Yosemite Backpack: Naturalists at Large

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Yosemite Backpack: Naturalists at Large

  1. 1. Who do we serve ? Our education programs for over two hundred of California's public and independent schools have introduced thousands of students to environments as diverse as the…
  2. 2. Pygmy Forest of Sonoma Catalina Island Giant Forest of Sequoia Sonoran Desert Colorado River
  3. 3. What does Naturalists at Large do ?
  4. 4. We work with each school every step of the way to identify their outdoor education goals and then tailor a program to meet those specific needs.
  5. 5. Trail Group sizes of 9 to 14 students Always with one instructor and one adult from your school
  6. 6. Naturalists at Large provides a complete outdoor curriculum for primary through high school level students. We can accommodate trips for 15 students to over 200.
  7. 7. Naturalists at Large draws it’s instructors from all over the United States. These are men and women with 4-year university degrees who have proven experience working with youth in the outdoors and in the classroom.
  8. 8. With their high comfort and experience in the outdoors, their passion for teaching, and a commitment to safety first, we have the foundation for a fantastic experience for you and your students.
  9. 9. All of our instructors are CPR and First Aid Certified. 80 % of them hold advanced certifications such as Wilderness Emergency Medical Training, Wilderness First Responders and Wilderness Advanced First Aid. RESPONSE TIMES: for Emergency Services Ambulance: 5 minute response in the valley Medivac helicopter: 30-40 minutes. Law Enforcement: 5 minutes in the valley
  10. 10. Yosemite National Park is located in the central Sierra Nevada of California and lies 150 miles east of San Francisco and only a six hour drive from Los Angeles. Yosemite is internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, and biological diversity.
  11. 11. John Muir… "was a man whose life was nothing short of inspirational. His writings are clear, vibrant and full of prophetic wisdom - he was one of the first to realize that all species are interconnected and 'hitched together.'"
  12. 12. Highlights of the park include Yosemite Valley, and its high cliffs and waterfalls; Wawona's history center and historic hotel; the Mariposa Grove, which contains hundreds of ancient giant sequoias; Glacier Point's (summer-fall) spectacular view of Yosemite Valley and the high country.
  13. 13. 4 person tent with 2-3 students per tent
  14. 14. Everybody get’s to help with camp chores
  15. 15. Meals are wholesome affairs providing the nutrition needed for We will actually be cooking from active small white gas burning backpacker participants stoves, of which we have no pictures…. so…
  16. 16. Allergies and Special Food Needs • Program meals offer vegetarian food options. • For those with specific needs due to allergies or personal reasons, we suggest discussion with your faculty. • Naturalists at Large can help guide those with special diets to supplement their meals in ways which everyone can most easily manage.
  17. 17. Educational Themes can include: Yosemite National Park; A Sense of Place. Geology of the Sierra Nevada Mountains Birds of the Sierra Tree identification Plants and Animals Black Bears The conifer forest High Sierra weather Plant and animal adaptations Glaciation vs. Mass Wasting
  18. 18. We wish to explore the importance of national parks to our culture and the individual through group discussions and journal exercises. This shared group experience will foster school spirit and increase group unity.
  19. 19. The program of hiking and group activities will emphasize each student's responsibility to the environment. The unique natural history of the Sierra mixed conifer forest and associated plants and animals.
  20. 20. In every walk with nature we receive far more than we seek
  21. 21. Destination Hikes Upper or Lower Yosemite Falls Vernal or Nevada Falls Little Yosemite Valley Mirror Lake
  22. 22. Visit Spider Cave
  23. 23. And a few other optional activities… Animal Tracking Map & Compass Orienteering Journal & Reflective Activity
  24. 24. Creativity Relaxation & Stretching Fun Games
  25. 25. Evening Programs Naturalists at Large will use the evening as an alternative activity/learning time for students. Each evening will have a different focus. Astronomy: constellations, motion of stars and planets, stellar evolution, stories and myths. Evening hikes to foster confidence with no artificial light. We also cover nocturnal adaptations of animals. Traditional campfire: songs, stories and skits performed by the students and Naturalists at Large staff.
  26. 26. Student arrival (first day and morning before backcountry departure).   Intro backpacking concept(s). Discuss SAFETY with students and faculty. Be specific on roles, responsibilities and evacuation procedures. Inspect and check ALL student gear using the NAL gear list sent to every school. Students missing crucial items can usually borrow from other students. Bag gear staying behind, clearly label and place in NAL cube truck. Students will, most likely, still need to get in and out of these bags before departing on the backpack.
  27. 27. (DAY ONE) 12:00 School arrives at Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias Big group game __________/Bathroom run by__________while PC meets faculty Big group orientation by PC while nats meet faculty 12:30 Break into trail groups, intro naturalist and program, hike through grove 3:00 Board bus to drive to Crane Flat campground – Snacks at camp Afternoon Tent demo and set up camp Begin backpack preparation Extra student gear in labeled hefty bags in the NAL vehicle 6:00 Dinner prep 6:30 Big group dinner (dinner may be later this evening due to Giant Sequoia hike) 7:30 Evening program -Whole group backpack presentation skits: bathroom issues, sleeping warm, how to wear a pack, hydration. Finish backpack preparation 9:00 Students released to faculty 9:30 In tents 10:00 Campground quiet hours
  28. 28. (DAY TWO) 7:00 Breakfast prep 7:15 Breakfast 8:00 Finish backpack preparation – show students how to pack Breakdown camp / backpacks ready 10:00 Meet bus for transport to Tioga Road trailheads   10:30 Group 1 and 2 dropped off at Yosemite Creek/Ten Lakes Trail not Yosemite Creek campground (to head north) These groups must stagger themselves 1 mile and 1 hour Group 3 dropped off at Yosemite Creek Campground trailhead to backpack down into the valley. 11:15 Group 4 dropped off at Murphy Creek (North of Tenaya Lake) trailhead   Lunch On trail Each group will have lessons in blister maintenance, wilderness 1st aid, map and compass, natural history and the essentials of leave no trace camping Evening Dinner Evening program: Games, stories and astronomy
  29. 29. (DAY THREE) A.M. Breakfast Groups either break camp and head to new campsite or dayhike in the area   Afternoon Campsite at ______________   P.M. Dinner Evening program: Night activities dependent on student interests
  30. 30. (DAY FOUR) A.M. Breakfast Groups 1,2 and 4 hike to Tioga Road. Group 3 hikes directly to Upper Pines campground. 10:45 PC hops bus at Crane Flat gas station Groups 1, 2 and 4 must reach Tioga Road by this time   Group 1 picked up at _________________ Group 2 picked up at _________________ Group 4 picked up at Murphy Creek trailhead   12:00 Bus leaves for the valley PC will have snacks for the bus ride. 1:30 Groups arrive at Upper Pines campground in Yosemite Valley for a late lunch. All gear needs to be cleaned, labeled and repacked Camp set-up Showers at Curry Village (if there is time) 6:00 Dinner prep____________ 6:30 Dinner in large group 7:00 Skit practice 7:30 Evening program: Big group campfire in amphitheater or campsite / preview of final day 9:00 Students released to faculty 9:30 In tents
  31. 31. (DAY FIVE) 7:15 Breakfast 7:45 Break down camp / pack gear / prepare sack lunch 9:00 Quick valley tour: Visitor center, museum, and debrief Hike to Lower Yosemite Falls Each group will visit the Spider Caves near Yosemite Falls at staggered times 9:00______ 9:45_______ 10:30________11:15_______ 12:00ish School departs from Curry Village
  32. 32. Your Backpack: You will need an internal or external frame backpack, at least 4000 to 4500 cubic inches, capable of holding a sleeping bag, personal and group equipment for one or two days, and food for one or two days. A backpack can be rented. REI, Adventure 16, and Sports Chalet are good resources, or consult the yellow pages under Backpacking or Sporting Goods. About 1/3 of the pack’s capacity should be available for group gear.
  33. 33. The fit of your pack is extremely important for your comfort and well being. “Test load” your pack to ensure comfort. Place approximately 35-40 pounds into your pack and walk around the block a time or two. Make sure there are no “hot spots” (areas where the pack rubs uncomfortably, especially on hip bones when using an external frame pack). You should be able to stand upright and look forward without bowing your head. The bottom of your pack should not be lower than your buttocks. If you are renting a pack, make sure to ask the sales people to help you fit your pack.
  34. 34. Boots: Well broken in and waterproofed or STURDY WALKING SHOES. (High top Nikes, Reeboks, etc. make good hiking shoes.) Running shoes or “sneakers” do not provide adequate ankle support, and are not waterproof. Backpack trails are often across uneven terrain. Boots provide the necessary support for feet and ankles as well as increased protection from “stubbed toes.” Break your boots in before you come: you will save your feet from blisters and uncomfortable “hot spots” !
  35. 35. Layering your clothing is the key to comfort in an active outdoor environment. The philosophy is that you can add or shed “layers” of clothing as necessary. Layers should start with thermal underwear (top and bottom) as the innermost layer. This should be a synthetic material, so it will wick away perspiration and keep you dry. Your next, or middle, layer is an insulating bulky layer, followed by a protective (wind and rainproof) outer layer.  
  36. 36. Wool or synthetic fabrics are the best choices for keeping warm and comfortable in the outdoors. While cotton fabric is comfortable in warm, dry conditions, it does not retain body heat when it is wet. A wet cotton sweatshirt will not keep you warm. Therefore, we recommend not bringing cotton items, like jeans (which are made of cotton and are not comfortable to hike in).
  37. 37. Two (2) pairs of heavy wool or synthetic socks: Remember that cotton does not retain heat when wet and will not dry quickly. Lightweight synthetic socks: These act as a liner under wool socks and help prevent blisters.
  38. 38. One (1) set of thermal synthetic (not cotton) long underwear: Polypropylene, Thermax, or capilene are good material choices: your first layer. Second set is nice for sleeping.
  39. 39. Compact synthetic sleeping bag with a minimum of 20 degree rating: Down sleeping bags, while warm and light, cannot keep you warm if they get wet. Sleeping bags can be rented at a sporting good shop. “Mummy” shaped bags will provide more warmth than regular rectangle bags. You will be carrying this bag in your backpack: keep it lightweight! Ensolite or Thermarest ground pad: The purpose of this pad is to insulate you from the cold ground. It is an important component to your system. Swimming pool-type air mattresses are inappropriate because they tend to rip and are difficult to fix in the field. Good inexpensive options are Ridgerest and ensolite pads.
  40. 40. A great adventure for the group… And the individual.
  41. 41. Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star. …Muir
  42. 42. The Backpack trails we use are scattered along the Tioga Pass Road. The area is marked in blue south of the road.
  43. 43. Ask about… Medications, Allergies, and Special Dietary Needs
  44. 44. Equipment Reminders Follow your equipment list. Pack together. Adult and student can double check the contents of the gear bag. All clothing should fit in a medium size duffle. A day pack is essential to move about the program with water, some food, extra layers of clothing, and personal incidentals. Utensil Kit that may be reused for each meal and a cup that can handle hot & cold liquids.
  45. 45. Rain gear is a must. (water-proof shell) Rain Ponchos are fine. Comfortable closed toed shoes are required. Light weight hikers or tennis shoes with a few pairs of good outdoor socks (non-cotton). A good water bottle (quart or liter). The proper sleeping bag (check your equipment list for specifics). Ground pad. Ensolite pads are much cheaper than thermarest types and work just as well.
  46. 46. Plastic bag protection. A half dozen, 2 gallon storage ziplocks are good for protecting clothing in a gear bag from moisture. Along with a couple hefty 15 to 30 gallon bags to line your gear bag and sleeping bag (& daypack). Don’t send gear that you could not afford lost or broken (expensive cameras, cell phones, and other electronics). A handy disposable camera would be just fine. Follow your equipment list, ask questions, borrow from friends.
  47. 47. For more information check us out at …

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