Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Sheep Canyon Backpack Trek

Troop 774 spent the last weekend on a backpacking trip to Sheep Canyon in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.   On Friday night, we drove up the canyon a few miles and parked at the gauging station.  It was dark but we got camp setup fairly quickly.  The night was quite windy and my tarp had problem staying up.  The primary issue was the trekking poles I was using.  The guy lines did not stay put on the poles.  In the middle of the night, I got up and replaced them with sticks.  Next time, I will try the poles upside down with the lines above the baskets.  That should keep them up.  The night was also the debut of my newly created Ray-Way quilt.  The quilt worked great but took some getting used to.
In the morning, the scouts prepared breakfast.  We had procured new water filters and canister stoves for each patrol.  This was their first time using the stoves so we had some training to do.  After eating, we packed up and started along the trail.  We crossed the creek twice before hitting the Granite Staircase.  This was the hardest part of the hike.  We then headed down into Collins Valley.  It was quite warm and we took several breaks as the new backpackers needed some time to get used to it.  After 5 miles and a few hours, we arrived at the primitive camp at Sheep Canyon.  The camp had some sites with picnic tables and some pit toilets (sans roofs).  We spent the day exploring the nearby hills and teaching the scouts how to pump water with the new filters.   After dinner, Roger the Scoutmaster had hauled in a log for a small campfire.  The night was windier that the last.  My quilt was blown off me a couple times before I turned around.  The tarp held up much better but a couple stakes came out due to wind.
I tried out a couple of primal backpacking foods.  My Saturday dinner was a turkey and pepper dish I dehydrated a few weeks ago.  Lunch and snacks were jerky, bars and trail mix, all primal, all delicious.

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