Wilderness Adventure Trip Orientation

As a Wilderness Adventure Camper, you will be spending a lot of time outdoors during your week. Please read this page thoroughly prior to arriving at IdRaHaJe as the information included is essential for you to know.

We are a Family

On this trip, we will be doing most things together as a group. Our #1 concern is safety. The following points concern everyone’s safety:

 

On trails:

  • We travel together as a group, no matter what. If someone is having a hard time, we will see what we can do to help them. If someone gets hurt towards the back, we will let everyone know to stop and wait. It is very important that you stay close to the group while we are on trails.
  • If we encounter horse riders on a trail, we need to step downhill off the trail and let them pass. Do not make any sudden movements or loud noises as the horses pass by.
  • If we come to switchbacks on a trail, stay on the trail. NO SHORT CUTS! This causes soil erosion and damages the environment.

At the campsite:

  • Our goal when we are camping in the backcountry is to Leave No Trace. When we leave an area, the next group that comes along should not be able to tell that we were there.
  • When setting up your tent, be cautious not to damage your surroundings.
  • Be considerate of other people camping nearby.
  • Keep the campsite clean. There should not be any trash on the ground at the end of the day. All clothes should be kept in a pack or duffle bag after you are finished changing. The smell of food attracts many kinds of animals from mice to mountain lions so keep dishes and food stored away. Food should never be brought into your tent. This includes tents at IdRaHaJe.

Campfires:

  • If we have campfires, they will not be bonfires. When it comes to firewood, we use the rule of ‘dead, down & detached’ when we gather for our fires. We will not be cutting down trees or breaking branches off trees.
  • The fire needs to be put out at night before the last person goes to bed and double-checked in the morning before breaking camp. It must be cool to the touch.
  • Our campsites will have pre-constructed fire pits where we will build our fires. We will not be making any new fire rings.

Toiletries: When on camp, we will have modern restrooms with showers available, but when you are out on the trail, there will not always be a restroom or outhouse. In those situations, you will need to use the “cat method.” This involves using a little trowel to dig a hole to relieve yourself.

Water: No matter how clean or “pure” the water may look out on the trail, it may not be safe to drink. We will need to purify our water. There is a microscopic bug in the water called giardia. We will start the week with clean water from camp, but IdRaHaJe will provide us with a product called AquaMira to treat our water on the trail.

Lost in Space: If you get separated from the group and are not sure where you are, STAY WHERE YOU ARE!!

  • You should have a whistle with you, blow it three times and listen to see if you can hear anyone. If you keep moving, you may move away from those who are looking for you, so stay where you are.
  • Do not take off from the group without asking one of the leaders first. You should always have a “buddy” go with you. That way if you get lost or one gets hurt there is someone to help you.
  • We will, at times, be a long way from help if someone gets hurt. Do not put yourself or someone else at risk of getting hurt.

Hypothermia: Hypothermia is the lowering of the body’s inner-core temperature. Exposure to any combination of cold, wetness, wind, and fatigue may cause hypothermia. Without recognition and treatment of symptoms (uncontrollable shivering, loss of limb coordination, exhaustion, memory lapses, frequent stumbling, and vague, slow, slurred speech) by a companion, this condition could lead to drowsiness, collapse, and death. The best defense against hypothermia is staying dry.

Treatment for hypothermia: The victim may deny any problem. Believe the symptoms, not the victim.

  • Get the victim out of the wind and rain.
  • Take off all wet clothes and get them into warm, dry clothes and get them into a sleeping bag quickly.
  • If the victim is only mildly impaired, give warm drinks and food.
  • If the victim is badly impaired, attempt to keep the victim awake.
  • Build a fire to warm their body

Lightning: Think ahead and get to safe areas before the storm hits. During a lightning storm, find a safe place:

  • In a deep, thick cave away from the entrance, the walls, and any drainage crevices.
  • In a boulder field crouched between rocks.
  • In a forest amidst the shorter trees.
  • If possible, a dry foam pad, a dry coiled rope, or sleeping bag should be used as an insulating material between your body and the ground, squatting with only your feet touching the ground, and your hands clasped around your knees.

      Avoid the following:

  • Standing on a mountain top or ridge.
  • In an open area.
  • Under a lone tree.
  • In shallow caves.
  • At the base or edge of a cliff.

Climbing: Do not climb rocks or trees unless an adult is present. In the case of rock climbing, the adult present should be trained for that type of activity.

Dehydration: Drink lots of liquids (water). Always fill your water bottle when you have the chance. Do not bring a lot of soda with you to Camp. If you are dehydrated, you will not have the best week at camp.

Clothing: Clothing is very important in regulating your body temperature whether you are hot or cold. Cotton is comfortable to hike in, but it can cause problems if it becomes wet, whether through rain or perspiration. Wool and synthetic materials (polypropylene, fleece, gore-tex, etc.) work better than cotton because they absorb little to no water, thus helping to keep you dry and warm. Staying dry is very important! It is best to dress in layers. Rather than having a bulky jacket, several light weight layers that will fit over each other makes it possible to regulate how warm or cold you are.

Pre-Trip Conditioning: These trips are strenuous by nature because of the mountainous terrain and the hiking, not to mention you will be carrying your equipment on your back.  We recommend some pre-trip conditioning before you come up to IdRaHaJe. Some pre-trip conditioning ideas might include running or biking 2-5 miles a week, sit-ups, pull-ups, push-ups, and stretching so your muscles have some flexibility. Exercising in preparation for your trip will make the trip safer and more enjoyable for you.