SMU Outdoor Adventures

SMU Outdoor Adventures offers recreational trips and outdoor skills workshops from its “base camp” at the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports.

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Backpacking in Ouachita National Forest

hike3.jpgAnnie, trip supervisor and junior political science major, reports on Outdoor Adventures’ winter backpacking trip to Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas, February 1-3:

This adventure began Friday afternoon in the trusty OA van with John behind the wheel. For dinner we sampled the foodstuffs at Braum’s restaurant followed by watching The Big Lebowski.

We arrived at the campground just before midnight, where we promptly erected tents and settled in for the night. The first night was sleepless for many, due to the frigid temperatures and the screeching raccoons. Marmie and Katie stayed entertained with an imaginary trip to Disneyworld, and Buzz had the good fortune to find an abandoned Sierra Design rain jacket.

hike4.jpgThe next morning we covered the basics of packpacking and headed to the trail. We encountered many river crossings, with some people coming very close to losing their balance. We also spotted an armadillo and a flock of wild turkeys.

Afterward, we settled into the campsite and enjoyed a dinner of chicken, stuffing and mashed potatoes followed by fire. Everyone was nestled into their tents before 8, except for Juan, who set out to hunt raccoons. The second night was much more enjoyable – the temperature was less chilly and there were no raccoons.

The second day began with a moderately strenuous couple of inclines followed by a few smaller river crossings. We ended the trip cheerily walking on the road back to the van, where we enjoyed lunch and deissued gear. The trip was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

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