Saturday, February 8, 2019
To get ready for our backpacking trip next month, we decided it would be a good idea to take our packs on a trial run. Sugarloaf Mountain was a perfect hike, not too long, where we could test out our gear, try out hiking sticks, and get used to hiking with a pack on our backs.
Some of our previous meetings had helped prepare us as well – we had a guest speaker come talk about packing essentials; we packed our packs and brought them to troop meeting to weigh them. And now we were ready to try it out!
Our Route: We started at the base of the mountain, at the parking lot. Then we hiked the White Trail towards the East View Parking and followed the Orange Trail up to the top. We then took the Red Trail to the Blue Trail, and back to the West View Parking, where we hooked back up with the White Trail to go back down to the base of the mountain.
All of us had been hiking before, but we soon realized that hiking with a heavy pack on your back is very different from a normal hike. We learned to adjust the straps for a better fit, to take small steps, and to support and encourage each other along the way.
While at the top, we enjoyed the view and practiced using backpacking stoves to boil some water for hot cocoa (and coffee for the adults!)
We had fun singing broadway and Disney songs on the way back down, while the hiking was not as strenuous!
A few lessons learned:
- You may be warm and even sweaty while you are hiking, but when you stop at the top, with the wind blowing, you can get cold really fast if you don’t have a jacket on!
- Balance the weight in your pack. And don’t take extra stuff you don’t need. (Except for books. Sometimes, those are just essential. )
- Zig-zag on the trail, like mini-switchbacks, to make the hike a little easier when carrying a heavy load.