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BACKPACKING · PDF file BOY ScOUTS OF aMERica MERiT BaDgE SERiES. 35863 ISBN 978-0-8395-3232-3 ©2007 Boy Scouts of America 2009 Printing. Backpacking 3 Requirements 1. Discuss the

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  • BACKPACKING

  • Backpacking

    BOY ScOUTS OF aMERica MERiT BaDgE SERiES

  • 35863 ISBN 978-0-8395-3232-3 ©2007 Boy Scouts of America 2009 Printing

  • Backpacking        3

    Requirements 1. Discuss the prevention of and treatment for the health

    concerns that could occur while backpacking, including hypothermia, heat reactions, frostbite, dehydration, insect stings, tick bites, snakebite, and blisters.

    2. Do the following:

    a. List 10 items that are essential to be carried on any backpacking trek and explain why each item is necessary.

    b. Describe 10 ways you can limit the weight and bulk to be carried in your pack without jeopardizing your health or safety.

    3. Do the following:

    a. Define limits on the number of backpackers appropriate for a trek crew.

    b. Describe how a trek crew should be organized.

    c. Tell how you would minimize risk on a backpacking trek.

    4. Do the following:

    a. Describe the importance of using Leave No Trace principles while backpacking, and at least five ways you can lessen the crew’s impact on the environment.

    b. Describe proper methods of handling human and other wastes while on a backpacking trek. Describe the impor- tance of and means to assure personal cleanliness while on a backpacking trek.

    c. Tell what factors are important in choosing a campsite.

  • 4        Backpacking

    5. Do the following:

    a. Demonstrate two ways to treat water and tell why water treatment is essential.

    b. Explain to your counselor the importance of staying well- hydrated during a trek.

    6. Do the following:

    a. Demonstrate that you can read topographic maps.

    b. While on a trek, use a map and compass to establish your position on the ground at least three times at three different places, OR use a GPS receiver to establish your position on a topographic map and on the ground at least three times at three different places.

    c. Explain how to stay found, and what to do if you get lost.

    7. Tell how to properly prepare for and deal with inclement weather.

    8. Do the following:

    a. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of three different types of backpacking stoves using at least three different types of fuel.

    b. Demonstrate that you know how to operate a backpacking stove safely and to handle liquid fuel safely.

    c. Prepare at least three meals using a stove and fuel you can carry in a backpack.

    d. Demonstrate that you know how to keep cooking and eating gear clean and sanitary, and that you practice proper methods for food storage while on a backpacking trek.

    9. Do the following:

    a. Write a plan for a patrol backpacking hike that includes a schedule.

    b. Show that you know how to properly pack your personal gear and your share of the crew’s gear and food.

  • Backpacking        5

    c. Show you can properly shoulder your pack and adjust it for proper wear.

    d. Conduct a prehike inspection of the patrol and its equipment.

    e. While carrying your pack, complete a hike of at least 2 miles.

    10. Using Leave No Trace principles, participate in at least three backpacking treks of at least three days each and at least 15 miles each, and using at least two different campsites on each trek. Carry everything you will need throughout the trek.

    11. Do the following:

    a. Write a plan for a backpacking trek of at least five days using at least three different campsites and covering at least 30 miles. Your plan must include a description of and route to the trek area, a schedule (including a daily schedule), a list of food and equipment needs, a safety and emergency plan, and a budget.

    b. Using Leave No Trace principles, take the trek you have planned and, while on the trek, complete at least one service project approved by your merit badge counselor.

    c. Keep a daily journal during the trek that includes a day-by-day description of your activities, including notes about what worked well and thoughts about improvements that could be made for the next trek.

  • Backpacking        7

    contents

    Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

    Planning and Preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

    Minimizing Risk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

    Backpacking Clothing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

    Backpacking Gear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

    Leave No Trace Backpacking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

    Finding Your Way . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

    Backcountry Dining . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

    Expect the Unexpected . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85

    Backpacking Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93

  • Backpacking        9

    .introduction

    Introduction Imagine yourself and a few Scout friends hiking a rugged trail through mountains, along rivers, and deep into forests. Your packs hold all the gear and food you will need for your stay in the backcountry. With map and compass you study the terrain ahead and choose a good place to spend the night. You know from the look of the clouds that an evening storm might be coming, so you waste no time making camp.

    After cooking a tasty supper over your backpacking stove, you hang your food from a tree to protect it from animals and then crawl into your tent. The sound of distant thunder lets you know a storm is rolling in. The first drops of rain lull you to sleep. Later, you look out and see the midnight sky blazing with stars.

    In the morning you move on, leaving behind no sign of your camp. Adventures fill your days. Your legs become strong and your eyes sharp. You draw on your skills as a hiker, camper, cook, pathfinder, leader, and expert in Leave No Trace principles.

    Earning the Backpacking merit badge will be demanding but rewarding. You will learn what equipment to carry on your back and what knowledge to have in your head. You will dis- cover how to protect the environment by traveling and camping without leaving a trace. Master backpacking’s basics and you will develop an even deeper respect for the outdoors, for those who travel with you, and for yourself.

  • Backpacking        11

    .planning and preparation

    Planning and Preparation A backpacking adventure requires planning. Anticipating trail conditions, travel distances, weather conditions, the availability of water, and campsite locations will help you and your crew put together a plan that is just right for the circumstances. Your goal is to make good estimates of what to expect in the back- country and then to prepare well enough so that you are ready for whatever comes your way.

    The most useful planning tools for backpackers are a note- book and a sharp pencil. Putting ideas on paper encourages you to think them through. Checklists will help you make sure you don’t forget anything. After a trek you can review your notes to see what worked well and what can you can improve the next time around.

    choosing Your Destination Almost every part of our nation has parks, forests, and other open spaces that Scouts can explore. In choosing a place to go, you first need to collect good information.

    Planning a trek is

    a matter of looking

    ahead, predicting

    the conditions

    you will find, and

    then preparing to

    meet them.

    Plan your adventure with your group members in mind.   Take into account their experience and knowledge,   interests, and physical abilities.

    Check out backpacking guidebooks at your local library.  Contact an office of the Forest Service, National Park Service,  Bureau of Land Management, or state or local conservation   and recreation agencies. The BSA local council office serving   the area where you will be backpacking might also have   valuable information.

    Another very helpful resource is Backpacker magazine’s Web  site. Visit http://backpacker.trimbleoutdoors.com/backpacker/ home.aspx—with your parent’s permission, of course.

  • 12        Backpacking

    planning and preparation.

    Once you have decided on a general area to visit, get topographic maps of the region and plot some possible routes. Find out where you can camp and consider the elevation gains on the trails. Check if you will need permission to cross any private land or if you will need to obtain permits from public agencies. For some popular locations—especially national parks—you may need to reserve a spot as early as six months in advance. So, start planning early for a big summer hike.

    pacing Yourselves Plan the distances of your first backpacking treks conserva- tively. It is better to have too much time to reach a destination than too little. When planning, consider weather, terrain, physical conditioning, and weight of gear. As a group, do you walk with a quick st

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