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Posts posted by SWScouter

  1. On ‎10‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 10:45 AM, shortridge said:

    If any external frame fans really want their heads to explode, check out the ultralight sub on Reddit and read about Ray Jardine. Base pack weights of 10-15 pounds - or less!

    Most every UL pack setup these days is based on Jardine's Ray-Way pack. I haven't checked here for awhile because I was off hiking the Pacific Crest Trail this year. My base pack weight was around 10 pounds. I used two different Ray-Way packs that I sewed myself. One was ~39 liters and the other was ~44 liters so a bear can would fit in it when I went through the Sierra, both weigh only 10oz each. One really doesn't need much gear, especially when you're out there to hike, not sit around in camp.

    To keep this scouting related, here's my vlog for the day I summitted Mt. Baden Powell.


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  2. A lot of "National BSA Policy" really is just your local camp policy, or just somebody repeating what they were told from somebody else who was repeating what they were told from somebody else who was repeating what they were told from somebody else, ad infinitum. There are a lot of policies that really are nothing more than myth.

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  3. Personally, I do not think an adult leader being a facebook friend of a scout is against the G2SS. Basically, every "friend" of said scout will see anything the scout posts or anything the leader posts on the scout's wall. I would not, however private message that scout and if the scout private messages me, I would either not respond, or bring another in on the conversation.

  4. Provide opportunities at the council, regional and national level. Our lodge chief and adviser sit on the council board. The chief does a state of scouting address each year to the state legislature. We've had boys in the last few years be elected to section and regional leadership positions. A good number have become trail crew foreman at Philmont and Northern Tier. One young man from our lodge runs the entire Philmont trail crew operation. All opportunities that they would never have at the troop level.


    To me, this is why. The OA enlarges a scout's scouting world and provides opportunities for the scout to grow that world, not only as a participant, but as a leader.

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  5. The OP seems to belong to an expensive lodge.


    My lodge:

    Dues: $10

    Banquet: $15

    Spring Fellowship: $15

    Ordeals: $25 for members, less for elangomats and ceremonialists. $55 for ordeal candidates (includes sash, handbook, flap, etc.)

    Brotherhood: $25 (I think, might be $20 but the cost of the sashes was recently increased)


    Also, the lodge offers an "Ididerall" for $100 that includes two plates to the banquet, Spring Fellowship, four ordeals, and a special patch. It's a good deal

  6. I'm just gonna say, please don't buy your sons huge backpacks! The Alps Redtail 4900 is 80 liters. I have no idea why anyone would need or want an 80L pack unless maybe they were doing winter mountaineering and had to carry ropes, crampons, ice axe, etc. That Osprey was 75 liters. Again, that's huge! Those packs weigh a heck of a lot too. Would you really want to weigh your 12 year old son down with a 5+ pound pack?


    There really isn't much of a reason to ever need more than 60L. Needing large, heavy packs is pure myth and should be avoided. REI really is doing a disservice selling these packs to the unknowing public. It's really sad. The pack manufacturers too.


    Another thing, large packs tend to get filled up with more stuff which just means more weight to carry.


    Here's something, I sewed my own backpack. It weighs only 9.5 oz. I've taken it on a five day backpack with all the food and gear I needed fitting in it just fine. Total weight at the start was maybe 27 lb. and that was with group gear I normally wouldn't carry.


    If you want to enjoy backpacking with your family, then go light and avoid all this heavy stuff that will just turn them off from the activity.

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  7. My 23 year old daughter just bought a pair of crocs.


    I have a friend that hikes in those Keens all the time. We've done many trips in the Grand Canyon and the rocky desert. He loves them.


    I quit using hiking boots and am using trail runners now (Altra Lone Peak). I've backpacked probably close to 600 miles with them in the past year and hiked probably 800 more. Love em. Boots suck comparatively speaking. I hike on very rocky terrain and have found that boots are a hindrance.


    I have a couple friends that hike in Chacos. They hiked the PCT in sandals and the CDT and the Arizona Trail.


    Of all the long-distance hikers I've met, none wear boots.


    Philmont literature says hiking boots are required but they don't seem to have any issue with people using lighter foot-wear.

  8. Our council camps could use a ton of upkeep, yet our Lodge "clears brush"...and in areas that really don't matter. It is not like they are clear-cutting or removing scrub brush to reduce flash fire risks. It is busy work. We've got a ton of Oa members, yet the projects getting done are small, simple and less than most Eagle projects I've seen done.


    Would love to see them do more. I suspect OA is just seen as just one more thing to take up peoples' time.


    Take that up with the camp ranger. The camp ranger should be supplying meaningful projects for the ordeal candidates to perform.

  9. I have a tarptent, Moment DW. It works pretty good. Lately I've been using a tarp I sewed myself from a Ray-Way tarp kit. I also have the Batwing, a tarp door. Those two items, 12 titanium stakes, a polycro groundcloth and a stuff bag I made from scrap silnylon all weigh 21 ounces. If you're worried about bugs, or are in an area known for ticks, then you can also get the Net-Tent kit. I got the stakes and polycro from Gossamer Gear.

  10. What I used to use, was an MSR Mini Works filter/pump. It worked well and was easy to clean. It was dependable and seemed good for filtering from water with lots of stuff in it like the Colorado river in Grand Canyon where I was spending a lot of time. It's big problem is it's heavy, about a pound.


    This past year I've been backpacking the Arizona Trail, 800 miles from Mexico to Utah. A lot of the water sources are sketchy at best, made up of dirt cattle tanks and other stock tanks. What I'm using now, is the Sawyer Mini Filter. It's small, inexpensive, and light. Very simple to use with no moving parts. It can be set up as a gravity system, but I just squeeze water through it. For about $25, you get the filter, a syringe to backwash it, and a 16 oz. bladder for the unfiltered water. I've used this system for the past 235 miles of trail and am very happy with it.


    What I do is use Smart Water liter bottles instead of the bladder and that works well. The bottles are much lighter than Nalgenes and durable enough. They are also much easier to fill than the bladder. The filter will screw right on the bottle and I just use the filter instead of the bottle cap. I'll leave a water source with a liter of unfiltered water. That saves time at each stop since I may not need to filter water until I need a drink. I also may not need to filter the water at all if it is boiled for cooking instead of drinking.


    My understanding is that the smaller smart water bottles with a squirt cap can be used to backwash the filter and then the syringe can be left at home. I've never tried that.


    So my system is:

    Sawyer Mini Filter.

    50ml syringe for backwashing filter.

    One 1 liter Smart Water bottle for unfiltered water.

    Two 1 liter  Smart Water bottles for filtered water.

    One 20 oz. Gatorade bottle for drinking.

    One 1 qt. Nalgene for mixing electrolyte drinks.

    One 2 liter Platypus bladder for unfiltered water for long dry stretches.


    One minor change I'm thinking of is to switch to two Smart Water bottles of unfiltered water and one of filtered water. That should speed up stops for water by a few minutes and move the filtering to another stop where I wouldn't be doing anything else but resting anyway. If I do this, I will mark the cap of the second bottle so it is obvious what bottle is filtered and what bottle isn't.


    Have fun at Philmont. It looks like I'll be an adult advisor for a trek there next summer too.

  11. The lodge contingent is flying out Sunday. I still need to sew on the contingent patch and pack. My backpack will just fit as a carry on bag and I can remove the hip belt for easier travel. Wednesday afternoon I'll be helping staff some silk screening booth. Should be a great week; I'm looking forward to it.

  12. How to pick just one?


    I'll start with the 1972 (73?) Highline District, Chief Seattle Council camporee at the Yakima Firing Range. We were all loaded into military troop transport vehicles. Somewhere near Snoqualmie pass, the caravan pulled over so we could all get off the hard benches and stretch our legs. Some soldier yelled, "Hit the bushes." Imagine hundreds of scouts lining I-90 peeing all at the same time. That wasn't the best part though. All the scouts were sitting on the side of a hill when the military gave a live demonstration of its might. Big guns fired over our heads from 20 miles a way and blasted the crap out of some old cars in front of us. Then the helicopters came in and did more damage, followed by tanks and mortars and so on. It was a boy's dream watching stuff get blown to smithereens.


    There are so many other wonderful memories backpacking in the North Cascades and the Olympics too.


    Then there was the short backpacking trip near Alpental ski area where it rained the whole time. We pretty much just squatted down in our ponchos the whole time while one scout, Bobby, whined, "Leave me here to die." We finally got him to pack up and he led the charge back to vehicles. What a great turn around that was.

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  13. Use to be the best youth leadership training a scout could get, is NOAC still that way.



    It seems so, but we'll find out. There was a lot of great training choices available when I signed up.


    Are people who eat Spam an entire race of their own? I never knew that. Thanks for the update.



    They are. Though they go be several different terms. I'm not sure if any are derogatory or not though:







    I'm sure there may be more.

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