Backpacking is where you take a 65 to 80 liter backpack and you carry all your equipment and supplies on your hips and back. Since there are 12 in your group the load is spread amongst your team to lighten the load, to make it easier. To participate, you do not need to know or have done any true backpacking or rock climbing. You certainly don't have to be a serious athlete, but you will be walking moderate distances over several successive days with a pack on your back that weighs from 25 to 40 lbs. The elevation gain and loss is gradual along the trail, but can be challenging when carrying a loaded pack. It is a good idea to have done some physical preparations in advance to make things less stressful upon your body. Examples could be hiking, running, biking, swimming, or any other physical activity to get your heart rate up.
More importantly, please make sure to get plenty of rest prior to the trip; arrive refreshed as much as possible and ready for an awesome experience. We know the time is stressful with move-in, but try to take time to rest. In addition, be sure to drink plenty of water the week before the trip to hydrate your body. The temperatures in August can be intense and we want to make sure everyone remains healthy during the experience. We do recommend preparing for the physical activity.
Here are a few websites that might help with conditioning and backpacking preparations:
We will be in Michaux State Forest backpacking the Appalachian Trail in Southern PA. The climbing spot is a premiere location in PA! This is a not to be missed trip. It is the best of both worlds! You will have some great established camping and lookouts throughout your backpacking experience.
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