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SLHarter

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Everything posted by SLHarter

  1. SLHarter

    Backpacking

    In addition to EMS, another is Camp Coleman - the one in our area gives scouts and scouters a 20% discount on everything in the store including closeout and sale merchandise. Campmor (http://www.campmor.com) has a website that provides a lot of equipment and clothing at rally good prices. A number of scouts and leaders in our troop buy from there. Steve
  2. Eisely, thanks for the pointer to "moving at different speeds". I checked it out and printed the posts for future reference. I think the problem we are experiencing in our troop is that 12 of the 15 registered scouts only just came over from Cub Scouting last February. Even though I was one of their Cub Leaders, we did not do a LOT of hiking as Cubs and this should get better with experience and some gentle coaxing from our Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters in the troop. The older boys seem to know how to hike and hopefully they will help the younger ones learn as we go forward. Don't get me wrong - we have a lot of fun on our hikes and backpacking trips, we just need to fine tune our troop with the new mix of scouts and leaders. I really enjoy this post in the forums. Mike Long - you seem to know a whole lot about backpacking - thanks for your input. Steve Harter Asst Scoutmaster Troop 2 PA Dutch Council
  3. ALL of your points are excellent Mike! We have a small troop - 15 boys - so for any given backpacking outing we may have 10 or 12 on the trip. Usually, there are at least three registered leaders and a couple of Dads along. The one thing that I have noticed on hikes and backpacking trips is the way that the line "fans out" when on the trail. Your pointers about staying together are very good and I plan to print them out for discussion at a future troop meeting. Steve Harter Asst SM Troop 2 PA Dutch Council
  4. SLHarter

    Backpacking

    We use 25% of body weight as a max guideline for backpack loads. Even this gets hefty for the leaders who push over 200lbs!! My son weighs in at around 100, so I try to get his pack to weigh no more than 20 or 25 lbs. This usually covers all his "scout essentials" plus gear and clothing. He has his own tent (3.5 lbs). The max weight I have lugged is about 48 lbs (I weigh 196) and even this was tiring after 4-5 miles on the AT in western Maryland. Hilly, rocky terrain can drain your stamina quickly with this kind of weight on your back. Since that shakedown hike, I have been able to keep my pack weight below 40 by leaving all the stuff that may be "nice to have" but not really necessary, at home. We also repack all of our foodstuffs and don't carry any fresh or canned foods with us. Backpacking has become a family activity for us - my wife and daughter join us on weekenders when we're not out with the scouts. Even our dog, Daisy, comes on these jaunts into the woods (yes, she has her own pack). Getting away from the high tech in our lives has added a lot and we value this time together. Steve Harter, Asst SM, Troop 2, PA Dutch Council
  5. SLHarter

    Backpacking

    here! here! Very good points Mike. Our troop is an active backpacking troop and most of the adult leaders are well versed in "woods wisdom". Backpacking truly gets you back to nature and away from the hustle and bustle we get caught up in... Steve
  6. SLHarter

    liquid fuel stoves

    Thank you all for your answers - this does clear it up for me. I know we weren't allowed to use liquid fuel at our camporees and at one of the scout camps we went to, so I simply assumed that this applied "across the board" for BSA. I like the approach to start them out on propane or butane stoves first and progress to the use of liquid fuel as they get older and/or more experienced. I may even make that suggestion to our Scoutmaster. Thanks again to all of you. Steve
  7. I am a little confused about the use of liquid fuel for cooking stoves, lanterns, etc. Being a new Assistant Scoutmaster, I was informed that the use of liquid fuel appliances on scout outings was not allowed, yet in the camping merit badge book, these appliances (specifically stoves) are mentioned. What exactly is BSA policy on the use of liquid fuel by scouts on troop or patrol outings? Any information I can get on this will be extremely helpful. Thanks! Steve Harter Asst Scoutmaster Troop 2, PA Dutch Council
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