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asm206

20 mile hikes

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My troop os located in Northern New Jersey about 15 minutes from the George Washington Bridge.

 

Does anyone know of any 20 mile hikes near by that we can do in the spring so the boys can get hiking MB?

 

Also does anyone have experience in taking 5th graders who just bridged over on 20 mile hikes?

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20 miles for a newly crossed over???? Do a 5 miler first, then a 10, then a 15. Gotta take baby steps.

 

Longest day a Philmont for us was 12 miles with 55lbs packs. Last day too. The Tooth of Time Death march. Not fun, even for hardened hikers.

 

Longest day I ever did was 26 miles and 7000ft gain/loss elevation. But I was dumb and 19. Just older now.

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No matter the age of the Scout make sure they have the experience, mental and physical ability to complete the hike. Just becuase the Scout can do a short 2-3 mile hike does not mean they are ready to do a longer 20 mile hike. Take it one step at a time and build up.

 

If you believe the Scout has the physical / mental ability and staimia then there is no rule I know of that says a new Scout can''t participate. However I know there are many references to their ability and safety.

 

Now in my option most 5th graders would not be up for a 20 mile hike... maybe what you should do is set up a good adventure (for their abilities) for any one else to do so they don''t feel left out ... I understand this is a merit bagde, keep in mind I am just tossing thoughts out and its 1am ...

 

Wacky Scouting

 

 

Scott Robertson

http://insanescouter.org

Helping leaders one resource at a time

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Considering that a five mile hike with new scouts can take four hours to accomplish since they tend to stop every few minutes to look at a bug, play in a puddle or other such fun in the woods, I bet that 20 miles will take a couple of days.

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ASM206,

 

I''ve never met a 5th grader who could handle a 20 mile hike--even at sea level! Most of our experienced backpackers don''t hike more than about 12-15 miles in one day, max. You gotta assume the average speed will be somewhere between 1 - 3 miles per hour, and you have to allow additional time for meals, relaxation, and other activities. On the other hand, if you had about a week''s time available, you could probably do a 20-miler with 5th graders. We did 75 miles at Philmont over 10 days, but our boys ranged between 14-18 years of age. Good luck.

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Holy Toledo! I gasp when I think of subjecting newly crossed-over boys to something like that. Look at the requirements for TF and Second Class.

Do you see anything there that remotely resembles such an activity? No.

Why do you think nothing like that is listed there? Because those requirements are well-thought-out and offer age-appropriate challenges to those new scouts.

 

Here''s a better alternative. Plan a trip to the city. Start at the upper end of Manhattan. Hike a short distance there and then stop someplace interesting, maybe the Dyckman Museum or the Cloisters. Then catch a subway south. Stop again and see something else interesting, maybe a snack, Riverbank Park or maybe Riverside Church (spectacular!). Then catch cabs or a bus or something over to Central Park. Hike Central Park. Eat lunch at the Central Park Zoo. Then catch the subway again or a bus and head further south. Stop at Times Square. Visit Virgin Records, see Rockefeller Center, get another snack. Hop the bus again and head south. Go to the South Street Seaport or check out about a million other things to do on that end of the island. End your ''hike'' at ground zero and then look across to the Statue of Liberty. If you time it right, you might catch the sunset.

THAT would be a day to remember for those boys. Of course, I''m writing from the view of persons who don''t have immediate access to all that great stuff. Your guys might just shrug. I hope not. Just a few ideas.

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Echo the comments of the others. I wouldn''t allow a scout to attempt a 20 mile hike if he hadn''t at least done a 10 or 12 miler with ease. 20 miles in a single day is a big challenge. We''ve been talking about doing one, and probably will fairly soon. But I would bet that it''s only at least scouts that are 13 or 14. I wouldn''t base it solely on age. I''d look at age, physical condition and mental condition of the scout. If you have a scout that whines his way through a 5 mile hike, he''ll drive you crazy through a 20 miler, assuming he can actually make it.

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Pack has a good suggestion. An Urban Hike in NYC. You can cover a lot of ground and see alot of stuff in NYC in 20 miles. "The Bronx is up and the Battery''s down."

 

One local troop here hiked a 20 mile stretch along the beach in Cape Code National Seashore.

 

We had two scouts in the unit I serve spend a whole Saturday walking around our local town to get their 20 miler in. The planned the hike, route etc. and documented the hike with a camera. We are also a beach community and they were able to get 8 - 10 miles of their hike in along the beach.

 

Finally, in your area you may want to check out the NY NJ Trails Conference at http://www.nynjtc.org/ They have a ton of info on hiking and backpacking trails in the NY NJ CT PA area.

 

And, there is no way I would take 5th or 6th graders on such a hike. I would only take older scouts and adults who are in decent shape. Before they try the 20 miler, they should have at least three of the required 10 milers under their belt.

 

Good luck.

 

SA

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Um, sorry, I must not have caught something and am at risk of asking a really stupid question here but, just exactly why are you considering taking newly crossed over boys on a hike that long? Did they come from some kind of uber-pack that did 10 milers? I''d really like to know.:)

 

My tenderfeet(Not my tenderfeet, the Scouts, by rank) would drive me crazy over five miles, much more so over ten miles, and only two have the mental hardness to do more than that and it would then be a matter of could they physically make it.

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From my reading of the hiking merit badge requirements and my training in BSA lifesaving, I would say that the purpose of doing the 5 ten mile hikes is to build up the strenth and endurance of the boys over time. The twenty mile hike is the capstone of all the previous buildup. If you do not do the previous ten milers, you will do a GREAT DIS-SERVICE to the boys. In fact, I would start with a 5 mile preliminary hike, because I dont think too many 13 year olds are ready for the ten milers right off the bat.

 

So I say, DONT take 11 year old scouts on a twenty mile hike. If one is scheduled, make some way that the younger ones can do a much shorter distance and go back to camp proud of their accomplishment. The twenty miler is for the older boys who have the previous hikes under their belts.

 

And, I hope you are teaching them proper care of their feet. If not, you have a disaster on your hands. Proper boots, proper socks, first aid for blisters, save hiking, plenty of Water. Do not skimp on this.

 

 

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Each Scout has to do a hike plan for the 20-miler. Why are you trying to do this as a Troop Activity?

 

20 miles at 3MPH is 6 hours 40 minutes just doing "one foot in front of the other." WHEN in the spring? The more daylight you have, the better off you will be.

 

I agree, training hikes are vital to the success of this major muscle group hike. Spend lots of time prepping and checking shoes and socks too. Urban concrete has less give than dirt on a trail, so if you go in-city, look out for shin splints too.

 

I''d work on developing the Tenderfeet''s strength this year with 5 and 10 milers, and let them consider going for the 20 miler next year at the very earliest

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First, physically, I think many of the boys can do a 20 mile hike. Mentally, many can''t. Let me explain. For the hiking merit badge, we had a recently crossed over Scout (hiked in August, crossed over in March) plan and finish a 20 mile hike. It was an "urban" trail which passes by restaurants. He carried water but had the opportunity to fill-up every few miles or so. He started at 8:00 AM and completed the hike around 5:30 PM (2.1 mph average).

 

GernBlansten - 55 lb packback? You need some instruction on how to pack! No need to stick two dutch ovens in your pack. On our trek at Double H this summer we average around 40 lb / pack including food and the ridiculously heavy Philmont issued backpacking tents, flys, and cooking equipment.

 

Don''t confuse hiking with backpacking. We backpacked 12 miles this Spring and it was a challenge. I can hike 15 miles with little effort.

 

I take newly crossed over boys on a five mile hike in the Spring. Usually around the half-way point they get tired/bored. However, when they finish, after an hour of complaining, they are up for a game of football or other shenanigans. Pacing - something the boys don''t learn about at least until their mid-teens.

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No offense intended, but is this MB being done under the guidance of a qualified, registered MB counsellor? If so, he/she is the one who should be answering these questions for you.

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We''re almost done with our Hiking badges. Our boys are 12-16. The 16 year old can''t swim for medical reasons, and that''s why we''re hiking. It really does depend upon the kid doing the hiking, but remember that they are carrying their own water and ten essentials which can get very heavy about mile 8.

 

We average 2 miles per hour. Less for the hilly ones. You''re not just walking; they want to see things, play around, look at bugs, give each other noogies, skip (yes, really!), and have a good time.

 

I wouldn''t recommend 20 urban miles unless you can''t avoid it. There''s no give to pavement, and even the 10 left all of us with sore calves and feet. If you''re set on that, try RailsToTrails.org. They have converted train routes -- which means they''re all relatively straight and flat. Our upcoming R2T 20 is all downhill :-D. We''re allowing 12 hours including lunch. Lunch is consistently rated the best part of the trip, so don''t rush them. Actually, we''re allowing 9 hours for the faster boys and 12 hours for the slower ones -- connected by walkie-talkie, and an adult with each group.

 

Do work the boys up to 20. They need a 1-mile orienteering course, and a 5-mile hike for their TTFC requirements; then at least 3 of the 10-milers before they do the 20.

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My idea was less of an urban hike, and more of a ''stroll'' punctuated with rides and stops for fun. I agree about the idea of 20 miles of pavement although I''ve been over some trails that, to my mind, would have been far more punishing than a straight line on flat ground regardless of surface.

 

Anyway, the reason I suggested the idea was for the newly-crossed-over guys who, in my opinion, probably are not ready for the real deal...yet.

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