LJA students have recently spent a lot of time camping. They have been laughing and talking about the fun times.

Mr. David Jeter described how he and some of his friends backpack. All supplies are carried on their back. He unpacked his backpack piece by piece so we could see just what a rugged backpacker needs.

First, shoes need to be stiff and high up on the ankle to protect the ankle from twisting. The backpack itself must have a sternum strap and rest on the hips and not the shoulders. Nothing is carried in your hand. Backpackers always need to consider weight when packing. For example, a gallon of water weighs eight pounds. A water purifier is packed instead of bottled water. One of the rules of using water in nature is to only use things out of rivers and streams and never to put anything into the water.

The backpack also contained a small light-weight cooker and efficient metal pans with detachable handles, dehydrated meals or light food such as oatmeal. Backpackers use feather sleeping bags which can be squished into a very small bundle. LJA students learned the best type of windbreaker to use when walking in mountains and were also introduced to reading topographical maps. One day some of us might go backpacking and live to tell the tale!

Susan Zimmermann