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  1. Equipment Reviews & Discussions

    Discussions dealing with equipment topics (tents, lights, packs, boots, stoves, etc.)

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    Tales of Scout cooks, prized techniques and yummy recipes for gathering around the fire.

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • Wool socks. 100% wool socks.  Some folks are mildly allergic to wool (sad),  but I wear wool rag year round,,,,  padding , no blisters, warm in winter (add a liner?), cool (believe it or not) in the summer. Not much more expensive than the blends (thorlo?) and all natural product.  Get the right size, not too tight.   Change socks for sleeping, dry wool socks keep tootsies warm. Wear night socks the next morning,  Hang yesterday socks up to dry the next morning. Wear the old day socks (now dry) for the next night.    On long hikes, bring three pair.  One rinse out, hang on back of pack to dry thru the day, use for night.  One pair in reserve in the pack, in plastic baggie. One pair on feet, hiking.   And ,of course, properly fitted boots.  Snug across the instep, looser in the toes, wiggle room. Your feet expand when you hike seriously, they need a little room to "spread".  snug into the heel cup, but not so tight it is uncomfortable.  Seek out the Gortex clones, all but 100% waterproof in small puddles, but breath for your sweaty feet.  True story:   Bought a LLBean pair, and their "Gortex Type" liner was installed BACKWARDS.  They soaked up rain water and dew, my feet sweat so much , it was like walking in a lake shore.  Returned for refund.  Bought  Vasque pair, (as my last three pairs) and exact opposite: Dry feet, puddles no leak into boot.  Happy hiker.    See you on the trail...
    • “Specifically for girls” does not mean a completely different program with different activities and ranks and the like. It means a program in units just for girls, which is what they’ll have once Scouts BSA launches. For example, Venturing - which covers those topics - is not specifically for girls. Girl-only Scouts BSA troops will be “specifically for girls.” I’m fully on board, Jameson. I expect that in another 5-10 years we’ll see complete coed Scouting, and I’m fully on board with that, too. It’s about darn time we join the rest of the world.  
    • You need to get on-board with the expected offerings, the BSA program will not be "specifically for girls"...the BSA program will be the same for Boys and Girls and there will be NO CHANGES to the current program with the addition of girls to the program The FAQ (15+ pages I might add) on Family Scouting states that and if it says it is so...it is so
    • Happy Monday,  https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2014/01/15/whats-that-age-again-a-complete-guide-to-when-scouts-can-do-what/ The links in the blog are out of date since the transfer of the www.scouting.org website, but this pretty much sums it up:  "...The BSA’s Health and Safety team developed the age- and rank-appropriate guidelines based on the mental, physical, emotional and social maturity of Boy Scouts of America youth members..." The updated info can be found here:  https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/toc/ So couple of discussion items:  What requirements are there for youth to use wheelbarrows or wagons?  Unaware of any but please let me know.   What risks would be present for younger scouts in the use of wheelbarrows or wagons?   Discuss.          
    • It depends on the temps. "coffee is a block of ice" only means it got below freezing. How cold is cold? We can easily get below 0 and the lowest I've seen is -20. Others have seen colder. That said: I have a Coleman 4 season tent I got half off. It does a good job in the wind and shedding snow. I put a lot of effort into insulation on the bottom of the tent. A wool blanket on the bottom of the tent and padding with plenty of insulation. I currently use one or two thick closed cell foam pads with an insulated thermarest on top. I used to have a big agnes 3" insulated pad, which was great, but it sprung a leak and there's nothing worse than that. It was very cold that night. I have a Holubar down bag from way back when. It's wonderfully warm. There was a time when I used synthetic bags and the problem is I'd get tight spots when I slept on my side that let in a lot of cold. One solution to that is a second bag that's used as a blanket. If it's really cold I'll put an insulated nalgene with boiling water in it down around my thighs. Always put on dry long johns before going to bed (that means you need 3 sets). Don't wear anything more than long johns and socks in the bag. Put extra insulation on the outside of the bag as you need to warm the entire bag up. Clothing is the usual 3 layers (wicking, insulation, shell). Pay special attention to wrists, neck, and ankles (neck gator, long mittens, gators). I added a better foot bed to my snow boots and it makes a lot of difference. Obviously a hat. No cotton. Food is important, too. A mix of quick energy simple carbs as well as long energy fats and protein. I eat all the time but I do have 4 big meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner at 4 and 9). This is one campout I frown on pancakes for the scouts. Too long and hard to cook and not much long term energy. Don't sweat it. Literally, do not sweat. Stay comfortably cool. Last item: positive attitude. So, the gear hasn't changed much. BTW, for you old guys, rather than take 20 minutes to put all this clothing on at night when I have to pee I bring an extra bottle. I know it was cold when that freezes by morning.
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