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Posted: 6/16/2018 8:03:26 PM EDT
Before going out it should go without saying but... make sure you at least have some idea how to use your gear.

So my church's district (all the denominations churches in Alaska) have a teen hike of Resurrection trail on the Kenai peninsula. Its roughly 39 miles dedicated trail with no road access except the beginning and ending trail heads so its remote. I couldnt make it this year because od work. One of the other youth pastors is from a southern state and has never done any hiking or camping before. I told him we should meet up before hand to go over gear but it never worked out. This morning was the last section of trail and I drove down amd hiked in with them and hiked back out. I went up and down the line talking to the teens I knew and asked them about the trip highs and lows etc. Got to the youth pastor and he said aside from one blister on his foot he was ok. I asked about how hos gear worked out and his response was his gear worked out just fine...it was awefully cold the first two nights with temps in the low 30's until one of the other adults showed him how his sleeping bag was supposed to work...
Link Posted: 6/18/2018 2:43:08 AM EDT
LOL! Sorry that is friggin funny.
Link Posted: 6/18/2018 2:50:53 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By freeride21a:
LOL! Sorry that is friggin funny.
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He is a good guy but my response was "WHAT?!?!?" and then I changed the subject to keep myself from saying something that would crush him.
Link Posted: 6/18/2018 2:58:27 AM EDT
Hopefully he'll learn.

I remember my first campout in the Boy Scouts. Winter, at Bear Mountain in NY around 1970. I had a cotton bag from Sears, and no idea what I was doing.

I got better.
Link Posted: 6/18/2018 4:24:00 PM EDT
We helped two girls on the AT who were tenting near the Overmountain shelter set up their tent. They had never pitched it and didn't even have the instructions with them.
Link Posted: 6/19/2018 8:38:56 PM EDT
Great story OP. I think we all know a few people who you need to focus and target so as to avoid situations like this...but it still baffles me.

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Originally Posted By foxinnc:
We helped two girls on the AT who were tenting near the Overmountain shelter set up their tent. They had never pitched it and didn't even have the instructions with them.
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I know we have all likely had our blunders or mishaps in the outdoors, but there are a few basics that shouldn't be ignored...especially when failure can lead from simply discomfort to life-threatening. I failed to do a thorough check of my son's kit when we went out to do a couple days in cooler weather to practice some primitive skills. I would hound him (but didn't inspect) and he kept telling me, "I got it dad", with that exacerbated look of "quit pestering me, I know everything"

Well, we load up, hike out about four or five miles to a primitive site, get to setting up camp, getting water, etc...and as night time cooled off and we settled in, my son realizes he completely forget his sleeping bag. It wasn't freezing, but he learned a very cold and miserable lesson. Mom dropped his bag off the next day and we hiked out to pick it up...he learned then that checklists, inspections, and gear maintenance are not just for novices. Experience and failure are often the best instructors

ROCK6
Link Posted: 6/20/2018 11:25:40 AM EDT
I will second the importance of a list, and checking it twice, even if you think you know it all

Anything more then a single night out away from civilization gets a check list.

Multi week adventures get a typed up check list, and gone over more than I can count, gear double and triple checked.

I also try to use my gear a bit prior to actually being necessary.
Link Posted: 6/29/2018 5:59:06 PM EDT
Something as simple as grabbing your pack and setting up in the backyard will quickly reveal what you left behind in the house.
Link Posted: 6/29/2018 7:45:36 PM EDT
Misery can be a harsh but good teacher on how to get better at the game
Link Posted: 6/30/2018 1:50:16 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By danpass:
Something as simple as grabbing your pack and setting up in the backyard will quickly reveal what you left behind in the house.
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Setting up the tent at least once before heading out is SOP for me so that I dont have to think about it especially if weather turns.
Link Posted: 7/20/2018 11:15:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2018 11:16:12 AM EDT by D-Rock66]
Reminds me of my first "Klondike" I had done lots of summer camping growing up and really loved it, but never headed up the mountains in the dead of winter to camp in 3 feet of snow until I was 12. My dad was not an avid outdoorsman. He would take us out once or twice a summer. But we didn't have much gear. Especially not winter appropriate gear. I had a 32 degree bag which was more like a 50 degree bag. I took that and some clothing layers to sleep in. By 3AM it was negative 18 degrees and I was waking up the other guys in the tent because I was shivering so bad. One of them gave me about 3 hand warmers and threw one of his blankets on me. I survived but nearly had hypothermia. Low and behold the next year I went at 13 and slept just fine with my 4 bed rolls wrapped up. Didn't even have to go at 14 but I did anyway. Also really enjoyed it.
Link Posted: 9/8/2018 11:00:21 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By danpass:
Something as simple as grabbing your pack and setting up in the backyard will quickly reveal what you left behind in the house.
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When my niece was 11 her mother called me up to ask if my niece could borrow a tent and other camping items for a cheerleader campout. Of course this was at the last minute and we had 2 hours to go over the gear before she left. She had gone camping with her father before (parents split up,) so she at least had a sleeping bag. We did a dry run of setting up the tent, and with her attention span, I was sure to lose half the pegs and poles if she took it down herself.

We called up one of the host parents, and all she needed was her sleeping bag, a water bottle, extra clothes and meds or other personal items. The tents they were using were big cabin tents, so 6 or so girls could easily fit.

One lesson I learned myself was to set up and air out the tent after it has been sitting packed up for awhile to air out before I use it again.
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