Student Organised trip in the local area
My first organised trip was within the local area of Jegersberg, where myself and Danny spent two days hiking, building emergency shelters, navigation, fire building and putting a tent together. Unfortunately, there was not any snow so we were unable to improve our cross-country skiing skills which was one of the essential factors of this trip, but allowed us to put all the fundamentals which we have learnt from previous group experiences into practice.
For our first day hiking around Jegersberg, we decided to go up to the inverted boat. We came to this decision because the first time we went with the Norwegian students it was a challenging climb, fantastic scenery and a great opportunity to practice navigating. The weather conditions were slightly wet, making the hike slightly more challenging but we thrived at the challenge and were both taking it in terns to navigate. We found it difficult at first, but once we got used to identifying our surroundings on the orienteering map, the hike started to run more smoothly as we were not constantly stopping and starting. We found that from the hike up to the inverted boat that day required a lot of patience and effective communication with one another. As Leonard, Graham & Bonacum (2004) identify effective communication and patience is an essential component for delivering high quality and efficient tasks; believing that if ‘one domino falls’ in the group can hold major implications and set backs. This is something that could have effected us, with there only being two of us.
When we made it to our destination on the hike it was time for dinner. We thought it would be better practice to create a fire and from previous attempts and observations (Kolbs reflective cycle, 2014); I felt confident to construct this task. The correct method to execute this is justified by Wild Back Packer (2016); and they identify that to create a traditional camp fire you have to gather 3 important materials: tinder, logs and kindling. Tinder is firstly a piece of material which will ignite with ease such as dry grass or bark (Wild Back Packer, 2016). Unfortunately, it was slightly wet for grass so we had to identify a spot in the forest which as dry and cut some bark of the tree to light the fire. Secondly we had to find some suitable wood and kindling and these components are used to catch the flame from the tinder quickly in order to maintain the fire. These items are typically sticks/twigs, larger pieces of bark and leaves (the fire must consist of dry and small items for it to catch fire) (Wild Back Packer, 2016). Finally, the fire must contain various sized logs, these are sustainable items to keep the fire ignited (the wood should be as dead and dry as possible) (Wild Back Packer, 2016). This was successfully created with equal efforts from both of us.
Later on in the day after having dinner we decided to make use of the time we had to create an emergency shelter. We have only had two opportunities to watch and attempt the creation of this so it was going to be a challenge and an experience in itself! We decided to keep it simple and not complicate things and create a shelter that would be a quick and efficient build. So we went on the idea of building a diamond survival shelter; this shelter is the easiest and fastest to build and in situations where there is a turn of bad weather, this is certainly efficient. You have to firstly locate a strong tree with a reasonable amount of open flat ground surrounding it, and face the tree with the wind hitting your back in order to block the wind from entering the shelter once it is built (Heid, 2016). Once you have successfully done this, you have to then tie a loop of cord around the trunk (just above chest height). This is followed by attaching the corner of the tarp to the cord on the tree, this is done in a variety of ways. Heid (2016) provides reasoning behind this by stating that:
If you’ve hitched a loop of cord to the tree, simply feed the free end through the corner grommet or tie-out point, insert a short but strong stick through the loop on the other side, and pull the stick taut against the tarp. This creates an easy and secure attachment that’s quick to remove later. Alternatively, if you’ve tied the cord to the tree and have a loose end, you can use the same stick technique by tying a loop with a bowline, a figure-eight on a bight, or another preferred knot. Or you can simply tie the loose end of the cord directly to the grommet or tie-out point.
The final checks of the diamond shelter building are making sure that the Tarp is pulled tightly and the corner is staked down. Finished of with staking down the other two corners in order to create a taut pitch which concluded our shelter building.
When the day was coming to an end it was time to finally make our way back down to Jegersberg where we camped for the night. Unfortunately, the weather turned out really bad later on in the evening when we were building our tent and all of our stuff got soaked. So we made a conscious decision to take down the tent and travel bad to Roligheden where we were able to dry all of our stuff out and travel back out to Jegersberg the following day. This experience made us aware that our planning was not perfect (not setting up camp earlier) as we did not account for the bad weather that evening.
Our equipment and clothes finally dried out which meant we were able to carry on our hike around Jegersberg later on in the afternoon on Tuesday. Fortunately, the weather improved which meant we could enjoy a short hike touring the local area, again working on our navigation skills and shelter building. I was really pleased that we were able to camp out over night which enabled me to test out my new equipment leading up to the snow hole trip. As this day was cut short, the following morning we got up bright and early, made breakfast, left the tent up and went for another hike, visiting parts of Jegersberg I have never seen before. Later on that day we took down the tent and made our way back to Roligheden.
WildBackPacker. (n.d.) How to Build a Fire: Learn to make and start the perfect backpacking campfire. Available from http://www.wildbackpacker.com/wilderness-survival/articles/how-to-build-a-fire/ [Accessed March 2017].
Outdoors. (n.d.) How to Build an Emergency Tarp Shelter. Available from https://www.outdoors.org/articles/amc-outdoors/how-to-build-an-emergency-tarp-shelter/[Accessed March 2017]
Leonard, M., Graham, S. Bonacum, D. The human factor: the critical importance of effective teamwork and communication in providing safe care Quality and Safety In Health care. Available from: http://qualitysafety.bmj.com/content/13/suppl_1/i85.long [Accessed March 2017].