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bradne last won the day on January 20 2016

bradne had the most liked content!

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About bradne

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  1. I now have "SPAM, SPAM, SPAM . . ." stuck in my head though.
  2. Probably not a whole lot. I do notice that if I log into the site (which you have to do to see the items), and I look at the details of something and then log out, then I will sometimes get an email from the company inviting me to come back. That is really not that often though.
  3. I have purchased items through Expertcity before due to my occupation. Basically Expertcity works with vendors to offer discounts to people working or participating in certain occupations. People working in law enforcement, military, search and rescue, park rangers, etc... have the opportunity to purchase equipment through Expertcity. The idea is that other people will look at the gear, (eg tent, boots, lantern etc.) and say "That brand of gear is good enough for those guys, that's what I want". That is all there is to it. You do not actively talk people into a certain brand. I don't know how Expertcity will verify BSA membership (maybe the honor system?). It does not cost anything to sign up and the discounts can (not always) be pretty good. I still shop around as sometimes I can find the same items from Amazon for the same price with 2 day shipping so not all the discounts are that good. There is a local sporting goods store chain in my area that gives scouts 10% off (no ID, just tell the clerk). As a result, that store gets a lot of business from the scouting community. In my eyes this is the same idea.
  4. The advice to get as low as you can is standard wildland fire training as an absolute last resort. Some wildfires can surround you so quick that you may have no choice but to shelter in place. There have been many wildland firefighters killed over the years by being overrun by a wildland fire. Those firefighters are issued fire shelters (think an aluminum foil tent) to use in the event they become trapped, however they are not always effective depending on the severity of the fire. Generally fire goes up hill, however wind changes everything. I have seen a wildland fire travel across a valley at about 20 miles an hour in 60 mile an hour winds. While clearing the brush around a trench is ideal if you have time,the idea is to get below the smoke and the majority of the heat as that is a major cause of death in the event of an overrun.
  5. If you are talking about hiking or camporee activities, I would suggest the FRS or MURS radios. Both of these are license free, however they are a bit short range. You will be lucky to get a couple of miles out of them, but if that is all you need then that would be fine. You can also get GMRS radios which technically require a license (very few actually get it) but has significantly better range. Don't believe the advertisement of 25 or 30 miles, but you can usually get 3 or 4 miles out of them in general conditions. All of those radios are easily purchased at big box stores or on line from Amazon etc... and run on rechargeable battery packs or AAs. I will say that the leadership having radios at Summer Camp or camporees where there is no cell service in invaluable. If you need longer ranges utilizing commercial repeaters (think Philmont size area), you may then need to get a licence and a dedicated frequency. Keep in mind that the radios will be more expensive. Also you need someone to program them and you also need a repeater (if necessary) which is another cost. As mentioned, find a Ham operator around. He/She will likely be more than happy to give you their two cents.
  6. I find this thread extremely interesting. The motto of the Boy Scouts is "Be Prepared", however there is an amazing anti-prepared attitude being displayed by many people in this thread simply because they do not understand that many of us do not live where they do. First, I am a LEO. While it is not required that I carry all the time, I do. I do because you never know when you will run into the guy that you arrested last week. I carry because a few years ago, some nut walked into a movie theater in Colorado and shot a lot of people. I carry because a few years ago, someone walked into an elementary school and shot a whole bunch of kids. I can go on and on. Several years ago those actions would have been unheard of. Schools, churches, businesses, conference centers, all of these places are locations where most people were not "prepared" to deal with a lunatic that decide to take his/her anger out on defenseless people. Any one of us can be faced with this situation where ever we work/live each day. I for one would prefer to "be prepared" to deal with that situation. I am not saying that everyone needs to carry a firearm. As a matter of fact, I feel that there is a huge portion of the population that has no business owning a firearm simply because they cannot grasp the concept of being a responsible firearm owner or they choose to do other unlawful activities. In the area where I live, we are extremely close to the southern border of the U.S. As you enter the public lands (forest, BLM etc..) there are signs warning of smuggling and criminal activity that my be encountered. When you are in the wilderness, it is not uncommon to see "pack trains" of drug smugglers walking some of the same trails as you. While they have no desire to encounter you and they will take steps to avoid you, you always risk encountering them in a negative situation. Unless you want to travel 200 miles away from home for every weekend camp out you are sharing the forests with the smugglers. In our district, it is pretty much understood that if you are camping in one of these areas, many of the ASMs will be concealed carrying. With that type of environment, you can either hide at home and give up on doing anything outside of your yard, or you can continue on with life using caution and taking steps to be safe. A couple of years ago, a local rancher was killed when he encountered a smuggler in a remote area. He is not the only one that has had encounters. My own grandfather was the victim of an attempted carjacking in a very remote area when several people came out of the brush and wanted his truck. He always carried a small pistol in his pocket. The sight of that is what kept an 80 year old man from being stranded in the desert 10 miles from the nearest friendly person. I understand that there are some people that are completely anti-gun. That is fine and understandable. Everyone has different experiences and views on the world. I would love it if I could leave my pistol at home. However, I will continue to carry my sidearm in order to "be prepared" in the event that I hope and pray never happens.
  7. I don't teach that in this level of training, however a safety pin is also used for the same purpose. Oddly enough, some kids pay a lot of money for some guy to punch a hole in their lip and tongue for decorative purposes now a days. Seems like a lot of unnecessary pain. Regarding the "war stories", I actually bring this up when I teach. While war is one of the worst things that humans can do to each other, every war brings new medical advances on treatment of injuries and illnesses. Things like tourniquets have come back to be acceptable now due to the wars we have been fighting for the last 14 years. Right now I am affiliated with ECSI for the WFA. They are pretty easy to work with. I believe they have the current agreement with BSA to provide learning material at a discount, however you can receive training from any education center affiliated with any of the other training organizations listed on the BSA website. I have been associated with a couple of different certifying agencies and will withhold comment on which ones are difficult to work with.
  8. I have been reading this thread with a lot of interest. First, let me state I am an EMT and EMT instructor. Although being an EMT is part of my job it is not the primary duty. I do work in some pretty remote areas where advanced medical care is two to three hours drive away (if you are lucky). I have been doing it for close to 20 years and often find myself dealing with all sorts of medical incidents several miles from any road. I do teach WFA for my council/district and would like to comment on a few items. Several posters have mentioned liability and the fear of getting sued. Most states (if not all) have passed "Good Samaritan" laws with the intent of shielding individuals from civil liability when assisting others. This includes CPR and First Aid. The laws vary state to state, however the ones I have read generally mention that they are protected when working within the scope of their training and doing what a "reasonable" person would do. Regarding not doing CPR unless an AED is available, I respectfully disagree with that. While I do agree that the chances of survival are GREATLY increased with an AED, the patients survival is not zero if a AED is not available (low, yes but not zero). AEDs have only been commonly around (to the public) for the last 15 years or so, but CPR has been taught a lot longer. Do you think that CPR would have been taught at all if there was not some sort of success rate? If you were four or five miles up a trail and a scout collapses with no respiration or pulse, would you, in good conscious, stand there and watch him die without attempting resuscitation? For what it is worth, CPR is not part of the WFA curriculum and is a completely separate course. Someone mentioned that they were already an EMT and still had to take a WFA course to go to Philmont. That is unnecessary as they do recognize other certifications in lieu of WFA. http://www.philmontscoutranch.org/~/~/link.aspx?_id=9A449C9904F443179D28F7A55C944B74&_z=z Part of the reason I became a WFA instructor is that I was not satisfied with the local guy that was teaching it (also a BSA instructor). I helped teach a couple of classes with him and it became apparent that he was too expensive, had no real world experience and spent way too much time on certain subjects and not enough on others, unfortunately I believe this is fairly common. Part of WFA should be to address the injuries that you will likely to encounter. The biggest issues you will find on "wilderness" setting is sprained ankles, heat and cold injuries and issues such as diabetes and allergic reactions (all of the environmental issues). This is not to say you don't cover other issues such as diving issues, or spinal injuries as these are also extremely important. BSA WFA course is only 16 hours long. This is just scratching the surface of what could be taught. It also is not feasable to make it a 40 hour course either as how many people can give that much time (and are that interested). Several posters have commented that the cost is too expensive. Keep in mind that individual training centers set their own rates. I personally charge the cost of the books, certification cards, and training materials (gloves, bandages etc..) and a patch (because everyone loves the patch) I do whatever I can to keep the cost low partly because I believe in the idea that everyone needs to be capable and also due to the fact that I cannot accompany my son's troop on every outing. I make no profit and any return goes back into the program. With that being said, a comparable course taught by a chain retail outdoor sporting goods store is close to $300.00 for the same course.
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