- Candy Bars and Chocolate. Although these might melt in the summer months, let me be honest, I won’t care! I love me some peanut butter M&Ms, snickers or 100 grand bars….pretty much anything chocolate will be the most amazing treat that I might not always by for myself along the trail.
- Cookies and other Baked Goods. Straight from home, these will bring joy. Nick’s already somewhat promised his fresh bread loaves might make an appearance once or twice, which I cannot wait for! But I’ve also heard that baked goods from home also act as the ultimate currency on the trail, a slice of mom’s banana bread is worth at least 5 future favor points.
- Dehydrated Meals. These things are expensive and thru-hikers tend to eat cheap meals like ramen so obviously these are treats. There are lots of neat brands out there now, you can do some digging but two of the top-cited brands in a recent poll were Good To-Go and Backpacker Pantry.
- Nuts, Trail Mix. Any variety will do. A bag of spicy trail mix followed by a bag of chocolate trail mix is sort of like thru-hiker dinner and dessert.
- Dried Fruit. Natural sugars are the jam!
- Hand-written Cards. Nothing says I Love You or Keep it Up! like an encouraging note infused with the gratitude that it’s not them out on the trail.
- Ziploc Bags. Ziploc should sponsor thru-hikers. Shipments of these multi-use gems are always encouraged since at most town stops, groups of us will gather to split the cost on a jumbo pack of oreos and need a ziploc bag to divide up our treasure. And although as an environmentalist I will most likely find myself taping holes to keep reusing my bags, eventually I’ll have to bid farewell to that baggie.
- Clean Socks. Have you seen a pair of hiker’s socks after 800 miles? Well I’ve witness those things and they’ve got the structural integrity of an armored car. Darn Tough (I like the Hiker Micro Crew). Thru-hikers are rightfully picky about what goes on their feet, and a fresh pair of socks can be gold!
Honorable mention / weirdly specific requests: Powdered butter, Gatorade powder, premium toilet paper (hehe), travel packs of Wet Wipes…did I mention cookies??!
Honestly, if you feel the need to send anything, feel free to ask me when I’m on the trail and I can just tell you what is really being craved. Hiker hunger will hit, and hit hard and always be different depending on the timing on the trail so it might be easiest to just ask.
All that being said, thank you so much to those who asked about this or those who have been thinking about it. And to everyone else, thank you again for the kind words of encouragement. Letters and packages, although a lovely treat, isn’t always necessary so even if you just make comments on the blog or even on my Instagram throughout my time on the trail, it will bring a smile to my face to read things that remind me of home!
If you think you plan to send anything, please let me know (sooner might be easier so I can respond quickly) and I can send you our home address for you send stuff to.