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Best Scout Items for Holiday Gifts

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  • Best Scout Items for Holiday Gifts

    Hanukkah will be upon us soon and I want to get my son something that he will need for Boy Scouts. He is an AOL who will cross to the Troop in March. Last year, we gave him a pocket knife. Any ideas on what would be best? I looked at possibly a mess kit, but I wasn't even sure what kind would be best for that.

  • #2
    Hanukkah, eh?
    How about a fire-starting kit? Candle lantern? Head lamp?
    What would be best depends on your child's personality. Plus there's a lot of cub-scout things to do before March. So, don't forget things like fixings for a pinewood derby kit, or whatever else may be on your pack's agenda.

    Another neat gift: parachord and a knot guide.


    • #3
      Hard to recommend when we don't know the type or location of program he is in.

      Our Troop

      Quality 0 degree sleeping bag
      Quality 40 degree bag
      Backpack internal or external frame
      Sleeping Pad
      Mess kit

      or maybe aquatics gear, his own PFD or paddle if the troop is a kayaking or canoeing unit

      Lots of little stuff, whetstone, small swiss army knife, Headlight, decent compass, treking poles, camel bak, gaiters, wool socks, hiking boots,


      • #4
        Thank you both! The troop he is entering does a fair bit of camping, including at least one backpacking and one wilderness trip each year. We are in the South so it does not get as cold as some northern places. You guys had some great ideas - a headlamp seems very Hanukkah and scout-like at the same time! Thanks.


        • #5
          All good suggestions. Some decent rain gear is important as well. Costco and SAMs have great packs of wool blend socks. My son loves the BSA swim trunks and wore them all week at camp, lots of pockets. They have a clipped in pocket dry bag as well.


          • #6
            IMHO stay away from mess kits. All you need is a good lexan bowl and spoon. You have the "big 3" sleeping bag, 2-man tent (but some troops provide tents), sleeping bag. Will need to but that anyway. May wish to ask Troop you may be going too for recommendations. Ditto the BSA swim trunks--I found some at $13 at the scout store. Might consider one-man backpacking tent or sleeping hammock if he is up to it and careful with his gear. A good headlamp is always handy. If you get a backpack realize that he will grow into a bigger one.

            My 2 sons had completely different camping styles. Son#1 likes heavy military surplus gear and roughs it. Son#2 likes ultralight gear, making his own, and comfort. Son#1 has a Hennessy Hammock and Son#2 an Eureka Apex 2-Man tent. Different strokes and all that. I am kinda in the middle.

            Socks are important but not the sexist gift. I did get Son#1 some surplus Czech Army green wool socks from

            That said I'd go for a good 40 degree bag that compresses small first priority. Make sure he learns how to properly care for it, drying and hanging when not in use. I have found a good fleece vest and raingear/wind breaker very handy.

            One thing is once a boy joins a Troop he will see a lot of different gear that boys and adults bring. So you do not want to so-completely outfit him that he can't add items later that he thinks are really cool. Also remember that while the knife you got him is cool he is likely to be beginning a knife collection.

            Happy Hanukkah from this Goyim house!


            • jblake47
              jblake47 commented
              Editing a comment
              I've thought about the plastic stuff, but with scratching on cutting boards and plastic plates, I worry about getting them clean.

              It bummed me out when the mess kits went with the plastic cups, I used to hold the hole business over the fire to dry and sterilize but the cup was a problem.


            • King Ding Dong
              King Ding Dong commented
              Editing a comment
              Camping isn't clean.

              I guess a metal plate would be better but I figure the sanitizer wash gets in the scratches. I never see them use a knife to eat anyway they always want burgers.

            • Basementdweller
              Basementdweller commented
              Editing a comment
              I will never forget my first campout with the troop.

              New cross over with brand new metal mess kit dropped his soup on my pants when he burnt his hands when it was poured into his mess kit. he came back with the little pot thing and proceeded to dump that on the ground too. Naw......havent liked them ever since.

          • #7
            That would be cool. I have an old 1970's GI Surplus one and one I made from am old Lemonade Container. I use the GI once for show and the other one I use all the time.


            • #8
              Check with the troop for requirements. In our troop, I would recommend a baseplate compass, a personal mess kit (plate, bowl, cup, utensils in a mesh bag), nalgene (or similar) water bottles, backpack, tripod camp stool, non-vinyl poncho (either nylon or frog-togg), etc.


              • #9
                My Home Depot has some ~100 lumens headlamps in the gifty area for the holidays. 2 for $10.00. 1 for now, the other for when he loses it (or for dad).


                • #10
                  I would suggest poling other boys. I can totally imagine a story, where you go out shopping and pick .... let's say a really nice sleeping bag. You put a fair bit of thought and research into it and got a really good one that will suit his needs perfectly and last.

                  He opens it, and while he may be a good kid and act pleased, he might be thinking.... shoot! This one looks like it will last forever, so now I'm stuck with this thing. I really wanted the cool one with the watchamawidget zipper pulls and the high tech perpetual air conditioned micro fiber liner and the built in NFC charging pad for my tablet. All the guys will think I'm such a looser with this ugly thing!


                  • #11
                    My Troop always have an experienced ASM have a special "gear discussion" with the new scout parents. We usually have a handout as well. I imagine other Troops do too.


                    • #12
                      If your looking for a mess kit there is a good one from Army Surplus that is "Scout Proof." It's heavier than other kits, but the boys can beat the devil out of it and it will keep it's shape and still function.