50-mile Afoot/Afloat Award
Haluska Ed (edh@MAILS.IMED.COM)
Mon, 11 Jul 1994 10:21:17 CST
What I find interesting is that the combination of the requirements:
1. Cover the 50-mile distance over a continuous course/trail.
2. Do this in no less than 5 days.
and the guideline(?) from application No. 4408:
3. No more than 10 miles may be covered in one day.
seem to team up to require that you cover _exactly_ 10 miles per day
for _exactly_ 5 days.
Mike McDonald has said that he reviews daily hiking-distance
requirements with some flexibilitly. This is a relief to hear.
My rub is that the combination of requirements & guidelines don't
seem to explicitly provide any "operational margin." The combination
seems to say "Each day, hike right to the very limit of what BSA
considers reasonable and prudent, then stop." We really need
a combination of requirements that would require (for example),
at least 5 miles per day, no more than 15 miles per day,
and an average of at least 10 miles per day over 5 (or more) days.
Another short-coming of the "no more than 10 miles per day" rule
is that it doesn't take into account terrain, altitude, temper-
ature, or trail cover. My troop can cover a lot of level ground
below 8,000 feet through a cool, shady woods. I would need
a cattle prod to get some of them to cover 10 miles of steep
up-and-down trails above 10,000 feet with a full pack. That is,
if I could even make it myself. Here in Angleton, I am all of
32 feet above sea level. Climbing Mt. Philips at Philmont was
Personal bias: writing technical specifications is part of my
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