Camping Near Elkmont
At Elkmont, there is a ghost town. We went camping by a big rock off the trail that leads to a campsite with a firepit already built, logs to sit on, and a few spots perfect for setting up your tent. It was a big hike up a giant mountain. Once you take off your backpack, you feel a little dizzy because your body is not used to carrying all that weight, and you have been hiking for a long time. You will feel as light as a feather. If you are a Cub Scout, you can get double out of the trip because you will be another step closer to getting your Bear Badge.
Tips for Your First Camping Trip
Bring a lightweight bag, because it is a 3-mile hike up and a 3-mile hike down, and you have to go up and down a steep mountain. So you do not want to carry heavy stuff.
- Bring a walking stick. It helps maintain your place so you don’t fall backwards.
- Obviously you need a tent. When you are setting up the tent, make sure to have 4 people so that they can stretch it out and no air gets in it. You need one person at each of the four corners.
- Bring a meal and snacks everyone will like so that everyone can eat. Everyone should bring something to share so that you have a variety and it’s not only what you eat at home.
- You need a bear line to hang your food and backpacks up out of the way so if bears come they won’t be able to get to them. It protects everyone because the bears will think “awww, no food.”
- Bring a shovel and toilet paper to make your own toilet at the campsite.
- The best part is whittling and s’mores. So always bring some whittling projects, graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate.
Bring a firestarter and a pocketknife. Scrape your pocketknife up against the ridge on the firestarter and that will generate a spark. You have to put your firestarter right next to the cotton ball for the spark to catch it on fire. You don’t have to use a cotton ball, just something flammable. I rarely get to do stuff like that, so I think I will remember this trip because it was the first fire I started.
- Don’t tell scary stories, especially the one about the Elkmont Village and the “Beast” because then your entire group won’t be able to sleep except for the one who told the story and the grown ups. This is how the scary story goes: Elkmost used to be a very thriving village until one day this lady disappeared and all they found there was a foot with toothmarks. They just assumed she stepped in a bear trap because there were a lot of bears in that area. And then another man disappeared and they assumed he got eaten by a bear. All that was left was a hand with teeth marks. It kept happening. Then they started seeing the Beast lurking around in the woods. And on full moons, they heard strange howls and screams. It kept happening until no one was left and people say that the Beast can still be found in the forest around Elkmont.
- Bring an air mattress because you can feel the rocks on the ground through a sleeping bag. The sleeping bag is very warm so it will get you through the cold night.
This was my first real camping trip and I really want to have another one. I hope these 10 tips will help somebody else when they go camping for the first time with Cub Scouts.