First Class Hike

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Planning a First Class hike takes some careful consideration, but if done properly can be a very rewarding experience. You will be taking responsibility of other Scouts without adults present, so it is a task to be taken seriously.

Planning your hike

Use the following guide as a checklist for your hike planning document:

  1. Cover Page with a nice picture, your Name and Surname, Troop Name with Dates of Hike
  2. Index Page with page reference
  3. Hike Introduction: Why are you doing this hike?
  4. Hiking Party:
    • Scouts attending
    • current advancement level
    • age
    • hiking experience
  5. Objectives for team members: What will they get out of this hike?
  6. Letters to parents
  7. Confirmation from each member via email/handwritten etc.
  8. Consent Forms
  9. Copies of Permit Applications and bookings
  10. Confirmation of bookings made
  11. Map to starting point and brief description on how to get there
  12. Transport arrangements (names of drivers as per permit, provide contact details)
  13. Description of hike route:
    • Describe entire route with overnight spots
    • Maps of entire hike --> Day 1 and Day 2 etc. preferably in colour
    • Description of overnight spot
    • Escape routes and alternate route
    • Proposed hike time log (estimations): time, distance, estimated time
  14. Copy of the Outdoor Code
  15. Information about the mountain you will be hiking on
  16. Description of animals that can be found in the area
  17. Fauna and Flora: Describe plants and flowers that can be seen with pictures
  18. Personal Kit List
  19. Patrol Kit List: list which items each member will be carrying
  20. Survival Kit List: must not weigh more than 500g
  21. Pocket First-Aid Kit List
  22. Copy of the Regional Scout Emergency Procedure
  23. Emergency contact numbers
  24. Weather report and synoptic charts (24hrs before start of hike)
  25. Menu, Food List and Budget
  26. Blank Page for Examiner's Comments and STA Instructions

Assign jobs

Giving your hiking party jobs will help to give everyone a sense of responsibility and ownership of the hike. Some examples:

  • First Aider
  • Conservationist
  • Geologist
  • Photographer
  • Botanist
  • Cook

Hike food

Planning a proper hike menu is very important. You need to make sure that the food meets everyone's dietary requirements, is lightweight and non-perishable, and nutritious.

See Hike food for more info.

Hike logbook

The hike logbook is an important record of your hike. It should reflect on how your objectives were met, what went well and what could have improved, and should also allow another Scout patrol to be able to hike the same route using your log as a guide.

Logbook checklist

  1. Cover
  2. Contents Page
  3. Hike introduction including:
    • Scout's name
    • date of hike
    • names of the members in the hiking party
  4. Outdoor Code
  5. Kit List
  6. Contents of First Aid Kit
  7. Any projects assigned by the examiner
  8. Map of route with route highlighted
  9. Hike Permit issued by Permit System
  10. Parent Consent Forms
  11. Weather Forecast
  12. Menu
  13. Budget for permits if required AND the food
  14. The route log (roughly 4 pages per day)
  15. Flora and Fauna Report
  16. Strip maps/Strip log for every page of the log
  17. Rough notes written on actual hike included in this log book

Logbook hints

  • Keep a small notebook and pencil handy on your hike and use it! Make small notes about your route, and note the time and location relevant to your note. You could give each note a number and mark that number on your map for later.
  • Make your logbook interesting, neat and factual. It does not need to be a work of art.
  • Use the 24-hour clock, e.g. 18:00 rather than 6:00pm

Example route log

Time Direction Leg distance Report Cumulative distance
10:00 320° 800m From overnight camp at Mpame, hiked WNW up Grassy hills. (Indian Ocean 1km left) indigenous forest on the right. Hills ahead dotted with Tembu huts. Maize in poor condition, due to drought and primitive husbandry i.e. downhill ploughing no weed clearance; lack of crop rotation etc. and cattle overstocking See report on pg21. 0.8km
10:35 270° 600m Turned left off track onto footpath for 300m, now on NW footpath. Path then veers left into indigenous forest. Hiked 220m SW through forest to Manzimyama River Passing over small tributary which rises in the forest. Crossed over the Manzimyama walking on slab rock. and continued inland. 1.4km
11:05 255° 300m Proceeded out of the forest and up hill for 150m, then along the rolling escarpment about 4 kilometres inland from sea. John has a sore leg and is limping a bit which is slowing us down a bit. 1.7km
11:20 180° 700m Turned due south towards the sea, down a slope to dense fynbos, with rocky path, badly eroded. The path emerged from bush to swing sharp right again into the bush, then SE out of the bush. 2.4km
12:00 135° 900m Country beautiful but largely unchanging. Continued down undulating ground through Tembu maize fields, to reach the hill approx 170m above sea level. We have glorious coastal views from here. 3.3km
12:40 190° 800m Covered final 800m down very steep grassy slope and along the beach to lunch stop at the Bulumgula river. Lunched on bully beef, baked beans Provita, orange and a mug of coffee. 4.1km
14:00 185° 700m Left lunch stop and proceeded along the beach. The shells along this coast, including Cowries, Cones, Carpensis, Conch etc. are prolific. See nature report on page 23. 4.8km
14:20 180° 200m Reached the tidal river mouth which is 750mm deep, wide and swift, with sharks presenting a crossing hazard at times. Roped together with our toggle ropes we crossed a little upstream at a narrower point. 5.0km
14:35 255° 500m Turned inland on a very rocky, steep path which leads back to fynbos. 5.5km

See also