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    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

    • Ive used smart water bottles and gatorade bottles on 2 PSR treks and a few other non-PSR treks.  I like the smart water because they are tall and skinny so fit better in my side pockets.  I usually get multiple 32oz and 1 of the 16oz with the "sport bottle" lid.  I drink the 16 at home and put the lid on the 32.  Be sure to put names on them because they all look alike. I havnt used a pack cover in many years.  Instead I use a pack liner and just deal with the pack itself being wet.  Any heavy duty trash bag will work as a liner, I like the ones we get from the DOT for highway cleanup because they are orange so easier to see into than the usual black bags.  They are a good diameter for my pack and tall enough to roll the top down. One problem we often have with pack covers - when someone straps their foam pad to the outside of the pack, they always strap it horizontally which causes the cover to "flair" out leaving a gap on the sides.  Putting the pad inside the pack is better, but if they need to put it outside, I have them strap it vertically so the cover fits better. To put the pad inside - try putting it into the empty pack vertically then unroll the pad as much as possible to create a "tube" and put everything else down inside the tube.  
    • I'm trying to teach them to use some of the lightweight techniques that modern backpackers are using in their through hikes of the Appalachian Trail and other trails.  If backpacking becomes something they want to do after scouts, I want them to know they can go light and enjoy backpacking more.  Using Smartwater or other "disposable" bottles is very common among lightweight backpackers.  They are surprisingly durable and light. I was told one of our previous scoutmasters took our troop to Philmont and hit the trail with a pack that weighed over 70 pounds.  I can only assume he carried a dutch oven.
    • I told our scouts to pack all of their personal gear in their backpack.  Then make sure they had enough space leftover to fit their home bed pillow in the pack.  This would ensure there was enough space for food and crew gear.  One scout arrived at gear shakedown with a pack that looked completely full.  I was worried.  He had arrived with the pillow in his pack to prove he had enough space.
    • Odd question. My parents never had first class skills. A couple of my brothers did, but they were off starting families/careers. I learned my skills from: The handbook My PL and SPL The SM Camp Staff A WAC vet who ran the county pool as if our lives depended on knowing how to swim. So, I don't expect parents to be able to teach my scouts 1st class skills. I have no idea why anyone would.
    • I have multiple tents, depending on what type of camping we are doing.  When camping with the pack, or something like camporee with the troop, where size and weight are not an issue, I use a Coleman Flatwoods II tent.  I like it because it is more than big enough for comfort, with a 10x10 footprint and a 6" center height.  It is relatively easy to set up, I can do it by myself in about 10 - 15 minutes.  For the size, it is not particularly heavy, at just under 15 lbs.  
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