Monday, 13 August 2012

Greetings from 8000 feet!

Camp director FIREFLY here! I run a Girl Scout backpacking camp, high up in the Sierra mountains of California. This week's guest bloggers are WANDERERS, our 11- and 12- year old girls out on a 3-day, 2-night backpack trip. The girls took a camera and notebook on the trail, wrote about each of their meals, took photos, and then brought it all back to our base camp for me to type up. At our camp and on the trail we have no electricity, no cell phone coverage, and no internet access, and we don't allow any electronic devices like computers or phones, so these posts were written by hand, carried in a backpack, hiked into camp, rowed across a lake, hiked to a car (because we have no roads into camp, either!), and driven to a place with internet access. Whew

The girls also rated their view and chose a campfire song to go with each post. Although there were adult leaders with them, the girls carried their share of the group food, stoves, and equipment, and did all their own cooking, writing, cleaning up, and bear bagging (more on that later!) The price is an estimate, based on the total number of backpacking meals we packed this year (1,533). They spent their free time on the trail working on gifts to send with VEG when she goes to Malawi. We're all so excited and grateful to have made this connection and for the opportunity for our campers to contribute to the Mary's Meals project!

Hello! We are the WANDERERS! Today we had trail mix (peanut butter chocolate candy, raisins, almonds, and peanuts) with granola bars, dried and spiced beef jerky (which is fairly easy to chew, and it tastes like hamburgers, but saltier), water, crackers, cheese, and fruit roll-ups, which are fruit flavored snacks that taste a little like strawberry.

It was really good and we had to eat a lot so that we didn't have to carry all of it for the rest of the trip. The cheese and crackers were puffed up because of the high altitude, so it was funny how they popped when we opened them! We also drank a lot of water. Lots and lots and lots of water.

Food-o-meter: 9/10
Health rating: 2/10 (we don't think the cheese was very healthy)
Mouthfuls: about 80
Course: Trail lunch
Price: about $2.32
Pieces of hair and nature: 0 hair (yay!), 2 seed pods, 1 ant
View: 5/10

Today's view is on the trail from Carson Pass to Round Lake. It is a view of Roundtop Peak, but it is pretty far away. There isn't much else to see yet but we can't wait to get to the lake! We've hiked about three miles so far and we only have two to go today.

Today's song is our camp song, Oh We're From Two Sentinels! We sometimes sing this on the trail to make the time go faster. It talks about mosquitoes but this year the mosquitoes aren't that bad.

We are making special lanyards and charms for the Mary's Meals kids to attach to their cups, too. They aren't very heavy so we brought some with us to make on the trail. Today we want to challenge anyone who has been backpacking to donate to Mary's Meals! It will only take a minute and then you can hit the trail again!


  1. Interesting 'meal'

    However the views look fantastic!

  2. "it was funny how they popped when we opened them!"

    Been there, had them pop on the way up!.
    Was in France, in Chamonix, took the cable car up Mount Blanc to "Aiguille du Midi", 3,777m, 12,391 feet.

    Bought a baguette and a packet of crisps (USA=chips) before I went up.
    The packet burst on the way up, POP, in my rucksack/backpack.

  3. Mmmm, gorp! Makes me miss camp...

  4. I remember meals like that when I used to go backpacking and hiking! Because lunch is on "the move" you need foods that give quick energy and don't need to be chilled. And don't weigh alot! Lunch for us was very similar - trail mix, beef jerkey, rye crispbreads with peanut butter and jam (both kept in reuseable tubes). We also had chocolate bars for snacks and drank lots of water. Breakfast and dinner were more normal - as normal as you can get when everything is dehydrated! What are you having for breakfast and dinner?

    Thank you for sharing your week camping with us!

  5. I'd bump your meal health rating to 4/10 because of the protein in the ant - if you ate it. This is funny.
    Bill in Nova Scotia

  6. Ah, that reminds me so much of my Girl Scouting days at camp each summer! Have lots and lots of fun girls, you'll remember these days for the rest of your life. :)

    I was amused to read that you didn't think the cheese was very healthy. Out of everything in this lunch, I would have found the fruit roll-ups to be least healthy, since they typically have a lot of added sugar.

    But you'll have used up the calories hiking in the mountains, and -- since you were backpacking -- weight and ease of transport are important factors. I know that, being good Scouts, you've packed all the wrappers out, too.

    I know the blog is about lunches, but I hope we'll get to see some photos of your cooked dinners, too. I remember learning lots of ways to cook meals in Scouts.

    Probably the one I thought was "dummest" was when we made "vagabond-stoves" from empty coffee cans. (And now coffee comes in plastic "cans." What on earth do Scouts use to make stoves now???) Then we cooked our breakfast of bacon and eggs on them. Thing was that you had to cut the bacon up in tiny pieces to get it to fit on the top of the can. And then the eggs stuck, so instead of "fried eggs" we all pretty much had them scrambled. :)

  7. Awesome post! I love that the girls have no electronics with them. I was raised at 5600 elevation and now I live at 686. :(

    I think that the cheese is probably healthier than the jerky. *shrug*

  8. Gah! My lungs are aching just THINKING about hiking around at 8,000 feet. Just walking to the store, on a flat street, when I lived at 5,000 made me want to keel over. Good job, and stay strong!

  9. Greetings WANDERERS,

    When you reach Round Top Lake, you are about 8,600 feet higher than I.

    Welcome to the world of NeverSeconds and thank you for a first great post. The view looks great!!

    Chocolate covered ants are meant to be nice, I couldn't eat plain ones, although money has been invested in an EU project to promote eating insects. Insects in the UK are a little too small.

    Back on topic, enjoy your camp/hike and looking forward to the remaining posts!