Backpacking on the AT
Mar 16, 2018 at 5:16 pm #3524992
This weekend my troop is heading to the Appalachian Trail to get in a Saturday and Sunday trip. Most of the scouts will be first time backpackers. So, I hope all goes well. Saturday we are doing 5.2 mile and Sunday 2.5. We have been working on getting the boys to think about the weight of the gear they bring and make good decision. For cracker barrel I picked up two cakes in a can and some chocolate frosting. Got the whipped frosting because it’s 4oz lighter than the regular. That should raise their spirits.Mar 21, 2018 at 5:41 pm #3526139
Where did you camp?Mar 21, 2018 at 9:21 pm #3526186
We started Saturday morning at Gathland State Park in Maryland. We hiked 5.2 miles north to the Rocky Run Shelter and camped. Sunday we hiked 2.2 mile north to Turners Gap and ended our trip. We had 15 scouts and six adults. We hiked in two groups about 30 minute apart. During Saturday afternoon and while setting up camp we got light snow showers. 11 of the scouts were first and second year scouts who had never backpacked before ,several had just bridged last month. The temps Saturday night was in the low twenties. Over all it was a great trip. The older scouts who were acting as crew leaders had both been to philmont a set a pace that was good for the younger scouts with plenty of rest stops. Last month we did a class on lightweight backpacking so that helped a lot. I am sure for most of them this was the most challenging thing they have done in thier lives.Mar 22, 2018 at 11:38 am #3526298
I’m in NoVa and scouting some places to do Philmont prep trips. Our troop has really just done car camping since my son joined. Sky Meadows on the AT is one possibility.
An extra challenge our Scoutmaster added is a way to allow the scouts who can’t hike very far to still be part of the trip. The biggest challenge there is getting enough adults.
Thanks!Mar 22, 2018 at 3:38 pm #3526325Mark FerwerdaBPL Member
Brad – I spent last weekend with about 30 boys (ranging from 7th to 12th grade) in the Great Northern Mountain area in George Washington National Forest. It is a great area for hiking with a variety of trail difficulties and lengths.Mar 22, 2018 at 5:31 pm #3526359
Thank you, Mark! I’ll check that out, too.Mar 23, 2018 at 6:52 pm #3526586
Keys Gap to Snickers Gap is a good overnight trip. You can spend the night at the Blackburn Trail Center in the tent area. The last part before you get to Snickers Gap is part of the roller coaster.
Or In Maryland try parking at Reno Monument Rd and hike South to the Ed Garvey shelter at ten miles. Then hike into Harpers Ferry the next day at 6.3 miles. The National Park Service will let you park overnight at the Harpers Ferry Visitors center. Between Reno Monument Rd and the Ed Garvy Shelter there are some pretty good uphill sections.Jun 8, 2018 at 3:02 pm #3540991John OBPL Member
A few weeks ago, we were on the AT from Ashby’s Gap to Snicker’s Gap, which is the Roller Coaster. Good work out to say the least.
We hiked in from Ashby’s Gap and set up in a campsite near the Rod Hollow Shelter which was ~4 miles. We were virtually just next to the stream along the side trail to the shelter. Good experience with using their bear bag cable, water purification as well as cooking/cleaning dinner the Philmont Way and even huddled for a quick grace, LNT talk and knocked out some roses, thorns & rosebuds.
The next morning we packed up and headed North along the AT and onto the Coaster. We stopped for breaks, lunch, water along the way. We had to make an obligatory stop at Bear’s Den Hostel for some ice cream at the top of the last incline and before we descended into Snicker’s Gap for the last mile to the parking lot.
Overall good shakedown.
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