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Mark's environmentalist plea: Leave no trace!

paisley rekdal

TAKE our wilderness quiz below.
HEAR more of Mark Jenkins' advice about taking care of yourself in the wilderness.

So you've been thinking about heading into the woods but you don't know where to go or what to take. Well, that's the first indication that you should consult our list for beginning scouts. But to be sure, take the following quiz. If you score a perfect 50, you are indeed a back-country babe. Anything less and well. . . like most of us, you may still be a scout. The quiz answers follow.

1. You're in Yellowstone National Park with an afternoon to spend seeing sights, do you

a. head down the boardwalk past old faithful and the other geysers
b. participate in a ranger guided nature walk
c. strap on your day pack and head into the backcountry
d. hit the concession stand and taste test the ice-cream bars

2. You're headed into the woods for an afternoon hike. What will you wear on your feet?

a. your most comfortable shoes, whatever style they may be
b. a broken-in pair of hiking boots that you've worn before
c. your sneakers
d. The Nike ATG boot-shoes that your son recently out-grew

3. If you're hiking in the desert, what's the most important thing you should carry with you?

a. sun glasses
b. sun screen
c. water
d. your cell phone

4. If you're hiking in an alpine area what's the most important thing you should carry with you?

a. an extra layer of warm or weather proof clothing
b. food
c. water
d. a map

5. If you're hiking in a hilly or mountainous region and you get lost, what should you do?

a. sit down and wait for the ranger to find you
b. try to go back the way you came
c. find a stream and follow it
d. find the ridge line and follow it

6. When packing for an over night or several night excursion, you should bring a knife that. . .
a. is big and can kill a bear
b. folds up and fits in your pocket
c. won't rust
d. had a solid ivory handle

7. You're in the woods and you see a bear who sees you and approaches, you should

a. run away as fast as you can downhill because bears can't run downhill (they start to somersault)
b. climb a tree
c. play dead
d. make loud noises (bang on pots and pans, blow whistles) to frighten them away

8. If your hiking party is caught in a sudden storm and one member starts to shiver uncontrollably and slur his/her words, this is a sign of hypothermia. How should the group respond?

a. stop and give the afflicted person all the extra warm clothes
b. have the afflicted drink some sort of whiskey to warm them up
c. have the afflicted take off all of their clothes and get in a sleeping bag with another undressed person
d. cover their extremities and keep them awake while someone goes for help

9. If you are hiking and caught in a lightening storm you should

a. move to an open area
b. move away from open water
c. move up onto rocks or nearby peaks
d. take shelter under the tallest tree

10. When crossing a stream you should

a. find the narrowest point to cross
b. take off your shoes
c. let go of all walking sticks or poles
d. undo the hip belt of your pack

Score your answers. If you score a perfect 50, you are indeed a back-country babe. Anything less and you're still a scout.