Campsite Overview- All important points in one paragraph
If your campsite is in front country, take automobile and find the camping spot. if not, make sure do hike and use very means, including maps, compass and GPS, if necessary to reach backcountry camp site. Choose best possible location and don’t pitch a tent near dead trees and make sure, location is big enough for all your group. Acquire required permission and pitch tent. Find nearby streams and river and do proper water treatment if you are in backcountry otherwise find drinking fountain in front country. Make proper sanitation system for personal or collectively for your group. Respect the privacy of other group members and last but not least, make sure, you should clean the campsite, when you are leaving.
1. Getting The Campsite
Getting the campsite is depend on your current location and your camp location. If you or your group arranged journey to a front country for a camp, then you can use automobile, because campsite is easily accessible. But, If you choose back country, Often you will hike in—perhaps a short distance, perhaps many miles. Where lakes and streams abound, you may go in canoes or a raft guided with oars.
Tools For Navigation
1. Compass and Scout Handbook
Many campsites can be reached with the help of a topographical map and a compass. The Boy Scout Handbook can provide you with guidelines for using a compass and a map to find your way. The Field book and the Orienteering merit badge pamphlet contain
more detailed information on route-finding in all kinds of terrain.
2. Global Positioning System
The global positioning system, or GPS, gives travelers, outdoor adventurers and scouts a powerful electronic means of navigation. A GPS receiver is small enough to fit in your pocket and accurate enough to get any location with pin point accuracy. It works on the longitude and latitude bases and it helps to find spot on the globe with the help of a satellites orbiting 12,000 miles above Earth. It calculates your every move, e.g. your campsite, elevation of your campsite above the sea level and it also trek your route movement. With it, you can safely return back to your camp or any other safe location, incase you are away from your group. Please always make sure batteries of GPS. Additionally, try to follow and learn conventional and old techniques of navigation, like compass and maps.
2. Selecting The Campsite
After reaching at the campsite, you have to select a spot where you can make your camp. Success of your camping merit badge campout is depends upon the campsite you choose. According to camping merit badge pamphlet, a good place to camp offers plenty to see and do. Also, by following the principles of Leave No Trace, you can be sure your camp will be easy on the land. You must follow below things for a successful camping.
Selecting the campsite, you have to keep in mind the safety of camp. Don’t pitch a tent under dead trees or limbs that might fall in a storm. Stay out of gullies that could fill with flash floods. Find a site away from lone trees, mountaintops, high ridges, and other likely targets of lightning. Camp some distance from game trails, especially in bear country.
2.2. Size of Campsite
A site must be large enough for members of your camping party to pitch their tents and cook their meals. When hanging food to keep it away from animals, find the trees you need at least 200 feet from where you will be sleeping.
Does the site you have chosen for camp slope gently for good drainage? Leaves, pine needles, and other natural cover can keep the ground from becoming muddy. An area open to the east and south will catch sunlight early in the day and perhaps be drier than slopes facing north.
Respect the privacy of others. Trees, bushes, and the shape of the terrain can screen your camp from trails and neighboring
campsites. Keep the noise down when other campers are staying nearby.
Check well ahead of time with land managers of public parks, forests, and reserves. They can issue any permits you will need and may suggest how you can make the most of your campouts. Get permission from owners before camping on private property.
You will need water for drinking, cooking, and cleanup— several gallons a day for each Scout. Public water supplies (faucets and drinking fountains) are safest and can often be found in front country campsites. But, if you are in back country, Water taken from streams, rivers, or lakes must be properly treated before use. Camping in dry regions can be very rewarding, though you must carefully plan how you will transport the water you need to your camp.
Managing Your Campsite
Once you arrive at a site, the first order of business is to figure out the best way to settle in while causing little impact on the land.
• Set up a dining fly first. That will provide shelter for food and you in case of rain and will give a sense of where you will center most of your camp activities.
• Pitch your tents. Use established tent sites whenever possible. In bear country, tents should be 200 feet or more from the cooking area and from areas where food will be stored.
• Establish a plan for personal sanitation and be sure everyone understands what he is to do.
Getting rid of human waste outdoors requires special care. In campgrounds that have rest rooms or outhouses, be sure to use them. Where those don’t exist, dig a cathole or use a latrine. Wash your hands with soap and water or use a waterless hand cleanser when you are done.
Find a private spot at least 200 feet (75 steps) from water, campsites, and trails. Dig a hole 6 to 8 inches deep with your heel, a stick, or a shovel. Organisms in the top layers of earth will break down human waste. Fill the cathole with soil when you are done, and replace any ground cover. Push a stick into the earth to warn others against digging in the same spot.
A patrol, troop, or other large camping group may be able to lessen its impact on the land by digging a single latrine rather than making many catholes. Check with a ranger or other local expert for guidance. To make a latrine, use a shovel to dig a shallow trench a foot wide and 3 to 4 feet long. Remove and save any ground cover. As with a cathole, go no deeper than the topsoil so that waste will be buried in organic earth where it will turn into soil nutrients. Sprinkle a layer of soil into the trench after each use to keep away flies and hold down odors. Return all the soil to the latrine when you break camp, and restore the ground cover.
All adventures must come to end, and That camping merit badge trip as well. Once you decide for breaking your camp, keep in mind these suggestions. These suggestion are mentioned in Camping merit badge pamphlet.
• Leave the dining fly in place until you are almost ready to go. It can serve as a last-minute shelter for people and gear.
• With the doors open, shake out the tents before stuffing them in their storage sacks.
• Check the locations of catholes and latrines to be sure they have been buried and ground cover has been restored.
• If you used an established fire lay, dig through the cold ashes. Remove and pack out any bits of food, metal, and
other litter and trash.
• Inspect the areas used for cooking, food storage, and tents, and be sure you have picked up everything you brought to
camp. Leave the campsite looking better than you found it.