Quick Concept for Plan Ahead and Prepare
Grabbing Your Group's Attention (15 minutes)
Have a one-pot meal, or a variety of one-pot meals, cooking outdoors on a
backpack stove when your group arrives. Give each participant a copy of each
recipe and describe how you prepared each meal. Provide every participant with a
taste of each dish.
Alternate Plan for Grabbing Your Group's Attention (15 minutes)
As an alternate activity, before your meeting, find pictures or posters
depicting a local or regional environment (high alpine, desert, river). You will
use these pictures to serve as your imaginary destination.
Break participants into small groups of three to five when they arrive. Tell
your group you are taking them on an imaginary hiking trip and ask each person
to pack a small backpack for your adventure. Don't tell the participants their
imaginary destination or what to bring. Build suspense by asking them to guess
the destination of their imaginary trip.
Break your group into pairs and have them
- Create a recipe for a simple one-pot meal.
- Make a list of all the ingredients they would need to bring
into the backcountry for this meal.
- Describe how they should pack these ingredients to minimize
Show the destination pictures from the alternate plan above and describe
(weather, terrain, etc.) the location you have selected. Explain the goal of the
trip: wildlife viewing or fishing. Ask the groups to unpack their packs and
discuss their answers to the following questions. To help facilitate discussion,
the leader must read the Background on the Principles of Leave No Trace.
- How well do the contents of your pack properly prepare you for this trip?
- How well do the contents of your pack ensure your safety?
- How well do the contents of your pack ensure you will leave no trace—that
you will not damage natural or cultural resources?
- Do the contents of your pack ensure your trip will meet your goal—for
example, wildlife viewing or fishing—safely and enjoyably?
Because participants packed their packs without proper information, they will
probably be inadequately prepared for their destination. This activity
demonstrates the importance of planning before packing.
Discuss why planning and preparing for one-pot meals on a backcountry trip is
wiser than planning a meal of canned chili, canned fruit, and hot dogs. Refer to
the Background on the Principles of Leave No Trace for details to assist you in
this discussion. You may want to invite a guest from an outdoor store or hiking
club to conduct the cooking demonstration if you lack experience.
Discussion for the Alternate Activity
Following the alternate activity, facilitate a discussion with all
participants about the results of the activity. Ask each group to briefly share
its answers to the above questions and add:
- How would the contents of your pack differ with different destinations?
- What other information do you need to pack properly for a trip?
- What is the value of knowing more about your destination and the
activities you have planned before packing?