Thursday, January 20, 2011

2010 Backpacking Trip Day 2

For Christmas my parents gave me an REI gift card. I used that card to buy a bivy for my sleeping bag. Instead of having a tent, I just had a breathable, waterproof shell around my bag. I think it was the way to go, but I woke up the morning of day 2 to a 20 degree morning. There is no in-between getting out of your bag to being outside. Just an observation.

Over the years, Troop 5 is a 90 minute troop. What that means is that from first waking up in the morning, the troop can pack the camp, gear and eat breakfast and be on the trail in 90 minitues. I had encourage the boys the night before that we would need to get moving in the morning in order to accomplish the goals of the trip, having already being short of our night one campsite.
Well this crew was a 4 hour troop the first morning. I regretting getting out of my sleeping bag to wait in the cold for them to get ready. I could have packed the whole camp by myself in 90 minutes to get them ready for the trail. Instead the adults sat and watch the boys just putter around.
By the time we hit the trail, it was almost lunch time, but the boys did decide to continue to push. When we sat down for lunch, I went over the map and concluded there was no way the boys would make their goal. In addition, they were short on water. In the summer this would be a bigger problem, but it is still a problem. This is where health and safety over rules boy led in Troop 5.
I hiked back with the high school senior to the troop bus and drove to where the trail crossed the road. The rest of the crew continued down the trail to they met us. By this time it was 4pm. We had about 4 more miles to go to make our campsite. Hiking without water in the dark would probably not be the wisest thing, so the bus would have to be used.

I sat down with the boys and explained the cause and effect of their four hour morning. In short, once they stepped on the bus, the idea they would get an Orange Hat at the end of the trip was a dream. The boys, although not pleased, accepted their fate. I was very proud of them by realizing it was a group failure and at no point did they blame any one of them, but all of them.
I dropped them off about a mile from the campsite and took the bus to get some water.

They finished up that day with one heck of a dinner and a wonderful fire. We may have a long way to go on backpacking, but we sure can make a big fire.

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