Originally appeared on The Trek
I have backpacked lots. Bears don’t bother me, black flies can be managed, snow is not a problem, and even zombies don’t give me any camper angst. What still boosts my anxiety to neurotic levels is this question: “To drop or not to drop?” This is an important question, no doubt.
It depends on a few basic variables: how much food are you willing to carry, how far is it between resupply points, your hiking pace, and finally, what and where are your mail drop options?
This information is available between the Guthook navigation app, guidebooks such as AWOL, and certainly the internet. However, after devouring all the above, my “Dropbox anxiety” levels were still unhealthy. So I did what all hyper types A’s do—create a spreadsheet! This helped me tremendously.
The general conclusion is there are only a few places on the AT where I may have to carry more than five days of food based on my expected pace. So I can now relax> I’ve decided NOT to Drop.