Time for a slow book and a cortado on the morning bicycle commute.


Mmmm, Ampersand coffee and a ride into work.

TSL Scout Badge: Environment

On a sunny day, I used my analog watch (which I use at work in air-gapped environments) to find north by holding it in front of me and pointing the hour hand at the sun. Halfway between the hour hand and 12 is the north-south line and north is pointing away from the sun.
While cloudy (and also while not so), during my 16km observation hike particularly, I used snow on the north facing slopes and dry on the south facing slopes for direction. I have also regularly used direction during the winter with snow on the southern sidewalks and dryness on the northern sidewalks. Additionally while on recent hikes, moss on isolated trees was not used, but pine trees tend to grow on the north facing slopes and less so on the south facing slopes, adjusting this observation for this hike on the eastern facing Front Range.
At night, I located the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) and, using the end two stars, followed that line to locate Polaris, the North Star to find direction.
While backpacking, I used my hands and the horizon method to determine how much time we had until the sun set behind the peaks. We were able to comfortably finish setting up camp, make our meal, and get ready for nightfall in time.
On a morning walk, I used my hands to measure the height of a tree using the felling method. I checked the approximate result using the Measure app for iOS (3D tech) and was accurate within a few feet.
I measured the distance of a far away object by extending my arm with thumb up and closing my left eye, then switching eyes and counting the number of objects that could fit between the difference. Multiplied by 10 (the factor from eye to thumb), this provides the approximate distance. The first Boulder Flatiron is 11 first Flatirons times 10 distant. The parking lot light opposite us, a 1 foot or so object, is 6 lights away times 10, about 60 feet. The method is dependent upon know the approximate width of the object.
I used my compass and titanium whistle (as a “metal stick”), which I carry in the field, to create a sundial. I oriented the compass to north and stood the whistle up in the lanyard where it fits with it leaning slightly. Keeping the leaning angle of the whistle pointed north on the compass, the shadow cast by the whistle creates the hour hand making a watch face out of the compass face, approximately noon in this case (which will also be the least accurate time of day with the sun “straighter” overhead).

His TSL Scout Badge: Land Nav

I printed a map of White Ranch Park near Golden, CO and plotted 6 points using MGRS coordinates and with my compass, including setting point 1 as the trailhead. I purchased a military protractor but a proper compass has the necessary tools that a military protractor has and will be the device I carry in the field as part of my 10 Essentials. I measured the distance in kilometers and the direct bearing between each plot point using my compass but did not perform routefinding prior to the event, believing that was not part of the requirements (or was just expected in the field).
I did a one night backpacking trip, incorporating the land navigation requirements at White Ranch Park near Golden, CO. I used the printed map, compass, and ranger beads to measure distance. From the trailhead (point 1), I navigated directly to my campsite, point 2, with a 35lb pack, 2.5km. I set up camp and proceeded to point 3, 4 (a beautiful view), 5, and 6, before returning to the campsite, point 2, for a total of 5km. The next morning, I returned from camp, point 2, to the trailhead, point 1, directly and off trail, another 2.5km, for a total of 10km. Because the intent of the requirements for the challenge are performing navigation, rather than more complicated routefinding, the actual distances were significantly different than the direct map measurements and trails were used where going off trail was unwise or there was private land, as might be expected from a scout in the field.