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  1. #1
    pgibson's Avatar
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    Need thru hikers and long section hikers help

    So I have been pondering on an idea and want/need some help from those that have done some distance hiking. I have found a few resources for travel sized everything. So I have been thinking about offering kits of stuff for resupply boxes. Things like single packs of detergent, shampoo, mini hand sanitizer bottles, small bug dope bottles, sun screen..........on and on. So my thinking is that while I am sure most little towns have these sorts of supplies on hand would it not be easy to pack a supply box with them and save the time and higher prices over the little general stores along the long trails. I could easily put together several small resupply kits that would be as simple as order 1 for each of your supply boxes. Would it be worth me trying something like this? What would you want and need in a kit like this? Would this just be far to generic for most folks? I am sure that many of the items of this nature that go in the kits come down to cost and personal preference--I hate this brand of ________ and would not buy the kit if that is the option for _________ . What about items like mini packages of food, hot sauces, tabasco, jams, syrup, chocolate or caramel packs? In the small packs but items are a bit harder to find at any old gas station.

    Thoughts Please
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  2. #2
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Interesting. You might get more traction if you offered a discount for say a "5 pack" or some other quantity. Then again, a lot of us just use jump boxes for things of that sort. A lot of the towns already have "dollar stores" and such. Laundry mats will have detergent.
    Travel friendly condiments might be attractive, but a thru-hiker will probably buy those in bulk and either have a friend ship predetermined packages or send them in the jump box.

    I know I'm not offering much help, just typing out loud so to speak.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    My first thought is that I very rarely needed all of those things at the same time. Town visits were usually about a whole lot of food and a couple of odds and ends. Then again, I was more of a supply as I went kind of guy. I never trusted the mail very much and on the AT at least, resupply opps abound.
    Trust nobody!

  4. #4
    Paul,
    You could also try and either post something or have someone post something on White Blaze. From what I have read on other sites and Trail Journals is a long distance hiker thinks about food most often, and that changes based on cravings, and like Cannibal said on the AT you can run into a town pretty much every 4 days or so. The posts that I have seen for mail drops usually contain re-supply items, or bump boxes that have stuff that the person feels like they might need at some point and not sure that they will be able to find it along the way or feels like they want to have as a just in case thing? For you I guess it would depend on what variety of items you could offer, since each persons needs change as the hike goes on!
    Guess I'm not that much of help to ya!

  5. #5
    pgibson's Avatar
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    Thanks guys I may still pick up some of the little odds and ends that I can't ever find when I want them but I am seeing that a pre made kit may not be as nice as my "ooooo oooo ooo oo! new gear! New Gear!" brain was thinking of last night. Thanks
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  6. #6
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    I'm no thru-hiker, but I bet you may find week trippers interested in things like this if they can pick and choose items, and may even find small kits worth buying.
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  7. #7
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    As a thruhiker, and the guy that PMed you a couple of days ago, I'd recommend against this for marketing toward THRU's to be honest. Most thruhikers, if they carry any of that stuff, will pick them up at resupplying. Unfortunately mailing supplies has gotten to be far too expensive and on the AT you can resupply all the time.

    If you're marketing to PCT and CDT hikers, well there's only about 200-250 total that thru each year, so the numbers are pretty small.

  8. #8
    Senior Member WrongTurn's Avatar
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    I'd have to disagree with the above. While Thru Hiking the AT has become for many a 6 month town/ bar crawl, many still only hit town to grab resupplies needed and get back out as fast as possible. I'm one of them.

    I use a bounce box for my longer section hikes, and would be interested in a kit with all the smaller things. Trying to find DEET or other odds and ends in town can be rather hard.


    Things I could see being useful
    Individual Squeeze Packets of Neosporin and Benadryl.
    Small Tubes of Toothpaste
    Stormproof matches
    Small DEET or bug spray.
    Salt and Pepper Packets
    Honey Packets
    Salsa Packets


    I find the problem is that many towns dont have miniature sizes available, and
    I hate having to buy a big bottle of something only to have to throw most of it away or drop it in hiker boxes.

    Send me a PM, I'd be willing to place an order Monday depending on what you can get.

    I'm planning on a couple longer hikes this Summer. Then the Colorado Trail, The Long Trail, and the JMT next summer and fall.
    Not the guy to ask for Directions.

  9. #9
    Paul,
    I've been thinkin about this here for a while now, and a few ideas came about, you could try to find things that are smaller than the travel size stuff, which might be a little hard to find, but, I was in my local Rite Aid and saw they had a travel toothbrush with a mini tube of Colgate toothpaste (and I mean "mini", it was like a 1/4 the size of the travel size one's), also some things that are non perishable like the Dr. Bronners soap ( if you could find an ultra small one). Basically if you were able to find an assortment of things that were smaller than the travel size, as well as the other things others have posted would probably work out!?
    Having a variety would also help, you could do like a pick 3, 4, or 5 deal as a package, also wondering if it would be possible for it to be mailed to the pick-up (trail town stop) and labeled as hold for thru hiker or the like?!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Beast 71's Avatar
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    Maybe you could make a small emergency kit, a 72 hour kit, a first aid kit or, just sell ultra-lite small clutches that people could load with their own stuff .

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