Year after year, backpacking is the most highly rated activity at Adventure Treks for many reasons, including shared challenge, lack of electronic distractions, and what we call “shared humanity.” There’s magic in overcoming obstacles, and it’s even more powerful when challenges are shared with friends. Without electronics, people able to focus on what’s in front of them, and what’s important: themselves, their friends, and creating long-lasting memories. Students are able to step into different leadership roles, and backpacking highlights commonalities and interests that form strong, unbreakable friendship bonds. Backpacking offers opportunities for both type I fun (seeing beautiful views, having deep trail conversations, jumping into swimming holes) and type II fun (steep inclines, inclement weather, forgetting something and having to problem-solve)—both of which create rewarding, meaningful experiences.
Students will hike through the Goat Rocks Wilderness (spectacular alpine terrain surrounded by wildflowers and snow-capped volcanoes), North Cascades National Park (known for glaciers, gigantic Fraser firs, and emerald lakes), and the Olympic Peninsula (wild beaches filled with wildlife and sea stacks) on several extended backpacking trips, honing such skills as:
- Expedition management and safety
- Orienteering, map-reading, and navigation skills
- Leave No Trace principles
- Camp set-up and take-down
- Building temporary shelters
- Backcountry cooking