The Colorado Trail is an awesome trail for anyone looking to experience a thru-hike for the first time. Resupplying is a factor you will want to consider before beginning.
Like other thru-hikes, you can choose to rely on towns you’ll pass along the trail; but, if you choose this option you’re going to be left eating jerky, candy, chips, ramen, and the occasional dehydrated meal that MIGHT be available.
Because we are plant based and because Grace has a variety of food allergies choosing to stock up in towns wasn’t an option for us.
If you’re like us and choose to ship resupply boxes along the way here’s where to ship your boxes to and what you might consider packing to keep you fueled for the mountains.
By Clicking the links in this blog you’ll get some great gear and we’ll get a little kick back to help us feed our dogs
Checkout some of our other blogs on the Colorado Trail! They might help you out with planning your own hike!
Where Should I Ship To?
The main concern we had about our resupply boxes was where to ship them to. To determine your shipping points you’ll first want to determine how many miles per day.The mileage we planned on hiking each day varied between ten and twenty miles.
Since we could each store about five days worth of food in our bags we planned to ship our resupply boxes every 50-80 miles. There are 18 different locations that you can ship to and the Colorado Trail Foundation has outlined all the towns in this blog.
It’s important to note that some of these towns are easier to get to from the trail than others (this may influence whether you want to ship there or not). Here’s a look at our resupply points along the way:
- Bailey (USPS)- Mile 40- 4 days of food
- Breckenridge (USPS)- Mile 104- 5 days of food
- Twin lakes (General Store)- Mile 176- 4 days of food
- Mount Princeton Hot Springs (Hotel)- Mile 230- 5 days of food
- Saguache (USPS)- Mile 303- 4 days of food
- Lake City (USPS)- Mile 358- 4 days of food
- Silverton (USPS)- Mile 412 (Last Resupply Point)- 4 days of food
Most of the resupply points are USPS locations, but like in Twin Lakes and Mount Princeton you will ship to another location. In those cases it was a general store (Twin Lakes) and the main office building (Mount Princeton). If you plan on lodging at a few hostels along the way most of them will also hold your packages for you.
With the exception of one box, all of the boxes were shipped via USPS. By using there priority boxes with a fixed price we could fit between 10-12 pounds of food in each of our boxes. From what we researched this was the cheapest option.
IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to label your boxes “Hiker Box” with your anticipated date of arrival. In most cases, especially the hiker friendly towns of the Colorado Trail, your boxes will be stored for the entire trail season.
What Food Should I Pack?
The main idea is to pack as many nutrient dense snacks and meals as you can. You can plan on burning anywhere between 3,000 and 5,000 calories each day. That number is added to your baseline caloric intake of 2,000 calories. It’s going to be nearly impossible to keep up on calories but we’ve got a few favorite snacks that will help shorten the gap.
We packed a variety of snacks in our resupply boxes. Try to pack snacks that are high in fat, protein and calories. Our typical resupply box included: oatmeal, peanut butter, high caloric bars, nuts, dried fruits, protein cookies, and of course dehydrated meals.
There were a lot of snacks we ended up trying and here are our favorites:
- GoMacro– great taste, high calories, and packed with good ingredients
- Bob’s Red Mill Oat Bars– great taste, high calories, and packed with good nutrients
- Bobos– great breakfast bar and jammed with calories
- Munk Pack– protein cookies!
Before making a purchase on your food or outdoor gear, make sure to check Amazon for possibly even lower prices! We’ve even made some lists of our favorite food and gear just for you 😉
For dehydrated meals you will be able to find a lot of different options. The price will vary depending on the company you go with, but plan on spending around ten dollars per meal. If you want to save some money, check out Sierra Trading Post. We found a lot of our meals there and they were about half price.
We tried a handful of different meals and here are our favorite brands to go with:
As far as meals to avoid, stay away from ReadyWise and Nomad Nutrition. ReadyWise has a ton of bad ingredients and Nomad Nutrition is over priced for what you get. Again this is just our opinion!
There are black bears out on the trail! Make sure to get yourself a bear bag so no friendly critters take your food!
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