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Experiential Learning in the Heart of Utah
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Experiential Learning in the Heart of Utah on 05/18/2010 13:06:57 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Experiential Learning in the Heart of Utah

Jeremy Pendrey
(Pendrey) - MLife

Locale: California
Good article on 05/18/2010 20:46:03 MDT Print View

I really enjoyed this article and the video. ROI sounds like a school that gets it. Too bad this kind of experience is not part of the curriculum of more schools, public and private. Intentional living and empowerment is what it's all about.
And nice location too.

Keep up the good work.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
RE:Experiential Learning in the Heart of Utah on 05/18/2010 23:24:00 MDT Print View

Absolutely awesome! If my school experience was more like theirs, I wonder where I would be now. Good Job!

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
food on 05/19/2010 12:43:31 MDT Print View

i would be interested to know what foods were taken, dehydrated, freeze dried, what ready-to-eat foods(jerky, gorp, etc).

Dan Healy

Locale: Queensland
Experiential Learning in the Heart of Utah on 05/19/2010 18:48:29 MDT Print View

Really tremendous stuff! How lucky that school is to have you introduce lightweight backpacking to the students! How many kids would really 'get' the bush if their introduction was enjoyable - rather than seeing it thru a sweaty haze of laboured breath and aching feet trundling along under a monstrous pack. Good on you!

Matt DeWitt
(tritan) - F

Locale: Midwest
Nice on 05/19/2010 21:51:00 MDT Print View

Good stuff love the gear list. Thanks for sharing.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Nice on 05/20/2010 19:50:25 MDT Print View

great video!!!!!

Nathan Auck
(auckjam) - MLife

Locale: Wasatch
Food on 05/20/2010 23:10:24 MDT Print View

Thanks all for the kind comments! Our school really is an amazing institution. Our outdoor/international program director also deserves a lot of credit. She's done nothing but move our program in more progressive and productive directions since taking over the reigns the year before I arrived. Without her feedback, knowledge and friendship, I couldn't have accomplished half of what I've accomplished.

As far as the food that we use is concerned, my preference is for an extravagant meal on the first night (burritos w/ fresh veggies, avocado, vegan sausage and salsa w/ a fresh salad on the side for example) and then generally dehydrated meals on other nights w/ an ingredient or two which is special. Those meals look like pesto pasta, beans and rice, quinoa or cous cous. Breakfast is usually oatmeal or granola, though I'll often buy peanut butter puffins to eat as a once-per-year treat. The rest of the day is snacking on cliff bars, salty raw nuts, dried fruit and my personal favorite, sesame sticks. Also, we eat chocolate regularly. Additionally, we place an emphasis on the cooking process as a community building tool and skill learning opportunity. Often times we'll bake bread in areas where we can have backcountry LNT campfires or cakes on our alcohol stoves when it's a students birthday.All in all we try to strike a balance between weight savings and enjoyment.

We leave for the 2010 trip next week and our menu looks similar to what I've mentioned above with the addition of some crushed up tortilla chips (thanks for the idea Andy) and fruit leather.

The trip this year is again shaping up to be amazing. We'll be heading down to Capitol Reef to do a loop in Muley Twist Canyon and hopefully do the narrows section near the grand gulch farther south.

Ken Charpie
(kencharpie) - MLife

Locale: Western Oregon
Excellent! on 05/22/2010 04:21:47 MDT Print View

I love the "Maximum Enjoyment Potential" idea. Lightweight backpacking is about so much more than just carrying fewer grams; it's about being free to enjoy the wilderness around you... this project looks like it was an awesome critical thinking excercise for the students.

Great pics as well!

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Experiential Learning in the Heart of Utah on 05/22/2010 05:49:23 MDT Print View

Fun video, GREAT story.

I hope my girls can experience something like this one day.

Again - WONDERFUL program for the kids!

John Birdsall
(solowandslow) - F
Exemplary! on 05/22/2010 11:41:57 MDT Print View

What a joy to experience this article, and the wonderful video at the end! I agree with other responders that it is a shame that this kind of education is not available to all students! I think intentionality as a philosophy of life should be taught - or at least introduced - to everyone! One could argue that the reason we find ourselves in such a financial mess right now is that we as a society tend to live out our lives with an utter lack of intentionality!

I think one of the understated gems of the course is that you are teaching these kids to sew, and construct their own gear! bucking the whole "I can only use what the market has offered me!" lie - wonderful!

Nate - a couple of comments on your gear list: however did you construct a insulated vest @ 4oz!?! and I find it interesting that you listed your (empty) pack weight under the 'worn/carried' column, instead of the more obvious (to me @ least) 'in pack' column. Was it to put more emphasis on what actually is put in the pack?

Lance Marshall
(Lancem) - F - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Experiential Learning in the Heart of Utah on 05/22/2010 21:48:57 MDT Print View


Outstanding program and trip report! Thank you for sharing.


I think you might want to adjust your spreadsheet. Your base pack weight appears to be counted twice in you skin-out total.)

Edited by Lancem on 05/22/2010 21:49:38 MDT.

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Weight tally on 05/25/2010 09:53:49 MDT Print View

I have corrected the gear list - I had incorporated his list into another that calculated the totals incorrectly. I am sorry about the error, but rest assured that it was mine, not Nates!

Julian Watson
(JulesWatson) - F
Windshirt on 05/28/2010 17:08:04 MDT Print View

I note that Nate made his own windshirt - can I ask if there was a specific pattern ?

Nathan Auck
(auckjam) - MLife

Locale: Wasatch
windshirt on 05/31/2010 23:15:31 MDT Print View


I made my windshirt from Paul's pattern at Thru hiker. I tweeked things a bit to fit my body type and added a hood, but I've found that pattern to be great. I make my sleeves longer so I can fit my hands inside as well as making the back have a drop tail I can pull over my bum!

Julian Watson
(JulesWatson) - F
windshirt on 06/01/2010 15:21:27 MDT Print View

Nate - thanks !