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About johnmbowen

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    Senior Member

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    Laramie, WY and Edmond, OK
  1. Here is an interesting alternative for you: http://www.hennessyhammock.com/ I have one of these and found that it is the most comfortable sleep that I have, including at home. However, it requires trees, and/or poles and guys. Note that they have Scout ones too. I also have regular tents, and for backpacking demand aluminum poles, free-standing tents that for two weigh less than 4.5 pounds. JB
  2. All of the above are excellent suggestions, especially the Weminuche trip. If you hurry you could get reservations on the Durango to Silverton narrow guage railway and get off at Elk Park and hike around to Chicago Basin, a fantastic trip. 14ers in Colorado are lots of fun. If you wanted to knock off 14ers for your whole trip, here is a good website http://www.14ers.com/. I took my troop on 4-5 of these including Crestone Needle, and Gray's, which we did as a winter ski ascent. All are fun, though Crestone may require ropes, as it is a 5.1 or so. I would also suggest the Rawah
  3. I agree with all, but again all this is usually covered (at least in my course), medical releases, to scenarios, to legal topics to responses for stomach pains to insect stings to anaphalaxis to plain broken bones, to Expedition Behavior that hopefully keeps it all from happening in a good Wilderness First Aid course. Don't just talk about it on the webpage, actively get out and find a course! Several good organizations from NOLS, to WEA, to ARC and others provide this very valuable course. If you take kids into the wilderness without it, in my opinion you are not only unprepared, but
  4. Well, that remark resembles me too, I went into Scouts through the ICO program.
  5. Hey Folks All these questions and answers are addressed in a good Wilderness First Aid Class (or better a Wilderness First Responder course). FIND ONE AND ENROLL! The Sierra Club (y'know - the tree huggers that y'all look down on) require WFA as a MINIMUM for their outings leaders who take out primarily adults! What do we do? We require our leaders to take an hour long class on how not to abuse children - and then we take them into the wilderness! JB
  6. Actually, my definition of venturing that could include the more cerebral types (though not video gaming), would be an outing or similar that is Self Propelled, Self Supported, and one that promotes a kid's ability to make that kind of outing themselves for the rest of their lives. The best illustration is instead of hiring an outfitter to take you whitewater rafting, LEARN THE SKILL AND DO YOUR OWN TRIP AND HAVE THE SCOUTS THEMSELVES RUN THE BOATS AND TRIP (eventually - as this takes time and training). It has always worked for me (and yes I do teach this type of trip). It is extre
  7. Hi Folks It is not so much physical fitness that is required for a good high adventure program, but the experience of doing high adventure well, the expertise in at least one type of outdoor activity, planning expeditions, the willingness to learn more, and training the Scouts involved how to operate on the trip that count more. If you are slow, simply be sure that you are the "sweep" and have your well trained and experienced youth or assistants at the "lead". Wisdom and good training in mountaineering, is when the leaders know when to turn around and go down for the sake of the g
  8. Brent As a WFA instructor, and a professional outdoorsman for some 10 years, and with some 30 years outdoor leadership experience, and as one trying hard to promote outdoor skills to BSA and Venture, I have mixed feelings about it. I read through some of the old posts, especially one comparing safety records between BSA and Outward Bound....an apples vs oranges comparison. By far most of the outings run by BSA involve camping next to cars, in BSA summer camps, fewer backpacks, little rock climbing, very little caving, practically no mountaineering, practically no self supported (ie
  9. Well, this may be a few months late, but I feel I need to put in my 2 cents on this. Before you become all smug and self rightous in your armchairs, remember that for every high altitude climber that is injured and has to be rescued, there are thousands of fatalities of low risker non adreniline types that are killed and maimed every month on the nation's highways, including children. The cost of rescuing them is never thought of in forums like this. Also remember that of all the other people who are rescued or need help in the wilderness a good number are Scouts or Scouters who
  10. If you are in the North Rockies, try High Plains Outdoor. They teach Scouts to run whitewater rafts, and have a course in climbing and mountaineering.
  11. I find this to be a very interesting subject, and with well thought out replys. However, being a mountaineer, among other things, myself, I have a somewhat different view. The use of these PLBs is something that people who are pushing the evelope on an adventure probably ought to have. If there is a significant risk of becoming the subject of a hazardous search and rescue, as in high altitude mountaineering, canyoning, sea kayaking on the sea (not a smaller lake), or to a far lesser extent, multi-day white water rafting, then take one along. For most Scout outings, training, well plann
  12. I think that the pros for climbing far outweigh the cons. Sure, climbing equipment is expensive. For the two Crews that I work with, we have a pool of Crew equipment, including helmets and harnesses, and as we have a few climbers to help also a pool of private equipment which we use when we go to real climbing areas. I feel these are superior to any indoor gym, and usually as they are state or federally owned - well that means it is YOUR land. Now before you book types get all excited, remember that the stringent rules BSA has apply to established climbing towers and generally for BS
  13. The easy answer is to simply bring along a good strainer, and strain out all the food particles from the dishwater, put them in the trash and dispose of the water on the ground surface. This is the industry standard on Western American Rivers, and will work fine for commisary type cooking and dishwashing. JB
  14. The real problem with the bad publicity in the press, and with most every outdoorsman against BSA outfits in the wilderness is that in general the Adult Leaders spend little time training the Scouts in appropriate behavior in the wilderness. This necessary subject is what we call "Expedition Behavior." The problem is with the Adult Scouters in that most are woefully unprepared themselves for the wilderness, so how can they teach the subject? Most even lack appropriate Wilderness First Aid skills, something that everyone who leads anyone into the outdoors should have. They also lack the mos
  15. Thanks for the responses! Scoutingagain!...well I havn't found but that one group, but my Troop/Crew does take on other groups. My "day job" keeps me in OK for the fall and spring, and I've tried to subvert (well, they wern't hard) a Crew there who are coming with us on Deso Gray (Green River 82 miles) at a relative cost with gas of about $300/person - cheaper from WY where my summer job is. Anyway, it is more common for us to work with other groups...so, you got an idea for a trip? Beavah - what is the L-list??? and Mike, where and when is the HA Ralley?? These all seem like
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