Backpacking Trek

BTSR offers some of the most unique challenges and the epic sights in all of Texas.  Hikers in the Outback enjoy the most beautiful canyons, highest peaks, and tallest cliffs that the “Sky Islands” of the Davis Mountains have to offer.  

The rhyolitic Mountains soar an impressive  sixty-five hundred feet above sea level. Calderas and erosion form the rocky peaks and cliff sides  two thousand feet above the canyon floor.  These rugged trails and pristine vistas create the Outback that BTSR Rangers, Wranglers and Hearty Explorers proudly call home.


Treks consist of a week-long guided-hiking adventure based out of Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch (BTSR).  Outback crews will stay at pre-existing remote campsites found along their route.  Activities such as side hikes to notable landmarks, and opportunities to encamp with Cavalcade trekkers and eat at the Mountain Man Encampment will be possible. Once you arrive at your campsite for the evening, crews will have time for independent activities and exploration as well as arranged programming.

The treks are week-long which can include a remote resupply.  Terrain is very rough and treks can be physically challenging. Crews must adhere to the age and experience requirements.
Each crew consists of six to twelve Individuals not including the trained Guide/Ranger(s). There are two different ways to form an Outback Crew.

Option 1 – Troop / Crew sign up a minimum of 6 members, including 2 adult leaders.

Option 2 – Individual “Mavericks” sign up for Outback and are put into a mixed trek as they become available.

The program is open to all Troops, Crews, with a possibility of non-Scouter if positions are available.  Groups may be coed if proper adult leadership is provided.

A Crew’s assigned Ranger is a resource for local history, water sources, trail information, wildlife/vegetation info and safety tips. The Ranger’s experience is a reliable resource to safely guide your crew across and over the many mountainous trails. The Ranger's primary goal is to provide a fun and safe experience.


Food is packaged for groups of 2-4 so you can easily break into cook groups for meal preparation. Meals are designed to be healthy and meet/exceed the caloric needs of each individual. (If dietary or allergies to certain foods need are a concern please notify camp a month before arrival.) It is recommended to bring along personal snacks, just be sure to package and store the additional food properly. As part of the Leave No Trace policies, each crew will be expected to carry out ALL garbage.

Water is available along the trails and at encampments in the Outback. Due to the arid nature of the area, five quarts of water per person are required. Packing a water filter and/or purification tablets is encouraged.

Most members will be fine on most trails wearing a pair of shorts and a T-shirt. All trails have their share of Cat’s claw, a feared brier bush only to be compared to ugly rose stems. Sensitive skinned members will prefer protection from the brush and sun. A hat and sun block is a MUST for all crew members. Clothing dries rapidly in the arid climate so washing or cooling down in a spring or stock tank is made easy; there is no need to sacrifice water capacity for extra changes of clothes. Deodorant and other items which will attract wild animals should be left at base camp.

All crews going on the trail must have adult leaders; one must be 21 years of age or older, the other at least 18 years of age or older. Coed Crews must have coed leadership.

The fee for the Outback Program covers all food, program supplies, and a qualified staff. See Fees & Payment Schedule for current pricing information.


There are over a dozen trails that wind through the over 9,000 acres of rugged and beautiful BTSR terrain. Many of these trails were established almost 8 decades ago and still see traffic today as we continue to put hikers/riders into our wonderful backcountry. Trails range from easy with little to now elevation change, to the most rugged and challenging trails that will test even the most experienced hikers. These are not roads or wide national park trails; they are very rustic trails that leave little impact on the surrounding beauty.  Our itineraries are designed to utilize the most appropriate trail based on the experience level required for each program. Ranging from 4400 ft. of elevation in base camp, to over 6400 ft. atop mountain peaks, there is something for everyone!


  • Pack (Internal or External Frame)

  • Padded hip strap

  • 6-12 Gallon-size Ziploc bags

    • or Dry stuff sacks (for items below)

  • Rain cover for pack

  • Water bottles/hydration system (total 5 liters)​


  • Cup

  • Spoon or Fork (Spork)

  • Bowl or Deep Plate

  • Pocketknife

  • Sleeping Bag w/compression bag

  • Straps/bungees to attach bag to pack

  • Thermarest/Foam Sleeping pad (optional)

  • Single-man hammock with straps (optional)


  • Compass or GPS

  • Hiking Stick

  • Cell Phone/Camera (for pictures)

  • 4-6' of duct tape

CLOTHING (Packed in ziplocs/stuff sacks)
  • Hiking Boots (Well broken-in!)

  • 2 pair heavy wool socks

  • 3 pair lighter inner socks

  • 3 changes of underwear

  • 1-2 pair hiking shorts

  • 1 long sleeve shirt

  • 1 long pants

  • 1 warm top or light jacket

  • 2-3 short sleeve shirts

  • Sturdy poncho or rain suit

  • Backpacking Tents & Tent Pegs

  • Medium Cooking Pot

  • Antibacterial Biodegradable Soap

  • Backpacking Stove

  • Crew First Aid Kit

  • Can opener

  • Mini-shovel or trowel

  • Water Purifying Filters or Tablets

  • Fuel bottles (spun aluminum containers only)


  • Daypack or hip-pack

  • Lighter

  • Flashlight with extra batteries

  • 2 Bandanas

  • Hygiene items (toothbrush, soap, etc)

  • Insect repellent/dryer sheet

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Moleskin or molefoam

  • Foot powder

  • Sunscreen & Sunglasses

  • Ball cap or Crushable hat

  • Medications

  • Snacks

OutbackPatch ong


  • Some items such as sunscreen, bug-spray, etc. can be shared between a cook group to cut down on weight.

  • Quantities listed include what you would be wearing