We know you secret­ly want your Scouts to suf­fer through that 20-mile hike. That is the goal of it after all, right? So, we thought we’d help you out. Here are some tips to ensure that you and your Scouts have the most mis­er­able time of your lives while hik­ing: 

1-Wear real­ly heavy cot­ton clothes if it’s sum­mer. Dress in a t-shirt and shorts if it’s win­ter.  They’ll be super sweaty or freez­ing. Either way, it’s not going to be com­fort­able! Make sure to avoid lay­ers and cov­er­ing skin. 

2-Don’t take any breaks. At all costs, leave the slow­pokes behind. 


3-Only tell your two-year-old child where you’re going. We’re con­fi­dent she’ll for­get that you are sup­posed to return at 6 PM. Then, not only will it be mis­er­able for the troop, but you’ll be sure to cre­ate a hor­ri­ble expe­ri­ence for all the con­cerned par­ents as well! 

4-Do not use insect repel­lent or sun­screen. Also, don’t use deodor­ant. Not only will you be stinky and burnt, but nat­ur­al human fumes (like sweat) attract the bugs. 

5-Pack lots of choco­late and milk. Bet­ter yet, don’t pack any food or water! Because every­one loves melt­ed choco­late in their trail mix. 

6-Go on a stormy or rainy day.  Don’t let any­one bring pon­chos or extra lay­ers or it might be slight­ly less awful. 

7-Stray from the trail. This leads to all kinds of ter­rif­ic prob­lems. 

8-Make sure to mess with the wild ani­mals. The more dan­ger­ous the ani­mal, the bet­ter. Feed­ing ani­mals is also a great idea. Hiking

9-Avoid hik­ing boots. Flip-flops are bet­ter. Flip-flops make it real­ly tricky when you’re try­ing to climb over rocks and such. 

10-Find a real­ly busy hik­ing loca­tion, so you can hit all the crowds. 

If you want to be mis­er­able while hik­ing, these are the best tips to fol­low. Your boys will prob­a­bly nev­er want to go on a hike again. Mis­sion accom­plished!

All jok­ing aside, these things real­ly hap­pen while hik­ing (I’ve expe­ri­enced a few of them), and avoid­ing these issues encour­ages safe­ty and fun. 

Do you have any great sug­ges­tions on how to make a fun expe­ri­ence awful? 

Michelle Carpenter
is a reporter for the Voice of Scouting and a marketing associate for The Utah National Parks Council. Her father, husband, and brother are all Eagle Scouts, so she firmly believes some of the best men did Scouting.


  1. Tyler North
    Tyler North ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh yeah and don’t for­get to go alone! It’s more fun that way, so your moun­tain lion friends can sneak up on you, right?

  2. Mike Conkey says:

    The arti­cle brought back not-so-fond mem­o­ries of one leg of a back­pack trip I took as a 13 year-old Scout. This was in the days before GPS, and the trip was going to be a week-long, 50-mil­er, start­ing and end­ing at Maroon Bells (near Aspen, CO). There were sev­er­al mis-cal­cu­la­tions and the final mileage was clos­er to 75 miles. On the sec­ond day, what was pur­port­ed to be 10 miles, end­ed up being clos­er to 15 with three pass ascents and descents. I remem­ber being exhaust­ed when we final­ly trudged into our des­ti­na­tion at about 7 PM. We were scat­tered along at least two miles of trail, and the gazelles got there at least an hour before the lag­gards. We didn’t even start our stove, we just had the fol­low­ing day’s lunch, set up the tent, and went to bed. Forty years lat­er, my Scout friends and I still talk about that as a les­son learned when you leave the adults in charge of route sched­ul­ing! While I was mis­er­able at the time, that expe­ri­ence was part of what built me into what I am today.

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