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Wilderness Survival MB help --Natural Shelter vs Leave No Trace

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  • #16
    The local ranger may let us clear an area and we can use the cuttings--could work. As for food we usually give them a raw egg or two, some fruits and nuts, and some wild game (meat on a stick). Maybe a little fishing.

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    • #17
      If you talk to survivalists, the first thing they always tell you is, conserve your energy for the important things. You need water and shelter first. Then within the next 30 days, you can think about food if you have enough energy left over.

      Big John got lost in the woods and survived for 2 weeks on bugs and berries. No, he survived 2 weeks on body fat. Anyone that can down 28,000 calories of bugs and berries ought to get some kind of award.


      Stosh

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      • Twocubdad
        Twocubdad commented
        Editing a comment
        Point taken. But cooking over an open fire without pots or utensils is one for the cooler aspects of wilderness survival and one which the boys enjoy. To your point, boiling water in a found plastic bottle is a pretty cool and more practical survival skill. And truth be told, unless you're doing some really remote back country trips, the most practical skill is to make yourself visible to the SAR folks who will be on scene tomorrow morning. But signaling isn't nearly as much fun as building stuff and cooking a burger on a hot rock.

      • perdidochas
        perdidochas commented
        Editing a comment
        Stosh,

        That's what my oldest learned in Wilderness Survival merit Badge. Worry about water and shelter, everything else can wait.

    • #18
      Depending on the location, climate, and weather at the time, I'd agree with the statement about water and shelter. If you can find a stream, water is solved and possibly food as well. Shelter might be necessary to avoid the elements. But if it's cool, I'd add that fire is another need. It will make the shelter feel more like home as well as providing warmth and a potential signal. It could be the key to survival. The ability to make a fire from nothing is a skill I'll wager is absent from most of the skillsets of the boys, probably the leaders too.

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      • #19
        My favorite memory of wilderness survival was dinner. We built our shelters (not a problem in scrub oak Oklahoma - TONS of stuff on the ground). Cleared fire rings and got fire started. Then we heard an engine.

        Up drove a pickup, from the back the unmistakable sounds of chickens. Live chickens.

        Each team of 3 Scouts was handed a live bird, with the direction to kill, clean, and cook a bird for dinner. Final sign-off came after you ate dinner.

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        • King Ding Dong
          King Ding Dong commented
          Editing a comment
          Hmmm, I wonder if GTSS would allow killing the chicken.

        • gsdad
          gsdad commented
          Editing a comment
          As long as they don't choke it.

      • #20
        An natural shelter which is completely LNT would be in winter and making a snow cave, quinzee, or igloo.

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        • #21
          Thanks Duct Tape but we will be lucky if it drops below 70 degrees at night! We are doing in order:
          -Fire Making Practice
          -Water Purification Practice
          -First Aid
          -Food and Signalling
          -Shelter Review

          We then disperse and work on Shelters at a remote site.

          Fire is very popular--1/3 of the boys are really, really good at it, Only a couple have mastered the fire-bow though. Almost all can do flint and steel and found tinder.

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          • #22
            Yeah, I'll bet some good memories could be had, by dropping in the wilderness someplace with minimal supplies, and no "brought in" bamboo poles etc..... with minimal stuff to simulate a real scenario such as "lost on a day hike"
            Like Less Stroud used to do on his show survivorman.
            Give the boys some good lessons, and some good times.
            As long as the weather is mild, they would be ok even if their shelter was sort of a flop. they'd still be able to lash together something and would be ok for a night.....
            drop in with a knife, a flint steel, maybe a can of sardines per scout, canteens..... and the laces from their boots

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            • #23
              I like that approach but the MBC has gone in another direction. A fellow Troop does a "opps we got lost" exercise with no notice--you DID bring your 10 essentials with you at all times didn't you?".

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              • jblake47
                jblake47 commented
                Editing a comment
                I pull that stunt all the time, especially with first aid. I pick a kid and tell him to sit down, he just "sprained his ankle". I used to pick the last guy in line of march, but my boys have caught on and have the Assistant HikeMaster always bringing up the rear and they no longer have to go back and find the injured boy after walking a half hour before noticing he's not with them anymore. My HikeMaster would carry a 6' closet rod walking stick as would the Assistant HikeMaster. A limber is a lot easier than taking turns carrying the boy on their backs back to camp.

                Flint and steel, and bow-drill are nice, but as Tampa pointed out, he should have waterproof matches in his essentials. I always carry a magnifying glass in my gear. It can get soaking wet and still work on a sunny day. Magnesium is my secondary backup, works quite well even on damp tinder and dry pith. Also, the pine 6' walking stick makes a ton of whittled tinder, too. Worse case scenario, they have to buy a new rod for $6.

                Stosh
                Last edited by jblake47; 11-07-2013, 12:23 PM.

              • qwazse
                qwazse commented
                Editing a comment
                ... sunny day ... now that's funny.

              • jblake47
                jblake47 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hey, ya gotta Be Prepared just in case it ever happens!

                Stosh

            • #24
              GSS 2013"

              "Hunting is not an authorized Cub Scout or Boy
              Scout activity, although hunting safety is part of
              the program curriculum.
              (The purpose of this policy is to restrict chartered
              packs, troops, and teams from conducting hunting trips.
              However, this policy does not restrict Venturing crews
              from conducting hunting trips or special adult hunting
              expeditions provided that adequate safety procedures
              are followed and that all participants have obtained
              necessary permits and/or licenses from either state or
              federal agencies. While hunter safety education might
              not be required prior to obtaining a hunting license,
              successful completion of the respective state voluntary
              program is required before participating in the activity.)"

              I would assume that hunting would include chasing a chicken to wring it's neck, setting a snare, etc?

              Comment


              • King Ding Dong
                King Ding Dong commented
                Editing a comment
                Hmmm....if done right maybe it could be considered "gathering".

                Alternately maybe a chicken drop, Les Nessman style.

              • jblake47
                jblake47 commented
                Editing a comment
                There was a gal in 4-H that raised a turkey for her project and when it was done she had a 43# turkey. It was so big, even dressed out, it wouldn't fit in any oven. So she donated it to a boy scout troop. To get it to camp, the boys needed a cooler with wheels! They did a tripod/aluminum foil oven and cooked it for the whole camp. It was excellent!

                Stosh

              • qwazse
                qwazse commented
                Editing a comment
                Setting a snare is trapping, not hunting. Trapping was vital to some of my buddies college funds. Which reminds me of a t-shit my father-in-law and I wanted to produce to make sure boys could still maintain a profitable hobby: "Spare Roadkill. Wear Fur."

                But in general, we just have them set up traps and test tripping them with a thin stick. Here again, the ranger might have an opinion. He might not want any trap set for any longer than it takes to demonstrate and test. Or, on the other hand, there might be an infestation that the boys could try to help clear.

            • #25
              We figured we could test trap as well. Fun and a good time filler. I think we will bring some game that has gently passed away in their sleep. Dressing and cooking a bunny is a big leap for these city boys.

              Comment


              • jblake47
                jblake47 commented
                Editing a comment
                I was surprised at all the "fishermen" I had with me on our BWCA trip that couldn't fillet a fish. Heck, that's not even a survival skill! Field dressing a deer is no picnic either, but it has to be learned if one is going to go hunting. I'm still old-fashioned enough to do my deer butchering and not take the $$ way out and have it done at the locker.

                Stosh

              • qwazse
                qwazse commented
                Editing a comment
                A scout caught a nice size bass at camp this summer. He asked if I would help him cook it, and I said "Sure, here's my fillet knife..." I'll cherish that scowl forever. However; the boy sucked it up and prepared a couple of nice fillets as I talked him through cleaning it.

                I would prefer that boys read a guide before they go on their little expeditions (the PA fishing license code book comes with a nice set of instructions), so that they understand what they're getting into. But they rarely have patience for that sort of thing.

              • perdidochas
                perdidochas commented
                Editing a comment
                Stosh,

                As I think about it, I have some teaching left to do for my sons. They've fished for ages (not particularly successfully), but we haven't really gone into filleting or cleaning fish too much. I'll have to work on that with them. I think too many Americans these days have gotten too far from the organism in terms of food. We don't know much about cleaning animals, or even just taking the meat off of the bones. We don't do much in terms of going from vegetables on the plant to in the pan.

            • #26
              Great news! Council told us of several campsites where we are encouraged to whack down as many Palmetto branches as we can--they are planning a controlled burn early next year. As long as we make a fire ring and leave the big trees alone we can leave traces. We are also welcome to catch fish in the nearby river.

              Comment


              • perdidochas
                perdidochas commented
                Editing a comment
                Palmetto fronds are one of the best firestarters, IMHO. Combination of tinder (leaves) and kindling (stem) in one piece. Our former SM used to get irritated when my son would use them for firestarting, though. Don't know why, because they work so well.

            • #27

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              • #28
                LNT is wearing out it's Welcome. People are taking it to extremes. Just go back to teaching Outdoormanship. Teach Common Sense. You Can Build a Shelter without cutting down 500 Acres of Trees. We Walk on Established Trails......Cut into the Wilderness... We Camp in Sites built into the Wilderness...All Which essentially came about because we left a Trace...What we don't need to do is leave trash and graffiti everywhere we go

                Comment


                • Tampa Turtle
                  Tampa Turtle commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I understand your argument but that idiot out in Utah just cut the legs out under that argument.

                • perdidochas
                  perdidochas commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The thing is there are different sets of LNT guidelines. The guidelines for backcountry are different than the guidelines for frontcountry. The guidelines for common areas (i.e. parks and public land) are different than the guidelines for private land. The whole building shelters from natural materials for a practice exercise is appropriate with the landowners permission. Doing it on public land isnt'.

                  I pretty much agree with TT. Let's aim for the stars, and a high outdoor standard. Maybe we will achieve an overall moderate outdoor standard.

                  Also, it seems that most LNT critics are ignorant of the idea of sacrificial sites. Yes, we "make a trace" by things like established trails and campsites. However, we are sacrificing those areas for the greater good of the area as a whole. LNT guidelines are not strict rules, they are basic guidelines for what we should be trying to do.

              • #29
                If I had to do it over again the first thing I would do would be look for sites where we could harvest shelter material. Maybe the Water Management District or private land. It is a problem to teach the boys simulating one thing and they do not do it. We do tell them to ignore LNT if it was a real survival issue; you can do a mea culpa and do a whole lot of tree planting later.

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                • #30
                  Had last Troop meeting before Wilderness Survival campout last night.:

                  me: "Do you have your survival kit ready?"
                  scout: "whats a survival kit?"

                  ARRRGHHHHHH

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