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Anyone Backcountry Camp in Yellowstone


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On 2/26/2022 at 8:43 AM, qwazse said:

@denibug72, the best way to increase your comfort level is backpacking every month before your trip. Every scout and scouter needs to be very comfortable with their gear.

I keep my backpack at the end of my bed (much to Mrs. Q’s consternation), and I have no clue what’s in it after three months idle.

Our shakedown is about a month prior to the trip, but all of the scouts have been on backpacking trips with the troop in the past year.  It's a bit tough to get a backpacking trip in every month before the trip though - still battling snow & freezing temps here in the upper midwest.  I'm game for it, but I don't think I could talk the other adults & scouts into it.  🥶

My backpack is sitting next to the treadmill.  It's been too snowy/icy to get out on the trails, so that's been the only way I've been putting on miles lately.

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On 2/23/2022 at 5:26 PM, 69RoadRunner said:

Yeah, we're doing Philmont this year and renting a van from Denver airport and wow is it expensive. I'm hoping things are better next year when we do a roll your own trip. 

I'm trying to find a few viable trips to present to the troop for 2023. Viable for a group of scouts is the greatest challenge. The scouts have done none of these trips I'm looking at, so they'd all be great experiences. My wise Committee Chair said pick trips I'd love to do since I'm doing all this work and the scouts will love it, too.

We've been rotating between Philmont, Sea Base and Northern Tier. I thought it would be nice to do something on our own. 

Can you tell me about the Tetons part of your trip? That could be part of a Plan B for us.

We're still working on the Tetons part.  One day of whitewater rafting, and one day of hiking for sure, but the rest is still up in the air right now.  We need to nail it down quick before the whitewater reservations fill up.  A big theme of the trip is fishing/fly fishing, so I'm sure that will work it's way in there too.

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On 2/26/2022 at 6:28 PM, 69RoadRunner said:

We were able to get a van that fit our budget. I like the flexibility of having the van so we can do side trips as time allows.

We got two vans - a 12 passenger & a minivan.  We've got a crew of 11 right now, and since this is a combo of car camping/backpacking, the gear needs forced us up to 2 vehicles.  It also gives us flexibility in backcountry planning - we don't have to pay for a shuttle if we end up having to choose a loop route.  And we can easily make grocery and other supply runs when needed.  Hurts the pocket book, but the parents/scouts were all on board with the decision.  We're putting on a ton of miles on the front & back side of the trip, so being able to have the scouts spread out between the vehicles will hopefully help the morale stay up.

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A few lesson s learned from van trips.

Two drivers per vehicle are a must. Switch out every two or three hours is recommended. 

Gas stops and snack/food stops take three times longer with scouts because they are painfully slow. We found Scouts and adults should wear uniforms so the store and restaurant employees know who all those kids running around wildly belong to. Travel is the only time our scouts are required to wear a uniform. 

Make sure all drivers have the lists of phone numbers and designated stops. We even include copies of health forms for each vehicle.

Don't caravan or follow each other. The BSA suggest it, but travel is safer when the following vehicles aren't trying to keep up in traffic. Even with drivers driving at their personal comfortable speed, we were never more than 10 minutes apart after a 3 hour leg.

Just a few thoughts off the top of my head. Have a great trip.

Barry

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25 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

A few lesson s learned from van trips.

Two drivers per vehicle are a must. Switch out every two or three hours is recommended. 

Gas stops and snack/food stops take three times longer with scouts because they are painfully slow. We found Scouts and adults should wear uniforms so the store and restaurant employees know who all those kids running around wildly belong to. Travel is the only time our scouts are required to wear a uniform. 

Make sure all drivers have the lists of phone numbers and designated stops. We even include copies of health forms for each vehicle.

Don't caravan or follow each other. The BSA suggest it, but travel is safer when the following vehicles aren't trying to keep up in traffic. Even with drivers driving at their personal comfortable speed, we were never more than 10 minutes apart after a 3 hour leg.

Just a few thoughts off the top of my head. Have a great trip.

Barry

I only have 3 adults. For Philmont this year, we just added 2 scouts from another troop so we have a crew of 12. We're renting a 15 passenger and a minivan. Often they charge an absurd amount per day to add an extra driver, but I get your point. Also, have the drivers make separate reservations. They got really confused going to Sea Base when I reserved 2 vehicles. I hate rental car companies. That's my greatest stress on high adventure travel.

Yeah, BSA says not to caravan and that's good advice. On the highway, it's not that hard to safely stay fairly close if traffic is light. In urban areas with traffic lights, it's a bad idea to try to stay together.

In an area of good cell coverage, having passengers call between vehicles is easy to stay on track. 

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7 minutes ago, 69RoadRunner said:

Yeah, BSA says not to caravan and that's good advice. On the highway, it's not that hard to safely stay fairly close if traffic is light. In urban areas with traffic lights, it's a bad idea to try to stay together.

Actually its the urban areas with traffic lights that cause much of the problem because the following drivers will take risks to keep up with the lead driver when lights change between vehicles, or they quickly change lanes when traffic gets heavy. I've witnessed two near collisions in those scenarios. It's better that each driver gets the next stop on their own. That may still be only a few blocks apart, but the following driver isn't being motivated to catch up. As for the van without a 2nd driver, might consider a mature scout who can help navigate and attend with the passengers. I even did an Eagle BOR in that situation on the way to Philmont.

Barry

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29 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Actually its the urban areas with traffic lights that cause much of the problem because the following drivers will take risks to keep up with the lead driver when lights change between vehicles, or they quickly change lanes when traffic gets heavy. I've witnessed two near collisions in those scenarios. It's better that each driver gets the next stop on their own. That may still be only a few blocks apart, but the following driver isn't being motivated to catch up. As for the van without a 2nd driver, might consider a mature scout who can help navigate and attend with the passengers. I even did an Eagle BOR in that situation on the way to Philmont.

Barry

One of the first things I did when I became SM, now many moons ago, was end our troop's practice of caravanning.  After just a couple of trips driving as an ASM I realized it was an insane idea, and refused to do it myself.

Five vehicles in a row, the first a truck with the trailer, first two make the light, the third hurries to beat the light.  Then, all three of those pull to the side of the road to wait for the last two, meanwhile everybody coming from the perpendicular portion of the intersection has to swerve around the two stopped cars plus truck with with trailer who are on the edge of the road --- crazy.  You'll either cause the accident or be the accident.

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

... Don't caravan or follow each other. The BSA suggest it, ...

Risk Zone training specifically taught not to caravan. I make sure parents know where they are going in advance.

Still, I saw one parent rush a light and get t-boned. (Thankfully nobody was hurt except the parent's pride and her insurance premiums.) Now, that lecture is a little bit longer with new parents. I prefer to give it while watching the cars of seasoned parents leave.

The only reason to caravan is if you want to make an A-10 Warthog pilot salivate. (Stolen from an airman's meme of the day.)

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59 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Actually its the urban areas with traffic lights that cause much of the problem because the following drivers will take risks to keep up with the lead driver when lights change between vehicles, or they quickly change lanes when traffic gets heavy. I've witnessed two near collisions in those scenarios. It's better that each driver gets the next stop on their own. That may still be only a few blocks apart, but the following driver isn't being motivated to catch up. As for the van without a 2nd driver, might consider a mature scout who can help navigate and attend with the passengers. I even did an Eagle BOR in that situation on the way to Philmont.

Barry

I think we're saying the same thing. The urban areas are the most dangerous when trying to follow someone.

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2 hours ago, denibug72 said:

Our shakedown is about a month prior to the trip, but all of the scouts have been on backpacking trips with the troop in the past year.  It's a bit tough to get a backpacking trip in every month before the trip though - still battling snow & freezing temps here in the upper midwest.  I'm game for it, but I don't think I could talk the other adults & scouts into it.  🥶

My backpack is sitting next to the treadmill.  It's been too snowy/icy to get out on the trails, so that's been the only way I've been putting on miles lately.

@denibug72 in these conditions we'd simply schedule a day-hike through town or on a popular trail with full gear. It turns out that those generate some great moments. (I have vivid memories of our boys taking a wrong turn in a community park and finding themselves atop a snow-laden fifty foot cliff.)

The point is to work your pack so you are making a meal, and switching out gear, and putting it all back together. It was on the aforementioned day-hike that I learned that I am not a camel-back drinker. (I suspect it's because I stopped nursing before my 1st birthday and never looked back.) Those repeated exercises keep everyone sharp. The more scouts and scouters do together, the better. Crews especially need to build a collective synergy for hiking.

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