This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
GROUND RULES by cl i f f jacobson Get Out and Get Back—Safely An expert’s personal tips for avoiding accidents in the wilderness.


I’VE GUIDED CANOE TRIPS for 35 years on some of the tough- est rivers in North America. And I’ve never needed more than Band-Aids and Tylenol. I believe I owe those safe journeys to more than good luck.


I’ve always worked out a plan that emphasizes avoiding accidents. You should too. Here are some tips for getting out and getting back with a minimum of injuries.


Wait on the Weather The book Into Thin Air reveals the price you could pay if you con- tinue on when you should stay put. Better to hunker down until the weather improves, even if the wait wreaks havoc with your schedule. Plan one “down day” in five for the unexpected.


Wear What’s Right Everyone gets a detailed equipment list they must follow. There’s a full field inspection—those who don’t have the right stuff should not be allowed to go. Prohibited items include plastic rain suits, cotton socks, and blue jeans. Wool, fleece, polyester, and nylon are the respected fabrics. Sneakers won’t substitute for boots. And don’t wear shorts


while hiking or canoeing. (Why? Think sunburn.) Every Scout should carry a knife, matches, compass, and a whistle. Parents may squawk about buying special gear, but be firm. If the weather turns sour, you, the responsible leader, will have to treat the resulting chills and hypothermia. Double up on essentials—stoves, first-aid supplies, maps.


Tents should have interior plastic groundcloths, extra cord, and stakes for storm rigging. Bring at least one rain tarp. Where cell phones don’t work, rent a satellite phone (the Charles L. Sommers High Adventure Base in Minnesota supplies compact radios), so that you can call for help.


6 Little Rules Safety rules reduce acci- dents. Here, along with rationales, are some of mine: 1 Wear shoes when swim- ming in wilderness waters. This eliminates stone- bruised feet.


54 S COUTING ¿ SEPTEMBER•OCTOBER 2012


2 Don’t dive. Head impacts often prove fatal. 3 Never carry a second pack on your chest. Falls happen if you can’t see your feet. 4 No whittling. It’s the cause of most cuts. 5 Stow all personal gear inside your tent at night, so long as bear or animal precautions are not required. Wind carries things away, and clothes get wet from dew and rain. 6 Don’t sit on your life jacket. It causes compression damage.


Take It Slow Most accidents occur late in the day when people are tired or when the pace is too fast for slow hikers. Solution? Slow down and camp early if you can, or fuel up on high-energy snacks and take frequent breaks if you can’t. I once canoed 16 hours to make up lost time, but that was


before there were satellite phones. Today, communication is a button push away.


Review Status Daily Begin each day by reviewing skills and safety procedures. Is everyone dressed appropriately? Does someone have blisters or small cuts that might become infected? Are water bottles topped off? Do you have rain gear and warm clothes handy?


SHARE YOUR SECRETS—and get more tips!—for avoiding accidents when out in the wilderness with Scouts at scouting magazine.org/safety.


YUTA ONODA (3)


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76