Information: Backpacking

Backpacking Information Troop Meetings Main Event

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Backpack1Making Backpacking Fun – Unless the trails are scenic, Scouts who are new to backpacking can find it boring. And, Scouts who are less physically fit may view it as little more than hard work in disguise. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to make backpacking fun. Here are a few:

  • Hike to interesting destinations: a hidden waterfall, a scenic overlook, a historic site, or a spot to do some bouldering or horseback riding.
  • Plan activities for evenings in camp. Take along cards, a flying disc, and other game equipment.
  • Combine hiking with other activities. Play a favorite Scout game at lunch. Stop along the trail and have Scouts study the flora and fauna in a 3-foot-square area. Practice splicing at breaks. Use techniques from the Boy Scout Handbook to measure the height of or distance to specific landmarks.
  • Don’t just walk. Take a 10-minute water break every hour, ideally in an attractive location—never at the bottom of a big hill!
  • Practice techniques that help reduce fatigue. When climbing a big hill, try the caterpillar technique: When the leader needs a break, they step to the side of the trail and lets the group continue. The new leader does the same thing after a few minutes, and so on.
    Eventually, the original leader, now rested, will end up in front again. Repeat as needed.
  • As you hike, play the sorts of games you might on a long car ride, such as Twenty Questions.


GearBudget Backpacking Equipment – Although it is possible to spend hundreds of dollars on equipment,including backpacks, sleeping bags, and boots, backpacking doesn’t have to be expensive. Some outdoor stores rent backpacks and other gear, and many Scouting units collect donated gear that Scouts can use. That is especially helpful with backpacks, which young Scouts can quickly outgrow.

Scouts also don’t need the latest, greatest gear. Rather than buying an expensive zero-degree sleeping bag, you can add a fleece blanket to a less expensive bag rated to 20 degrees. Rather than buying fancy stuff sacks, use resealable zipper bags from the kitchen. If you are hiking on easy terrain, you can probably make do with good athletic shoes rather than hiking boots.

The Principles of Leave No Trace should be applied to every backpacking experience!

Link to: BEARmuda Triangle

Blisters develop when skin is irritated by friction or heat and are often caused by footwear that doesn’t fit properly. To help prevent blisters:

  • Ensure that your footwear fits well and has been adequately broken in.
  • Change into dry socks whenever your feet become damp.
  • Wear two pairs of socks—a thin, close-fitting liner sock made of a synthetic material under a thicker, looser-fitting hiking sock.

BlistersIf you notice a hot spot—the signal that a blister is starting to form—treat it immediately. Apply a gel pad intended for blisters. Alternatively, cut a piece of moleskin with a hole in the center, and fit it around the affected area. These steps will help reduce direct pressure and protect the blister from continued rubbing. Change bandages daily to lower the chances of infection.

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Backpacking Information Troop Meetings Main Event