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Outfitting a troop for backpacking without bankrupting everyone

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  • #76
    Me and my boys use a lot of Military surplus gear. The European gear is pretty good. I have gotten some very sturdy backpacks for $20-40.

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    • #77
      Me and my boys use a lot of Military surplus gear. The European gear is pretty good. I have gotten some very sturdy backpacks for $20-40.

      Comment


      • #78
        Hey, how about an update on this thread?

        So our first backpacking trip is in the books. As it turned out, we ended up with adults who came along for leadership needs who either had gear or thought the gear was cool enough so they bought it on their own. Over the summer we did a number of shakedown hikes where we tried out different stoves and recipes. Had a few "pocket rocket" stoves that worked just fine for our purposes. I had invested in a Katadyn base camp filter (different thread on that one) which worked well until it plugged up so we went to a backup that another dad brought along. Several of the boys had filter bottles as well which I am particularly fond of. Eschewed the dining fly and some of the older boys just slept under a tarp.

        Our group ended up being pretty small--6 boys and three adults. The age range in boys was quite wide and I worried that might be a problem. However the shakedown hikes had identified where the problems might be so we were prepared.

        On the actual trip it became readily apparent that the oldest boys had quite a bit more horsepower so we let that group go ahead up to the planned campsite for the day to set up and just explore, while the adults stayed back with the younger scouts and took it slow. That was a very good decision.

        Preparation paid off and we could probably go the beg-and-borrow model for gear for the next trip as well while the troop decides if it has the resources and the program appetite to supplement our current plop-camping supplies with lightweight gear.

        Admittedly I did a lot more of the planning than I normally would but the goal was to get this off the ground and try to move the boys in this direction by exposing them to the possibility and a successful outing. Hopefully in the future the boys experienced in this trip can take on much more of the logistics with a "remember when?" approach.

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        • qwazse
          qwazse commented
          Editing a comment
          Hurrah!
          Actually, those are about the right numbers for an enjoyable trip. More than that, and you have to start thinking about multiple contingents with different hike plans. That's really not as terrifying as it seems. It happened quite naturally even in your small group.
          There's always a good bit of planning with these things. So, yes, adults need to share the load. You also need to share your thought process with the boys and vice versa. Hopefully a couple of gung-ho boys will add this to their list of "do-it-again"s and partner with you in the next round of planning.

        • AZMike
          AZMike commented
          Editing a comment
          We've found that the Platypus gravity filter works quite well for small groups. It's lightweight, doesn't require you to spend endless time pumping (just set it up and let gravity give you 3 liters of crystal clear water), easily backwashed. Most of the time we have a steripen available to give extra coverage against viruses. (Virii?)

        • qwazse
          qwazse commented
          Editing a comment
          It is a collective noun, like fish - fishes. Either your are talking about many of one strain (a "virus"), or a variety of strains, thus "viruses" as you correctly used in your statement.
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