Touring using FedEX or the like
Anyone ever do a "short tour" where they ship ahead replacement stuff (e.g. clothes, food, parts,camping supplies) to a drop point like fed ex or UPS?. Then would pack used stuff and ship back. I am contemplating doing a little Fall run up from boston to nova scotia via portland maine to ferry and really want to travel light. I don't really have a rigged out touring machine but would like to see if this type of travel could work
Just wondering if anyone has done something similar and has any advice
Sure, hikers call this a "bounce box" -- Google that for details. I'm not sure how you'd do it with Fedex -- do they have an analogue to General Delivery at distribution hubs? -- but it works great with small-town post offices. I've done this a bunch of times, both hiking and biking, and have never had trouble.
Greyhound bus is a great way to ship as well, but you need a live human to pick up on the other end. But it's pretty cheap to ship a bike box.
It's also possible to take a bike as luggage for free if you're riding, if you do a little fancy talking. In my experance bikes go for free at podunk town stops and cost extra ($20) at big city hubs.
It's a great way to do an out and back tour!
And it used to be possible to get small town post offices to hold a package for you....but after 9-11, I've be a little careful. Better check.
Considering your route, you could have a little trouble. You're attempting to ship goods from the U.S. into Canada, which means your packages will have to clear customs. You need to find out how long that will take. Canada Post should be able to help you with this and with any other questions. Also, if you're shipping goods ahead on the way back, you should find out from the U.S. customs people and the U.S. Postal Service what that will mean for you.
More Energy than Sense
I did the same thing this summer for a tour. I was able to use a bigger box and not worry about weight. Nor did I have to worry about the box being opened and searched and then improperly repacked. It cost the same as the airline would have charged. It worked great but like Newspapeguy said, going across borders could be a problem. I suspect that whoever receives it could also be stuck paying duty on the declared value.