Grayson Highlands Backpacking

Finally, a backpacking trip without rain.  I have been on more than half a dozen backpacking trips and all of them have rained except this one.  The weather was nice, even though in the valley it dipped to 15 degrees freezing our water.  Grayson Highlands never ceases to amaze me.

We started on the trail Friday night with headlamps donned.  What a great experience to be out in the wilderness at night.  Some scouts decided to use the moon light to guide their way.  As we arrived to camp, the famous Grayson Highland wild ponies greeted us.   We setup camp and prepared for a big day.  Austin, Landon and Brian decided to sleep under the stars with just their sleeping bags and mats.  They loved it.

We decided to split into two groups for the rest of the trip and it worked out wonderfully.  Four scouts, who have never been backpacking, stayed at base camp just off the Appalachian Trail (AT), just outside Grayson Highlands State Park.   The other group hiked 8 miles to their next camp.

I was impressed with our older scouts, as they arrived to camp they filtered water, setup their sleeping arrangements, gathered firewood, started the fire with flint and steel, etc.  All with no assistance from the adults.  Well done guys.  Austin finished his Wilderness Survival Merit Badge by making a shelter and sleeping in it.  Landon learned to sleep in his new hammock and it was one of his highlights.

The younger scouts took a day hike to Mount Rogers, the highest Point in Virginia.  They filtered their water near the Thomas Knob AT shelter, and learned how to use a backpacking stove, among other skills.

I hope to have many more trips like this one!  Here are a lot of pictures for your enjoyment!

Scoutmaster Dan

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