Backpacking Trip with the Boy Scouts

This past weekend Alex and I went backpacking in Harriman State Park with the Boy Scouts (Troop 888).  It was a great experience to hike 4 miles into the woods with your gear on your back and set up a campsite.  We hiked around Pine Meadow Lake and found a nice clearing to camp by around 2pm on Saturday.  We had set up camp and explored a bit before setting our sights on making our dinner and relaxing around the campfire.  Everyone brought a different type of ‘backpacking meal’ from simple soups, to MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat), to Freeze Dried meals that you just add hot water to.  We had a lot of fun tasting and trying all the different foods, and the boys enjoyed sitting by the lake.  It was different from “car camping” in the sense that you had to bring everything you would need in your backpack, where as in a regular campsite you could always go to your car for an extra blanket or that nice big cooler full of ice and drinks.  Here we actually had to filter fresh water from the lake to use for drinking and cooking.  And everything we packed had to be as light as possible to keep the weight of the backpacks down.  As it was, when we were packing for the trip Alex had weighed both our packs and his weighed in at 40lbs, and mine came in at 35lbs!  That’s a lot of weight to carry.  After spending a night in the woods we packed up our camp and hiked another 3.5 miles back out Sunday morning.  Our hike out brought us up and over Diamond Mountain where we got a great view of the park and even a little bit of the NYC skyline off in the distance.  It was a lot of fun and we both can’t wait to do it again soon.