Mohican Trek – Mile 1

Mile 1 – Mohican Trek Information

Please review this post thoroughly with your scout.  Questions too can be directed now or later to the Scoutmaster.

 

Mohican Trek

Taken along the Clear Fork Branch of the Mohican River. This view can only be seen from the hiking trail.

 

Why Mohican Trek is Important

For many scouts, new and untested experiences are a source of anxiety.   While it’s a natural feeling to want to steer away from things that cause discomfort, one way scouts grow in the program is by dealing with these new experiences head-on. This is why we backpack every year. It both allows scouts to practice a very pure form of camping where they take only what they need, and it gives scouts a challenging personal experience that is outside the norm of many of our monthly campouts.

It’s our expectation that every scout takes on the challenge of Mohican Trek.    The trek is designed for them to be challenged but also successfully overcome those challenges.  This trek is a core growth experience that should not be missed.  Our slogan for Mohican Trek is “Mile 1”.   It’s the first backpacking experience for scouts in the troop, and it’s also one of the key first steps on a larger journey of personal growth.  In the Mohican Trek promo video linked below, we make the connection between the fist mile at Mohican Trek and what scouts will be capable of later on.  Parents, if you have a scout that has hesitations about going, that’s understandable.  But please encourage (or better yet insist) that he attends.  Often parents want to protect their son by thinking that he’s not ready compared to his peers. This kind of protection is well meaning but it delays their personal growth.  Small or big, weak or strong, confident or insecure, we assure you that every scout in this troop is ready and capable of experiencing a successful Mohican Trek.  Yes, boy scouts in this program can find themselves from time to time in new and uncomfortable places – but it’s only temporary and we do not put scouts in environments in which they cannot ultimately succeed.  They’ll rock at Mohican Trek.

Mohican Trek is also a lot of fun!  This isn’t hype – it’s a mix of backpacking and a bit of a chill-out camp.  It’s the only campout of the year that offers incredible amounts of personal time.  They can take hiking excursions, work on advancement, practice knots, fire building, advanced cooking, toss ball or just hang out with their friends.   A big part of the fun is the food. A scout gets to cook and eat what he wants.  There’s a meaning to all this downtime.  Most of our camps are highly structured.  Mohican Trek provides the opportunity for scouts to be independent and choose for themselves how they want to spend the day.

Trek Orientation

One way to prepare for new experiences like backpacking is to remember our Scout Motto, Be Prepared.  Preparing is more than checking a packing list. Preparing includes the mental prep-work of  trek orientation.  We’ve prepared some resources below that will help scouts understand Mohican Trek better and what they’ll encounter.  We ask that you review this information with him since good prep-work often replaces anxiety with confidence and excitement about what’s ahead.

Explore Mohican Trek Through Mapping

Don’t feel lost and uniformed on the trek.  A scout who takes a few minutes to explore his surroundings will approach the hike with more confidence and excitement.  Please visit this interactive Google Map to see the trail, where we’ll camp and some of the fun things we’ll do during the day. As you can see, the hike is short at only 3 miles and it follows the Clear Fork Branch of the Mohican River.  The map shows the contour of the land.  You can see that the hike starts out challenging with a steep ascent along the 1 mile North Rim Trail, but soon after, the trail finds the bottom lands and the path becomes a gentle rolling trail alongside the Clear Fork Branch stream.  It is beautiful.

View and explore Mohican Trek with Google Maps

Here’s a printable version of  the above map – a handy topo (print this and take to camp)

Mohican State Park MapPark Map (print this and take to camp)

Explore the Trek in Google Earth.

If you really, really like mapping – here’s a KML file of the trek that you can view in Google Earth (File>Open> then open KML file)  Click here to download KML File   Your browser will most likely load the KML file into a map, choose the download arrow to download the KML file.  You can get a good understanding of the terrain when viewing the trek in ground view.

Explore Mohican Trek With Video

We made a video to better explain the trek and give you a picture of what you’ll experience. It’s a short video that tries to make the connection between all the fun you’ll have later in scouting on high adventure and Mile 1 at Mohican Trek.  The video also shows the amazing history of Troop 701 high adventure treks and should serve as encouragement that scouts before you have taken the same journeys and challenges and met them with success.

Watch Mohican Trek video here

Basic Itinerary

Mohican Trek is a fun and fast experience at just over 24 hours.   While the times aren’t precise, here’s the basic flow of how the day will unfold.  We begin the trek at 7:30 am at Chapman.  First Year Mohican Trekkers will go through a gear-shake down before departing.   Second Year Mohican Trekkers will promptly depart at 7:30 am without a shake-down.  The other difference between First and Second years is that the Second year trekkers will hike farther and faster.

Camp begins Saturday Morning 7:30am – Drive from Chapman to Mohican
Hiking – 3 Hours  (about 9:00 am to Noon)
Lunch & Camp Setup – 1 Hour (about Noon to 1:00 pm)
Free Time – 5 Hours (about 1:00 to 6:00 pm)
Dinner – 1 Hour (about 6:00 to 7:00 pm)
Free Time – 2 Hours (about 7:00 to 9:00 pm)
Lights Out/Sleep – 9 Hours (about 9:00 pm to 6:00 am)
Breakfast/Pack Camp – 2 Hours (about 6:00 to 8:00 am)
Hiking Out – About 1.5 Hours (about 8:00 to 9:30 am)
Camp Over Sunday Morning – Drive from Mohican to Chapman

You will notice above that the hike takes 3 hours in but only 1.5 hours back. It’s the same route.  The only difference is newly found confidence.

Packing

Let the Weather Forecast Guide Packing!   A packing list changes based on weather.  Cold and or wet weather require different items and more back-up items than warm and dry weather.   As the date of Mohican Trek approaches, please keep the weather forecast in mind when packing.

Before we share the packing list, here are some points of consideration:

  • Scouts should pack their own bags.  A parent’s role in packing is to help them audit the packing list by asking questions.  Like all campouts, please do not pack their bag or food for them. If something goes wrong with gear on the trek, it’s harder for a scout to take personal accountability if he did not pack his bag.
  • Gear is heavy so take only what you need – do not bring anything that’s not essential.
  • Dress in layers and pay attention to expected night-time lows.
  • It’s October – pack a hat and pair of gloves – this is mandatory for a good experience.
  • Do not pack too many snacks, save your appetite for lunch, dinner and breakfast.
  • Parent’s you’ll be tempted to ‘help’ by making sure your scout has lots of food and extra warm clothing. This creates the unintended consequence of a backpack that’s too heavy.  Heavy packs cause real harm.   A heavy pack is very uncomfortable on the trail and its discouraging.  Counsel your scout to pack as light as possible and do not take anything extra.  Remember too – the camp is only 24 hours long.

 

Packing List

Remember – a packing list is weather dependent.  Please pay attention to rain in the forecast and adjust accordingly.  Here’s what to bring for seasonable October weather:

Clothing – This is all clothing both worn to camp and packed in bag.  Pack clothing in ziplock or plastic bags to keep dry.  It is also a good idea to line the inside compartment of your pack with a trash bag.

  • Warm hat for sleeping, night-time and mornings
  • Warm gloves
  • 1 pair of pants (bring 1 extra pair only if chance of precipitation in forecast, otherwise scouts can wear the same pair of pants througout the 24 hour trek)
  • Fleece or down jacket
  • 2 T-shirt / inner shirt
  • 1 Shirt / outer shirt
  • rain jacket
  • 1 extra sweatshirt or thin jacket that can be worn beneath primary jacket
  • 3 pairs of comfortable hiking socks
  • 1 pair of extra underwear
  • hiking boots
  • thermal or flannel bottoms AND sleep top

Understand that the packing list above attempts to guide scouts to wearing layers.  Don’t take a coat – but build a coat through layers that include warm under layers, shirt, fleece jacket and even rain jacket over for a hard shell.  This layering is important as the days starts off cold but warms up.  Also layering allows scouts to sleep with warm clothes on to augment a sleeping bag.  Again, follow weather forecast and add items where it makes sense. Scouts should always have something clean and warm to sleep in at night.  Hat and gloves are indispensable at this time of year.  If you do a good job packing light, one ‘comfort item’ might be a good idea such as small fleece scarf. Again, pack as light as possible since scouts will be asked to take additional items needed such as stove, fuel, pot, and parts of the tent. You’ll want to leave room for at least 3 pounds of shared gear.

Personal Gear

  • Backpack to hold ALL clothing, food and gear plus room for scouts portion of tent and cooking fuel.  About 35L to 50L backpack. More on backpacks below.
  • Pack cover or garbage bag to cover pack in the event of rain.
  • Ground tarp – just large enough to sleep on.  An old shower curtain or plastic sheeting works.
  • Ground pad
  • Sleeping bag packed in garbage bag to stay dry.
  • light weight flash light
  • water bottle
  • mess kit for eating – bring only what you need for eating your food. Pack in ziplock bag.
  • personal first aid kit – (very small)
  • 1 bandana
  • light weight pocket knife
  • trail map
  • compass
  • pencil
  • personal hygiene kit (tooth brush, tooth paste, small bar of soap)
  • As always, no phones or electronic games. A deck of cards is always a good idea.
  • Entirely optional – 1 lightweight fishing pole with all tackle and bait in a ziplock bag.  Fishing pole must be a break-down model and wrapped/packaged in a manner that it won’t get caught up on the trail. There is excellent brown trout fishing available.

Food & Snacks

Your scout must bring and carry all his food for the trek with the one exception of 1 gallon of drinking water.  He will have the following:

  • 1 gallon of drinking water with his name on it.  This water will be delivered to the campsite by car and available to him for cooking and drinking. There is drinking water at the campsite but it has a high amounts of sulfur dioxide (rotten egg smell) in it.
  • Two 1 liter bottles filled with water and in his backpack.
  • 1 ready to eat Saturday sack lunch.
  • 1 Saturday evening dinner that is prepared by just adding boiling water.  Mountain House dinners found at Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods are good suggestions. Other good choices are instant noodles and instant mash potato dishes.  Be creative, bring cooked bacon, fresh diced vegetables or cooked chicken to mix in to meals to add flavor and nutrition.
  • 1 hot or cold Sunday breakfast (Sunday hot water provided).  Instant oatmeals packaged in serving cups are good suggestions.
  • A limited amount of trail and campsite snacks. 6 to 8 ounces.  Food should provide energy, such as nuts, dried fruit, energy/protein bars, beef jerky, trail mix, etc.  No candy, junk food or energy drinks.  Please do not overpack snacks as it causes scouts to not eat their meals. They should be hungry at mealtime.  It’s very common for scouts who take too many snacks to not feel well and to have spoiled appetites.

Backpacks

The troop does have a limited amount of backpacks to lend – about 9.   We will do backpack fittings at the Tuesday meeting and send scouts home with their borrowed packs.

On Buying A Backpack:

What’s key with new backpacks is that they fit correctly and are intended for a youth body frame.  An adult sized backpack will not fit a youth.   Scouts will quickly outgrow their youth backpacks in a few years, so it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money.  What you want to look for is that it has a a belt strap that fits around the waist, is large enough to hold food, clothing and gear AND that large things like sleeping bags and ground pads can be strapped on.

Remember, if you pack LIGHT and take only what’s NEEDED, everything will fit. Avoid the temptation to pack anything extra or ‘just in case”.  Follow the weather forecast and pack only what’s needed for the 24 hour trip.

Here are few online recommendations that are affordable and will serve your scout well. You can spend more money on better brands, but keep in mind your scout will outgrow the pack in a few years.

$62 for youth (many scouts in Troop have this backpack) – https://www.amazon.com/TETON-Sports-Internal-Backpack-Included/dp/B00AE31RJQ/ref=pd_lpo_468_bs_t_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=DVKPRK67NATXF0G5E436

Please explore the related products too, make sure in product descriptions and reviews that it will fit YOUTH and most will have a torso measurement. If you wish to purchase, it’s a good idea to do so today or this weekend.

For 40 years, boys have joined Troop 701 of Strongsville, Ohio for one simple reason: "Because I want to." Together on the Scouting trail to Eagle they experience Adventure, Discovery & Teamwork.

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