How many Scoutmasters does it take to hang a bear bag?
Rick Kendall (marge.tsf.nid.csc.com!rick@BARNEY.TSF.NID.CSC.COM)
Fri, 16 Sep 1994 10:49:49 -0700
First some background. Troop 103 from Lompoc takes a 10 day, 50+
mile trip in the Sierra Nevada mountains every August. This past
trip was wonderful. Not as much water this year as last. No wild
flowers, but there were bunches of ripe wild currents, blueberries,
and some strawberries. Took two patrols of 8 each plus 4 junior
leaders and 6 SM/ASM in the "fifth" patrol. The kids have named us
the fossil patrol, but thats another story.
We plan our menu mostly from normal grocery store dry goods,
supplemented with some back packing food items. Each patrol packs
their own gear and food. Each meal is repacked in zip lock bags
and parceled out to the patrol members so each of us looses meals
evenly through the trip. At night, we put the meal bags in a nylon
mesh hammock and hang in a tree some distance from the camp. Well,
day 1 of the 10 day trip of a patrol of 10 people means a lot of
bags in the hammock. Should have put up two bags, in two trees:
Attempt #1. Nice tree located, rope successfully thrown over
branch, hammock attached. SM John and I are lifting the hammock
while the other ASMs are pulling on the other end of the rope. We
give one big shove and ... Whoosh, the rope whizzes past and
catches on John's wrist breaking his watch band. Could have been
much worse. Branch had broken.
Attempt #2. Rope over better branch. Pulling up bag and ...
Thump. Really had used two ropes and this time, the knot between
the two had failed. ASM to review knot tying section in Scout
Attempt #3. Same as #2, except this time, the knot holds, but one
of the ropes (not the normal 1/4" nylon, 500 lb test stuff we all
carry) breaks. SM John retires to a nice rock on the side.
Substitute another rope.
Attempt #4. ASM throwing rock over branch, David & Goliath (sling)
style, rock and rope go backwards towards John's rock. I have
never seen him scramble so fast. You see, he has very bad depth
perception and can't catch to save his life, so he decided to
scramble out of the way. We're all in hysterics by now and glad
the other patrols aren't here watching.
Attempt #5. Another ASM hits the branch squarely with the rock.
Attempt #6. SPL comes to help. Rope is over the limb, but at the
fork w/ the tree and catches on the fork. 10 minutes to free the
Attempt #7. Rope goes over the branch, but hangs on some twigs.
Trying to free the rope, the rock goes over the branch correctly,
but the rope comes back towards us.
Attempt #8. Rope doesn't reach the branch (ASM standing on it).
Attempt #9. We made it and pulled it up out of the reach.
We all retire to the fire and a cup of coffee.
p.s. Have never seen a bear up in this area.
Rick Kendall email@example.com
ASM, Troop 103
Webelos Leader, Pack 63 Del Rio District, Los Padres Council, Lompoc CA.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City