Learn about hiking and plan a fun trip.
With the help of your adult leaders, plan a hike (or a walk, run, or similar activity) that will help the young women to appreciate their surroundings, accomplish something difficult, and develop friendships. Plan your hike to include rest periods so you can enjoy singing songs, telling stories, writing in your journal, sketching, or observing nature. The following guidelines can be applied both to hiking and to other similar outdoor activities.
Plan a hike that accommodates the skills and fitness levels of the young women in your class. Consider the following supply list as you plan:
- Appropriate footwear
- Water bottle
- Food or snacks
- Waterproof clothing for inclement weather
- Sunscreen and hat
- Journal and pen
- Map and compass
- Coat or sweatshirt for cold weather
- Mylar blanket
- Insect repellent
- Flashlight and batteries
- Matches and fire starter
- Whistle and small mirror
- Personal first aid kit
Carry essential supplies in a backpack or secure bag. Keep your hands and arms free so that you can catch yourself if you trip.
Help the young women understand and follow these safety guidelines:
- Avoid hazards such as electrical storms, loose rocks, dirt slides, cliffs, swamps, and dangerous plants and animals. Take the necessary precautions for your area.
- Make sure each young woman has a hiking partner who can help her stay safe and get help in case of injury. Keep pace with one another. Establish a calling signal that you can use if you become separated or in case of an emergency.
- Plan for an adequate number of adult leaders to help the group reach the destination safely. These leaders should be familiar with the trail and its dangers.
- Keep to the established trails, if possible. Track reference points to chart your progress, and make a backup plan for emergencies.
- When walking on a busy road, stay with your group, keep out of the way of traffic, and walk single file against the direction of traffic. Wear reflective clothing when you’re walking on a road at night.
- Avoid heat exhaustion or dehydration by bringing enough water for your hike. Never drink water that has been unfiltered or untreated. You may want to bring a way to filter or treat water for your hike. If you’re overheated, drink only small sips of water at a time.
- Respect the property of others.