On The Trail


Once a long time ago a hound was out with his owner trailing a mountain lion. The hound came to a place where a fox had crossed the trail, and the hound decided to follow the fox instead of the lion. 

A short time later, a rabbit crossed that of the fox, and again the hound changed direction. Why should he chase a fox when a rabbit might be easier to catch? 

When the hunter finally caught up with his hound, the dog was barking at a small hole in the ground. The hound had brought to bay a field mouse instead of a mountain lion. 

Well, how about you? Have you set out on a trail to achieve your ambition? Are you able to follow it, or are you sidetracked by easier trails that cross it from time to time? 

Don't be like that hound. Find out what it takes to achieve your ambition, and then get started. The best way to achieve anything in life is to set a true course for it and then stick to that trail.

Thank you to Troop 174 in Elwood, NY for posting this wonderful Scoutmaster's minute. http://bsatroop174.org/A_Scoutmaster.html

Apple Leather

One of my applesolute foods to eat while backpacking is apple leather.  For the most part, making these roll-ups of dehydrated fruit is extremely easy.  The process is the same as making applesauce, just add the step of spreading it out onto the food dehydrator trays.  The following is a great recipe I found that is simple to make and will keep you energized throughout the trip.  Also, as mentioned at the end of the recipe, your favorite store bought applesauce will work just as well.

32 Servings

Weight 1 dried serving = 0.5 ounce


  1. Wash and cut in half:

    • 5 pounds whole apples, seeds, cores, and stems included

      • Put the apples in a large pot. Cover with:

    • 1 Cup water

  2. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until apples are tender.

  3. To remove seeds, stems, and skins, strain the apples and juice through a food mill or strainer into a large bowl.

      • Stir in:

    • ¼ cup brown sugar (or sweetener of your choice)

    • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

  4. Oil covered dehydrator trays with vegetable oil. Spread the apple leather in even 8-inch-diameter circles on the trays

  5. Dehydrate at 145 degrees for 6 hours, or until firm and leathery.

  6. Roll up the leather while it is still warm; then cut each roll into 4 peices. Let cool completely before storing in individual serving-sized bags.

Time-saving tip: Purchase commercially made applesauce. Stir in flavoring, such as a sprinkle of cinnamon, if desired. Pour 1 cup of applesauce on each covered, oiled dehydrator tray. (1 cup applesauce = one 8-inch-diameter roll).


Pg 64, Backpack Gourmet, Linda Frederick Yaffe


Fine Consideration

A Scout is Courteous

In 1784, Jefferson was named by Congress minister to France in place of Benjamin Franklin, who, after long and remarkable service there, had begged leave to come home.  Then it was that the Virginian made his kind and courteous acknowledgment of the greatness of his famous colleague and associate of the "Declaration" days. 

"You replace Dr. Franklin, I hear," said the Prime Minister of King Louis of France when Mr. Jefferson was introduced to him at the court.

Jefferson bowed with his customary dignity and courtesy. "Sir," he said, "I succeed Dr. Franklin; no one can replace him."


Food for Backpacking

The past couple of months we have been preparing the scouts for a backpacking trip.  One of the essential items you need to take with you on your backpacking trip is food.  The challenges with food and backpacking include weight and waste. One way to have the scouts realize the differences in weight is have two different types of soup on the table for them to pick up.  One being a can of ready to eat chicken noodle soup, and the other a bag of dehydrated chicken noodle soup. When it comes to backpacking, ounces add up to weigh down you pack. 

There are many options for store bought backpacking meals.  The issue that I have found with these meals are that they are usually overpriced, and they usually don't taste very good.  One option is to dehydrate your own food to take backpacking... yes, you do not have to buy pre-packaged meals! The book Backpack Gourmet, by Linda Frederick Yaffe is a great resource to making your own backpacking meals from scratch to dehydration.  Make sure to have some really strong baggies to keep your food dry, fresh, and ready for you to re-hydrate on the trail. One of her receipts I'm excited to take on this next trip is a Turkey Chili. I'll let you know how it goes as I will be preparing this meal this weekend in preparations for our backpacking trip next week.