Most Clubs and Associations have in common an aging and falling membership. It is often difficult to fill leadership positions. Surveys of members will often show that they consider this to be the most important issue that their club leadership should tackle.
How do we tackle this problem? Can we use web 2.0 technologies to help us? What could work?
An common goal of all clubs and associations is to recruit more, and preferably younger, members and then to retain them. Try to share the load better so that a few dedicated members don’t do all the work and burn out.
Older members might be tempted to send out an email or even a letter to existing members and ask them to approach prospective members. These can be expensive and ineffective with poor response rates.
Web 2.0 technologies involve interaction and are very familiar to young people, with well known examples being FaceBook, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter. They offer the opportunity to interact with potential members who have never thought of joining a walking club and by the nature of the marketing technique, represent the target audience we need most.
All clubs need to spend some time marketing themselves using web 2.0 technologies.
Just been checking through some of my first aid articles which I prepared as an aide-memoire to carry with me in the bush in the late 80’s and early 90’s when I was leading groups of students in the Grampians and Flinders Ranges.
Do I delete the articles? Are they so far out-of-date to be a danger to unsuspecting readers? Should I add a disclaimer to each article explaining how they could be out-of-date? How do I know if they are out-of-date? Should I update them? How long will they remain up to date?What is their value to bushwalkers?Could I link to more recent articles that I know will be regularly updated? What are the copyright implications?
These were prepared by condensing the information in the first aid manuals provided at Senior First Aid courses I attended. Initially I printed the text on small sheets of paper the size of a business card and stored them in a plastic business card holder with clear pockets. I still carry it in my first aid kit, sealed in a waterproof bag.
Then in the nineties I went digital and imported them into my PDA, initially a Sharp ZQ-650 which had, what was then an enormous memory of 1 Mb. I have just found it in the cupboard and replaced the batteries. It works… sort of! I remember purchasing this ….it cost as much as a small laptop today! I used to use it to keep my bushwalk diary, emergency contact details for each of the students in my group and phone numbers when on an expedition
Why did I discard it? Was it the white line across the middle of the screen which obliterated some of the words?
Today I have saved the text file as a pdf and imported it into my mobile smartphone (Nokia N95), which I always carry with me in the bush.
Which is likely to be more dependable and easy to use in an emergency?Hard copy or digital?
Over the years I have changed from predominantly using a campfire, to gas canisters, to a Trangia and then to a MSR Whisperlite. I did this initially in response to Park regulations which changed to ban wood fires in the 90’s.
I found that for overnight walks or even extended walks up to a few days that gas stoves were great, but then I started walking in Tasmania and realised that gas stoves sometimes don’t work well in very cold conditions. Over 10 days, the volume of the gas canisters became a significant factor and my conservation principles made the throw-away canisters unacceptable.
Trangia’s are great, low cost, low noise, environmentally friendly but they are a little bulky and the fuel being less efficient than Shellite (white spirits) requires much more to be carried for the same heat output.They are relatively slow to heat large volumes of water as required when melting snow. They have the advantage that they simmer well, so if you like preparing complex meals they are great. I don’t.
So I changed to an MSR Whisperlite, which has the advantage of being compact, fuel efficient and very quick to boil water. You can share one with a tent mate and if you adapt your menu so that boiling water is their main task they are ideal. Of course you will get a ribbing from your friends as they sound like a jet taking off and the pre-ignition flames are always sure to bring a gasp. At times they block due to soot or contaminated fuel but it only takes a few minutes to unblock them and if you remember to shake regularly, the built in “pricker” should keep the fuel flowing freely. Another advantage for overseas travel is that they are multi-fueled and will run on kero, diesel etc providing you use the correct jet (supplied).
Here are some factors you need to consider:
weight and size of stove
efficiency of the fuel
effectiveness in cold windy conditions
time to get started and difficulty of priming
time to boil water
availability of fuel
Seems complicated, well it is. Check out this FAQ link
Want to save both time and fuel?
Boil enough additional water to fill an insulated (thermos) flask the night before and keep it in your sleeping bag overnight. In the morning it will still be hot enough to make a cup of tea and you will save the additional fuel needed to prime your stove.
Always use a wind shield, which can be bought cheaply at the local hardware shop, where it masquerades as aluminium flashing for rooves.
Ever wondered how you could possibly get lost while carrying a GPS, and when you do get geographically embarrassed, whether you can trust your GPS?
I’ve sometimes been acutely embarrassed when my high-tech equipment has been worse than useless on a difficult walk where spot-on navigation was essential. More than once, I’ve found myself on the opposite side of a creek or on the wrong ridge-line. Sometimes I’ve returned from a walk to find that my route lay parallel to that shown on the map, but about 200m away. How could my GPS get it so wrong?
Well of course my GPS hasn’t got it wrong, it has been simply calculating position based on the incorrect settings I gave it. The indication that you’ve incorrectly set your GPS is when every feature is in the wrong place by a consistent amount.
If the error is about 200m then you have probably set your GPS to the wrong map datum eg you may have chosen Aus Geod ’84 or Aus Geod ’66 when your map shows the correct datum to be GDA94 . Your GPS must be set to the same map datum as the map you are using.
For my Garmin Geko 201, the following datums are relevant when using Australian maps. Aus Geod ’84 = AGD84 Aus Geod ’66 = AGD66 GDA =GDA94 For Australian maps, the common map datums you will find are AGD66 (oldest) AGD84 GDA94 (most recent)
Fortunately, all you have to do is to make sure that the map datum to which you set your GPS matches the one shown in the legend on your map. To do this for a Garmin Geko, select SETUP from the menu, then UNITS from the sub-menu, then MAP DATUM, and scroll down the list to select the correct one which matches your map.