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Blackbeard is taking his first backpacking trip tomorrow - his thread got me thinking that a "first trip" trip report from some of us who've been backpacking for a lot of years might be intersting, so here goes.
Trip plan: My Boy Scout troop is taking a two day, 15 mile hike on the Horseshoe Trail in Pennsylvania. At the time I was 11 years old, it was my first trip. In anticipation I'd assembled the following equipment (I have no idea what this stuff really weighed, but I believe that when I weighed the pack it was around 40 pounds, I weighed about 125)
BSA Yucca Pack (basic, no outside pockets, canvas pack)
BSA "Camper" Pack frame (unpadded canvas shoulder straps, no waist strap)
BSA Cook kit
BSA 1 QT Canteen
BSA rectangular sleeping bag (cotton outter shell, flannel liner, some sort of synthetic batting)- in a plastic trash bag, lashed to the top of my pack)
BSA Poncho (coated nylon)
BSA Pocket Knife (one item I persist in carrying)
3 pr. socks (wool)
2 pr. underwear (cotton)
1 set long johns (cotton)
1 extra shirt (LL Bean "chamois cloth")
1 pr. extra pangs (jeans)
BSA "Miner" tent (canvas 2 man pyramid tent - the other kid carried the pole and stakes - it didn't need any rope)
plastic ground cloth
BSA air mattress (full length, rubberized cotton)
my share of the patrol food (consisted of fresh food and canned food, I'd be willing to bet that it included pop-tarts)
Hand axe (hey, I'd earned my tote'n chip card)
BSA First aid kit
BSA "mending" kit (small sewing kit)
BSA Fork/Knife/Spoon combination
Griddle (my portion of the patrol cook kit)
"lost" whistle (just in case)
Day 1 (Friday):
6PM - wearing my uniform and sears work boots (well broken in) we load my pack into the Country Squire and head to the church to meet up with other scouts. I get assigned to Mr. Bermans vehicle for the ride up to the trial head - he had a VW bus - rode up with Jeff, Mark, Rich, John and Dave - Dave is a big guy (I think he was 13 at the time) - Mr. Bermans car was neat 'cause you could stand up in it and yo-yo while he was driving.
7PM - point of no return - exit the car - get my gear - unpack everything to get to the tent - set up the tent and help get wood for a campfire - tell ghost stores around the fire until really late (probably 9:30?) - blow up air mattress (waiting until AFTER you've eaten smo'res is NOT a good idea, I discover!) - throw up (made it out of the tent!) - roll out sleeping bag and go to sleep.
3/15/1969 - 6AM - wake up - help build a fire - Jeff cooks breakfast (pancakes and bacon + koolaid) - we eat - wash up - douse the fire and start to pack. Everything is bigger when you pack it in the field. Tent ends up half stuffed into the pack and half lashed to the outside. For some reason the older scouts are kinda chuckling at us as we don our packs. Only ten miles to go - only five until lunch!
8AM - off we go
9AM - why did mom make me pack the extra clothes?
10AM - we take a break - I'm pretty far back - as soon as Jeff and I arrive the rest of 'em put their packs on and take off - so Jeff and I (both tenderfoot scouts) don't really GET a break.
Noon - LUNCH BREAK - take off pack - feel like I'm walking on the surface of the moon - eat lunch (sardines on rolls, cookies and more koolaid)
1PM - pack back on - head towards camp
1:30 PM - we wait while scoutmaster walks back to lunch stop area - he lost his cigarette lighter -
2:15PM - scoutmaster returns - we take off for camp (well rested, some of us having learned how to take a dump in the woods!)
4:30PM - arrive in camp - set up tents - start to gather firewood - I feel like someone has been digging into my shoulders with knives from those darned canvas straps - negotiate with Jeff so tomorrow HE can carry the tent and I'll take the poles and stakes. We build a cooking fire for our patrol and make dinner around 6:30 or so - then put out our fire and head over to the troop campfire - it's a good one - one leader recites the "cremation of sam mcgee" - pretty neat. Then we all go out on a snipe hunt for an hour or so - then go to bed. Something in my pack put a hole in the air mattress so it won't hold air - there's a pointed rock or tree root under my hip - still sleep like a log.
3/16/1969 - 6AM - someone is blowing the bugle so I wake up - help build a fire and cook breakfast. We tear down camp and jam everything into our backpacks - Mark eats a lot of pop tarts and eats swiss miss without adding water - doesn't seem like a smart idea to me.
7:30 AM - about 15 minutes into our hike Mark starts barfing up pop tarts and swiss miss - pretty funny.
10:30 AM - we arrive at the end of our hike - it's a place where you can take horseback rides - we each get about 20 minutes on a horse - riding around some trails - pretty neat - while we're doing this the one dad who'd shuttled his car to HERE drives the other dads back to their cars so they can come pick us up.
1PM - load up the buggies - homeward bound we go
Hit the church around 2:30 - hang the tents out to dry in the basement - head home.
"My God you're filthy" (moms first words upon seeing me) - I had a GREAT time!