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ItsBrian

When To Cancel A Camping Trip?

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Just wondering & your "guidelines".

 

Have a upcoming cabin camping trip, and it's going to be in low 20s, and negative windchills during the weekend.

 

Opinions?

 

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Winds under 50 mph? It's likely to be a great weekend!

 

Seriously, in this case we would advise scouts to dress appropriately for conditions. Bring rain coats/pants and spare dry clothes. Prepare to be chopping wood throughout the weekend. We'd ask them to briefly go over the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Wind chill is par for the course this time of year. My challenge with my venturers is that I loose track of who's experienced and who's not. They all look ready for anything and act as mature as I do. (That's not saying that much, FWIW.) And they even have the right gear with them, but in a dash out the cabin door, they might forget to don it. :mad: But we don't cancel the trip because of the risk of that sort of thing.

 

We check the hazardous weather report a couple of days before departure. That's mainly for driver safety (freezing rain, black ice, etc ...). But, if there are severe storm warnings with high winds (or high winds aloft if this is a mountainous location) that could also factor in.

We might even touch base with the ranger who might have to clear roads before folks can come into camp.

 

Too many severe conditions, we consider a delayed departure or a no-go and try to come up with a plan B.

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Winds under 50 mph? It's likely to be a great weekend!

 

Seriously, in this case we would advise scouts to dress appropriately for conditions. Bring rain coats/pants and spare dry clothes. Prepare to be chopping wood throughout the weekend. We'd ask them to briefly go over the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Wind chill is par for the course this time of year. My challenge with my venturers is that I loose track of who's experienced and who's not. They all look ready for anything and act as mature as I do. (That's not saying that much, FWIW.) And they even have the right gear with them, but in a dash out the cabin door, they might forget to don it. :mad: But we don't cancel the trip because of the risk of that sort of thing.

 

We check the hazardous weather report a couple of days before departure. That's mainly for driver safety (freezing rain, black ice, etc ...). But, if there are severe storm warnings with high winds (or high winds aloft if this is a mountainous location) that could also factor in.

We might even touch base with the ranger who might have to clear roads before folks can come into camp.

 

Too many severe conditions, we consider a delayed departure or a no-go and try to come up with a plan B.

Thanks!

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Tents?  Maybe if you aren't properly prepared and clothed.

 

Cabin camping?  No windchll in the building - bring some board games in case you decide its too cold for outdoor activities.

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It depends on where you live and how well your boys are acclimated to the weather.  Low 20's and -windchill is nice normal for our area.  If you are in Miami, not so much.  :)

 

As long as one is vigilant for frostbite and hypothermia, you should do okay.  If the boys are sledding or moving about, they should do well, if they stop moving, bring them in.  Their clothes will be wet on the inside and it could cause problems.

 

Temps in the 20's would indicate rain gear as mentioned.  The #1 problem you will be facing is not the cold, but the wet.  Keep the boys dry.  If they come in soaked, warm them up and they can't go back out unless they have dry clothes.

 

Bring extra mittens and boots.  I use choppers and liners and switch out liners frequently, same for socks.

 

Instead of cancelling, be prepared with prerequisite instruction on cold weather activities, and be prepared for cold weather injuries. 

 

Make it a learning experience, it'll pay off on any other activity they do outside away from scouting.

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or lightning strike....  or flash-flooded.... or...  your mileage may vary from place to place, but we do hold activities in the outdoors on occasion.  :)

 

We had a unit from our area doing winter camping at -43o and they did just fine.  Ya gotta know whatcher doin' to pull it off.

Edited by Stosh

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There's a saying, no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. So it really depends on what gear your scouts are used to. But the cabin changes all that. As CalicoPenn says, bring board games. This is really an opportunity. If they get cold they can fail gracefully and go in the cabin.

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My SM suggested to do a 6.6 mile hike, with moderate incline and it'll be mid 20s with windchills in the negative.

 

Half my troop is sick, half didn't show up to meeting due to that, I am sick myself, and I don't think we can physically handle it and I flat out told him that.

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Time for the other half to give it a try. Their plan B will be to turn around and walk down the moderate decline if necessary.

 

Have your second in command check group gear, trail and cabin conditions, water availability. And recheck weather!

 

Fortune favors the bold.

 

Hope you feel better.

Edited by RememberSchiff
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Food and Firewood help a cold campout. Might make a legendary campout we once camped on the edge of a Tropical storm (on the water). Now deeply understand the concept of "wind breaks" and "un-staked tents really do fly".

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Staked tents will fly, too, if the wind is strong enough.  :)  Those puny little stakes we use today are just there for show when it comes to a good storm.

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Living in tornado alley, we have cancelled a few events over the years due to super cells targeting where we were going to be. Glad we did because each time those locations got pummeled. 

 

We cancelled a winter trip due to travel conditions on the way to camp. Another time we drove to a designated spot, checked the weather, took a more southerly route and went around the weather.

 

We've moved camp sites to higher ground in anticipation of inclement weather miles away. Glad we did when, in the middle of the night, the water rose 10ft above the creek and swamped what was the normal camping area.

 

Training, experience and discretion are the keys to making a good decision. Always be willing to not go if your "gut" tells you not to. This is Boy Scouts, not a fire-team of recon Marines. We can say no.

Edited by Col. Flagg
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Unfortunately when it comes to outdoor activities, common sense isn't as common as it used to be.  I constantly watch the weather reports in my area when it comes to outings.  T-storms, tornadoes, blizzards are all every day occurrences in my part of the world.  I do not leave anything up to chance.  I have cancelled outings in the past, but a little rain isn't one of the pressing safety issues.  Storm cells are.

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