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  • #16
    While Easy Ups are easy, I prefer my own method which is inexpensive and uses Scout skills:

    Pretty much any size tarp that has grommets in it.

    Use: six 2"x2"x eight foot long poles. Cut four poles to six foot lengths.

    Pound a nail part way into the top of each pole.

    Cut ten pieces of cord to stake out the poles. Tie a bowline in one end or each cord and a taut line hitch in the other end.

    Put the bowline over the nail in the four corner poles and stake out the tarp.

    Put the nail of the two six foot poles in the middle grommet to form a ridge line. Put a piece of cord over the nails in those two poles and stake out those poles.

    Works well if you have sufficient area for all the stakes.

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    • #17
      "SAFETY CONCERNS"???????

      What exactly are these boys cooking with, gasoline and machetes? I feel your pain, because I can imagine how frustrating this situation must be. But to be honest, I think "safety concerns" is just a crutch to keep with the status quo. One thing you may be able to bring up is, if it's the case, there is no difference between boys cooking on their own side-by-side under the big top with no adult telling them what to do and them doing it 100'-300' from one another.

      But if the boys under the big top are under the continual overseeing eye of adults, well there are bigger fish to fry than 1 tarp or 3.

      Good luck, and don't give up the good work.

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      • #18
        I would suggest a campout that precludes the fly and the toilet tent and all the other trappings. Backpack or canoe or somehow get further from the cars. Obviously the boys need to make that decision but you're free to drop a hint.

        I'd rather hike for 40 minutes than setup a fly for 40 minutes. Good luck

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        • #19
          You don't want those EZ-up canopies, IMHO. My troop had those when my boys first joined. The boys didn't particularly like them, they are extremely heavy, and they don't teach much in terms of scout skills. In addition, living in a beach town, I have seen way too many skeletons of them at the beach. They aren't particularly durable. We've just gone to tarps with poles. IMHO, they work better for rain than did the EZ-ups. We had a recent camporee in which it rained for 12 hrs straight. The flies held up fine and kept the rain off of us.

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          • #20
            I will add my thumbs down of the E-Z-ups.

            They are very heavy and encourage car camping. (but then so are patrol boxes, hmmmmm....). Also it seems like once sand starts getting in the joints they start sticking and malfunctioning a lot. And if you don't follow directions it is pretty easy to damage them--a concern with boys.

            The traditional dining flies encourage scout skills and can be quite a bit lighter. I have seen boys improvise them with trees and a couple hiking poles as well. It can be all part of the great game IMHO.

            We also have a very large awning with steel legs. We used to use it a lot more in our "Adult led" days and it is sure to be a point in contention this year with one of our older philosophy SM's coming back to take the helm...

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            • #21
              I feel the dinning fly is required safety gear. Every BSA outfitter (Philmont, Northern Tier, so on) and even most private outfitter include a fly so everyone can get out of the elements. Without a fly, scouts are forced to their tents during rain and snow where they can't cook their meals. My scouts have played hours of hearts, spades and go-fish under tarps. From experience, scouts are much more at risk of hypothermia even in moderate temperatures. The dinning fly is always at the top of someones back so that we can grab it quickly even while on the trail. All our patrols have packable dinning flys but they don't usually set them up unless the weather forces them.

              Barry

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              • #22
                It just seems really cool to set them up.

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                • #23
                  A kind word about EZ Ups. While they are not very useful for camping, they are useful for training events such IOLS.

                  Patrol size dining flies are the way to go. One alternative that was mentioned was "Noah's tarps." I don't know where that term comes from, but they are also very useful. For the last two years we used them on canoe trips for shade, stringing them between trees. Some scout skills and ingenuity required for setup; but ultimately very useful, light weight, easy to pack, and greatly appreciated.

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                  • #24
                    Nothing wrong with a sensible size, patrol dining fly, good to have in fact. Just find a way to get away from the car and I doubt anyone will want to carry the 600 sf fly.

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                    • #25
                      Eagledad,

                      Not sure if the mention of a dining fly being good safety gear was in response to my post, but I want to say that I agree with you 100%. A good patrol fly is definitely good practice. My only rant (I guess a rant ) was when bigbovine said one of the excuses....er, reasons... the old guard adults in his troop gave for the troop method mega-fly was "safety concerns".

                      But if I just read into something that really had nothing to do with me, mea culpa.

                      And I do have one good use for EZ up tarps. Anyone selling popcorn outside a store front soon?

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                      • #26
                        No dining fly for us, and don't miss it. But we're I the desert, where rain is barely a concern most months...

                        If we had them, I'd go for patrol size. You can always put a couple up together if you need a troop size space. We've used ez-ups a few times, and no complaints aside from the weight. Staked and/or tied down they're fine. Freestanding without stakes or tie downs and yes, you're asking for trouble...(This message has been edited by Eolesen)

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                        • #27
                          I'm with Cito, get your scouts away from the trailer. Our troop went through this same transition a few years ago. We started with a 4 mile hike-in to a cabin. Then there was a back packing camp out. That was about 7 or 8 years ago. For the last 5 years there has been a 5-7 day high adventure trek--backpacking or canoeing--every summer. We still car camp as well but the scouts really like the the backcountry.

                          When we are in the back country we carry a lightweight tarp that is used as a dining fly or as a cover for the pack line. We tie it between trees or use treking poles as tent poles. Set up is bear bags first, fly second and tents last. The latrine is a small trowel unless we are camping in a site with an established latrine. I haven't been to Philmont yet but this is essentially the way they do it.

                          It is unlikely that your scouts will learn anything about Leave No Trace unless they get a way from the cars.

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                          • #28
                            I'm with Cito, get your scouts away from the trailer. Our troop went through this same transition a few years ago. We started with a 4 mile hike-in to a cabin. Then there was a back packing camp out. That was about 7 or 8 years ago. For the last 5 years there has been a 5-7 day high adventure trek--backpacking or canoeing--every summer. We still car camp as well but the scouts really like the the backcountry.

                            When we are in the back country we carry a lightweight tarp that is used as a dining fly or as a cover for the pack line. We tie it between trees or use treking poles as tent poles. Set up is bear bags first, fly second and tents last. The latrine is a small trowel unless we are camping in a site with an established latrine. I haven't been to Philmont yet but this is essentially the way they do it.

                            It is unlikely that your scouts will learn anything about Leave No Trace unless they get a way from the cars.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              I'm with Cito, get your scouts away from the trailer. Our troop went through this same transition a few years ago. We started with a 4 mile hike-in to a cabin. Then there was a back packing camp out. That was about 7 or 8 years ago. For the last 5 years there has been a 5-7 day high adventure trek--backpacking or canoeing--every summer. We still car camp as well but the scouts really like the the backcountry.

                              When we are in the back country we carry a lightweight tarp that is used as a dining fly or as a cover for the pack line. We tie it between trees or use treking poles as tent poles. Set up is bear bags first, fly second and tents last. The latrine is a small trowel unless we are camping in a site with an established latrine. I haven't been to Philmont yet but this is essentially the way they do it.

                              It is unlikely that your scouts will learn anything about Leave No Trace unless they get a way from the cars.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Noah's Tarp is the brand name of a lightweight diamond fly manufactured by Kelty for backpacking. Though it comes with a set of shock-corded poles, it can easily be set up in a number of configurations (like all diamond flies) using just ropes, or using hiking poles, or whatever sticks you happen to find so you can leave the poles behind. You can use it to cover gear, make a dining fly to protect from sun and rain (it's not meant for high winds, thunderstorms or snowstorms), or to make a shelter. There are some folks that take just their tent's rainflys on summer trips but diamond fly is more versatile because it's just a large square (and that's all a diamond fly is - a square tarp, with ties and grommets in strategic locations) rather than being partially shaped to a tent.

                                I would not choose the Noah's Tarp as my first choice for a patrol tarp, unless your unit never does anything but backcountry trips. Kelty, and others, make dining flies that are a bit heavier duty, without being heavy plastic or canvas, that are going to be better for most everyday usage - they'll have thicker, more rugged poles to start - and that's a big plus.

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