Backpacking

  • Girl wearing a backpacking on a hike

Purpose

Plan, prepare for, and participate in a backpacking trip.

Description

With the help of your adult leaders, organize a series of activities to prepare for a safe and exciting backpacking trip. These activities could take place over a number of weeks. For each activity, include something, such as a devotional, to invite the Holy Ghost. Following is a list of activity ideas:

  • Introduction to backpacking. Invite an experienced hiker to use maps, pictures, videos, and sample gear to introduce the young women to backpacking. Make sure you understand what clothing and footwear to wear for backpacking. Learn the principles of how to pack a backpack, such as keeping your fuel separate from your clothing and food and packing emergency items so they are readily available. Be careful not to overestimate the amount you can carry or the distance you can hike. Always hike with a partner, and travel at a pace that is comfortable for everyone in the group.
  • Cooking. Find and practice some backpacking recipes that use lightweight ingredients and equipment, such as a backpacking stove. Have each young woman in your class compile a menu for a backpacking trip.
  • Conditioning and practice hikes. Find some local hikes in your area that have trails similar to the area where you will be backpacking. Complete two or three practice hikes, and make sure you learn how to camp and hike without leaving a trace. You should complete one of the hikes while carrying all your backpacking gear.
  • Fires, shelters, and survival skills. Practice with a variety of fire-starting materials, tents, and other supplies to gain experience backpacking and camping with appropriate supplies. Plan what you will bring on your trip. Make sure you learn how to waterproof matches and properly extinguish fires so they are completely out.
  • Map and compass navigation. Plan a backpacking trip using a map of some trails near where you live. Learn and practice how to navigate in the wilderness using a compass and map. Learn how to set up distress beacons or signals in the wilderness.
  • Service project for local hikers. Arrange with public officials for a project to build or maintain trails in your area.
  • Trip plan and packing list. With your class and your adult and priesthood leaders, develop a detailed, written trip plan that includes a purpose statement, a full schedule with times and activities, routes, directions to trailheads, emergency contact information, and maps. Stick to your route. Make contingency plans in case something unexpected happens, including inclement weather. Make sure you know what resources, such as water, will be available in that area. Prepare a packing list that includes packing in water or equipment to purify water. Also assign devotionals and prepare for nightly reflections, group prayers, journal writing, and scripture reading.
  • Backpacking trip. Make the final arrangements for the backpacking trip, giving top priority to safety. Take the trip and use the skills you learned to get ready for this trip.

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