Apr 21, 2016 at 12:36 pm #3397244Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I am putting together a workshop for my Scout troop this weekend. I thought I could post my workshop plan as a PDF in my profile but it looks like the “post list” feature is no longer supported by the new site. So I will cut and paste the document into two posts here. I welcome feedback from other Scouters.
BEYOND BACKPACKING Take Less. Do More* (Gossamer Gear logo)
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. John Muir, Our National Parks
The workshop includes one in town session and an overnight field exercise in early June. Portions of this workshop may fulfill requirements for Scouts working on the Camping, Backpacking, and Hiking Merit Badges. All Scouts and Scouters welcomed. Sessions: One two-hour workshop 4/23, one 45 minutes planning meeting for overnight (Date TBD), one over night at nearby State Park or campground (June 18/19) Goals: Learn how apply some of the basic principles of light weight (LW) backpacking with the objective of being able to hike further with less work and save energy for fun and other activities at the end of the day. Such activities include fishing, peak bagging, naps, etc. Heavy packs also make for increased injuries: blisters and other injuries such as strains and sprains of the ankle and knee. Scouts and scouters will be encouraged to reduce pack weight by selecting from the lightest gear they already own or can borrow, using dual use gear, and switching to lighter overnight shelters. Group size: This workshop will be limited to 20 people plus the workshop leader
Prerequisites: Rank of Tenderfoot Scout or higher. Ability to commit to all three sessions. Reasonable level of fitness by the time of the field exercise. Scouts at the rank of Scout accompanied by parent may be accepted with permission of leader
Why go lighter? Be safe. Have fun
We go recreate in the outdoors to practice Scout skills, have fun, enjoy ourselves and our fellow Scouts. The downsides of a heavy pack • It sucks the joy out of the trip… • It will not keep you warmer, safer or more comfortable • It makes for slow, tedious hiking • Exhaustion, irritability, and low morale on the trail • Increased injuries – sore back, sprained ankles, blown knees, sore muscles, bruised and blistered feet • Tired, cross people make bad decisions, sometimes with serious consequences. • Slow hiking leaves less time for fun – relaxing in camp, fishing, staring at clouds, swimming, and side trips (Alan Dixon, adventurealan.com)
How to get lighter
This workshop will focus on reducing the weight of the big three: packing (backpack and other packing items like stuff sacks), tent/shelter, and sleep system (sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and ground cloth). You can reduce 10 to 20 pounds from your pack by 1. Take a Backpack that weighs less than 1.5 to 2.5 pounds 2. Take a Tent/Shelter that weighs less than 1.5 pounds per person 3. Take a Sleeping system that that weighs less than 3 pounds 4. Reduce food weight and take only what you need 5. Research the weather. Take gear and clothing appropriate for actual expected conditions. Requirements • Scouts and Scouters will use the buddy system and procure lightweight silnylon flat tarps 8ft X10ft with 40 feet of 3mm cord. Other lightweight shelters may be substituted with permission of leader
• Each Scout and Scouter should cook his/her own meal. Scouts and Scouters will be taught how to use a 24 to 32 oz. pot to prepare a one pot meal. Scouts may form cooking patrols of up to 3 members. Preparation for the 1st meeting
• Watch this video http://ultralightbackpackintips.blogspot.com/2011/07/video-tutorials.html • Procure a scale that weighs to the nearest ounce. Examples: postage scale, kitchen scale • Gather together the elements of following three systems: 1) packing: backpack with capacity of 30 to 50 liters including trash compactor bag to line pack, 2) sleep system: sleeping bag (including stuff sack) and insulating pad, 3) complete shelter: (tent, stakes, ground cloth, etc.) • Make a list of the all the above elements and weigh each element. Create a list with the weight of each element and subtotal for each system. Bring your gear and this list to the first workshop.
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