09. May 2010 · Comments Off on Wilderness Skills and Packing Clinic – August 2011 · Categories: Horse Camping, Tips, Tricks and Tid Bits, Training Events

 At the November State Board meeting of Back Country Horsemen of Idaho, the idea of a week long Wilderness Skills and Packing clinic sponsored by the State organization and open to Forest service and members of Back Country Horsemen of America was presented.  All fifteen chapters approved the proposal with the Squaw Butte Chapter, Emmett Idaho taking the lead.  The proposed clinic will have a student population of around twenty five and we anticipate a staff of fifteen, for a total of forty people.  The clinic is planned to have students arrive on a Sunday, with classes starting Monday through the following Saturday.  We will be following a curriculum developed by Back Country Horsemen of Idaho which has been presented a number of times to Forest Service personnel in Idaho and a joining state.  The instructors are retired forest service employees and BCHI members,  who have many years of back country and packing experience.  We believe that the unimproved area of the Grandjean campground Sawtooth Ranger District would make a perfect venue for this course.  The nearby trails, generally easy access for people attending and the scenic nature of the area are likely to increase interest in this clinic.


 The Squaw Butte Chapter of Backcountry Horseman of Idaho presents the following proposal to the state board of directors.
WHEREAS:  One of the prime mandates of Backcountry Horseman is providing educational opportunities for our members.
WHEREAS:  Opportunities for attending comprehensive multiday packing skills clinics are limited and can be expensive.
WHEREAS:  Backcountry Horseman of Idaho has a number of members with extensive packing experience and a developed curriculum for such a clinic.
BE IT PROPOSED:  That Backcountry Horseman of Idaho sponsor and hold a five day Wilderness Packing Clinic open to members of Backcountry Horseman of America. The first Wilderness Packing clinic will be held adjacent to the Sawtooth Wilderness at the Grandjean trail head and campground in August 2011.
Submitted to BCHI, Board of Directors
By the Squaw Butte Chapter, BCHI
Details of the Proposal:  Backcountry Horseman of Idaho Wilderness Packing Clinic BCHI host a five day wilderness packing clinic open to members of Backcountry Horseman of America. Attendees will at the end of the clinic be able to safely and confidently pack and transport a variety of loads from a trail head to a destination.  They will be able to travel and camp in the backcountry with minimum impact using LNT techniques, produce hearty meals and maintain healthy stock.
The BCHI mentors will guide the attendees through a curriculum that is both fun and comprehensive.  Some of the items covered will be:
            • The function and fitting of the pack saddle and its’ uses
            • How to make up loads that will ride
            • How and why to tie different hitches
            • How to safely lead a string of mules or horses
            • How to deal with hard to handle pack stock
            • “Leave no trace” methods of livestock camping
            • Basic back country first aid for livestock and humans
            • Backcountry meal planning and preparation
            • Traditions and history of packing in the in backcountry
Location:  This inaugural clinic will be held at the western gateway to the Sawtooth Wilderness at the Grandjean trail head and camp ground. This facility located in Boise National forest next to the head waters of the South Fork of the Payette River provides outstanding stock camping facilities, and is a perfect venue to learn the skills needed to pack into the Sawtooth Wilderness.
Time:  The clinic is planned for August of 2011
Costs:  There will be small fee for active members of Backcountry Horseman of America to attend this clinic required at registration, and certified weed free hay will be available for purchase.
What will be provided by BCHI: Training material, mentors, a variety of loads to train with and a rich history of packing experience to draw from: Community Meals will be provided. A very limited number of training pack stock will be available.
What Attendees need to provide: Camping gear for both trail head and a back country over night. Riding stock, pack stock if they have it and all required tack and stock containment for use at the trail head, and a high line for the over night.

Squaw Butte has been working with the Stanley and Lowman Rangers on getting permits and permissions to hold this event.   We have been working with Liese Dean (Sawtooth) and David Erwin (Lowman) , and they has been guiding us through the process.  We also discussed the best time to hold this event, taking into account weather and visitor loading in the area.

Dates for Clinic (proposed)

Staff Arrival & Departure             Saturday Aug 13, 2011 (Arrival) – Sunday Aug 21, 2011 (Departure)

Students Arrival & Departure      Sunday Aug 14, 2011 (Arrival) – Saturday Aug 20, 2011 (Departure)

Primary Clinic Location –  Grandjean Campground and Trail Head, Overflow area  (Sawtooth Wilderness)

Secondary Location (fire or what ever)  Bear Valley, Elk Meadows, Trail Head (Frank Church)

Both of these locations are in the Stanley area, and are about 40 miles apart.

We are starting to work on the logistical planning, and will have details at the next State Board Meeting.

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