Picnic Adventure Challenge
If you enjoy good food, gathering with friends and family and getting active outside, step up your traditional potluck or picnic by taking on the Picnic Adventure Challenge!
For this activity, you’ll want to pick a picnic destination that is accessible to everyone’s skill level. Will you make a snow-fort kitchen when you get there? Perhaps you’ve found a shelter cabin in a local park to host you. Maybe your group prefers a simple outdoor fire with chairs and tarps to protect you from wind. Whatever your style, be sure to pack accordingly for your location.
You’ll also want to map a route to your location and prepare a gear list that includes your basic day pack essentials and first aid kit, ‘kitchen’ gear or seating and your food.
Don’t forget to account for gear weight that may slow your pace. Whether you’re hiking 5km or 10km+, pick a length and elevation gain that challenges you but is still safe and fun—don’t forget to account for gear weight that may slow your pace, and layer your clothing properly (you’ll likely work up a sweat despite the low temperatures, which can give you a deep chill if your layer fabrics aren’t meant for vigorous winter activity).
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In addition to your meal prep gear items, food and ‘kitchen’ set up needs, you’ll want to fill your daypack with:
- First Aid Kit
- Winter Survival Kit (for backcountry trails)
- Map and waterproof case
- Compass and/or GPS
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Spare batteries
- Wear layers and save room in your pack as you remove/add them (thermal underwear, wool or synthetic mid-layer, insulated shell)
- Lip balm
- Small knife or multitool
- Water filtration device(if not carrying-in)
- Water bottle
- Communication device
- Pack cover (be prepared—the weather can turn in an instant, even if it isn’t calling for rain or snow when you start your activity.)
- Sunscreen & sunglasses (to prevent snow blindness)
- Toilet paper& trowel, ziplock or sealable container (if public restrooms or outhouses are not available in the planned location)
- Hand sanitizer
- For icy or snowy conditions: crampons for traction to prevent slips
(Photo Credit: Venturer Scout, Cadence J)
- Layer your clothing properly (you’ll likely work up a sweat despite the low temperatures, which can give you a deep chill if your layer fabrics aren’t meant for vigorous winter activity).
- If you are going on a backcountry trail, make sure you have an emergency response plan in place. How can you signal for help if you get lost? What equipment should you have on hand for communication?
- Always check the weather leading up to, and right before, your adventure.
- Let someone (who is not joining the trip) know where you are going, how many people you will be with, what your route is and when you plan to return.
- Is everyone comfortable? Is everyone physically and mentally prepared for this adventure?
- Identify your destination, parking and trailhead points.
- Map your transportation and trail routes.
Scout Tip: Identify alternative trail routes in case you need to take a detour due to trail conditions or wildlife sightings.
- Before leaving for your activity, check the weather. Also, let your designated contact person (who is not participating) know that you are departing, and remind them of your route and when you plan to return.
- Once you’ve arrived at your destination, have some members of your group set up your seating, meal prep and eating spaces while the others arrange a campfire to keep you cozy and warm.
- You’re all set for a fun picnic in a winter wonderland! After enjoying your meal, don’t forget to Leave No Trace; clean the area thoroughly and pack-out any garbage and food scraps.
- Once you’ve returned home, let your contact person know you’ve arrived safely (and let them know how much fun you had on your adventure!)
Congratulations, you’ve completed your snowshoes! After trying them out, take a beat to reflect on the activity—what worked, what didn’t, and were there areas for improvement?
Find activities like this and hundreds more on Scouts Canada’s Activity Finder!