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The Next Adventure

By Jim Sullivan

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Picture your next adventure, take a minute to close your eyes and see yourself there… Now open them and continue reading. Hi folks, here is some information on trip planning that Team Z has put together to help guide your next adventure. Being on Team Z we are often off on adventures and most of us come from good trip leading backgrounds so this stuff comes pretty naturally. It’s details though that can really make a trip a good success and forgotten details that get you in trouble. I always like to say the better we take care of our basic human needs; food, clothing and shelter the more fun we’ll have on a trip. There’s more to it than just the bare necessities though, so delve into your next trip plan and get prepared for a great adventure. Ready? Here we go the details you need to fill in.

I like to start a trip plan by looking at whose going. Often when folks plan a trip they have a location in mind, but the experience level of who goes on a trip needs to be appropriate for the location. Groups need to tailor a trip to the least experienced participant. So when possible, a better trip can be planned and tailored based on knowing who can go before working out all the details. People will set the tone and attitude of the trip.

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Once you know who can go it is easier to work out the details. You’ll have a sense of participant’s expectations, budgets and the length of time for the trip. You can treat the logistics for a one day trip just like you would for a multi-day trip. It will be easier to have conversations about routes and shuttles and this will cut down on the amount of time it takes to plan. Dive into the travel plan. This is the fun stuff, the dream stage of your perfect trip. Be as detailed as you want.

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It is also important to have conversations with your group about the equipment needed. Some equipment may be shared, and other gear is necessary for each member to carry. The more discussions had the less surprises in the field. More equipment will be needed for a longer trip and the logistics get harder as the trip becomes more remote. So if you’re new to trip planning start with trips that have easy logistics and build up to more challenging remote locations. Like a good Boy Scout be prepared with the right equipment, do your homework about the area you’ll be in.

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Proper planning prevents problems. The last step to a good trip plan involves plan b. We participate in outdoor activities because they are fun. What makes them fun is sometimes the element of risk. Emergency Action Plans evaluate the potential risks, and plan solutions should the outcome become unfavorable. Keep an eye out for the crux section of your trip. Before leaving on your trip give an itinerary to a few contacts you can trust to check up on you and make sure your trip went okay. They will be waiting for your call after the trip, so make sure to check in with them at the end. They are also your outside resource to call for help if you are delayed longer than your expected arrival, so be clear with them on what you would like in case you are late on your plan. Also, you can leave an itinerary at any vehicles used for transportation. Should someone get worried and try to locate you they will often start at your last known point or abandoned vehicle and it’s nice to have your plan there.

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When you are back from an awesome trip, leave your trip report on the web so others can enjoy the trip too. A well documented trip plan is a joy to stumble upon when you’re researching the next adventure and others will appreciate the effort you took to plan.  Have fun, play smart


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