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#268534 - 03/25/14 12:52 PM Re: tips to teach wilderness survival merit badge [Re: Mark_F]
Montanero Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1375
Loc: North Carolina
Mark, have you looked at this source for supplies and equipment:

Survival Resources
Look in the areas for water purification and shelter.

There are two items in particular they have that I have never seen anywhere else:
The Aqua Pouch Plus: has a filter, sturdy water container and purification tablets that all fit in your pocket or a small survival kit. At $12 it is a good addition to your kits.

The Orange Survival Bag: a very large, strong, and orange plastic bag. Serves as a shelter, signaling device or poncho. At $5.50 it is more expensive than the contractor bags from Lowes or Home Depot, but this one is larger, thicker, and orange.

Shelter and water are arguably the two most important components of a survival kit, and this is an excellent basis for any kit.

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#268535 - 03/25/14 01:14 PM Re: tips to teach wilderness survival merit badge [Re: Mark_F]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1521
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
historical anecdote... I was lucky to have a pair of excellent Scoutmasters in the late 50's early 60's... one was a Marine combat vet from Guadalcanal on in the Pacific, and the other an OSS officer in the Balkans...our troop was pretty poor, so made do with surplus GI items... our "survival" rig consisted of a web pistol belt, stainless canteen, cup and cover, and a first aid pouch that held a Cutter snake bite kit (now not recommended), a match safe with nail polish coated kitchen matches, couple of pieces of lighter pine (what we called fat wood), single edged razor blade, bottle of tincture of iodine for water treatment and cuts, 25' of heavy braided fishing line, a dime for phone call, roll of friction tape, and a small piece of flint/chert for fire starting....a Scout or GI pocket knife on a lanyard if we could afford it... looking back, not too shabby for the time

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#268540 - 03/25/14 08:06 PM Re: tips to teach wilderness survival merit badge [Re: Montanero]
Mark_F Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 714
Loc: Kentucky
very good montanero, you are absolutely right it is not a test, my goal here is for the boys to learn and absorb as much of the info presented as possible, your suggestion sounds amazing and I will try to incorporate it as much as possible. I really want the boys to see it is not impossible to do things with no or minimal gear, however I also want them to see how much easier it can be to accomplish their survival priorities with a good kit on their person.

don't think we are ready for processing game and turning it into a meal yet, maybe in a few years we can look into something like that wink
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#268541 - 03/25/14 08:13 PM Re: tips to teach wilderness survival merit badge [Re: MDinana]
Mark_F Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 714
Loc: Kentucky
correct MDinana, the actual requirement reads that they must build a shelter from natural materials (preferrably utilizing LNT principles to minimize the impact) and spend a night in it, but during their shelter session, i'd like them to see what other options they can have with items that are really easy to carry on their person

for the overnighter, I'm gonna use a trick I read in a thread from several years back, about using glow sticks to mark the boy's shelter locations and the location of base camp, and allowing them a water bottle and flashlight ... considering allowing a poncho for them to wear if it rains and their shelter is less than waterproof lol
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#268542 - 03/25/14 08:16 PM Re: tips to teach wilderness survival merit badge [Re: Montanero]
Mark_F Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 714
Loc: Kentucky
actually montanero, rain gear is one of the ten essentials

would like to do like you suggested on future survival campouts, and present them with more situations, with more (or less) materials and see what they can come up with in the way of fire, shelter, water purification, etc

+1 on the merit badge pamphlet, it's a darn good survival resource, right in line with pretty much everything I have seen, done or read about over the last 20 + years

and yes I have looked at survival resources before, items are great, but unfortunately a bit pricey for a limited budget and needing upwards of 10 to 15 kits. Plus, I am not confident the boys are old enough yet to fully grasp the concept that their survival kit is emergency gear to be saved for an emergency, and not a box full of toys they can take home and play with, tear up, and show up at an outdoor activity without. I can almost see the boys telling me what one of my former webelos said to me when I asked him what happened to his survival kit and he replied, "oh I used all that stuff up"


Edited by Mark_Frantom (03/25/14 08:24 PM)
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#268543 - 03/25/14 08:30 PM Re: tips to teach wilderness survival merit badge [Re: LesSnyder]
Mark_F Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 714
Loc: Kentucky
yes les, it is kind of amazing what we think we need to have to camp/survive these days, compared to previous generations.

I recently read about how years ago a scout simply carried his gear in a bed roll, but now we think we have to have whatever the latest and greatest pack is on the market. there's plenty more examples out there I am sure, I guess the lesson here is we can all make do with a lot less than what we think we actually need.
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#268546 - 03/25/14 09:08 PM Re: tips to teach wilderness survival merit badge [Re: Mark_F]
Montanero Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1375
Loc: North Carolina
Rain gear, but not specifically a poncho and no tent. The ten essentials do not include shelter building materials specifically, although poncho is an alternative to a rain jacket, and an alternative I strongly endorse.

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#268547 - 03/25/14 09:15 PM Re: tips to teach wilderness survival merit badge [Re: Mark_F]
Montanero Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1375
Loc: North Carolina
I maintain a stock of the survival supplies and equipment that we use for training, so the boys do not pull their kits out too often. And I do have them practice skills they have learned often, just to reinforce the learning. I also spot check them on occasion just to know what I am dealing with and where the gaps may be. I do this with first aid kits, ten essentials, and other camping gear also. I admonish the scout for "not being prepared" and then I let their parent know. This usually gets the deficiency filled.

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#268595 - 03/26/14 04:37 PM Re: tips to teach wilderness survival merit badge [Re: Montanero]
Mark_F Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 714
Loc: Kentucky
that is very true montanero, I've always wondered why the Boy Scout 10 essentials doesn't include something as easy to carry as an emergency blanket or bivvy, or for that matter why they eliminated a whistle from the list. I guess for one, the 11 or 12 essentials doesn't sound as cool as the 10 essentials, and for another the Boy Scouts are expected to carry their survival kits with these items in it or on their person.

I'm also noticing that in all the check lists for personal gear in the Boy Scout Hand book, that CORDAGE is not mentioned. As much as knot tying has been emphasized, and cordage is not mentioned in the 10 essentials or in their personal camping gear checklist. I suspect (and hope) it is listed in the patrol/troop checklist, but I recommend our boys add a hank of cordage to their packs anyway, can never have too much IMO.
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#268596 - 03/26/14 05:00 PM Re: tips to teach wilderness survival merit badge [Re: Montanero]
Mark_F Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 714
Loc: Kentucky
so do you keep their survival kits until needed? or do you let them take them home and add to their packs/gear?

The scout I mentioned before who told me "oh I used all that stuff up already" was from a group that I let them take the kits home. I was genuinely surprised that he did not get that the kit was designed to be emergency gear he could keep and use only in an emergency, and instead took it home, took the items out of the kit, and "used them up" ... needless to say I was EXTREMELY disappointed ... the following year I did something a little different, I got stainless beaded neck chains and one of the whistle/compass/matchsafe combos to give to the scouts (the "i used it all up" scout had aged out the previous year so I wasn't too worried about that, but I did want to do something for the scouts like I had done the previous year but with a slightly different twist). Well, once again, some of the scouts kept them and some scouts "used them up" or "lost them" at which point i decided I would not spend out of my own pocket to "give" them something in the future. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy scouting immensely and I really like to do things for the scouts, but at this point I am reluctant to spend money out of my own pocket to buy items that will be "used up" or "lost" or whatever.
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