What is and how do I find the high and low points needed for the hiking log?
If it’s relevant (e.g. for tracking trips for Camping MB where there was 1000+ ft of elevation gain), you would need to pull that information from whatever topographic maps cover the area of the hike.
They are not supposed to be required fields.
There are some requirements that have a change in altitude (for example: Camping merit badge 9.(b)(1) “Hike up a mountain, gaining at least 1,000 vertical feet.”).
Some GPS devices or smartphone apps will track altitude. Also some maps (as Charley mentioned).
Step 1: ask the scout. If he/she doesn’t know, leave blank.
Step 2: if the scout wants to find out, direct him/her and his/her patrol leader to caltopo.com → start mapping. Zoom to location. Click ‘measure’ → ‘profile’. Use the drawing tool to cover the path/sections of trail hiked. Double-click. All kinds of stats, including elevation changes, will appear in a separate frame/window.
Step 3: once the scout and his/her PL confirm the highest and lowest elevation, invite them to report back to you.
I once shared this with a troop alum who had relocated and was pining for places to hike. His reply is one of my most cherished text messages: “Oh wow. This website might b the best thing in existence”
P.S. - Depending on location, the alternative could be to teach the scouts how to use a clinometer in advance of the hike, count their paces to the apex, and use the slope-hypotenuse formula to determine the elevation change.
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