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Fall Break: Buffalo River Backpacking

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 10/06/2022 - 10/09/2022
All Day

Location
Buffalo National River

Categories


Fall Break: Buffalo River Backpacking

Dates: 10/6-10/9 Time: Multiday
Early Registration Deadline: 9/22 Early Bird Cost: $180/$200
Registration Deadline:  10/4 Regular Cost: $200/$220
Location: Buffalo National River, Arkansas

 

Located in Northwest Arkansas, the Buffalo River is the nation’s first designated National River. You can see why as you hike along this scenic river with verdant banks from spring through late fall. Join us on this backpacking adventure along the exciting and beautiful Buffalo River. 

Register in-person or online @ mycampusrec.tcu.edu

Trip Cost:

Early Registration (full payment due at registration):

$180 with a TCU ID, $200 as a sponsored guest

Regular Registration:

$200 with a TCU ID, $220 as a sponsored guest

  • Prices reflect the TCU student/faculty and sponsored guest rate.
  • Please read our cancellation/refund policy carefully before registering.
  • Price does not include meals on the road

Pretrip

Itinerary

Packing List

Physical Challenge

Risks/Safety

Hygiene/Comfort

Weather

Outfitting & Food

Registration/Cancellation

Pre-Trip Meeting:

10/4 @ 6pm

Pre-Trip meetings are required and are held the date of the registration deadline (listed above – generally the week of or week before the trip), from 6-7:30 pm at the TCU Climbing Wall.  You will meet the leaders and other trip members, as well as cover all details such as weather, menu, safety issues, and clothing requirements. You will also be issued all of your equipment at this time (sleeping bags, pad, tent, etc.).

Itinerary

Day 1: Meet at TCU around 6:00am and head out toward the Buffalo National River (7.5 hrs.). We will unload the gear and set up camp alongside the Buffalo River. Together we will (hopefully) watch the stars come out as we gather around the campfire roasting S’mores.

Day 2-3: After a hearty breakfast, we will hit the trail and spend 2-3 days on the trails of the Buffalo River. We will be hiking at least 5 hours a day. In the evening, we will set up camp, enjoy some downtime, eat a delicious meal, and watch the stars come out.

Day 4: After a final hearty breakfast, we will hike out of our campsite on the remainder of our route. We will arrive at the end of the trailhead after lunch, and arrive back at TCU by approximately 8pm.

Physical Challenge

Backpacking the Buffalo River can be strenuous on both your legs and back. It may also prove challenging to spend multiple days on trail in a row and hiking about 10 miles a day. Staying well hydrated, taking your time, resting when necessary (but not for too long), and keeping your energy level high is essential. Trip members should be in good physical condition and should plan on challenging themselves on this trip.

TRIP RATING 2 out of 3 – This is an intermediate backpacking trip.

Packing List

We are limited on space, and the less stuff you bring, the less you have to carry around. Ask yourself…What would I want in the coldest weather or the hottest weather? Pack to be prepared for both!

Things that should be packed inside your personal day pack and kept with you inside the van:

  • Small day pack
  • Money for road meals
  • A warm layer
  • Headlamp
  • Travel size pillow
  • Water
  • Snack food
  • Camera

PERSONAL EQUIPMENT:

  • Sunglasses w/retainer strap
  • Personal stuff- extra contact lenses, chapstick, sunscreen, baby wipes, baby powder, ear plugs, hand lotion, medications you usually take…
  • 2 durable crush proof one-liter water bottles or a hydration pack
  • Eating utensils
  • Plastic bowl
  • Mug/insulated cup
  • Hand sanitizer

CLOTHING LIST:

HEAD:
  • Wide brimmed shade hat
  • Beanie/ stocking cap
  • Bandana
HANDS:
  • Gloves
FEET: NO FLIP FLOPS!!
  • Tennis shoes with good ankle support
  • Hiking Socks
  • Hiking Shoes/ Boots
UPPER BODY
  • Cotton or synthetic blend hiking shirt (breathable layer)
  • Cotton or synthetic camp shirt (a clean shirt to wear at camp)
  • Synthetic Long Sleeve Top(s) – Polypro, Capilene, or polyester.
  • Fleece jacket or sweatshirt
  • Sports bra
  • Windbreaker
LOWER BODY:
  • Nylon shorts
  • Lightweight long pants/ cotton or synthetic hiking pants
  • Rain Pants
  • Sweatpants
  • Underwear
  • Synthetic long underwear (top & bottom)
  • Bathing suit
PERSONAL EQUIPMENT PROVIDED BY TCU:
  • 15-30˚ sleeping bag and Thermarest sleeping pad
  • Tent with rain fly (sleeps 2-4)
  • Headlamp
  • Camp chair
  • Pack Bag: to hold all of the above items PLUS your personal gear and clothes
GROUP EQUIPMENT PROVIDED BY TCU:
  • Expedition First Aid Kit
  • Ground Tarp
  • Stoves, fuel and all cooking gear-pots, pans, spice kit etc.
  • Repair kit for tents, stoves, packs, etc.
  • Water bags -2+ gallon bags for camp use
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert

Risk/Safety

There are numerous risks and hazards associated with the Buffalo River. Not dressing appropriately can result in heat or cold illnesses (Hyperthermia or Hypothermia). Not drinking enough water results in dehydration and not being in adequate physical condition can result in sore muscles. Trip members must make a conscious effort to be safe. One person’s disdain for safety will always result in more hardship for the group. If we do have an accident or injury that requires medical attention beyond the scope of our leader’s experience, the trip is immediately over without refund. Our leaders are trained to administer first aid in an outdoor environment; however, while they may be able to treat injuries they cannot always prevent them.

Hygiene/Comfort

Our wild campsite will be located along the bank of the Buffalo River. There will be no facilities at this campsite, as we will simply be finding a flat area adjacent to the river to set up camp on. Modern bathroom facilities and clean running water will not be available for the duration of this trip. TCU will provide water jugs (for drinking and cooking), tents, warm synthetic sleeping bags, and foam sleeping pads. You will have the choice to share a tent with two or three trip members or sleep under the stars. The sleeping area provides us with durable hard packed dirt.

Weather

The trip leaders will research the weather conditions in advance to assess the situation. The Trip will be canceled if the weather is dangerous. If you do not receive an email about this, then please be prepared to be out in the weather. Please follow the weather and use your best judgment as well as the packing list to determine what you will personally need to stay warm and dry during the entirety of this trip. Layers are recommended for cold weather and failure to bring proper attire will be detrimental to your experience.

Please contact Emily Tumilty, Coordinator – Outdoor Programs with any questions at e.tumilty@tcu.edu