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Girl Scouts of Northern California.  To teach your Scouts how to be successful at weekend backpacking in local parks  To know the general rules and.

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Presentation on theme: "Girl Scouts of Northern California.  To teach your Scouts how to be successful at weekend backpacking in local parks  To know the general rules and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Girl Scouts of Northern California

2  To teach your Scouts how to be successful at weekend backpacking in local parks  To know the general rules and responsibilities  To be familiar with the equipment necessary to go on a backpacking trip

3  What is Backpacking ◦ Difference between Family and GS backpacking ◦ Girl Scout Policies and Procedures ◦ Girl Scout Learning Experience ◦ Girl Involvement  Planning ◦ Equipment (personal and group gear) ◦ Meal Planning & Water Purification ◦ Health and Safety ◦ Emergency Plan ◦ Hygiene and First Aid ◦ Outdoor Skills  Weekend – Saturday-Sunday backpack trip

4 what you and your girls should know and do

5  Adult/Girl Ratios: Must be a minimum of 2 non-related adults (at least one of whom is a female) Fully trained adult - core leadership courses, troop camping certification, backpack certified,and certified first aider.  Adults must be registered GS members and completed the volunteer screening process.

6  Review Safety Activity Checkpoint- Backpacking  Backpacking not recommended for Daisies and Brownies  Pre-requisite training class: Troop Camping Certification  Adult sleeping arrangements  Paperwork Required

7  avoid 1:1 situations potentially compromising to girl or man  all camping activities must include a woman  men sleep in separate areas  bathroom facilities must be separate or have separate times

8 Determine the maturity and interest level of the girls planning to go backpacking

9 Expectations Risks Adult supervision needed Cost Preparation Where to go

10 1. Plan Ahead and Prepare 2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces 3. Dispose of Waste Properly 4. Leave what you find 5. Minimize Campfire Impacts 6. Respect Wildlife 7. Be considerate of other visitors

11 what to have, how to use it and how to get it

12  backpacking does not need to be expensive  rent, don't buy, until you decide that you like backpacking ◦ REI ◦ Mel Cotton's ◦ Surplus and Goodwill ◦ Sports Authority ◦ Sports Basement

13  choose an external frame pack, or adjustable internal frame pack (if fully grown)  avoid the "woman's pack" hype  lots of external pockets  well padded hip belt and shoulder straps  it must be uniquely fitted to you  keep it clean and dry at home, on the trail and in camp

14 External frame pack, seen from the side which goes against your back Top loading pack (lift the flap to load the bag)


16  mummy bag for warmth, with draw string  nylon cover, nylon interior  avoid "stitched through" construction  fill materials ◦ 2.5 lb. down if you keep it always dry ◦ 3 lb. Hollofill or equivalent is best  keep it clean, wash it rarely and very, very carefully  never, ever store it in its stuff sack!

17  backpacker's tents are very lightweight (no more than 6 lb. and often 3.5 lb.) ◦ they can not only shelter you from wind and rain, but they keep out the bugs  a tarp shelter is very light (1 to 2 lb.) and protects you from wind and rain ◦ they offer the advantage of very low cost ◦ some assembly required - you must add lines to the sides and corners, as well as a line to support the ridge




21  the ensolite pad... ◦ keeps the heat from your body from being drawn into the ground through the crushed lower layer of your sleeping bag ◦ it also provides minimum padding when sleeping on the hard ground ◦ various kinds exist, none are expensive ◦ a backpacker’s air mattress is a comfortable substitute  the ground cloth… to keep your sleeping bag and ensolite pad clean ◦ When you use a tent, the ground cloth protects the tent floor from twigs and such ◦ Any lightweight plastic sheet, 3 x 7 feet, will do

22  for weekend outings in the local mountains, comfortable and sturdy sneakers are okay  longer trips in the high country, demand the protection and support of boots  for crossing streams, you must have aqua socks or water shoes for safety  while in camp, aqua sox, old tennis shoes are more comfortable than boots

23  leather boots offer best protection at highest cost ◦ buy them in women's sizes -- small men's boots will be too wide in the heel, making heel blisters a certainty  "high tech" (mixed leather/nylon) boots offer good performance at moderate price ◦ they almost never cause a blister ◦ their light weight makes hiking easier

24  proper fit is essential - make sure you buy from a knowledgeable salesperson  proper break-in is vital ◦ wear leather boots to the office (or wherever) for several weeks ◦ "high-tech" boots require less break-in  proper boot care will protect them (and your feet) ◦ store them clean and dry ◦ keep leather boots oiled

25  when wearing sneakers, wear a pair of heavy cotton or wool socks  with boots, wear two layers of socks ◦ outer layer of very heavy wool socks ◦ inner layer of thin polypropylene socks ◦ this method keeps your feet dry and inhibits the formation of blisters

26  for hiking, use the layer system  hiking is very warm work  but, you chill quickly when you stop ◦ shorts and thin cotton shirt are normal for three season hiking in the Sierra and all four seasons in our local mountains ◦ more layers will be required for evenings in camp

27  in camp, a poncho is essential to keep you dry  on the trail, you have a choice... ◦ wear a poncho and perspire ◦ hike in shirt and shorts, and change when you get into camp  in both situations, you need... ◦ a wool or fleece shirt to keep you warm, even if it is soaked through

28  wear warm clothing in your bag... ◦ hooded sweatshirt is warm ◦ long johns or thermal underwear ◦ flannel jammies ◦ a wool watchcap ◦ gloves (optional) ◦ clean socks  never, ever wear in your bag the jeans or pants you wore in camp or on the trail - remember poison oak!

29  repair kit  pocket knife  rope (50 feet)  compass  toilet paper  sanitary supplies  bandanas  whistle  reflective tape  photo ID  piece of duct tape  matches or lighter  small flashlight  canteen  spoon & cup  Sunscreen/lip balm  dental floss  first aid kit  zip-lock bags  (see list for more) Other equipment you may need...

30 what to carry for cooking and eating...

31  propane is reliable, but too heavy  butane stove ◦ safe and light, but cranky when cold  butane/propane ◦ safe, light, easy to light

32  a nested Billie kit is convenient  a couple of coffee cans work nearly as well & cost less for weekend hikes  lightweight skillet  bring a plastic spatula & serving spoon for cooking

33  for long high country hikes, bring a plastic spoon and two cups, nothing more (you already brought a jack knife)  for weekend (local) hikes, a fork and a plastic plate are nice luxuries  WATER BOTTLE – “real” canteens are fine, but washed out soft drink bottle works just at well

34 how to eat well and simply...

35  this is a complex subject, upon which several books have been written  your body's food needs are very, very different from those when you are home ◦ on high country hikes, a woman burns 3000 to 3500 calories/day ◦ hearty breakfast for fuel on the trail, and "gorp" to keep up your stamina ◦ fats at dinner to keep you warm all night

36  meals must be lightweight  food must be easy to prepare on one burner  you have choices... ◦ backpacker's freeze dried meals  lightest weight, most convenient  highest cost ◦ supermarket food  lowest cost  most variety

37  Even the clearest lake, stream or river water is not safe for drinking.  All water should be filtered, treated or purified  There are many methods to disinfect water: ◦ Iodine tabets ◦ Boiling ◦ Filtration ◦ UV Light

38  simple tricks work for raccoons  All food must be hung 1hour before sunset  for the high country's bears, you'll have to try harder...  Bear canisters

39 "First aid is what you do until the doctor arrives. In the wilderness, the doctor isn't coming."

40  Prevention ◦ well-fitted footgear (avoid small men's boots). ◦ wool outer sox, polypro inner sox. ◦ toughen feet with twice-daily alcohol rubs. ◦ when you feel a hot spot on the trail, stop right then and there and pad it with moleskin  Treatment ◦ cleanse area with alcohol wipe. ◦ cover with Op-Site, Blister Block or 2nd Skin. ◦ apply a large patch of moleskin over all.

41  Prevention ◦ Filter or treat all drinking water ◦ wash your hands after "cat hygiene" and before preparing food  Treatment ◦ mild cases - plenty of fluids ◦ severe diarrhea - plenty of fluids and...  Imodium (loperamide) for people under 14.  Lomotil for people 15 & older.

42  Cause ◦ loss of heat by evaporation, convection and conduction  Symptoms ◦ intense shivering, numbness ◦ confusion, clumsiness ◦ semi consciousness, glassy stare Prevention ◦ stay dry, wear wool & a hat, dress in layers ◦ good nutrition – plenty of fluids ◦ adequate rest - avoid fatigue  Treatment ◦ Find shelter, food, hot drinks ◦ Warm with body-to-body contact

43  Life requires air, shelter, water, food  Backpacking consumes... ◦ water (lost through respiration & perspiration ◦ sugars, stored in muscles  Drink more than you need, carry two liters  Eat to refuel your body ◦ carbohydrates for energy (daytime) ◦ fats (dinner) for warmth at night  Pace your hike, avoid mental stress  Listen to your body

44  Symptoms ◦ dizziness or weakness  Prevention ◦ drink plenty of fluids with salts (Gatoraid) ◦ pace your hike  Treatment ◦ lie down, elevate feet, protect from sunlight, administer cool fluids with salts

45  Prevention ◦ check constantly at hairline and points where skin is constricted. ◦ DEET as a repellent?  Treatment ◦ Grasp with tweezers, pull straight out. ◦ Scrape out with credit card. ◦ cleanse area with alcohol wipe. ◦ observe for 2 weeks for symptoms of Lyme Disease.

46  Symptoms ◦ slowly enlarging red "bullseye" rash ◦ flu-like symptoms ◦ joint pain, severe fatigue ◦ blood tests are inconclusive!!  Problems if left untreated ◦ disorders of the heart & central nervous system ◦ Lyme arthritis, erosion of cartilage & bone in the joints  Antibiotic - two pills of doxycycline are highly effective if given within three days of a bite

47  Prevention ◦ DEET  Treatment ◦ aspirin or Tylenol ◦ apply ice or cold compress ◦ Observe for signs of allergic reaction or shock (respiratory distress) ◦ in case of shock, immediately inject epinephrine ◦ Scrape bee stings with flicking motion of fingernail, plastic card or knife blade

48  Rabies ◦ carried by bats and racoons ◦ assume all bites are infected!! ◦ immediately wash wound with soap & water  Bubonic plague ◦ found in the Sierra, carried by rodents ◦ assume all bites are infected!! ◦ immediately wash wound with soap & water  Hanta virus ◦ mouse scat/droppings ◦ wash before cooking & eating

49  Provide rest and reassurance  Treat for shock  Watch for reactions ◦ rapid inflammation at the bite site ◦ extreme pain ◦ symptoms of shock  Evacuate if no more than 1 hour out  Otherwise, treat the snakebite ◦ administer epinephrine for shock as required

50  Definition ◦ group of unpleasant symptoms related to high (8000' +) altitude  Cause ◦ low oxygen at the brain, failure to acclimate ◦ teens are at high risk Symptoms nausea, vomiting headache, dizziness, severe fatigue shortness of breath Treatment descent to lower elevations

51 What you and your Scouts should know

52  Breaks are a crucial part to successful hiking!  hike in groups of 3 or more  keep to marked trails  put your slowest Scout at the front  the girl at the front must pace herself such that she can always see the adult at the rear  the adult at the end must watch for signs of problems

53  For your Scouts... ◦ stay put until you are found ◦ take inventory, make a plan regarding food & shelter  For yourself ◦ if you are lost or separated, find your way to the day's destination to meet the others  have a map, compass & plan each day ◦ if your girls are lost, make and execute a plan with the other adults  leave one with the rest of the troop  agree upon routes to be searched, signals, meeting time and place

54  in the high country, you are on your own  state and federal parks and wilderness areas have cut back on manpower  helicopter rescue occurs only if... ◦ there is a machine available ◦ the weather is clear ◦ the altitude is reasonable ◦ there is a place to land ◦ and, someone can die while you wait...  develop the "pioneer mindset" and have a plan covering all contingencies

55 Problems peculiar to women and girls...

56  Boy Scouts camping nearby can be a distraction and/or a problem ◦ call ahead to speak to the ranger, to learn if you will have companions nearby ◦ if possible, call the Scoutmaster ahead of the outing to agree upon rules of conduct  four-legged varmints will steal food, day or night ◦ for raccoons and chipmunks, bag and hang food as soon as you make camp ◦ for high country hikes, you must take special precautions from bears – use bear canisters

57  be constantly on alert, use your head  take a troop dad with you  in camp and on the trail, let no girl get beyond an adult's hearing/sight  adults sleep around the perimeter of the camp, with girls in the center  phone ahead to the ranger just before your hike - who will you share the trail camp with?


59  girls form easily into cooking groups  each cooking group should be self-contained  each girl in a group should take responsibility for the others in her team  for long high-country hikes, each team must include an adult with training in wilderness medicine

60 Topographic Maps


62  for raccoon and critterbear bagging of food  for emergency shelters  for rescue ◦ tie a bowline around a girl's chest, just under her arms, not around her waist ◦ make sure each Scout can tie a bowline ◦ know basic belay techniques


64  use stoves (rather than fires) for cooking ◦ fires are prohibited in all State Parks and in many wilderness areas ◦ downed wood is increasingly scarce ◦ cooking is more carefully controlled with a stove  if you can build a fire, save the wood for an evening campfire

65  those with long hair must tie it back  beware of flare-ups when stoves are cold  remove nylon windbreakers before using a stove or starting a fire - nylon sticks to skin as it burns  operate all stoves in the center of a 3 foot circle of exposed mineral soil  no stoves nor candles in tents or shelters  teach your girls to observe, to use their eyes, before they begin to use a knife  if they wish to make a safety circle with their arm, first put down the knife!

66  Use HOT water to wash, HOT water to rinse.  Wash using the minimum water, recycling it from dish to dish.  Wash all dishes more than 200 feet from all water sources.  Air dry rather than use a dirty towel.  Clorox in the rinse water?

67  Towlette packets for quick cleansing  Sanitizing gel  Shampoo your hair in a bucket, 200 feet (or more) from all water, in cold water.  A swim every day will keep you clean.  To launder your clothes, use Camps Suds in a wash bucket of cold water (far from water sources). When all are clean, haul a bucket of cold rinse water to your site and rinse them out.  Hair and clothes must be dry before dark.  Fuel is precious - use cold water for cleaning everything but dishes.

68  Dig a hole 6-8 inches deep, 8 inches wide  Practice cat hygiene 200 feet (or more) from all sources of water.  Toilet paper and sanitary supplies MUST be carried out.

69  Never bury used sanitary products - they must be bagged and carried out for later disposal. ◦ take them home on weekend hikes. ◦ Use double ziploc bag with small amount of baking powder to help with the odor. ◦ burn them in a HOT campfire on longer hikes.  Tampons are the preferred product - this is a training issue with younger Scouts.

70 an incomplete selection of favorite places

71  Castle Rock State Park, 408-867-2952 ◦ 7 miles R.T., ideal beginner's outing ◦ great views  Big Basin Redwoods SP, 831-338-8860 ◦ many different choices, routes ◦ water unavailable at trail camps ◦ reserve online -  Forest of Nisene Marks, 831-763-7062 ◦ rugged, isolated wilderness ◦ water & poison oak are problems

72  Henry W. Coe State Park, 408-779-2728 ◦ very large, wild, beautiful, varied landscape ◦ water is a problem at some trail camps  Point Reyes National Seashore, 415-663- 8054 ◦ world famous, wild and beautiful ◦ reserve by phone, exactly 2 mos. in advance  Sanborn-Skyline Park, 408-867-9959 ◦ hike-in campground, great beginners outing

73  Ansel Adams Wilderness ◦ spectacular, world-class scenery, rivaling anything in the world  Lassen Volcanic National Park ◦ spectacular volcanic scenery, no fires  Marble Mountains Wilderness ◦ alpine scenery at lower elevations, no crowds, a very long drive from here  Mokelumne Wilderness ◦ wild and very rugged, very faint (or nonexistent) trails, no crowds

74 the moment of truth...

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