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New Hampshire AMC Paddlers Wilderness Paddling: Expedition Planning, Equipping, & Provisioning Course Headwaters

Wilderness Paddling: Expedition Planning, Equipping, and Provisioning

PontoonsThis day-long course is designed to help the student plan and prepare for an extended wilderness canoe trip.  It will include sources of information, logistics, and scheduling a trip.  There will be discussions and demonstrations of equipment, packing, food preparation, and provisioning for such a canoe trip.

TrainThis course is being taught by expedition paddlers that have a combined experience of over 75 years of wilderness paddling.  The course will give you an overview on preparing for a wilderness expedition of weeks to months in duration.

The course is divided into sections on planning, equipping, clothing, provisioning, safety, ethics, and trip organization.

In the planning section we will discuss sources of information, trip selection, determination of difficulty and duration, planning and arranging for logistics, and the use of maps for planning.  As part of this session, we will do on-line research of various web sites to get experience extracting the information they provide.  We will also discuss the effects of weather on the trip.

PortageIn the equipment section we will discuss the need for various types of equipment. Equipment selection depends on the destination, weather, logistics, environment, and size of the party.  There are a couple of differing philosophies on outfitting. Specialized expedition equipment will be on hand.  We will cover the issues of redundancy and equipment selection needed for transportation, shelter, portaging, cooking, and safety.  Sample packing lists will be provided. We will demonstrate packing techniques and organization.

We will cover what clothing to bring and how to dress as well as hygiene.

CookingIn the provisioning section we will discuss portions, nutrition, weight, packing, meal organization, food preservation and preparation.  We may sample some home made expedition food as well as possibly demonstrate firemaking and some cooking or baking.

The safety section includes safety considerations, health, and rescue. This section includes first aid kits, training, and communications.  We'll show some electronics that you might want to use and discuss issues about reliance on those electronics.

LiningWe will include a section on ethics which includes "leave no trace", self reliance, sanitation, and trash.

In the trip organization section we will discuss the selection of participants and the importance of communicating goals and expectations about the trip.

We will discuss a typical day, how to handle the weather, using maps to plan campsites, crossings, and portages, as well as river reading.

We will present various paddles, poles, and sailing equipment and discuss their use.  Other equipment presentations will include tents, tarps, fishing equipment, fire irons, stoves, packs, map cases, etc.

We will discuss other courses and skills that you will need.  This course is part of the NH AMC Paddlers wilderness expedition canoe paddling curriculm.

Note: A small fee for the cost of food will be charged.  Lunch and snacks are provided although you may want to contribute some "camp food" for the day.

Since the instructors have no significant kayaking experience and since there is a lot of material to cover, issues concerning kayaks will not be discussed.  This course is oriented for canoeing although some aspects may be applicable for kayak expeditions, the issues of equipment are a lot more constrained.  In the future there may be an equivalent course for kayakers.

The class is usually held in January

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