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#279924 - 03/10/16 09:39 PM 'and here is a pack for you' - prepping for others
TeacherRO Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2191
When I go hiking I like to have a spare pack - preloaded - for whomever I am going with. They get water and basic gear...to back up mine

TRO

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#279925 - 03/10/16 09:58 PM Re: 'and here is a pack for you' - prepping for others [Re: TeacherRO]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
...now it's just a matter of convincing that negligent "whoever", imprudently decided to go for a walk only with his shorts and a shirt, to haul your spare gear... wink

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#279932 - 03/11/16 02:26 AM Re: 'and here is a pack for you' - prepping for others [Re: TeacherRO]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1054
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: TeacherRO
When I go hiking I like to have a spare pack - preloaded - for whomever I am going with. They get water and basic gear...to back up mine

I generally avoid going hiking we people who don't bring at least a minimal pack of their own.

On occasion I've taken rank newbies out, in which case I counsel them ahead of time on what to bring, and sometimes loan them a few items. However, that is all arranged ahead of time.
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#279944 - 03/11/16 02:49 PM Re: 'and here is a pack for you' - prepping for others [Re: AKSAR]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5991
Loc: southern Cal
Just handing someone prepackaged essentials is hardly the way to encourage self sufficiency and self reliance....essential qualities to have when things get rough.
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Geezer in Chief

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#279945 - 03/11/16 02:53 PM Re: 'and here is a pack for you' - prepping for others [Re: AKSAR]
Tjin Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1697
Originally Posted By: AKSAR
Originally Posted By: TeacherRO
When I go hiking I like to have a spare pack - preloaded - for whomever I am going with. They get water and basic gear...to back up mine

I generally avoid going hiking we people who don't bring at least a minimal pack of their own.

On occasion I've taken rank newbies out, in which case I counsel them ahead of time on what to bring, and sometimes loan them a few items. However, that is all arranged ahead of time.


That, but I'm also always suprised what some newbies think need to to haul with them. So you got spare jeans with you... ? You know it's just one night and jeans are like not the greatest chocie, right? Ok.
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#279946 - 03/11/16 02:53 PM Re: 'and here is a pack for you' - prepping for others [Re: hikermor]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4591
Loc: SOCAL
Gear helps, but if the mindset isn't there, it's a waste of assets. Unless, the person is just there to carry your extra equipment, in which case it may be a good plan.

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#279948 - 03/11/16 05:20 PM Re: 'and here is a pack for you' - prepping for others [Re: TeacherRO]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3568
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Experience is the best teacher but it can come at a high price.

I used to be a Scout Leader, and often led hikes for our younger Scouts and their parents. These families were often new to Scouting and the outdoors. Rather than expect them to gear up, and risk making the activity more trouble than it was worth for them, we geared up for group, and slowly taught them to do it for themselves. Everyone was given a whistle on a lanyard, and taught to stay together and stay on the trail, and to "Hug a Tree" if something went wrong, but otherwise, expected to carry no gear unless they wanted to. We had a pack with group supplies, and choose one parent to carry the pack on every hike. Reviewing what was in the pack and why, was a quick trailhead activity, designed to help them learn how to pack for a family hike. For better or worse, the theory was that as their kids got older, and more involved in the program, youth and parents alike would learn and start carrying their own gear. We stuck to easy local trails and thankfully never lost anybody or had to call for SAR. Hopefully they all learned from the experience.

Fast forward a few years, I'm not actively involved in Scouting anymore. My group thinking has mostly slipped away, except when it comes to my own family. I had a hiking experience with friends this fall, that reminded me of its importance.

There is a gorgeous waterfall on a lake near the cottage we use for our annual girls only fishing trip. It is the stuff of local legend. This year, three of us decided to make the trek. Only one of us (not me) had ever taken the hike to the falls before, but two of us are avid hikers and campers, and it was "easy" according to the local who usually leads the hike. Famous last words!

It was mid-September, the temperature was starting to go below freezing at night, and the weather had been a mixed bag of rain, sun and everything in between. There was a storm in the forecast for that evening, but it was a gorgeous afternoon, so we decided to go for it, hoping to land some great nature pics.

Long story short, we never made it to the waterfall, and arrived home late, just before the storm and just as the larger group was discussing a search. We were safe and sound, but the lessons we learned were important nonetheless. It was a lucky day, but seven fails stand out:

Fail #1 - We left a plan with the larger group, but it was incomplete an unexecuted. They knew where we were going, how long we expected to be, and we all had charged cell phones with all our phone numbers loaded, including the cottage POTS number. It was all pretty routine, but not having done the hike before, we misjudged how long it would take us, and we got a little lost. It was a tough hike, risky in spots, and one of us was seriously out of shape. We all had cell phones with signals the entire hike, but none of us used them. We should have checked in - and been checked in on - when we were late. We didn't discuss with the larger group what to do if we were late because it seemed silly. It seemed unnecessary. We ended being a couple of hours late, and a huge storm did roll in shortly as we got home, but somehow nobody thought the plan needed to be put the plan into action.

Fail #2 - We didn't take a map. Heck, we didn't even check a map before we left. They told us the way and said it was easy. We had a button compass to help us keep a bearing, but we had no clue where exactly where we were or where we were going. We started our journey by following the wrong lake. We stuck to the shoreline of the lakes we hiked along, so we were never lost or in danger of becoming so. Mechanical injury was a very real possibility, though, and we'd have had a hard time directing rescuers to our exact location if we needed to. Not to mention that they wouldn't have expected us to be where we were if they had initiated a search. We all had whistles, and I had a signal mirror and a flashlight. Thankfully, we didn't end up needing them.

Fail #3 - Only two of us brought water, and we didn't bring enough for two, let alone three. (One of us brought beer instead. ) We went through WAY more water than we anticipated and waited too long to turn around. Thankfully, my bottle was metal. I also had my FAK, which includes a filter straw and water purification tabs. I had a little fire kit with me as well, and the other two woman were both smokers so had lighters of their own.

Fail #4 - We all brought rain jackets, but instead of a storm rolling in, the weather got hotter and sweatier. Thankfully, we all wore baseball hats, and I had a couple of bandannas and a little tube of suncreen in my pack. It didn’t take long for the first signs of dehydration to set it.

Fail #5 – We didn’t bring enough bug juice and it was pretty swampy in places. Two of us wore long pants and I was the only one wearing long sleeves. Not the end of world, but it would have been a miserable night if we got caught out there with only our jackets to protect us from the bugs.

Fail #6– One of us wore crappy footwear and socks, and ended up getting a mega blister, which slowed us down even more. FAK for the WIN!

Fail #7 – Not making it to the waterfall shouldn’t have been a big deal, but we were stubborn and waited too long to turn around. They were pretty good about taking breaks, but I actually had to be forceful to get the other girls to agree to turn around when we did. We all agreed that we couldn't walk at night, but they still thought we could make it. None of us paid enough attention to the sky. The sun was starting to set as we made our way back to the main road which would take us home, and the first crack of thunder and lightening arrived just as we made it back to the cottage. Had we been any later, we would have needed to stop and make camp for the night in a wicked storm. There were a couple of mylar blankets and contractor bags in my kit, along with a couple of Clif bars, and there were lots of resources in the forest we were in, but it would not have been comfortable.

I should have known better, and I never would have forgiven myself if something bad had happened. In all honestly, the hike felt like no big deal before we left, and I felt silly doing a pack check with everyone. The situation never had the "Oh S**T!" feeling, but we all knew we cut it too close. We had two experienced people and one pack with essential gear, but we were cocky. If one us had gotten hurt, or if our most inexperienced member had been separated for us, things could have turned bad in a heartbeat.

We got lucky that day. Those of us who should have known better got a good kick in the pants, and my inexperienced friend who only brought a jacket and beer, now has a pretty good little emergency kit of her own for just such an occasion! After that walk, she'll never go without it, and I'll probably always be an over-packer.


_________________________
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT9fpZEy5XSWkYy7sgz-mSA

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#279962 - 03/12/16 02:52 PM Re: 'and here is a pack for you' - prepping for others [Re: TeacherRO]
Montanero Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1127
Loc: North Carolina
Yes Bacpacjac, educating the parents and other adult leaders is more difficult than educating the scouts themselves. Most are new to such outdoor activities and have no idea what to carry. I have held equipment classes for the families and scouts where I show them all of the different gear, and I tell them where they can find it. I also hold inspections before any serious hike to make sure that each person has the (what I consider) bare necessities for that activity.

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#279964 - 03/13/16 01:38 AM Re: 'and here is a pack for you' - prepping for others [Re: TeacherRO]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 978
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Most people have to learn the hard way.

Good judgement comes from experience.

Experience comes from bad judgement.

I learned the problem with cotton pants about once every ten years.

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#279966 - 03/13/16 06:16 AM Re: 'and here is a pack for you' - prepping for others [Re: TeacherRO]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1307
Perhaps you can't prep for others. You can get them the equipment, but you cannot get them the knowledge to use the equipment. It's kind of like photography -- you can give your friend an SLR camera, but unless your friend is into photography and has the knowledge to use such a camera, it's just wasted. A totally inexperienced person may wonder why the kit has matches ("is it for smoking?"), a bandana ("guess I can wrap it around my head Rambo-style!"), or a condom ("who knew survival was so sexy?").

When I put together a kit for myself, I'm thinking about what I can do, and what gear I'll need to do to do what I can do. So, to take a not-so-good example, I'd never include a bow drill because I just cannot start a fire with one. (I have tried, and it's hard. Guys, matches, lighters, etc. are a real blessing.) If you carry gear for others, you'd need to have an idea what they know. And I think if they took the pain to acquire some skills, they'd probably be already prepared, or can be easily talked into preparing.

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