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Planning a Hike?

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Another MB question:


In the Hiking MB, the participants are supposed to plan each hike before taking it.


What do you think that entails? If you follow a pre-planned route, is that enough planning? Is bringing the proper gear and the general location to hike ok even if the exact route won't be known until you get to the ranger station?


I am the counselor in this case, and I lean toward this interpretation, but I would like to get comments in case I am missing something.



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I love to talk hiking and backpacking!


Planning a hike.


1. Where are you going

2. How far will you go

3. What is the difficulty level of the hike

4. When do you start

5. How long will you be gone

6. Who is going

7. What is the ability level (including general health) of the hikers (helps determine time on trail and difficulty level the group can take safely)

8. Be Prepared (adequate gear, water and who carries what)

9. How much will it cost (permits/fees)

10. How will you get to the trailhead

11. Where will you go if something goes wrong (closest help and don't count on the cell phone)

12. Notify the ranger of your detailed plans including finish time (ETA)

13. Notify 2 different people who are not hiking with you of your complete plans including finish time (ETA)

14. When done inform the ranger and call the 2 people to let them know you are done and OK.


A lot of the above is unknown until you get to the trail but for me all of the above must be satisfied.

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To add to Mike's list:


15. Completing and filing BSA tour permit application.

16. Obtaining permits, if required, from cognizant agencies where you will be going.

17. Identifying and obtaining permission of private land owners if you are going on private land.

18. Informing parents of medical permission requirements and making sure these are met on a timely basis. (I would advise getting annual Class III medical forms for everybody, including all adults, and then your are covered for everything.)

19. For backpacking, planning and conducting at least one training event carrying a load for those who have never backpacked before.

20. In order to do many of the things Mike mentioned you first need to get maps. Depending on where you are going, this can be easy or difficult, but you need maps to do the planning and then the execution.


There is a lot of this that the boys can do. You may have to be with them when they make the phone calls, but it is a great way for these guys to start learning.

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