Scottsdale’s Boy Scout Troop 131 completed an overnight backpacking campout last weekend. Six scouts and four adults participated. Our original destination was Aravaipa Wilderness Area, but we cancelled due to the threat of rain and life-threatening flash floods in that canyon.
Burro Cove campsite is small. Everybody had one-man tents. You could probably squeeze another 4-5 onto the site. About half way to Burro Cove, we easily spotted another potential campsite on a small peninsula. We’re not sure, but we think a trail lead to the area. I bet some campsites here are accessible only by boat. You need back-up plans in case your spot is taken by others. Butcher Jones Trail has few flat spots where you could set up 10 tents.
The scouts did a super job hiking with their packs. I heard no complaints. One scout carried a 56-pound pack! Mine was 37 lb; my son’s was 20 lb. Most packs were probably in the 20-40 lb range. The Scout Handbook says to limit pack weight to 25% of body weight, in general. I’m impressed with modern backpack design that distributes pack weight to your pelvis, not your shoulders.
Backpacking teaches you how to survive, even thrive, with minimal modern conveniences. You have to carefully consider every ounce you carry. You just need shelter, food, water, clothing, and a degree of physical fitness. When you return to civilization, you appreciate it even more.