Travel is likely going to look very different for the foreseeable future. If you’re feeling like your home’s closing in on you and you want—no, need—to get out and see the world, you may be limited to fairly remote places. Conveniently, there are a slew of them within driving distance of the Delaware River Towns.
Better still, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is hosting a crash course that’s oriented toward aspiring outdoorsmen and -women. If your idea of roughing it is a 20-minute walk along the towpath and lunch in the courtyard at Hamilton’s Grill Room, but you can envision yourself soaking in the panoramic views of a sunrise from atop a (modest-size) mountain, keep the morning of September 26 open.
From 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM, Washington Crossing Historic Park’s naturalist will be sharing some easy-to-follow advice on packing a backpack, setting up a campsite, and cooking with only the bare essentials.
While the session will be focused on the basics, there will be opportunities for some next-level guidance, as well, if you’ve backpacked before, but it’s been a minute since your last jaunt. Bear Grylls never stops learning. Why would you?
Following the presentation at Washington Crossing State Park, everybody will go on a two-mile hike together through the park, so come prepared with some water and an energy bar, if, like us, you use pretty much any occasion as an excuse to snack. The park’s not the wilderness, exactly, but the roughly 500 acres that comprise it are among the area’s most scenic, especially as we enter the transition to fall.
You may also want to break in your new boots and backpack. Cool as they may look, all new and pristine, you’re setting yourself up for big blisters and a chronically sore back if your trial run also happens to be your first actual day on the trail. And, really, for those first few hours, you should be focusing all of your energy on faking it so that you gain the immediate respect of every other backpacker you pass. (That’ll probably be part of the tutorial.)
The DCNR session is free, but advance registration is required. Go here for that. Once you sign up, you’ll be given the place to meet. And you’ll be on your way to feeling free as a bird and leaving this whole pandemic thing in the rearview for a few days.