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Tampa Turtle

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

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I am helping to organize a Wilderness Survival MB and of course there is the requirement "make a natural (what exactly does that mean) shelter and sleep in it for one night." But with Leave No Trace I do not think we can do that without impacting our site, How did folks get around that. I may drag put some bamboo poles on site to simulate. Any idea?

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In a SURVIVAL situation you WANT TO LEAVE A TRACE! You want to be safe, attract rescuers attention,...make shelter, fire, smoke, noise, fly a blaze orange brassiere...

 

I am DEAD serious about this. In a survival situation, burn LNT in a signal fire! I had an autistic scout who got lost and fixated on LNT, Damn was he hard to find and we almost had a tragic ending.

 

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Well yeah I understand that in a REAL situation and we will stress that. But do I want a dozen scouts cutting saplings down in a BSA property for practice? And I do not think there will be enough natural debris...

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Okay some ideas

- Smaller group

- build shelters at a different site. On occasion my scouts have built shelters separately on my wooden lot and later on camping trip they erected tarp shelters. Good time around here is after a storm that left a lot of blow-down.

- restore or improve site as best you can. A landowner may want firewood from activity.

 

Keep survival training hands-on. My $0.02,

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Have the SPL call the camp ranger about acceptable use. He/she should be able suggest a preferred site. For example, an OA circle may need to be cleared, so, losing a few saplings here and there would be doing them a favor. Frankly, nearly everything in Florida grows back so rapidly, there may be cuttings for the taking. Just talk to the right people.

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Do not do this in a state, local or national park. do it at a scout camp or private property with owner permission.

 

 

You can do it with out cutting down trees and such.

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Do not do this in a state, local or national park. do it at a scout camp or private property with owner permission.

 

 

You can do it with out cutting down trees and such.

Actually, in many survival situations, you don't have much for an axe. So, for the first night or so your shelter is necessarily deadfall, flotsam, and jetsam.

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You wouldn't cut down any live trees for the Merit Badge requirement. Use what has already fallen, then distribute back what you've taken for your shelters. Tell them for the badge this is what we are doing, to respect the LNT principles. Explain to them that in real survival situations, You have to do what you need to survive.

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First principle of LNT is plan ahead. Plan the campout where building shelters is an appropriate use. Not everyplace is a pristine meadow. We have a local farm we camp from time to time where the property owner is fine with us building shelters or just about anything else, short of burning the place down. The part of the farm where we camp has been cut over several times, and part of it has been used as a dump for decades. It's grown over with scrub pine with a lot of invasive shrubs. It's difficult to leave a trace with much short of a D9 Catepillar. I make it sound much worse than it is, but it's a great place in part because we have run of the area and the boys can do a lot of the old-school activities which aren't allowed in more sensitive areas.

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In survival training ONLY, one can teach without having to actually do the real work that would normally be non-LNT. For example, with the boys out in the woods, identify saplings that would be useable. Okay. Fine, do you have an axe to cut it down? No? Okay, what's your Plan B? Yes? okay, which ones would make a good shelter, how many do you need, and with other materials brought in for training purposes, 12? Pick out the twelve trees you need. Then go to the pickup and get 12 poles, then demonstrate by doing. As with First Aid, training equipment is NOT the things you will be actually using in the field.

 

Stosh

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I actually think the better approach, if you can, would be not to go to the truck and get the 5 poles...... that's too easy and that short cuts the learning.

 

"you don't have an axe, eh?" "Do you have a sheath knife?" "can you find something to lash to it as a handle"

"No, Do you have a swiss army knife with a saw?"

lad makes a mental note, maybe one of these would be a good toll to bring along!

ok, don't have any of that stuff...... you can't make a shelter that way then. What else might we do?

if they do have it, they'll see how truly hard it is to do, and will then appreciate how nice it would be to have a machete or other tool.

 

Make it real. Much more satisfaction and learning that way.

 

 

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In most "survival" situations, one doesn't necessarily have all the proper equipment. And the point I was making if the boys need to learn how to cut down a 2" sapling they can get the same training cutting a 2" log from training equipment. It doesn't have to be in the pickup, but when it is all said and done, the sapling is still standing and the boys learned their lesson.

 

Stosh

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I was thinking of bringing some bamboo poles and if they needed one they had to cut through a practice one. But yeah some good ideas here; I'll try contacting the park ranger.

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I was thinking of bringing some bamboo poles and if they needed one they had to cut through a practice one. But yeah some good ideas here; I'll try contacting the park ranger.
Doesn't bringing anything sort of plow the fun of the survival situation.

 

 

bring your tent chair and get comfortable. Dump the boys in the woods they will have a blast and have some storys to tell.

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