Improper Backpacking Equipment

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Improper Backpacking Equipment

Postby fritz1255 » Tue Apr 18, 2006 1:36 pm

Despite all the discussions in Troop Meetings and flyers sent home, some boys consistently show up with the totally wrong type of equipment for backpacking trips. A case in point - at a trip last year, one boy showed up with a pair of borrowed snow boots (no socks), a day pack, and an enormous sleeping bag that must have been made in the 1960's (carried the "Marlboro" brand - this MUST be quality stuff, right?) This was only the worst example - there were others with no stuff sacks (sleeping bag unrolling on the backpack), no ground pads or mess kits (do they think we are going to use paper plates in the wilderness, and that mattresses will be provided?). We have a trip scheduled this weekend, so it is too late to do anything much more beforehand, but how about in the future? What I am thinking of doing is organizing a skit for the next Court of Honor showing a boy with ridiculous looking equipment (we should have plenty to choose from). All the parents will be there, and maybe that will get the message home in a good-natured way?
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Postby wagionvigil » Tue Apr 18, 2006 2:05 pm

doubt it will have any effect. Get by as cheap a possible!
The troop should establish equipment guidelines and any boy that does not come prepared will not go. this is a health and safety issue.

There are reasonably priced packs and sleeping bags out there and if you gave the parents a list of recommended equipment and where to get the stuff it may help.

Many of these boys will pack their own packs as mom and dad don't want to bother as long as they are away for the weekend. :(


I always told parents that after the boy joined the troop there was never any problem with Birthday and Christmas presents. Instead of computer games get camping equipment.
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Postby Mrw » Tue Apr 18, 2006 3:47 pm

If it is an on-going problem, start having the boys bring their fully packed pack to the scout meeting the week before the trip and you can check beforehand that they have the right stuff.

Make it clear before this that if they don't have the right stuff, they can't go.

We had one show up for a campout they were hiking to the site (about 2 miles) with no boots and his stuff in a garbage bag - In March when snow was likely. Dad wasn't very happy when they sent him right back home, but he couldn't go as he was.
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Postby JazerNorth » Tue Apr 18, 2006 4:02 pm

We, as the boys have decided it, have chosen to have a check list that must be signed by the parents. If at anytime during the event the boy needs something they do not have (ie sleeping bag), the parent is called to come take the boy home. Have I had to call a parent, not yet.

This way, the parent knows that they are ultimately responsible for the boy getting packed. Before I started doing this we had 1 or two boys come camping without sleeping bags... yeah, without sleeping bags. What did we do? Nothing. Since it was warm enough (not warm enough for them to sleep, but safe enough to go all night without a bag), we let them sleep the night without a bag. Didn't really help them in bringing a bag, as a few camp outs later, they did it again.

Now the checklist must be signed by a parent in order for the boy to go, and if the boy is missing anything, the parent must take them home.

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Postby Billiken » Wed Apr 19, 2006 9:09 am

Please make sure that the equipment issue is not the result of a financial issue.

While a WEBELOS den leader we attended another troop's meeting.
They were discussing proper equipment for the upcoming Klondike Derby.
(In early Feb, temps in the teens, +5" snow on the ground.)

One of the ASMs gave an cold-weather equipment presentation. Sleeping bag rated to -10, wool clothing, insulated boots, various synthetic/waterproof clothing, parka, hat, gloves, etc.
I estimated that all the gear he had cost AT LEAST $500.

So as previous posters have said, make sure the boy(s) know exactly what type of equipment is expected of them. I'm sure there are boys in your troop with parent(s) that are not at all outdoor/camping types.

It would be a real shame to lose a boy because he can't financially handle the equipment requirements.
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Postby wagionvigil » Wed Apr 19, 2006 9:24 am

When I joined the Troop my parents bought me a sleeping bag. I am 57 years old and still use that bag. Was it expensive? Lets see I have had it for 47 years. If it cost 50.00 then it has cost less than 1.00 per year. You must look at the long term. I realize there are kids that will say we cannot afford this or that but will show up at the next meeting in a 120.00 pair of tennis shoes. :evil:
I presently use a -20 bag from cabelas it cost around 120.00. I have a pack from years ago but still useful. Winter Boots are always a problem but if you live in snow country what do these kids wear to play in the snow and shovel the snow? Oh sorry they don't go out in the snow and play anymore and mom and dad shovel the snow so the kid can play computer games. :twisted:
If the troop makes a list and gives options and prices etc plus where to get things it will help.
again
alps mountaineering have very good scout prices.
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Postby JazerNorth » Wed Apr 19, 2006 9:49 am

First, let me clarify that most items on the list can be found in any home.

Here are the equipment lists that we use:
http://www.jaynorth.net/downloads/Camp_Checklist.pdf
http://www.jaynorth.net/downloads/Winter_Camp_Checklist.pdf

Only the italicized is required. It is simple, but essential. Nothing on the lists above cost much. Do they need all the fancy stuff? NO! I just expect them to bring what is needed so that I don't have to bring it for them. I ain't their mother/father and I expect them to 'be prepared'. Anything less would not be helping them become the great men they should be.

Enjoy.

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Postby Mrw » Wed Apr 19, 2006 12:10 pm

There is a boy in our troop, age 14 who has been using a backpack my son passed on to him 3 years ago. My younger one got it from the older one who was given it to use from the troop closet when he was 12 (now 20). The committee Chair at the time had bought it for 25 cents at a garage sale.

You can also find this type of stuff in the thrift stores if you look. Establish a relationship with the folks at your local goodwiil or Volunteers of America and they may even call when stuff like that comes in.
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Postby wagionvigil » Wed Apr 19, 2006 12:25 pm

We have a couple troops in our council that make a Philmont trip every two years. Proper equipment is a necessity and the parents are told day one exactly which pack,sleeping bag , boots etc to get. The boys can earn the money through the troop But there are no exceptions to what is on that list.
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Postby deweylure » Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:45 am

Our troop also puts out a list and like other posts its not followed,all the time. What we did is pack a pack and bring it to a meeting so the boys can see the gear. We also have mini gear sessions for example packs and how to choose one.

We also put out a list of places to buy with web address. Campmoor etc.
I f a boy can not afford it we will let them use one of ours. this works well for new scouts.

My son does get at least one new gear item as a gift from us. We buy it so its good quality.

Another option is to see if older members have gear they have outgrown and wanmt to give away.

For our fundraiser we gave each top seller a compass cost 50.00. Some wanted m oney back to get games and we said no. If a cash gift is given its with a stipulation you buy it then we give the money provided its for outdoor use this includes a winter coat etc.

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Postby 616kayak » Sun Apr 23, 2006 4:41 pm

Sleeping pad required? :shock:
On hikes i never have one, never needed it.
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Postby pipestone1991 » Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:05 am

I never started using a pad until last Nov. when I bought a blue foam one for $7. For Philmont I had gotten a Thermarest Z-Lite for $35. That shouldn't be required except for maybe winter campouts.
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Postby 616kayak » Fri Aug 18, 2006 4:56 pm

If the ground isn’t soft where I can set up my tent I take some pine needles and put them under my tent. Works great. But I hike light so it’s a little different. For example, I would prefer not to bring a tent but, weather here is pretty unpredictable.
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Postby ICanCanoeCanU » Fri Aug 18, 2006 6:58 pm

Ever hear of a SHAKEDOWN?
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Postby 616kayak » Fri Aug 18, 2006 9:01 pm

I’ve heard of a shakedown if its a prehike where you test new gear and ways to pack.
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Postby JazerNorth » Fri Aug 18, 2006 10:07 pm

616kayak wrote:If the ground isn’t soft where I can set up my tent I take some pine needles and put them under my tent. Works great. But I hike light so it’s a little different. For example, I would prefer not to bring a tent but, weather here is pretty unpredictable.


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Postby 616kayak » Sat Aug 19, 2006 9:31 am

move the pine needles back after your doen and it complies.
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