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cheffy

wilderness survival campout ideas neeeded

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The troop want to do a wilderness survival campout and we need some ideas.

We have seen the usual ones on paper that have you rank the items etc.

What the guys are thinking is have each patrol hike out to a remote spot and there will be a cache there with certain items in it.

The patrol then has to set up their site and "survive" until a predetermined time and then orient their way back out to a "pick up point"

Question are. what will be the disaster situation i.e plane crash, lost, etc.

What should be in the cache? We have a few ideas plus some curve balls thrown in.

Any other ideas are appreciated/welcome

Thanks

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Buff's old thread is full of excellent ideas!

 

This annual activity was initiated solely by our PLC about 4-5 years ago. It has become their favorite campout of the year. Since it's pretty hard-core, we always do it in Feb, just before the new cross-overs start joining. We always do it on a remote bit of National Forest and leave branches/poles/boughs in natural-looking brush piles for animal shelters.

 

Our staff and adults all do the same things - using only the materials the boys have, with the exception of a little bit of coffee.

 

Options:

 

- Allow them to have day packs with standard stuff for a 5-mile day hike, then get lost and need to spend the night. All you have is what you carried in the small pack. This is a VERY realistic scenario for scouts. Set up signal devices (fires/markers/etc), boil water for drinking, and lots of other ideas from Wilderness Survival MB handbook. Food - only their day-hike lunch. Use this entire drill to impress upon them the need to carry critical items on those day hikes (large trash bags, rain gear, snack, flashlight, etc.)!

 

- After doing the above once, pull it on them without notice. You're on a regular campout, have the guys take off on a 5-10 miler, then tell them they're lost - this is their campsite - they better get busy with what they have.

 

- We will sometimes change things up by taking away most of their stuff and giving them a few other materials. An example is tissue-thin painter's drop-cloth plastic. It's too thin to use by itself for shelter, so need to build sturdy support frame. We also bought an old round parachute and gave each patrol some of the material to use for shelter, bedding, etc. (By itself, almost no insulation, but can be used to make layered comforter with pine boughs and dry leaves which is quite warm.)

 

- A few times we have allowed them to bring their own home-made personal survival rations (beef jerky, dried fruits/veggies). Note: A little bit of this stuff will go a long ways! If they have their own food, they will not be as motivated to participate in the following two options.

 

- Often we will have the opportunity for them to find other survival rations (MREs) either by following a compass course or lighting a signal fire on command.

 

- If they set up snares, they will usually be rewarded with a chicken or two from the grocery store. (Option here to substitute live/freshly-killed chickens or rabbits. See other thread "Killing for food (not hunting)" for more info.)

 

- Maybe allow no compasses. Patrols must use sun or stars to establish cardinal directions, lay this out on the ground, then give them a basic navigation problem. Maybe tell them up front that "a search aircraft dropped food rations at a distance of 1/4 mile at a bearing of 123-deg." That's too much area to search without good vector, so need to work on getting good bearing before starting out. Other option uses the hands of a watch to estimate direction, but this is much less accurate.

 

- Combine first-aid case with survival situation. Give one of the scouts an envelope with symptoms.

 

There are tons of options. You can do this every year and have a different experience every time, so it doesn't get old for the senior guys.

 

Have fun!

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We are doing this at the end of the month. My pitch to the scouts: Assume you are stranded on a deserted island or lost in a forest. You have minimal gear consisting of a tarp, sleeping bag, knife, some tin foil and one matchless fire starter.

 

I have my guys sleep in a tarp tent the first night, and then make a shelter from fallen trees and brush the next. I will show them how to make a ground bed from local materials.

 

I have each scout start a cooking fire with at least three fire starters. We will have a sparking rod, magnifying glass, battery and steel wool, a fire piston, and (if I can get one together) a bow and spindle set up. If I can get the polished pop can done in time, I will do that as well. I will bring some ordinary tin cans and teach them to make char cloth, for use with later fire building. If I have time, we will make some charcoal, although I will have a supply of store bought charcoal on hand since making the stuff takes all day.

 

We will make our meals using very minimal equipment. We will make bacon and eggs over a fire in a paper bag and toast made over the fire. We will make shish-ka-bob over the open fire (we will just have to whittle the bark off a straight stick). We will make a chicken noodle stew in containers made from tin foil and placed over cooking coals.

 

If we have time I will have each boy make the distress messages from the merit badge book that can be seen from the air.

 

I kind of like the idea of teaching them to lay snares and putting a chicken (or a Cornish game hen) in the snare while they are at other activities.

 

I predict that the highlight will be all of the fires they get to make in all the different ways.

 

 

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allangr,

Sounds like fun! Is this the troop's first survival campout? Please tell us how it goes.

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I did this last year with four scouts, and this year we will probably get 6. (Small Troop). I made the mistake of taking the boys to build a shelter of foliage late in the day, and we only had time for one before dark. This year I will do that in the morning and make sure everyone builds one.

 

I wish I had time to show them how to make rope from tree bark, make beef jerky, cut poles and make a decent camp bed, but the one day is pretty full already.

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On our first one, we threw down near cars with tents/sleeping bags on Fri night. After quick breakfast on Sat morning, the tents and bags were loaded into cars and we hiked into the forest to start the scenarios. The senior staff was wondering what we would be doing in the afternoon. They were shocked to find out how much work surviving required. (Low temps around 45F, no rain.)

Great stuff!

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Here's the game plan so far.

Friday night do some survival review over cracker barrel and maybe play some worst casr scenerio game.

Sat morning older scout patrols head out to find their "crash site" and caches. they set up and work out issues.

The new crossovers are going on a hike with a couple of the senior scouts who will get them "lost" they will set up a seperate site with what they have with them.

Sunday morning everyone with have to orient they way to the "take out point to be rescued"

sounds like a fun time for our first round

 

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our troop does a wilderness survival campout and the boys make shelters out of natural materials. lots of great suggestions to make next Nov campout in Ohio even better thanks

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Here's a different take on wilderness survival:

 

Try Mendocino County in California where the biggest component of the local economy is the illegal growing of marijuana on public lands. Survival here entails avoiding the armed guards of the various plots.

 

Actually one does not even need to go that far for a little excitement and practice in surviving. One could go camping in Golden Gate Park here in San Francisco among the homeless encampments. Numerous homicides and other crimes have occurred there over the years. Anybody with food, cash or other valuable resources would require good survival skills.(This message has been edited by eisely)

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