- A Safety Committee Forum (Alistair DesMoulins)
What Is Group Gear?
The Clothing and Equipment handout sheet, the ‘blue sheet’ is a comprehensive list of
suggested clothing and equipment individuals should take on summer or winter day trips and
overnight trips. The blue sheet also lists articles that the group as whole should take to
meet the full requirements of a trip. This sharing of equipment reduces the total weight
carried by the group. Group gear falls into four categories: First Aid,
Equipment Repair, Overnight Trips, and Miscellaneous.
The blue sheet separates the first aid contents into participant and group kits.
Generally each participant should carry a small kit for minor first aid and for personal
requirements. A group kit would be capable of more serious first aid.
The blue sheet separates the repair kit contents into participant and group kits. Generally if
you have unique equipment (ski bindings, etc) you should have the proper parts and tools to repair
them (screws, screwdriver, etc). The group kit should be more comprehensive.
The blue sheet lists obvious group gear for planned overnight trips: tents, stove, pots, water
filter, food storage.
Avalanche Rescue Gear
Transceivers, shovels and probes should be considered group gear. If you are buried in a
slide you will be dependent on others to use their equipment to locate and uncover you.
There was discussion on:
- all participants could carry a lightweight compact space blanket and the group
bring a warmer one.
- on winter trips the group should consider taking a sleeping bag, stove, or a thermarest
to keep an injured person warm.
- cell phones and GPS satellite positioning systems that may be useful in the near future.
Who Brings Groups Gear?
All participants should be properly prepared for the trip as their negligence in preparation
could affect the group as a whole. For example, if an individual does not have
proper clothing then this may force the group to change plans. The coordinator
in general should be responsible that someone will supply the group gear. The
coordinator should check at the meeting place that this has been done.
Who Should Carry Group Gear?
Ideally the extra burden of carrying group gear should be shared by all. Overnight
backpacks can be planned well in advance, and the gear shared amongst the
participants. Day trips present more problems with an unknown number of participants
and generally less group gear planning. The coordinator should ask for
volunteers to carry the group first aid and repair kits. These volunteers
should be available at all times to provide the required kits should they be
needed. This may mean that they stay near the back if the group is spread out,
or at least the coordinator should know their position.