Coach Campbell is in the “Can Do” Center equipment closet, working on some things that Willie and Nellie do not recognize.
Hey Coach, what’s up…what-cha’ got there?
Oh, hey guys, this…this is my hiking gear.
Huh? Hiking gear – what is that?!?
It is what I take with me, what I wear, when I go out hiking in the woods. I was hiking this past weekend, and I am just cleaning it up a bit so it stays in good shape. I also want to make sure it is “good to go” when I hit the trails again this weekend for National Trails Day.
Hiking, you mean like walking around? Isn’t that…boring?
Well, not to me it isn’t. Yes, it is walking. But, there is so much to see, and hear, that is far from boring. Plus, it is nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, to go somewhere and be able to hear birds sing, and be able to hear the breeze rustle the leaves of a forest and to smell the clean, cool greenness of the air.
Sounds nice. Can anybody do it? I mean, can we do it?
You bet anyone can do it. That is one of the things that make hiking so great; you can start out young and do it for the rest of your life. It is timeless and ageless.
Cool, so what kind of stuff do you have in your “hiking gear”?
Well, let’s see. I have a first aid kit, some bug-spray and sun-block too. I also make sure I have two big bottles of water with me, especially since I am carrying water for both me and Delmar.
Delmar goes with you?!?!
Of course he does. He’s my hiking buddy.
Oh wow! Does he have fun?
He has a blast! He loves it.
How does he drink this water though? I mean, dogs can’t drink out of a bottle, can they?
Sure can’t, not without spilling about half the bottle anyway. No, Delmar has a little collapsible bowl I carry with me that he drinks out of.
Now, let’s see. Oh yeah, I also have a compass. I don’t really need that when I am hiking local parks, but when I go upstate and get out on some long day hike trails, the compass is important to have with me, along with the trail maps too. Last thing you want to do it to get lost, so making sure you know where you are on the trail is very important.
You know how to use a compass? You can read a map? Why not just GPS, like in a car?
Sure can, learned how to use a compass and read a map when I was in the Army. It is not that hard, and sometimes GPS doesn’t work, so you need to be able to take care of yourself without technology, just to be safe.
Cool, you think you can teach us? Yeah, you think we could go on a hike with you?
Well, sure. Why not. We will start out easy, with a walk through a local park one nice afternoon. Of course, we will have to have your parents/grandparents permission first, but I would love to take you guys out.
Even me Coach – says Nellie….
Yes, even you Nellie. Hiking is totally OK for both boys AND girls. No problems there at all.
COOL!! Anything else in your hiking gear?
One last thing, a rain jacket and rain pants. Sometimes the weather can change real fast, and I might be a few miles from my truck, so the rain gear is important. Getting soaking wet is no fun.
What about Delmar, what does he do when it rains?
Well, he gets wet.
National Trails Day
Story By:Ned Campbell, a coach and teacher in Brooklyn, NY. He is the voice of Coach Campbell in the “Can Do” Street programs.
Parent Note: Coach Campbell has a post for parents on this same subject at http://candostreet.com/blog-parents/