Scoutmaster Musings - Hiking the Kinks Out

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Scoutmaster Musings

Hiking the Kinks Out
In a couple months, 10 of us will be backpacking for 5 days above 8000 feet. To prepare, our crew leader has scheduled practice hikes twice a week for the next 2 months.

These practice hikes probably don't seem like much fun, but I love 'em! It's a great chance to have each scout decide on a route, lead the group, and set the pace. I get to talk about the boring stuff with the other adults - driving, gas stops, tour permit, youth protection, ... and we get to imagine what great things we'll experience on the trek. We also get to practice being prepared for problems - throwing out 'What If' scenarios and see how we'd handle them. 'Call 911' isn't an accepted answer either. :-)

It's important to start nice and slow when beginning hiking after a sedentary winter, even though that can be a challenge. We just had our first hike and we only went for 1 hour, covering about 2.5 miles on flat ground with no packs. We'll increase the pace, weight, and distance over the next few weeks as feet get used to boots, muscles get used to working, and lungs get used to huffing and puffing.

All these practice hikes are also a great beginning to the hiking merit badge which is a pretty tough one to complete, along with backpacking.

Scout On
Posted: 12:51 05-09-2007 141
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