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Resupply Planning

Don’t Let a Lack of Supplies Derail Your Hike: Expert Resupply Planning Tips

Don’t Let a Lack of Supplies Derail Your Hike: Expert Resupply Planning Tips

When setting out on a hiking or trekking adventure, resupply planning is an essential aspect of the journey. Running out of food, water, or gear can be disastrous and can even cut a trip short. However, with a little bit of knowledge and forethought, you can avoid this problem altogether. In this article, we’ll explore some expert resupply planning tips to help keep you prepared and on track for your next trip.

1. Map Out Your Route

Before embarking on a hiking or trekking trip, it’s essential to map out your route. This includes identifying potential resupply points along the way, such as campgrounds, small towns, convenience stores, and other locations where you can restock your gear and supplies. Once you have these locations identified, you can begin to plan your resupply strategy.

2. Consider Your Resupply Options

When it comes to resupplying, there are several options available. The most common include mailing resupply packages to predetermined locations, purchasing supplies along the way, or a combination of both. Each option has its pros and cons, and the right choice depends on your individual needs and preferences.

3. Prepare Your Resupply Packages

If you choose to mail resupply packages, it’s crucial to prepare them correctly. This typically involves portioning out your food and gear into pre-labeled bags or containers, so you have everything you need when you arrive. Additionally, it’s essential to factor in potential delays or shipping mishaps when selecting your mail-drop locations and timelines.

4. Identify Resupply Locations

If you plan to purchase supplies along the way, identifying resupply locations is critical. Depending on your route, some options may not be available, so you’ll need to research alternative options in advance. Consider the types of supplies you’ll need, the distances between resupply points, and what the store hours are.

5. Keep Track of Your Inventory

No matter which resupply strategy you choose, keeping track of your inventory is essential. Maintaining a detailed list of what you have and how much you have left can help you avoid running out of supplies or overpacking. Additionally, tracking your inventory can help you identify patterns in your resupply needs, allowing you to optimize your planning in the future.

6. Don’t Overdo It

While it’s always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared, packing too much can also be problematic. Heavy packs can slow you down and increase the risk of injury, so it’s essential to find the right balance. Only pack what you need, and avoid bringing excess or luxury items that aren’t essential to your journey.

7. Be Prepared for Emergencies

Even with the best resupply planning, emergencies can still occur. Being prepared for the unexpected, such as inclement weather or an injury, is crucial. This might include packing extra food and water, a first-aid kit, and emergency communications equipment.

In conclusion, proper resupply planning is an essential aspect of any hiking or trekking trip. By mapping out your route, identifying resupply points, and selecting the right resupply strategy, you can avoid running out of supplies and stay on track for a successful journey. With these expert tips, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle any trail and enjoy a safe and memorable adventure.

FAQ – Expert Resupply Planning Tips

Q: What is resupply planning?

Resupply planning is the process of identifying and arranging for the necessary food, water, and other supplies needed during a hike or trekking trip.

Q: Why is resupply planning important?

Resupply planning is important because it ensures that hikers have access to the necessary supplies to complete their trip safely and comfortably. It also helps hikers avoid running out of essential resources, like food and water.

Q: How do I determine how much food and water I will need?

The amount of food and water you will need depends on the length and difficulty of your trip, as well as your own personal needs. As a general rule, you should plan for at least 2 liters of water per person per day and bring enough food to sustain yourself for the entire trip. Consult with an expert or experienced hiker for a better understanding of your specific needs.

Q: Where can I find reliable information on resupply points?

There are several resources where you can find information on resupply points including guidebooks, hiking forums, websites, and talking to local hiking clubs or park rangers. These sources can provide insight into available resupply options along the trail, including the distance to resupply points and whether resupply packages can be sent ahead.

Q: Can I mail myself a resupply package?

Yes, many hikers mail themselves resupply packages to be picked up at designated points along the trail. However, it’s important to research each location’s policies and fees beforehand to avoid any issues.

Q: How do I pack my resupply package?

When packing your resupply package, consider packing lightweight and high-calorie foods like trail mix, energy bars, and dehydrated meals. Make sure to also pack any vital first aid supplies, toiletries, and maps. Label the package clearly and include any necessary instructions, such as which day you intend to pick up the package.

Q: Should I plan for extra supplies in case of an emergency?

Yes, always plan for extra supplies in case of an emergency. This includes extra food, water, and any necessary medical supplies.

Q: What if there are no resupply options along the trail?

If there are no resupply options along the trail, you’ll need to carry all necessary supplies with you for the entire trip. This will likely be more weight than you can carry, so it’s important to plan accordingly and be selective with the supplies you choose to bring.

Q: Can I resupply mid-hike without sending a package?

Yes, if there are towns or stores along the trail, you can resupply without sending a package. However, it’s important to research the availability of these options beforehand to avoid disappointment or running out of necessary supplies.

Q: What should I consider when planning my resupply strategy?

When planning your resupply strategy, consider factors like the length and difficulty of the hike, the availability of resupply points and options, your own personal needs and preferences, and any emergency scenarios. Consult with experienced hikers or experts for guidance in developing the best plan for your needs.

Related Products: Expert Resupply Planning Tips for Trekking and Hiking

  • Water Filtration System

    A water filtration system is one of the most important items for trekking and hiking. It allows you to drink safe and purified water from various sources such as streams, rivers and lakes. Make sure to choose a portable and lightweight water filtration system that fits your needs and preferences.

  • Portable Stove

    A portable stove is essential for cooking and boiling water during your trekking and hiking journey. It saves you time and money by allowing you to cook your own food and beverages on the go. Look for a lightweight and compact stove that can be easily carried in your backpack.

  • Trekking Poles

    Trekking poles can improve your balance, stability and endurance during long hikes. They can also reduce the pressure on your knees and joints, especially when going downhill. Invest in a high-quality pair of trekking poles that are adjustable, durable and comfortable to use.

  • Camping Tent

    A camping tent provides you with shelter and privacy during your overnight stays. It protects you from the elements and insects, and allows you to rest and recharge for the next day’s hike. Choose a lightweight and weather-resistant tent that fits your group size and style.

  • Sleeping Bag

    A sleeping bag is essential for staying warm and comfortable during your overnight stays. It is important to choose a sleeping bag that is rated for the climate and temperature of your trekking and hiking destination. Look for a lightweight and compressible sleeping bag that fits your body size and shape.

  • Hiking Boots

    Hiking boots are the most important gear for any trekking or hiking trip. They provide you with support, grip and protection for your feet and ankles. Invest in a pair of high-quality hiking boots that are comfortable, waterproof and durable. Make sure to break them in before your trip to avoid any blisters or discomfort.

  • Backpack

    A backpack is the most important gear for carrying all your trekking and hiking essentials. It should be comfortable, durable and spacious enough to fit all your gear and supplies. Look for a backpack with multiple compartments, padded straps and a ventilation system to avoid sweat and discomfort.

  • Insect Repellent

    Insects such as mosquitoes, ticks and flies can be a nuisance and a health hazard during your trekking and hiking trip. Use a high-quality insect repellent that contains DEET or other effective ingredients to protect yourself from insect bites and diseases. Make sure to follow the instructions and reapply as needed.

  • First Aid Kit

    A first aid kit is essential for any trekking and hiking trip. It allows you to treat minor injuries and illnesses on the go, and to be prepared for any emergency situation. Make sure to include items such as bandages, antiseptics, pain relievers, tweezers, scissors and a whistle. Pack the first aid kit in a waterproof container and keep it easily accessible.

  • Sun Protection

    Sun protection such as sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are essential for any trekking and hiking trip. They protect you from the harmful UV rays of the sun, and prevent sunburn, heatstroke and other related illnesses. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30, wear a pair of polarized sunglasses and a lightweight hat that covers your face and neck.

Pros & Cons of Resupply Planning for Hiking


  • Guaranteed Availability of Supplies: Resupply planning ensures that hikers are never caught off-guard without essential supplies like water, food, and gear. Adequate planning allows for a guaranteed supply of provisions on the planned route and can be a lifesaver in some cases.
  • Freedom to Customize Hiking Routes: With a pre-planned resupply, hikers have the freedom to chart their own course and take on more challenging trails, knowing that their needs will be met as planned and they will not need to worry about unplanned resupply tries.
  • Cost-Effective: Resupply planning helps hikers save money by ensuring that they do not carry excess supplies on their hikes. Planning for exactly the required amount of food, water, and other necessities is cost-effective and reduces wastage.
  • Increased Safety: Resupply planning increases the safety of hikers, allowing them to stay on track and complete their course according to their pre-planned resupply. Planning helps mitigate the chances of hikers getting lost, and allows for an opportunity to plan and condition for hazards such as weather changes, difficult or not accessible terrains and equipment malfunction.
  • Reduces Stress: Planning ahead for resupply needs reduces the stress of hikers, and ensures that they can relax and enjoy their experience of hiking. With adequate provisions, they can spend more time enjoying the outdoors instead of being mentally preoccupied with resupply needs.


  • Less Spontaneity: Resupply planning can somewhat limit the flexibility of hikers. By pre-planning for provisions and adjusting accordingly, there is less room for spontaneity, which some hikers may find disappointing.
  • Inaccurate Calculations: Despite planning appropriately, sometimes, variables outside of our knowledge like weather conditions, territorial changes and other hazards can force us to alter our plans and logistics. Inaccurate calculations and poor planning can cause difficulties of resupply which will need a revisit to resupply plan and quickly make adjustments.
  • Infrastructure Limitations: Sometimes hikers might find themselves in areas with limited infrastructure, and it can be challenging to find appropriate supplies during resupply. Poor roadways and remote regions may lack the necessary provisions making it a little bit more difficult to continue with the course as planned.
  • Over-dependence on Planning: Over-planning can sometimes create disappointment especially if the plan does not work out. While having a resupply plan in place is essential, over-dependence on the plan can create frustration, especially if things don’t go according to plan.
  • Logistical Challenges: Hiking plans and routes can change quickly due to several reasons like weather changes, injuries, terrain changes, encountering unforeseen obstacles etc. These challenges can create logistical challenges when trying to execute resupply from far distances away from the trail and resupply points planned.

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