipped Idyllwild. If you go into Idyllwild though, sending a package to Ziggy and the Bear is unnecessary.
3 I had a very low snow year in the Sierras. In a normal year it would be almost impossible to go straight from Kennedy Meadows to Mammoth Lakes
4 I got off trail here for Project AWARE. Otherwise I would not have gone into town