Have a one-pot meal, or a variety of one-pot meals, cooking outdoors on a backpack stove when your group arrives. Give each participant a copy of each recipe and describe how you prepared each meal. Provide every participant with a taste of each dish.
As an alternate activity, before your meeting, find pictures or posters depicting a local or regional environment (high alpine, desert, river). You will use these pictures to serve as your imaginary destination.
Break participants into small groups of three to five when they arrive. Tell your group you are taking them on an imaginary hiking trip and ask each person to pack a small backpack for your adventure. Don't tell the participants their imaginary destination or what to bring. Build suspense by asking them to guess the destination of their imaginary trip.
Break your group into pairs and have them
Show the destination pictures from the alternate plan above and describe (weather, terrain, etc.) the location you have selected. Explain the goal of the trip: wildlife viewing or fishing. Ask the groups to unpack their packs and discuss their answers to the following questions. To help facilitate discussion, the leader must read the Background on the Principles of Leave No Trace.
Because participants packed their packs without proper information, they will probably be inadequately prepared for their destination. This activity demonstrates the importance of planning before packing.
Discuss why planning and preparing for one-pot meals on a backcountry trip is wiser than planning a meal of canned chili, canned fruit, and hot dogs. Refer to the Background on the Principles of Leave No Trace for details to assist you in this discussion. You may want to invite a guest from an outdoor store or hiking club to conduct the cooking demonstration if you lack experience.
Following the alternate activity, facilitate a discussion with all participants about the results of the activity. Ask each group to briefly share its answers to the above questions and add:
Teaching Leave No Trace