Wednesday, August 2nd through Sunday, August 6th
Registrants are expected to be in Dearborn by 7pm on Wednesday. Accommodations for Wednesday night will require each group of brothers and sisters to sleep in their sleeping bags at separate locations. Each person's gear will be prepared and packed on Wednesday night, with the exception of the sleeping bag, which will be packed on Thursday morning before Fajr prayer. Backpackers will then help load the bus that will transport them. We will depart shortly after Fajr prayer on Thursday, August 3rd.
Backpacking is when you hike from point-to-point over 2 or more days while carrying everything you need for your excursion on your back. For this trip, we are backpacking in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, along the scenic Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Transportation for the backpackers to and from Dearborn will be provided. Food will also be provided and everything the group needs to carry with them will be split between all the members of each group.
The brothers and sisters will hike the same route, but in opposite directions. The brothers will be hiking eastward, while the sisters will be hiking westward. Each day will require 5-10 miles of hiking. Upon reaching the reserved campsite for each night, hikers will pitch their tents and prepare dinner. Drinking water will be sourced and filtered from nearby lakes, rivers, and creeks. There will be plenty of downtime to take breaks, explore, and unwind.
Brothers and sisters ages 17-20 are eligible to register for this trip. Each group will have 10 backpackers that will be chaperoned by an Islamic scholar and an experienced outdoorsman/woman. The brothers will be led by Shaykh Rizwan Arastu and Brother Zayd Allebban, and the sisters will be led by Sister Maryam Sarrafee and Sister Fatima Kobeissi.
Although most of the gear and food will be provided, there are some items that each backpacker will need to bring themselves. The list is as follows:
Backpacking for beginners can be intimidating. It is more difficult than regular hiking because of the weight of your backpack, however, people of average physical fitness can backpack successfully without much preparation. Although it might be physically challenging, you don't need any special technical skills to join. It will be an exercise in mental toughness more than it is physical, but the connection to nature and camaraderie you experience will be well worth the challenges.
With the guidance of the accompanying chaperones, backpackers will learn how to use the natural environment for both physical and spiritual purposes. They will be able to determine prayer times, perform wudhu, and spiritually engage with the world without using modern tools. In addition, they will rely on nature (and Allah of course!) to meet their daily physical needs such as finding clean water, safely storing food, and building a fire. To help foster presence and enrich the experience of backpackers, only the group leaders will be permitted to bring their phones.