Backpacking for Beginners

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Messenger photos by Dedra Cordle
Columbus residents Jennifer McMullen and Eric Leslie enjoy the not-quite-a-fruit of their labor after participating in the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks Backpacking Series program. The 7-week long interactive program hosted at Scioto Grove instructs backpacking beginners – or those who are looking to brush up on their skills – on a variety of topics that can be used to make a planned overnight trip at the end of April more comfortable. “Week Three: Cooking” took place on March 26 where more than a dozen participants learned how to properly use a stove and make a starter fire kit. One of the completed kits were used to spark the fire that allowed the attendees to consume these sweet treats at the end of the afternoon program. For more information on the series, visit the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks website at metroparks.net. All events in the Backpacking Series are being held at Scioto Grove. In order to participate in the overnight trip at the end of April, one must attend at least one Backpacking Series class.
Justin Miller helps his son, Noah, 8, get this compressed gas stove going under the shelter of a tarp.
Shalene Baggs joked that while she may look like an advanced camper with her tools, she truly is “faking it until I make it.” “I don’t know what I am doing,” said the Dublin resident with a laugh. Baggs said she wanted to participate in this Backpacking Series because she wanted to get outside more and work on her health in a fun way.
Kim Deal, an outdoor adventure programmer, demonstrates how to use your surroundings in order to abide by the “Leave No Trace” motto. She said it is very important that all campers learn how to properly put out fires to mitigate potential damage to the park grounds.

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