Troop 24 - The High Adventure Troop



In addition to Summer Camp, Troop 24 has a tradition of having one or more long term independent campouts during the summer. These outings have been traditionally called "The Fifty Miler" or "Mini-Miler." Usually a "Fifty Miler" is an eight or nine day backpacking in the Cascades that ranges from 40 to 60 miles in length with an elevation gain from 10000 to 18000 feet. A "Mini-Miler" is four or five days long and usually covers a distance from 20 to 35 miles with an elevation gain of 6000 to 12000 feet.

On these trips the scouts use skills learned on the many shorter outings during the year. They must be prepared for, (and usually get), all different kinds of weather from baking sun to freezing snow and sleet even in the middle of summer. They must learn to make do with the food and equipment on hand, and carry nine days of food and equipment on their backs. For those boys and adults who have gone on these trips, there is no question that they are the highlights of the year.

Because of the physical and mental demands of these trips, they are not for everyone. Usually the longer trips will be limited to boys who are at least 13 years old and have had considerable backpacking experience on the monthly outings. Some Mini-Milers are open to all ages, and are offered to give even the youngest scouts a taste of what a more challenging outing is like.

It isn't easy to complete an eight or nine day High Adventure Backpacking trip that may cover sixty to seventy miles with an elevation gain of 12000 to 18000 feet, especially with a lot of off trail scrambling on old abandoned sheep drives. The weather along the way can make you feel as if you're in Death Valley or at the North Pole, often on the same trip. Whether it's a blizzard or blazing sun, you have to face the challenge that Mother Nature throws at you. Then, as you're hiking out on the last day, you know you have met the test once again.


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