Sit. Rep. #105: Oops, Help, What?

Thanks to John Detweiler from

Murphy’s Law:

1- You have planned & are in the middle of a backpacking trip and ________ happens!  It does not matter what you filled in the blank with.  Weather, injury, equipment failure, illness, emergency at home, wildfire, natural disaster, blizzard, heatwave, mudslide, food raided by wildlife, flood, wildlife attack, crime / human attack, avalanche, bridge out, tornado, someone gets lost, extreme fog, and/or other emergencies.

Are you prepared to contend with whatever happens and needs to happen?  What are your contingencies?

What are your (personal & group) resources?  Knowledge, supplies, natural, and equipment resources…
Did you leave a trip plan with someone responsible back at home?
When is the agreed-upon “freak out” time that they will call for help to search for you?

How do we physically get out of this situation?
Do we send (2 or more) runners for help?  Write down the details they will carry with them.
Does my cell phone work from (nearest mountain top)?

Did we pack a satellite phone or satellite locator beacon?
Did you get permission or a permit to be in that location?  What agency or person/s will start looking for you?  And when?
Are you on a blazed or in a known location?  Do you know where you are?

Do you/we have the mental strength to survive as a group?  As an individual?  The will to survive?
What are your “emergency escape routes?”
Are you going to stay put and wait for help?  How long will you wait till you start moving?

Are there any close destinations where you may run into other campers or camps?
What if someone is in a mentally altered status and must be controlled?
(Are they freaking out?  Are they competent to make decisions and to help the group?)
Where is the nearest road?  Can you get there easily?

Will the following rivers take you to civilization?
What is the weather forecast?  How will that affect your emergency plans?
Can you come to group decisions without fracturing or splintering the group?

Think about it!  Always, Always, Always have this in mind when planning and during your entire adventure.

Y: How do you tell if a skunk is mad?
Z: It raises a stink.

Merit Badge Hints:

2- Clump several merit badges of similar topics and some of the requirements overlap.  Railroading, Truck Transportation, and Traffic Safety are 3 MBs with overlap.  Engineering, Energy, Electronics, and Electricity all overlap.  Cycling MB & the 50-Miler Award are a good match.  Music and Bugling go hand-in-hand.  There are more with overlap than these listed.  Go forth and tackle some.

A: What is grey & stamps out forest fires?
B: Smokey the Elephant.

3- “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Watch out and care for each other,

More Scout Skits by Thomas Mercaldo

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