Mormon Battalion Trek FAQ

Q – Why are you doing this?
A – The Mormon Battalion route has been studied and portions have been hiked before, but this will be the first complete reenactment of the Battalion’s march to California.

Q – Any other goals?
A –  We want to…

  • Draw attention to the Mormon Battalion’s legacy using a “living history” reenactment.
  • Help support Battalion Trail preservation projects and efforts to honor the men and women of the Battalion.
  • Experience a degree of how difficult the march was and give modern perspectives to it
  • Encourage cooperation among groups trying to promote preservation of historic trails
  • One of the Trek coordinators says he wants to “have fun and lose about 25 pounds.”

Q – How many people are going to hike the trail?
A – We expect many people will want to hike along with us for a day, a weekend, or longer when we’re in their area. For more information, see the Come March With Us pages. Very few of the reenactors will hike the entire trail. Eight months – July to February – is a very big time commitment.                        

Q – How far will you be walking?
A – Estimates of the Battalion Trail range from about 1,900 miles to more than 2,400 miles. We will use GPS to document our Trek and try to get a more accurate answer. According to the journals, miles traveled per day ranged from 4 to 32. On average, we expect to hike about 15-17 miles per day.  Day hikes will be about ten miles.

Q – Will the Trek follow the original route exactly?Mormon Battalion marchers
A – In many places, yes – but in some others, not. In 1846, much of the Battalion’s route was across the open prairie; you could walk anywhere you wanted as long as you didn’t step on a snake. Now, that land is a mixture of private and public lands, where we can’t get permission, we will keep to the closest road.
One other comment about all the historic trails: except for specific locations identified in journals or artifacts, it’s impossible to say exactly where any particular person or group actually walked. We’re losing our history.

Q – Where are you going to sleep at night?
A – The reenactors get to sleep in 1846 style tents or on the open ground under the stars. Our tents will be just like theirs. We will use blankets just like they used. Heck – who needs an air mattress?

Q – WHOA! What about those of us who WANT an air mattress if we march along with the re-enactors?
A – You are still welcome to Come March With Us . We understand that some want their own tent or RV and creature comforts. So, bring them along, but in the “period camp” area we want to retain the historic flavor.

Q – Do I have to dress authentically?
A –
We suggest you make a reasonable effort to get into the “spirit” of the event by dressing the part. It will make a difference. However, we do NOT want people to spend hundreds of dollars trying to make outfits. Take advantage of the information at Reenactor Information and make a pretty inexpensive but believable outfit.

Q – What will you eat and drink? The journals have some pretty disgusting descriptions. Ewww!
A –
Well, there aren’t many buffalo wallows left these days, so we’ll take along fresh water and good food. The idea is to complete the trail – not for us to get sick and die somewhere along the way.
The Regular Battalion who Come March With Us will be responsible for their own food and menu. Yummm. I can smell the steaks already. Cooke's Cadre unit will have food and water provided as part of their participation costs.

Q – Where will you go to the bathroom?
A –
Fred: “Quick! Look at that Jackalope over there!”
Ebenezer: “Where? I don’t see him.”
Fred: “Just keep lookin’ real hard over that a’way. I’m sure you’ll see him.”
Seriously, we’ll have a couple Port-A-Pottys with us. Memo to Self: Bring toilet paper - just in case.


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