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Setting: I am preparing a travel, by foot, across the Indian Himalayas. The duration would be about two months. There will be a general itinerary with a lot of uncertainty. Along the way I would like to be able to retrieve packages. The main purpose is to replace gear that I know will wear out and break along the way without having to leave the Himalayas and travel to a major city (e.g. Delhi). I hope for 3-4 "stashes" spread along the Indian Himalayas.

What would be the best way to accomplish this?

Definition of best: I know that "best" is highly subjective and questions get closed for that reason. Therefore, I specify what "best" means in this context. There are a few aspects, which I list in order of importance.

  • Reliability: the package should arrive and be available for retrieval. Absolute priority. I want this on par with sending packages in Western Europe.
  • Speed: Ideally, the package should be available about one week after sending from Western Europe, without a very hard guarantee. If deliveries would routinely take longer than 2-3 weeks, an alternative for emergencies would be required.
  • Price: obviously enough, I want it to be as cheap as possible.

Possible solutions that I thought about

  • Have a trusted person in place that can keep the package. Problem: I don't know anyone and sending someone would drive the price to insane levels.
  • Sending to a hotel/lodge (for some fee and the promise of a stay). Problem: might be sensitive for theft. So, I'm a bit afraid about the reliability of this method.
  • Using a courier service (e.g. DHL). Problem: when I check their website, I only find locations in towns rather far from the Himalayas. Along the line Jalandhar-Moradabad is about as far north as I find.
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    There is no reliable courier service in one of the most remote areas of Earth? I am shocked. – chx Dec 5 '15 at 7:01
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    Try reaching out to Dheeraj of devilonwheels.com He has travelled extensively in that area and has some good contacts. PS: Being a travel blogger, I know him via his travel blog. – Prashanth Dec 8 '15 at 6:25
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    Remember, bend with the knees and not the back... – CGCampbell Dec 10 '15 at 19:24
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I've travelled to India many times, lived there a few years, often travelled to/lived in remote areas not visited by the usual tourist/trekker/hippytrail crowd, so this is based on my experience. I'm not a trekker or mountaineer. If you contact a hotel that does a lot of business with trekkers, has a website, you can raise the owner by phone and they speak english, etc., you're probably reasonably safe sending your package there. The owner has a large investment in the hotel's reputation. Not so the hotel boy. So I recommend you send your package as a well sealed bundle that would be difficult to open and re-close surreptitiously. Delhi's in the middle of the country, a long long way from the Himalaya. And it'd probably be harder to replace a specialized piece of gear like an ice ax in Delhi than in Khatmandu. Heck, to get to Delhi overland from Khatmandu you'd probably go through Darjeeling, Siliguri, and Kolkatta, any of which probably has whatever you need. But ultimately, I'm with chx - you may be shocked to find the local DHL office isn't open on saturday in some tiny village high in Nepal. Finally, consider what you're asking them to do. "Hi, you don't know me, but in exchange for the normal cost of a room in your motel, I want you to hold a possibly large package whose contents you don't know in your building for an indefinite period, without knowing if it contains illegal drugs or what." Letting us know what your route is would help. Somebody might know of a place they can vouch for (EG I spent a month in Kurseong, and know of a family owned hotel there).

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