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[ft-l] FT Trip Report and Question


As a fellow Scouter, I usually hike or backpack any trail before I take out
my scouts, and take notes.  Ocala is great if there is not a hunting
season...you can camp just about anywhere.  It also depends on your group
size.  I usually limit the group size to 8: 2 to 3 adults and the rest
scouts.  A smaller group can fit in a lot of spots, plus the group can move

Since we live in South Brevard, we also backpack at Tosohatchee, Hal Scott,
Wekiva Springs, Bull Creek and Jonathon Dickenson.  I agree, just plain 'ol
camping can get boring.  Scouts enjoy the challenge.  I always have an
introductory backpack trip of about 5 miles round trip for newer scouts.
Prior to the trip, my older scouts bring in full packs, food, stoves, tents,
the works...and prodive good training from their peers.  The completion of
the trip really helps them figure out gear choices, weight, food to bring,
their personal capabilities...and gives them a good and fun taste of
backpacking as well as a sense of accomplishment.

By the way, the FTA maps are great.  They have a lot of information and are
generally very up-to-date.

Glad you had a good time.

Mike Otten
ASM Troop 734
Palm Bay Florida

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Nickerson" <mark@nickpvb.com>
To: <FT-l@backcountry.net>
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2003 9:18 AM
Subject: [ft-l] FT Trip Report and Question

> Our Boy Scouts had a successful beginners backpacking trip, Clearwater
> Lake to Alexander Springs over the January holiday weekend.  We found
> the weather to be fine, albeit very cold nights.
> Our scouts had met the weekend prior with Joe Butler of Black Creek
> Outfitters in Jacksonville.  Joe was an excellent "Eagle Scout/outside
> consultant/expert" for the boys.  He inspected backpacks to show our
> guys what to bring and how to pack.  He adjusted straps and belts for
> the best fit.  He pointed out how to repackage items to reduce weight
> and suggested some of the newer materials available for use instead of
> cotten.  Because of this our youngest scouts (always a concern) did
> teriffic!
> A question for the list, we know about the developed and partially
> developed sites on the trail.  However, as a Scout leader its very
> difficult to plan a trip in the ONF if we can't make a reservation.  Has
> someone put together a list of places to camp on the trail, with mention
> of their frequency of use.  As a long-time FTA member and former
> section-leader, I recognize this often is done by word of mouth.  I note
> in the FT trail guides I have, that primitive spots are mentioned along
> with their section mileage.  If I knew the ten good spots between
> Alexander Springs and Juniper Springs to camp, besides developed sites
> at Farles Lake and Buck Lake, it would be easier to plan a return trip
> to do leg two of the forest.
> Because I've been over the entire ONF and personally know, or knew, a
> number of the list members, it not a big deal for me.  I just know there
> are many troops who opt to sit in State Parks and not backpack because
> they can't count on a reservation and the site information is tough to
> locate.  I appreciate your comments and suggestions.
> As always, thank you!
> Mark Nickerson
> FTA Member
> Scoutmaster, Troop 288
> North Florida Council
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