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SWON News: The Low Down

Carrying 25 Pounds on Your Back

Thursday, August 13, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Nathan Swartzendruber
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  • Hiking on the Appalachian Trail
  • Summer Reading 2016
  • SWON's 20th Annual Picture Book Read-In is August 25

Have you ever thought about hiking the Appalachian Trail? It's about 2,200 miles long and passes through 14 states, so I don't blame you if it hasn't made it onto your summer to-do list.

Since the Trail passes through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, that's a popular place for a day hike on it. When we were there, years ago, we picked out Charlie's Bunion as our destination for the day. The map said it was 7.8 miles to get there and back; I don't remember it mentioning the 1,625' elevation gain on the roundtrip.

It was a trek. And all we had to carry were water bottles and a lunch. People hiking the trail have to carry much more food, a camp stove, sleeping bag and mat. They'll need clothes and probably a tent loaded onto a tall backpack. Reading Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods opening chapter on gear is pretty eye-opening on its own.

As school kids know, a backpack you can pick up isn't necessarily a backpack you can carry a mile to school. Talking to kids about carrying a pack and choosing good food that will keep you fueled for a long journey is a great way to talk about deciding what to eat. And it might inspire them to take on the challenge of some local trails too.

  • Nathan Swartzendruber, SWON Technology Educator

Next year's Summer Reading Program on fitness/wellness sounds like a challenge

We'll help you plan your route at our SRP Workshop. It's early on the calendar this year—September 1st—so pick out some reliable shoes and meet us at the Xenia branch of Greene County Public Library.

With six speakers demonstrating programs you can adapt for toddlers to teens, there will be lots of ideas to take home with you. Don't forget to bring a program description of your own for the Idea Share. Hearing about programs from a couple dozen attendees is a great way to complete the day.

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