GS HAT Beginner Backpacking, 27-28 April 2013

Hike(s) summary: 7 miles (5.6 and 1.4), and about 1200 ft in altitude gain, in fairly warm and sunny conditions.

A group of four leaders took a group of eight Girl Scout High Adventure Team (HAT) members on a beginning backpacking camp in late April. We went down to Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge (CNWR) on Friday evening. After getting camp set up, we had a get-to-know-you session, and some “classroom” training about the backpacking processes, including Use Of The Trowel :). We were a little worried that the approaching thunderstorm would pelt us with large hail, but it swung a bit north and we just got spits of rain.

As usual, these HAT members did an outstanding job of getting stuff done. Breakfast just rolled along. We had a gear check and a pack fit check, got everyone saddled up, and headed out. We were aimed at Trail 1, and the best way to get there was to walk generally along Rock Creek along the roads through the campsites. We ended up near Veterans Lake, and walked the road under the earth dam to the trailhead for Trail 1. This trail continues to follow Rock Creek, and is very pretty. We had lunch next to the Creek, going up the hill on the east side of the trail to make sure we weren’t blocking. Shortly after lunch, the trail diverged from Rock Creek, and got out from under trees and in the open. We ended up ascending a fairly steep hill, got a great view back towards the town of Sulpher, and took another break. Then we decided to not walk the loop back, but just backtrack. We got back into the camp around 1600, and started on dinner shortly thereafter. This hike was 5.4 miles.

There are some very nice rock formations along Rock Creek.

Dinner was great. Christi had come up with a variety of backpacking foods, and the girls rehydrated stuff and seasoned it, and then we scarfed it down.

After dinner, we had a talk about Leave No Trace (LNT), then campfire and ghost stories and weird stories.

After breakfast the next morning, we had some more discussion about packs and gear, and loaded up our day packs and headed up Bromide Hill. This short hike had some great views.

Afterward, we headed back to Oklahoma City. It’s taken a while, but the pictures from this hike, including the topo and altitude plots are on my Google Plus site.


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