On Friday the 28th of October, we went on our backpacking campout in Front Royal. We had 2 groups, one on the ~ 10-mile trail to Signal Knob and the other on the ~ 6-mile Mudhole Gap Trail. (Round trip: 16 miles for Signal Knob and 12 miles for Mudhole Gap)
How the troop prepared
During our weekly troop meetings, we talked about what was needed for a successful adventure on the trip. For example, we talked about how we would need bear bags and need portable meals that wouldn’t go bad. We also had demonstrations using dehydrated meals as a low-effort and low-weight way of preparing food.
In Chronological Order
On Friday night we stayed at a campsite around a mile along the trail. Then the next morning, Saturday, we split up. One group went to Signal Knob and one went to Mudhole Gap. Then the first crew met up with the Mudhole Gap crew on Saturday night at the campsite we were staying at for the night. On Sunday, we hiked back down to the parking lot on a trail th at was around 6 miles long and got into cars to ride home.
What we learned
On this campout, our scouts learned important skills such as learning to pack lightly and to only bring the gear necessary. They also learned how to find out where we were on the trail using tools such as a map and compass. They also learned how to appropriately meal-plan for eating on the go.
Why these skills are important
Learning to pack lightly can go a long way in helping you save money by not buying unnecessary things and to help you from spending too much time thinking about what to pack. (it will also save you some weight that you have to carry, lessening pain). Learning to use a map and compass is really useful because it can help you when you are on a hike by yourself and you need to find out what trail to take or if you are lost in the woods, it can help you find out where you are. Appropriate meal planning is very important because you don’t want to bring food that you can’t make to a campout. That would just be a waste of money. In the case of this campout, our adult leaders helped us with vetoing options and helping us brainstorm ideas about what food to bring.
We will be going on an exciting backpacking trip where we will be going to the backcountry. We will have 2 options for this trip where one option is a easier trek for first time backpackers and for experienced a longer trip that will get you ready for high adventure trips such as Philmont. We will use the techniques we learned at troop meetings leading up to the event.
One of the 10 essentials is a map! Get your trail map for Signal Knob here. Get your trail map for Mudhole Gap here.
Here is the route for Signal Knob:
Here’s what you might see on the hike: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/virginia/signal-knob-loop-trail/photos.
For mudhole gap crew, here’s a map of where we will headed.
For getting prepared for the trip, HikerDirect is a great resource for beginner camping gear. Just remember that scout’s must be prepared to carry all of their gear. Weight and size are key considerations. If you don’t have a backpack, stop by REI to get fitted.
To get Troop 761’s recommendations for gear so that you are prepared, go to our backpacking tips link under Resources. Need ideas for good meals, we’ve got you covered under Resource -> Recipes!
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