Outdoors 101 with Hana

This week was all about the outdoors. Our classes were filled with information about hiking, camping, and much more. On Tuesday we started off by doing an activity with leaves, shells, and animal skulls. These objects were placed around a table and using a guide filled with hints we had to identify each type of leaf or animal. Through this activity I was able to learn about the different trees and animals surrounding our environment.

On Thursday we learned about the 10 hiking essentials and the importance of each one. The hiking essentials consist of maps/compass, sun protection, extra clothing, a light source, a fire starter, first aid kit, nutrition, water, tarp, and a knife. With these bare necessities, one would be prepared for a variety of situations that may appear while exploring the outdoors.

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Although all of the activities we did were great, my favorite one had to be when we got to set up our own tents. I’ve helped set up a tent once before but it was with 6 other people and mainly consisted of me just putting a bunch of random pieces together. This time I had the help of two mentors who were able to guide me a bit more through the process. We started off by laying out all of the supplies. Then we figured out where each one went and began to set it up. Surprisingly it only took about 10 minutes and was much easier than I had expected.

We ended the Outdoors 101 week with a lesson on how to react when encountering wild animals. Kelsey, the program director, pretended to be a wild animal while Meg, Amanda, and I acted out the ways to safely escape the situation. When encountering a bear one should slowly back away without making eye contact and when encountering a cougar one should make themselves seem bigger and tougher to frighten the cougar away. Overall this course taught me how to be safe and always prepared while enjoying the outdoors. Can’t wait to use some of these skills on my next adventure. Mount Everest here I come!

By Hana – National Park Service Intern

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