Flexibility

Plans need to be flexible to suit the group and the prevailing conditions. The route may need adjustment or another campsite selected if travel has been faster or slower than expected. Regularly give encouragement, praise and support throughout the trip, but do not force individuals to complete set or additional objectives. Fostering a positive atmosphere within the group can provide the incentive some individuals need to achieve a set goal.

The task of carrying a heavy pack over many kilometres for days on end, may not fit into most people’s definition of fun, and rightly so! However, many situations can occur during a trip which contribute to fun and enjoyment. Many of these involve interaction between group members–maybe at lunch, around the camp or on easier sections. Other enjoyable moments may arise from the activity, such as skiing downhill sections, having a swim in a lake or river, or sliding down a scree slope. Because they have such a positive effect on the group’s overall enjoyment of the activity, the leader should facilitate these situations. Many can be pre-planned, while others are spontaneous, for example initiating a word game or joke-telling session. Items like a pack of playing cards or a game of ‘Pass the Pigs’ are useful for general entertainment, particularly at night or if the group is tent- or hut-bound in bad weather.

There can be many different reasons for undertaking a bushwalk or ski tour. In most, the goals and objectives can only be enhanced if everybody has a ‘good time’. Planning and providing for enjoyment will be an integral part of any successful trip.