Scoutmaster Musings - 20 Miles is Pretty Far

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Scoutmaster Musings

20 Miles is Pretty Far
Our two Philmont crew leaders came up with a schedule of 5, 10, and 20 mile hikes to prepare for the treks. There's a total of about 250 miles planned and everyone is expected to participate in at least 110 miles. In addition, we're supposed to get more conditioning on our own through sports or exercise.

Some of these scouts are also undertaking the Hiking merit badge so each 10 and 20 mile hike has a planned route and trip plan created for it. The scouts write up a short report after the hike about the weather, terrain, environment, and interesting observations.

On Sunday, I participated in the first 20-miler - we have another the end of May. One scout laid out a 20-mile loop through a large county park on the other side of town so it was new territory and not redundant - but then he couldn't attend. :-( So, he missed the rain, and the sleet, and the 2 hours of SNOW! He also missed the deer, owls, snow geese, swans, hawks, and other assorted critters.

These scouts keep almost a 4MPH pace when hiking and take very few short breaks. We completed the hike in just about 6 hours - and it was definitely a full 20 miles. The most common comment at the end was "Well, I won't have to do THAT again!" The requirements for the Hiking merit badge include five 10-mile hikes and one 20-miler.

So, I've now hiked the 84 mile distance of our scheduled trek #32. I'll do it again over the next 5 weeks and then it's the real thing. It looks like our longest day on the trek will be about 12 miles, but with backpacks, terrain, elevation, and altitude, that will be a lot more of a challenge than any 20-mile flatland hike down on the prairie.

Scout On
Posted: 16:57 04-29-2008 323
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