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The Troop 355 fall backpacking trip is traditionally a short and easy outing – the main goal is to introduce our new backpackers to this great activity. We feel our backpacking program is one of our troop’s great strengths, and we hope that many of you will get to experience the challenges and rewards of backpacking with the trooop, and eventually become part of our experienced Philmont crews. These trips are also lots of fun for our experienced backpackers; we generally offer an additional hiking option for those who want to hike a few more miles.
WHEN: Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30.
WHERE: Buckhorn Campground to the Cooper Canyon Trail Camp along the Burkhart and Pacific Crest Trails in the Angeles National Forest. Rated as one of the best trails in the Angeles.
DIFFICULTY: This hike is 2.7 miles each way on the Burkhart and Pacific Crest Trails. It is as flat a hike as you are going to get in the Angeles National Forest with a net loss of 250 feet in elevation on the hike to camp. This is an easy hike, perfect for first time backpackers. If you can carry a duffle bag, you can do this trip – although you will not be happy climbing out of Cooper Canyon if your pack is too heavy or you have not prepared at all for a hike – so be prepared!
AVAILABILITY: This is an introductory backpack. Everyone is welcome. If you have ever had an interest in backpacking, this is the opportunity to try it! The troop will host a backpacking seminar in late August or early September at the Scout House so our new backpackers can learn what to pack (and what not to pack) – stay tuned for details.
COST: $10 per hiker. Deadline to confirm your spot is Monday night, September 24. Bring your check made out to BSA Troop 355 to the backpacking seminar on September 17, or the troop meeting on September 24, or mail to Kelly Moffat, 2280 Adair St. San Marino 91108.
MEET: At Scout House at 6:30 a.m. sharp on Saturday, September 29. We will divide troop gear and food then depart for the trailhead. The trip to the trailhead is about 1 ½ hours. We will return to the trailhead Sunday morning about noon and should be home by 2:00 PM.
WATER: IMPORTANT: The Cooper Canyon creek currently has an extremely low water level. We believe we will be able to filter some water there, but cannot be confident that everyone will be able to filter enough water for their Saturday needs and for hiking out on Sunday. Thus, we are asking that all backpackers carry enough water with them on Saturday to cover their drinking water needs for the weekend. That should be about 4 liters. The 4 liters should be in your backpacks when you show up on Saturday morning, there will not be an opportunity to fill your water containers at the trailhead. You can carry the water in a Camelbak style water bladder, Nalgenes, platypus bottles, or just simple plastic drinking water bottles. At camp, the troop leaders and senior scouts will filter water to provide the necessary cooking water for the crews. Plus they will filter extra drinking water for anyone who may run out.
HOW YOU CAN HELP WITH THE WATER SITUATION: Everyone should start hydrating by THURSDAY NIGHT. Drink plenty of water before going to bed, and keep drinking water all day Friday and Friday night. Hydrating your body now will greatly decrease the chance of dehydration on Saturday or Sunday. If you drink a lot of water when you hike, you may want to bring 5 liters. Senior scouts and experienced backpackers, if you are OK to hike in with a heavier pack, bring extra water – you can help out others who may need it. Also, our experienced backpackers should bring their filters to help out with the filtering process.
MEALS: Eat a big breakfast on Saturday morning before the trip. Otherwise you may bonk! Bonking is not cool, it hurts. Don’t bonk! Bring your own trail lunch Saturday, dinner will be provided Saturday night (Philmont style), bring your own breakfast bars, fruit or nuts breakfast. Saturday’s dinner will be prepared by individual crews. Crews will be announced Friday, September 28 by email.
It might be cold (40 degrees) at night, be prepared with long johns and a beanie hat to sleep in, a good sleeping bag, a jacket and gloves. Of course always bring your rain gear! Bring bug repellent. And…bring toilet paper. BE PREPARED. Our troop leaders are always available to discuss equipment. Please contact them if you have any questions.
Any cars parking will need a National Forest Adventure Pass available at your sporting goods store (REI) or at the gas station just south of the Angeles Crest exit from the 210.
Directions to the Trailhead: Parking is limited at the trailhead so please car pool. Fill your car up with Scouts and backpacks. Take the 210 west to Highway 2 north (Angeles Crest Hwy.). Drive approximately 34.7 miles to the Buckhorn Campground sign and take a sharp left into the campground. This can be a tricky turn to see, so watch for the following landmarks as you get close – large Cloudburst Summit sign at 33.4 miles, Buckhorn Day Use Area sign at 34.5 miles (do not turn here), then a sign saying Buckhorn CG Entrance 500 feet. After you turn left into the campground, drive 0.4 miles and veer right at the junction. After 0.1 more miles there will be a sign pointing left that says Day Use Trail Area. Follow that to the left and you will see a sign saying Burkhart Trail. Follow the Burkhart Trail signs until the road ends at the trailhead parking lot. Hang your Adventure Pass on your rear view mirror. Depending on the number of cars in the parking lot, we may need to park some cars outside of the Campground along the Angeles Crest Hwy.