Backpacking Camp Rapidan

On Oct 21st, my patrol and I went backpacking for the first time. Even though I practiced backpacking every morning at home, the trail and weather was not what I expected.

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The 2-mile trail into Camp Rapidan was very suffering. There were too many slopes and we had to be careful when we had to cross the stream. We had to stop for break a few times.

Troop 1794 backpacking – Photo by Long Pham

On the hike, the leaders and older scouts were teaching us about the skills that we needed like orienteering and how to safely cross a stream. We arrived at base-camp around 1pm. We practiced hanging up bear bags. We filtered water from the creek. We learned to use the backpacking stove. For dinner, I made MRE while others made freeze-dried food using hot water. After dinner, we stayed up a little to chit-chat then retreated to our tent and had a good sleep.

Scout purifying some stream water – Photo by Peter Le

In the morning, we packed up tent, took down our bear bags, and clean our camp sites. We left the woods the way we found it w/o any trash or trace of our visit.

We learned from our patrol that we need to help each other. For example, Vinh didn’t know how to use a hiking pole or pack. Daniel didn’t wear the backpack correctly. And I didn’t have ankle boots.

These boys are catching dinner or just having a chit-chat – Photo by Peter Le

This trip could’ve been better if we have more time to plan. Overall, it was painful but helped us learn not to give up. I was a little sore the next day but I shook it off. I liked the part where we took a break and took pictures, it was fun and relaxing. For one of the breaks we stopped by Camp Hoover which is the camp for President Hoover to stay for his retreat. I would go again because it’s great to get out and in the wild every once and awhile and the scenery is very nice and pretty. I would change the way on how I pack up in the morning.