This year for spring break, the Outdoor Pursuits program, at Colorado State University-Pueblo, has organized a trip to Big Bend National Park, in Texas, as a credited trip for two classes on campus, beginning on March 23.
In addition, students, community members and staff at CSU-Pueblo are welcome to sign up for the trip that can take a maximum of 28 people.
Although all the positions have been filled, Outdoor Pursuits is keeping a list of people who would be interested in going on the trip, in case if anyone who signed up were to drop out.
The price for students is $350, $400 for members of the CSU-Pueblo staff and $450 for community members.
On this trip students will learn many outdoor lessons about hiking, camping, land navigation, outdoor cooking, using a map and compass, reading the weather, what plants are edible, first aid, knots and about wildlife in the area.
All of these lessons will help the students work as a team and live in the wilderness, for about a week.
“We want to teach people how to hike in the desert with a backpack when it’s hot and sometimes there are critters,” Associate Director of Students Recreation, Scott Robertshaw, said.
Robertshaw, one of the supervisors accompanying the group on their trip, thinks it is very important for students to learn to work together as a group. Students will learn how to work together when they are frustrated and when other people have reached their limits.
Last spring break, the Outdoor Pursuits program offered the same trip, but it was not as large as it will be this year.
During their time in Texas, the group will be doing a great deal of hiking around the national park. Some of the trails that they will have to choose from are: Window’s Trail, Old Ore Trail and Boquillas Trail.
Similarly to the desert, the Big Bend National Park will be extremely hot during the day and very cold at night. The environment can be very unforgiving, causing dehydration, overheating and hypothermia.
For these reasons, the campers will require a certain amount of equipment, such as hiking boots, windbreakers, insulating tops, insulating hats and gloves, water, a sleeping bags, compasses, whistles and much more.
Much of the equipment, including the expensive items like a tent and sleeping bag, required for the trip, can be rented from the Outdoor Pursuit’s equipment room.
Two 15-passenger vans with trailers will be taken on the estimated 16-hour trip to Texas.
“Map Quest says it’s a 13 hour trip, but I’m estimating longer with breaks and eating ‘cause not everyone is hungry at the same time,” Robertshaw said.
The Outdoor Pursuits program is also working on organizing a trip for international students to go to Moab, Utah or Mesa Verde National Park sometime in the spring semester.