Good Reading?

YORT40

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My 15 year old son insists he would like to go solo into the Hilton Lakes for a couple days this summer. Though we have been going together since he was 10, I was looking for a good book for him to read about procedures before he takes off.
Anyone have any ideas which might help? I was thinking about something that Cameron Hanes has published.
 

easymoney

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IMHO, a solo trek by a 15 year old into the high country might be a bit too much. The high sierra is not a place for mistakes, accidents or lack of firm judgement. I do not know you or your son but I do know the high sierras and they are not very forgiving to those who take chances or lack good judgement.
That being said I solo backpacked in the high sierra when I was in high school and continue to hunt and backpack solo today and I'm 56 years young. But my point is that each person must truely know their limits and capabilities, and be willing to take complete responsibilty for their actions. GPS, PLB or other gadgets are not a failsafe remedy for bad judgement or a simple accident and I see folks in the backcountry that have no business being up there.
And I mean no disrespect nor mean to discourage any young person from backpacking, quite the opposite I always look to encourage young people to explore the wild backcountry.

Here are some good books on the topic:
"the hikers guide to california" by ron adkinson, falcon press
"the high sierra, peaks, passes, and trails" by r.j. secor, mountaineer books
and one that all solo high sierra hikers should read for a real eye opener on what can happen to even a seasoned backcountry ranger (randy morgenson) with over 3 decades of back country and S & R experience.
"the last season" by eric blehm, harper perrenial
And I also think cam hanes books are very good on DIY in the backcountry.
Good luck and what your six...
 

brave52000

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As far as Cameron Hanes book's go, his latest "Backcountry Bowhunting: A Guide to the Wild Side", has chapters about desire and fear in relationship to the backcountry that will be beneficial towards the mindset of your son. They address issues on poor decision making in the backcountry, and really make the hunter reflect on there own desires while in the backcountry.
 
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I'm with Easymoney on the reading.

The boy knows how to hunt but a solo trip is more about staying alive and fed than hunting.

A good read for anyone who goes solo is "between a rock and a hard place" about the Aron Ralston story. Not hunting realated but it shows how a few small mistakes UMmmmmm cost him his arm and almost his life.

Could have been me on a number of trips.

I say teach him all you can and let him go.....with a sat phone and perhaps Dad within a good spotting scope distance
.

What an exciting time for the young man, simply awesome.

MS
 

cmc

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I'll add in 98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive by Cody Lundin. Ya I think he's a nut job but the mindset and info you can gain is worth the cost of the book. I don't think one book is going to be the cure all. I'd opt for several back packing / hiking and books by Cameron and David via Eastman's are worth the cost.

Good luck
cmc
 

SDHNTR

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Def have him read Aaron Ralston's book mentioned by Family Trad.
 

YORT40

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Family Tradition @ Apr 25 2008, 11:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
I say teach him all you can and let him go.....with a sat phone and perhaps Dad within a good spotting scope distance
.

What an exciting time for the young man, simply awesome.

MS[/b]
Being that I don't have any points, and I will be archery hunting south/west of home, we're going together a few times in the high country before he's off. We have already picked out his hike, which he will be no more than 3 miles from the house camping next to 1 of the Hilton Creeks. Well within Radio/GPS range.

Caution being my guide, what age would ya want your son to take off on his own?
 

brushstomper

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Does he have a buddy that can tag along with him? It's sounds like you have a good hike picked out for him that won't be to bad for a first. All the books mentioned are great but what he experiences while out there on his own will be ingrained in his mind forever! Sounds like you could sneak in there and peek in on him from time to time also. Sounds awesome! Good luck!
 

grapecounter

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Dear Yort40,

I would add the Army field manual Survival. Good stuff on survival basics (fire, signal, shelter, etc). For me the most important part was the discussion on the psychology of survival. With the proper mind set most anything is possible.
 

huntin geek

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being 16 my mom gets a bit woried when i go solo. she has insisted on me looking into the (spot) for next year and if youre son is any thing like me he is going to want to go more and more,it maybe a good adition to his gear
 

BackCountryHNTR

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (huntin geek @ Apr 28 2008, 11:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
being 16 my mom gets a bit woried when i go solo. she has insisted on me looking into the (spot) for next year and if youre son is any thing like me he is going to want to go more and more,it maybe a good adition to his gear
[/b]
I'm glad your out on your own at a young age, and since you mentioned, I do have and carry a SPOT. So far it has worked as advertised and I would recommend it to anyone that ventures into the outdoors; however, this is just one of many tools I have for the "just in case", the most important is attitude and knowledge...by the way IMHO age has nothing to do with good judgment or survival skills...or many other things for that matter...

Hanes book is a good one

 

PIGIG

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (BackCountryHNTR @ Apr 29 2008, 09:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
Yort, I forgot to say that the CA DFG has an advanced clinic coming in June:

Land Navigation and Wilderness Survival

June 21-21
Shasta-Trinity National Forest
Bushytail Campgrounds

I took it last year with my younger brother. There is lots to learn but it's really fun, here is the link:

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/huntered/advanced/080621-land-nav.aspx[/b]
Yort
this class is taught by a nut and a good friend and is worth its weight in gold.
 
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Troy

The how young question the the biggy

If you think he's ready for it why not do a dry run when you can be within arm reach.....just in case.

How old........gosh I just dont know but I'd say 15 is pushing it even for your son, BUT if there was a 15yo hunter capable to do it I think it would be yours.

As a Dad myself I'd problable pull the "Lets talk about it next year card"

I dont envy the choice making you are in for.

MS
 
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Oh yeah

Dont forget the sticky about Lightning!!!!!

That stuff gives me the creeps........bailed off the crest last summer while scouting leaving all my gear yardsaled out on the moutain until the storm stopped. Dropped 1500' as fast as possible and shook like an addict for about 30 mins until it was nice and sunny as if nothing ever happend. CRAZY

MS
 

el_vaquero

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IMO there is no set age for solo backpacking. It's more about maturity and ability than age. If he is capable of making his own shelter and fire, has a pretty good grip on wilderness skills such as navigation and first aid, and is level headed he should be all right. I don't know many 15 year olds these days that I would let go out on their own like that but most of 'em these days just sit around playin' video games.

I would definitely make sure both of you KNOW the route he is going to take in and out, where he will set up camp, etc.. Have at least one extra set of maps marked up at home if needed. Go over his gear and then go over it again. Make sure he's not overloaded but has everything that he will need. When you go solo, you don't have the luxury of splitting the weight of a tent, stove, fuel, etc.. Good luck to both of you.
 

DILPRXO

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While not a book, might have him check out the essays of Patrick Smith, I believe they are available on his Kifaru site.
 

jackrabbit

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Three mile hike from the house is not bad -- you could check up on him easily if he were late in returning. A trip during the summer, without the danger of trying to chase game into a bad situation seems like a good first trip. Only issue in my mind would be judgment when it come to a 15 year old.

I can recall when I turned 16 and started taking my dad's GMC up into D7 in winter to chase tree squirrels, and then just plain see how far I could get into the snow covered dirt roads for tent camping. I knew the area well from frequent fishing trips in the area in Spring, Summer, and Fall. I always left a note on the dash of the truck as to how far I planned to go and camp; then put I the chains on the old Honda 90 and took off until the snow got too deep, set up camp, then hiked even further with my .22 -- just for the heck of it. I followed the forest roads and had them all to myself because the I had already trailbiked well beyond the locked gates (oops!). But when I saw tree squirrels if was off into the wooded stuff chasing after them. If I got in trouble, I would have been in big trouble. Twice I had to build an emergency fire to dry wet feet and socks so I would not get frostbite. I got lots of exciting stories to impress all my friends, but my parents never knew what risks I took because I was the only outdoorsman in my family and I did not tell them the risks I took. Forget about my rational statements about good judgment at that age -- my actual behavior was "when in doubt, take a damn chance." That is just the way it is with a teen -- you always seem to err on the risky side of the question. My judgment is just the opposite now, "when in doubt, don't do it." No cell phones, no walkie-talkies, no CB's readily available back in those days.

I would think an experienced 15 y/o would be alright in good weather that close to home, with some firm promises to Dad about what to do in common situations.

The other worry I might have though is once he gets a solo trip under his belt, he may get immediately addicted to it -- I know I did at that age!!

PS: One stupid thing I did on one of those trips was sliding down a sloping meadow. There was a large meadow aside the snow covered road and when there was no precipitation for a couple weeks the snow would melt and freeze, resulting in a thick crust during the day that I could run and jump on. I was wearing a polyurethane coated windbreaker at the time at it was very slick and waterproof on the outside -- perfect for curling up on my back and sliding all the way down the meadow until I hit soft snow in the shade of the timberline. But the LAST time I did that I was sliding down pretty fast on my back, and at the last minute I caught sight of a ragged granite rock sticking up out the snow crust for about 4-6 inches! My reflexes were quick enough for me to throw down my legs and arms and arch my back up as high as I could as a sailed right over that granite edge. It cut my jacket and tore my skin and a little bit of flesh right over my vertabrae of my lower back, but luckily I did not break my back. If I had been severely injured and could not walk, I would have been in deep trouble in that snow field. But like a said, that was the LAST time I did that stunt -- that particular one anyway!
 

YORT40

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1 thing I remember about this whole idea, is that I was 11 years old when I started spending time in th high country. My mother would help us pack our stuff, saddle the horses & send myself with my brother up to the same area for some hunting or fishing.(Having 4 blockhead sons, she had no choice but to get rid of a couple of us whenever possible) We never once had a problem, besides having to pull out our tarp & prop it up with ski poles when it rained.
But, I was never solo for an overnight trip, I always had 1 of my brothers with me.
 

jerkee

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Troy-
Books: Backcountry Bowhunting by Cam, and Public Land Mulies by David Long will cover a lot of stuff including lightning.

I know your son is a capable hunter but for this first trip is there any way he could take a friend? Do you think he's prepared to pack a buck 3 miles? He's definitely ready for short solo trips but a successful hunt might prove to be more of a challenge than he expects. Although he's matured since that time, imagine if he would have taken that D7 buck solo, emotionally and physically would he have been able to get that buck out?

B
 

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