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How to Wear a Campaign Hat?

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  • #16
    The only problem I have with my campaign hat is when I am getting into a car I forget I have it on and get the edge of the brim wacked on the side of the door sill! Good thing it is hard enough to take that abuse.

    Is there any truth to calling these hats "Lemmon Squeezers" from the shape of the top looking like the old glass kitchen gadget? (cut the lemmon or orange in half and push down while rotating) Or is it from the way your head feels after wearing a new one all day long?

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    • #17
      KA6BSA:

      The name "Lemmon Squeezer" does indeed come from the citus fruit "juicer" - generally a glass bowl looking thing with a ribbed lump in the center. It is used by cutting citrus fruit such as oranges or lemons in half and then pressing and twisting the fruit half to extract the juice into the bowl.

      For the others: Floppy may have been ok back prior to WWII when the campaign hat was standard in the US Military, but when I had to wear one, the brim had to be flat and level. So we shaped and blocked them with hair spray, Scotch guard, etc. I for one don't look too good in a floppy hat so I like my blocked.

      The other problem with campaign hats is that unless it is on your head, it is hard to keep from getting crushed.

      But I like em anyway. They look good, provide good protection from the sun and rain, and are very tradiional looking.

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      • #18
        "...but when I had to wear one, the brim had to be flat and level."

        In "Scouting for Boys," Baden-Powell illustrates the brim as being reasonably flat and level. The only exception is in illustrations of Tommy Tenderfoot or some other unfortunate attempting to use an improper method.

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        • #19
          Has anyone ever niticed the difference between American (U.S.) campaign hats and those from the United Kingdom or Canada? It appears that in the U.K. the indentations on the hat peak are 45 degrees different than those from the U.S. Take a close look of any photograph of Lord Baden-Powell.

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          • #20
            Yep. Just look at the mounties, their dents are in the wrong places.

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            • #21
              I am still trying to determine the proper way to wear the leather belt type hat band (not the little chin strap) on the BSA Campaign hat.

              Most pictures I have seen show the leather hat band worn with the buckle on the center of the left side of the crown with the distal end of the belt pointing to the rear.

              The Insignia Guide does not even address the leather band. Is it even required? The only insignia mentioned for the campaign hat is the "adult universal hat pin" and it says that adults "may" wear that pin, which indicates to me that it is optional. Perhaps the leather band is optional too?


              Does anyone out there know for sure what the proper wear position for the leather hat band is?

              Thanks.

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              • #22
                IIRC, if you get a hat from the catalog, it should come with the band, and possibly the insignia. They ptobably expect it to be in the right spot when you get it, so they probably don't address how it should be.

                I bought an army surplus store el-cheapo last summer. It is brand new, made by the "campaign" company, and is made in the USA. It is not the offical Stetson or any other famous brand, but it is made in the USA and fits me well. I took off the goofy vinyl chin strap and replaced it with a leather lace and rawhide slider. I also got the old First Class pin for it, and the Adult one too. I still am tempted to get the official leather hatband too. I guess the BSA started using the Campaign hat because army surplus ones were so easy for boys to get at the time, so I don't feel bad at all about mine not being "official". I did buy the hat flattener for it though from the catalog (cheapest one out there believe it or not).

                So, does the scotch guard keep it pretty spiffy in the rain, or will it still get really bad and saggy? does it make your head sweat any more or less than an untreated hat. One hot summers' wear lead me to find out that if you sweat a lot the front of the brim will droop pretty bad and it will look like a campaign fedora. That's why I got the flattener in the first place.

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                • #23
                  I wore the official BSA campaign hat as a youth. Placing it on my head was the most natural of experiences. Sometimes I wore it forward when inspecting the troops and on the back of my head when enjoying a bit of frivolity with the same. I am sure I must have worn it parallel to the ground on occasion when feeling level headed.

                  It went to Philmont with me. Those were the days before the backpacks towered over your head and pack belts hugged your waist. I remember buying two shoulder pads from one guy exiting and then slipping them over my pack straps. It was like heaven, the feel of one-half inch foam padding comforting my shoulders from the burden of a 50 pound pack. I remember thinking it won't ever get any better than this.

                  If your try wearing the campaign hat today with the high topped pack, get ready to wear it with the front tilted to the ground for the first day and with the front tilted to the sky on the second, if it stays flat. For it to be really useful, you could ScothGuard the inside and catch rain water for a long cool draught.

                  At the Ranch, even without the high topped pack, the hat bent up in the front and back after the first rain or two. I looked a little bit like the Rough Riders. It didn't keep the sun out of my eyes and was not very useful other than for hooking several of the flies that I learned to tie at one camp into the fabric band. Note: the band that came with it didn't move so the question of proper placement never came up.

                  I still really liked the hat. I didn't have a press or a rain coat for it. I didn't use ScotchGuard or Aqua Net. It simply grew in character with each passing experience. You would think it would have perished in all of the Scouting I put it through but it didn't, so the quality/price ratio must have been good. I retired it years ago to set on the shelf so I could occasionally remember where we went together. FB

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                  • #24
                    " I guess the BSA started using the Campaign hat because army surplus ones were so easy for boys to get at the time,"

                    BSA used the campaign hat for the same reason that most Scout Associations around the world did, B-P wore one and The Boy Scouts (the originals in the UK) wore them. B-P selected the "cowboy hat," as he called it, for his troops in Africa because it is a practical hat. The wide brim provides shade, a horse can be watered from it, etc.. When B-P created the Scouting uniform, the hat was a natural.

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                    • #25
                      Hi..I'm new to the forums but heres my question. I have read all these posts about Campaign Hats and how to wear them or keep them in good condition. But does all this refer to the old ones the new ones, or non-official ones? I have one from the catolog that i keep in its press and take out for formal occasions. I also just acquired one from i'd date to the forties. So when it comes to the old Vintage ones:

                      How do you keep them flat? or protected from rain without wearing the rain cover. any ideas?

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                      • #26
                        I got my campaign hat, new and unworn, from a military surplus place on the Mainland. $32 versus $80 from the catalog. I did get the rain cover, leather band, and chin strap from BSA.

                        I had the same question about where to position the buckle on the band. I put mine to the right side, so the BSA logo on the band is centered in the front. I haven't gotten a flattener yet -- I'm thinking of making one with wood and wing nuts.

                        It's slowly shaping to my head and getting more comfortable. I like the shade and protection from the elements (with the rain cover on.

                        I wear it level to the ground, with the strap behind my head. It stays put just fine. I'm trying to figure out how to store the rain cover inside the hat, up in the attic -- lots of wasted space up there.

                        I'd spray it with a stiffener and water repellent, but I don't want to ruin it...if you guys say it doesn't mess up the hat, I'll do it.

                        Call me corny and old-fashioned, but I think the campaign hat should be required wear for SMs, at least for ceremonial occasions. It's pricey, that's true, but I think it completes the picture. How about this: the SM position patch costs $50, and includes a free hat?

                        KS

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                        • #27
                          "How do you keep them flat? or protected from rain without wearing the rain cover. any ideas?"

                          Get one of those brim flattener do-hickies. There's a troop that advertises them on the internet. They make them for thin brim hats and thick brim hats.

                          Protect it from the rain with a liberal application of Scotchguard.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            For those of you who want to keep the brim of a campaign hat flat, here is how we did it in the Army. (We were not allowed to have "floppy" brims on our campaign hats but then again we were not supposed to spray them with anything either - so we did what we had to do)

                            Disclaimer: Use this method at your own risk. It never hurt any of my campaign hats but.... Also, Scotchguard can be hazardous. Again, at your own risk.

                            Caution: If you use scented hairspray you may draw various critters - especially bees.

                            Get a can of unsented AquaNet Hair Spray and a Can of ScotchGuard spray.

                            Remove the leather band(s) and any insignia from the hat.

                            Completely saturate the inside of the hat and bottom of the of the brim with the hairspray.

                            Place the hat on a smooth surface, like a formica table or counter top.

                            Leave the hat be and let it dry completely - this may take several days.

                            Lift the hat from the smooth surface - you may have to use a putty knife or something similar.

                            Take the hat outside and place it on something like a one gallon can.

                            Spray the outside/top of the hat with the Scotchguard. You will have to do this with several applications. The spray may leave a white residue on the hat but it will brush off with a stiff brush. CAUTION: DO NOT BREATH THE SCOTCHGUARD SPRAY - it is hazardous!

                            Let the hat dry completely.

                            Replace the leather band(s) and insignia.

                            The hat will now retain its shape and the brim should stay nice a flat for a long time, and the hat will be almost waterproof. Rain will run right off of it.

                            You will still want to keep the hat in a hat block when not in use.

                            For whomever it was that was asking how to "Break in" a Campaign hat: You really don't break them in. They will naturally assume the shape of your head with time and frequent wear.

                            I like campaign hats but tend not to wear mine much.



                            Comment


                            • #29
                              For those of you who want to keep the brim of a campaign hat flat, here is how we did it in the Army. (We were not allowed to have "floppy" brims on our campaign hats but then again we were not supposed to spray them with anything either - so we did what we had to do)

                              Disclaimer: Use this method at your own risk. It never hurt any of my campaign hats but.... Also, Scotchguard can be hazardous. Again, at your own risk.

                              Caution: If you use scented hairspray you may draw various critters - especially bees.

                              Get a can of unsented AquaNet Hair Spray and a Can of ScotchGuard spray.

                              Remove the leather band(s) and any insignia from the hat.

                              Completely saturate the inside of the hat and bottom of the of the brim with the hairspray.

                              Place the hat on a smooth surface, like a formica table or counter top.

                              Leave the hat be and let it dry completely - this may take several days.

                              Lift the hat from the smooth surface - you may have to use a putty knife or something similar.

                              Take the hat outside and place it on something like a one gallon can.

                              Spray the outside/top of the hat with the Scotchguard. You will have to do this with several applications. The spray may leave a white residue on the hat but it will brush off with a stiff brush. CAUTION: DO NOT BREATH THE SCOTCHGUARD SPRAY - it is hazardous!

                              Let the hat dry completely.

                              Replace the leather band(s) and insignia.

                              The hat will now retain its shape and the brim should stay nice a flat for a long time, and the hat will be almost waterproof. Rain will run right off of it.

                              You will still want to keep the hat in a hat block when not in use.

                              For whomever it was that was asking how to "Break in" a Campaign hat: You really don't break them in. They will naturally assume the shape of your head with time and frequent wear.

                              I like campaign hats but tend not to wear mine much.



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                              • #30
                                Can one wear a Campaign Hat with a Venturing Uniform?

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