Backpacking 101

The white river, manistee national forest

The White River is currently earning its national scenic designation, which means it will not only be protected but means this is a river that is rich in wildlife and biodiversity. Something indeed worth preserving for the ages. In fact, the surrounding area of the White is home to a large project to restore the population of the Karner Blue butterfly, an endangered species.

Take a Friday off to hike through the back-country with us and we'll camp near the river. Sit quietly and spot an otter. Look up and find a bald eagle cruising overhead for fish. The White River area is the perfect place to learn the ropes of backpacking and backcountry camping with a well marked trail. We can also build and test our navigation skills with a map and compass as we look for the South Fork of the White, where we can ford the river and even explore the bottomlands.

The entire region is teeming with wildlife and never disappoints with the calming river nearby and a starlit sky above. The terrain is gentle and the living is easy.

Deploy: Lace 'em up for our 6:15 a.m Friday departure from Osmium Coffee, 1117 W Belmont in Chicago. The van (the Blue Whale) leaves at a prompt 6:30 a.m.

Embark: Hit the trails at 1:30 p.m Eastern for destination White River

Return: The Blue Whale awaits to steer us home on Sundays, 11:00 a.m. Eastern. Until next time, White River.