Key issues which must be monitored

Key issues which must be monitored during outdoor trips include:

  • physical progress
  • weather conditions
  • group morale and enthusiasm
  • each individual’s physical and emotional state.

Even during the most meticulously planned trip unforseen circumstances may arise which require the leader to modify the trip. For example, someone may suffer minor injury or illness; tracks may have become overgrown, or be blocked by fallen trees or branches caused by storms or unusually heavy snowfalls. Alternatively, it may be much hotter or colder than you expected, or visibility may be poor, all of which can slow a party significantly. Walking in snow can reduce progress by up to half; and not finding an expected track or having to travel across country can reduce progress by up to three quarters of your estimated time. Snow conditions may be good, average, marginal or you may be walking when you expected to ski. All of these circumstances require leaders to consider the impact on their parties, and modify trip plans to suit.