March 23, 2018
Weekend Hikemaster's Handbook
Weekend outings are great opportunities for physical conditioning, skill building, advancement, and character building.
The following outlines the steps required to prepare for a Troop 849 backpack hike. Remember that it is the responsibility of the hike leader to see that all the preparations are made, but not necessarily to do them. When possible use Scouts or other adults to help in the preparation. Ask one or two of the older Scouts on the trip to plan and lead a special activity during the trip - skill or advancement. It helps them in leadership and reduces your work load.
The High Adventure Team of the Greater Los Angeles Area Council (GLAAC-HAT) provides an excellent course titled Adult Leader's Backpack Training. It is offered every February and September and is highly recommended.
The objectives of the training are to provide a Scouter with a basic understanding of outdoor activities and to stimulate his/her participation and leadership at the Unit level. While the emphasis is on backpacking, the training, in two parts, is generally applicable to all types of outdoor activity. The first, a conference, is conducted as a series of demonstrations and discussions. The full range of outdoor topics, including leadership, preparation and conditioning, equipment, clothing, menu planning, cooking, risk and safety, orienteering, route finding and mountain travel, outdoor courtesy, and long-term planning, are covered. Clothing and equipment are exhibited and demonstrated. The many forms and permits required by the BSA and the agencies which administer outdoor locales are discussed and samples are provided. Books, maps, and other materials which are needed for planning an outing are discussed and displayed.
The second part is a weekend field trip in the local mountains. You practice the skills and use the equipment, which are discussed at the conference. This backpack is in the range of 5-7 miles, round trip.
Completion of this training earns the Scouter recognition as a Backpack Leader and the award of a special patch. As this is the introductory program to High Adventure training, there are no prerequisites to attendance.
It is assumed that the reader has taken, or will take, this very valuable training. This handbook builds on the principles taught during the course and shows how Troop 849 has applied them to it's backpacking program.
The basic rules for a safe an enjoyable hike are the same as for a long-term hike. See the Guidelines section of the Long-term Hikemaster Handbook. Keep in mind that this may be the Scout's first hike so you can't count on emotional maturity (yet).
See the Long-term Hikemaster Handbook for many pearls of hikemaster wisdom. Most of them apply to weekend hikes too. The following apply just to weekend hikes.
Make the best use of the available time by keeping these suggestions in mind.
During the Hike
Contents of this page entered by Tom Thorpe.
©2018 Boy Scout Troop 849, Manhattan Beach, CA. http://troop849.org/