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High Adventure Planning and Safety Edit

Dan Smart

References for high adventure planning and safety.

  • Passport to High Adventure -

A very good book. Should be required of all Scoutmasters. Has good description of thing to consider. Of special note is page 90, "When to Stop or Turn Back". It lists the following sub categories: Bad Weather, Difficult Terrain or Conditions, Fatigue, Darkness, Insufficient Time, Inadequate Food or Water, Low Morale. The key quote is "As you're planning an adventure, talk to your companions about situations that might cause you to change or terminate your trip. Don't head for the hills until you agree that you are ALL willing to stop anytime hazards developed..."

On page 20, it says "An alternate plan should be devised for every itinerary in case plans are disrupted by unforeseen events." It also talks about a plan for emergency communication.

Best things in it:

    • Chapter 2 and the Itinerary plans and Emergency Phone Number list;
    • Chapter 7 on Trail procedures;
    • Chapter 8!! on Trek Safety. Chapter 8 should be given at all Scoutmaster Specific trainings.
  • Venturing Leaders Manual -

Much less useful, but has good tools for planning. Don't have it with me, but better than Scoutmaster's manual. Didn't see the Sweet 16 in it. This probably should be another separate handout at SMS training.

Some of it is too detailed, but it has one of the best cold weather gear checklists I've ever seen. Has a warm weather, moderate weather, and cold weather checklist with REAL DETAIL.

  • David K. Palmer, Scoutmaster - Olympia (Wash.) Troop 266

He sent me his troop's protocol for backpacking. It is focused on making sure no one gets lost, and was created from feedback of such a case. He's posted in Scouts-L if you want ask for a copy.

  • Powderhorn Training

In reading the description of Powderhorn training, "The Powder Horn course is designed to introduce and familiarize Venturing and Boy Scout leaders with the activities and resources necessary to operate a successful outdoor/high adventure program. It is based on the eight core requirements and eighteen electives found in the Venturing Ranger program. It is intended to help adult leaders in locating and utilizing resources. No high adventure skills are taught in this course. It is designed to have many disciplines introduced with a hands-on segment. While participation in individual activities is not required, participants are encouraged to take part."

The part "No high adventure skills are taught in this course" is in bold. It appears that this is NOT the place to learn these skills.

  • Okpik: Complete guide to winter camping - The book.

Quoting the BSA catalog - "A complete guide to winter camping and survival. Filled with advice on clothing, equipment, first aid, and more. Even includes instructions on building igloos! A must read for outdoor enthusiasts! 160 pages. Paperback. WW34040 $9.95 " Our Alabama shop does not stock, so I'm ordering one. Have not seen yet.

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