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mrkstvns

Ten "Essentials" for the urban hike...

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22 hours ago, qwazse said:

... But, that also means keeping a small notebook and pencil (or pen, since I guess Texans don't usually have to worry about ink freezing)...

Nope.  Our ink never freezes, but it has been known to boil on a warm summer day.

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On 9/19/2019 at 11:30 AM, ShootingSports said:

When I read the list at first, I was "totally makes sense".  I would still pack a pocket knife and three feet of 4mm cord.  Just in case......

The "just in case" got me thinking.....Be Prepared........and the 10 Essentials..... and why are they essentials?

Is it just THIS hike you are training them for, or are you preparing them for ANY hike they may take? 

What I'd like the scouts to do is to think for themselves and question authority.  Do the equipment lists we get actually make sense for the conditions we expect?  Would we be wiser to jettison things so we can move lighter and faster? Are there other things that aren't on the list that probably should be?

I plan to offer up a variety of very different kinds of hikes and let the scouts discuss for themselves what is smart to bring, and what is not. 

The next hike will be 10 miles  in a National Forest --- rolling hills, unimproved trails, possibility of needing to navigate, no known water sources along route, etc.  I imagine (expect) that our daypacks will contain some different items than they did for our in-town urban trail...

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I have a bit of a different take.  I would say pack the 10 essentials for all trips, unless, as others have said, you're going to a place where a knife or fire starter is prohibited.

The reasoning I use is it gets you in the habit of having these things handy.  Most, if not all, can stay in your day pack.

I'm a counselor for the Hiking merit badge.  I do expect the scouts to explain, beyond the 10 essentials, what is needed for a specific hike. If it's hot and water sources aren't plentiful, do you have enough water capacity?  What clothing layers and footwear is appropriate?  How much food?

When my son did it, we did our 20 mile hike into Washington, DC on the Mount Vernon trail.  He planned a stop for lunch at a burger place, so we needed to pack money.  It was summer so we filled our water bladders with ice water at lunch. We knew we weren't going into any federal building, so a knife and matches were not an issue. A poncho was adequate shelter for that trip. We knew we wouldn't need it., but it's in the day pack.

For colder weather, bug spray isn't needed, but it's just kept in the day pack.  Sunscreen might not be needed if your're wearing clothing that covers the skin but it's in the day pack.

It's important to communicate to the scout that you understand that these items might not be needed for a specific hike, but being in the habit of always having them in your day pack makes it less likely that the item will ever be forgotten.  Plus, you simply don't know and these items are light enough.  

My 2 cents.

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1 hour ago, 69RoadRunner said:

...The reasoning I use is it gets you in the habit of having these things handy.  Most, if not all, can stay in your day pack. ...

I understand that the organization's motto is "Be Prepared", but I have trouble embracing the concept of carrying around a bunch of stuff from a canonical all-purpose list only to then admit that "Most, if not all, can stay in your day pack."

My take on "Be Prepared" is to plan up front, anticipate problems, and only pack those items that will help solve those kinds of problems.

Some of y'all convinced me that I should add a poncho to my "urban essentials" list, and that will be there next time, but I'm not sold on most other stuff....just not seeing the value of being prepared for the improbable.

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It's our personal nature I guess. I'm by nature a minimalist; in place of a wallet, my cell phone case has slots where I carry my drivers license and one credit card. If I loose anyone one of those three items, I loose all three. My son pulled out his wallet the other day and it was as thick as a baseball. I have no idea what he carries in it, but I'm sure he is more prepared than me.

Barry 

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8 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

I understand that the organization's motto is "Be Prepared", but I have trouble embracing the concept of carrying around a bunch of stuff from a canonical all-purpose list only to then admit that "Most, if not all, can stay in your day pack."

My take on "Be Prepared" is to plan up front, anticipate problems, and only pack those items that will help solve those kinds of problems.

Some of y'all convinced me that I should add a poncho to my "urban essentials" list, and that will be there next time, but I'm not sold on most other stuff....just not seeing the value of being prepared for the improbable.

I have always viewed the motto as a character mindset which complements the slogan, "do a good turn daily". For me, "be prepared" is NOT about gear, but one's character to make the ethical decision and willingness to act on it.

 

"Are you prepared to do what is right?"

 

Edited by DuctTape

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By way of reference here are the essential survival gear attached NASA's new astronaut flight suits (https://www.nasa.gov/feature/orion-suit-equipped-to-expect-the-unexpected-on-artemis-missions numbering is mine)

Quote

The suits are also equipped with a suite of survival gear in the event they have to exit Orion after splashdown before recovery personnel arrive. Each suit will carry its own (1) life preserver that contains a (2) personal locator beacon, (3) a rescue knife, and (4) a signaling kit with a mirror, (5) strobe light, (6) flashlight, whistle, and (7) light sticks.

Scouts could trade with an astronaut -- a full-size neckerchief for his/her kit -- and still have three optional items.

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