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About CRK7376

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  1. I've been a huge Kelty fan since I bought my first Kelty, a B5 Expedition pack/external frame in 1973. Still use it on a regular basis. I also have a Kelty El Cap internal frame that's actually bigger then the B5. It's good, but I've never fully gone the internal frame route. I also have a nice Kelty Gale(?) or is it a Tornado(?) can't remeber, but I like it for overnight short trips when I don't need to haul much. My younger son and I did Philmont #32 in 2009 and the decision was between the El Cap and B5. B5 won out, I love external frames, more comfortable for me, better air circulation between pack and my back, plus I can attach equipment on top or below bag more easily. My son also carried an external frame Kelty that he likes. If I get to do Philmont again, I might try my El Cap for comparisons, but most likely will stick with what I like, the B5 external frame. Half our 12 man Philmont crew carried external frames. No major complaints from either side of the debate. Everybody's equipment worked well and no major malfunctions occured. Go with what's comfortable, what you can afford, but mostly go with a good reputable pack.
  2. CRK7376

    Best Cameras for Scouting

    I love my Panasonic LC43 with a Leica lense. It's been a very, very durable digital camera. World traveler; its been camping across the USA, Korea, Europe, Afghanistan. It's jumped out of airplanes during day and night parachute operations, been dropped on camping trips, gone white water rafting in a pelican case, some rock climbing. Small, compact camera, fits easily in old army ammo pouch and the army first aid case. Unfortunately it's getting old, case is showing more wear and hairline cracks so I may have to replace it soon. It's also only a 4 MGpix, compared to the Canon Powershot I just bought my in-laws for $100 that is a 12.1MGpix....It works great, feels great int he hand, built in finger rest that helps grip the camera when you are cold or wet...Now the family and Philmont crew may dislike me cause I was "that camera guy" always snapping pictures of the crew and event.....
  3. Kelty, Kelty, Kelty, did I say Kelty? Needless to say, I'm a huge Kelty fan. I've been using Kelty since I bought my first one in 1973, it was an external frame, still have it and used it at Philmont in 2009. I've also got Kelty El Cap from the early 1980s, my first internal frame, huge ruck. Favorite overnight-2-3 day trip bag is the Kelty Gale. If I'm not carrying a Kelty, I like North Face rucks.
  4. I've been using that sleep system for over ten years. I really like the lightweight green bag for warm weather camping. The goretex bivy sack is the BOMB! Saved my hide during mutliple cold weather events in Korea and Afghanistan. I prefer my North Face and/or Mountain Hardware heavy bags, but the black military bag is also very good and when combined with the green bag you have a superb cold, cold weather bag. The compression sack is good at compressing, but i have had lots of seam failures with that compression bag. Still it's worked well for me both in the military and outside. I have 5 sets of the green/black bags and compression bags enough for the whole family. As for washing them, straight into the washer, gentle cycle, but I hang them dry outside.
  5. CRK7376

    Recommend GPS for Scouting

    I've carried a Garmin etrex Vista since Afghanistan in 2002 and never had a problem. The Kids know it/manipulate it better than I do; simple, not to pricey and rugged. Oldest Eagle son not interested in geocaching, younger Eagle son and 12yo daughter along with myself enjoy geocaching. We placed a geacache near younger sons Eagle project after reading about Eagles in San Fancisco area brining light to their Eagle projects through the sport. Our troop has done a couple of Geocache events, but they haven't really caught on with our troop other than a couple of boys.
  6. CRK7376

    Recommend GPS for Scouting

    I've carried a Garmin etrex Vista since Afghanistan in 2002 and never had a problem. The Kids know it/manipulate it better than I do; simple, not to pricey and rugged. Oldest Eagle son not interested in geocaching, younger Eagle son and 12yo daughter along with myself enjoy geocaching. We placed a geacache near younger sons Eagle project after reading about Eagles in San Fancisco area brining light to their Eagle projects through the sport. Our troop has done a couple of Geocache events, but they haven't really caught on with our troop other than a couple of boys.
  7. All my rucks, internal frame and external frames have a clothes line and clothes pins on the ruck. I use about a 3ft loop of parachute cord, then clothes pins for socks or wet tshirts etc....For my climbing gear rack I cut and taped together a homemade "Crack tool" for cleaning placement/recovering chocks/nuts/Tsquares.
  8. Trekking Poles are great, younger guys don't use them as much, but 3-4 of the youngersters on my trek had them, all 3 adults, counting myself carried trekking poles. Another nice item, cheap is a lightweight camp chair, makes for a comfortable evening instead of the log or ground. I really like the Alite Monarch Chair. For me a digital camera is required part of the packing list for any camping/backpacking trip. Most crews only require 2-1quart water bottles, I would/did carry a 3rd water bottle, so a nice Philmont Nalgene would be well received. Next crew I take to Philmont will be required to carry 3-1qt water bottles. Really good quality combo wicking/wool/synthetic backpacking socks. I'm old school used to using silk/poly sock liner under heavy ragg wool sock, but used combo socks for the first time at Philmont 2 years ago and loved them. Will not go back to the silk/ragg wool combo again. A plain simple titanium Spork from MSR is a good lightweight gift. Good luck and hope the new Eagle enjoys Philmont.
  9. CRK7376

    tired of popcorn

    My current council tells us we have to sell popcorn and frowns on outside fundraising. None of our small troop like or are willing to sell popcorn. We sell Christmas wreaths, wrap presents at the PX for donations, do other fund raising activities and tell Council to go pound sand. The popcorn doesn't taste very good and is way too expensive! We want the money to go to our troop.
  10. CRK7376

    Military uniform items with scouting?

    This military officer has no trouble with anybody in BSA using or wearing military attire or equipment. For many of my scouts, borrowing mom or dad's rucksack or sleeping bag means the difference between going camping or not....borrow or buy military gear. Camping gear and BSA uniforms are outrageously expensive for many scouts with miltary parents so I don't have a problem, I want them out camping and enjoying BSA. I try real hard to encourage my adult military volunteers to get civilian equipment/uniforms, but having them involved is more important than what they wear or camp with. I've got tons of military gear from 33 years of service that I let Scouts borrow all the time. I still use lots of military gear. Summer of 09, my Philmont crew all carried Army 1 quart canteens and canteen cups, plus other water bottles. One of the crew members carried two army canteens, so what, he had a great time. I wore my very, very comfortable Army boots at Philmont, instead of my heavy duty Asolo, also comfortable, but heavier. Old outdated army gear no issue with me, especially now that the woodland pattern of cammies are no more. They make great field pants and the Goretex is first class, especially if you have one modified from Korea or Germany with the field jacket liner sewn in/removable like mine. Bottom line up front, get the kids outdoors with whatever resources you have available, including military gear/clothing. My last troop's neckerchief was forest green with a specific Army Unit's patch sewn on it. Since 80% of the families were associated with the unit and they were our semi-official sponsor....Worked for us!
  11. CRK7376

    Scouting and Eagle on Applications

    As an Eagle Scout I wish I had known about joining the military as an E2/3 when I enlisted as an E1, if it was even an option back in '77. Oh well it didn't hurt me any. Left the enlisted ranks as an E5 and now get to wear another Eagle emblem, that of an Colonel/O6. So I guess it worked out pretty well for me! Twin Eagles, I tell EBOR's that I get to wear two Eagles because of the first Eagle earned back in '73.
  12. I received my Eagle in 1973 and my younger brother got his in 1977 or 1978 and we both received our Eagles at the conclusion of a regular Troop COH. This was the way our troop did things from the 60's through the 80's until it disbanded. I really like it that way and am encouraging my troop to do that now. Seems that the current trend is for an Eagle COH to be a big show/presentation for the Eagle/s. Great, the young man worked hard to become an Eagle, but I think it's a little selfish/showboat to have a ceremony for one boy seperate from all other BSA events. Having an Eagle Ceremony at the conclusion of a normal troop CHO shows all the Scouts and their families what it takes to become an Eagle. But then I prefer to be alittle more modest/humble. Proud, but humble etc....
  13. CRK7376

    Philmont Admin

    My son, 15 last summer, and I went to Philmont with our Troop in June 2009. Our entire crew of 9 boys (6 were 15, 1 was 16, 2 were 18 and headed to college in the fall, 6 were Life Scouts 3 were Eagles) and 3 adults were all first time Philmont Crew members. WE HAD A BLAST! That said we had very little support or guidance from our Council. I was not happy with that part. As a military officer, I am very much into the Attention to Details/mission planning/execution way of thinking. We won a Crew Seat in the COuncil Lottery, then had to do the rest on our own. If we had known this going in, we would have been much better prepared. As it was, the three adults started our really detailed planning in Nov08 with our Trek in launching in the middle of June09. 01Sep08 our first payments were due to hold a seat on the crew, we only got word we had won a seat on the Council Trek in July08 so it was fast planning/what do we do next....Paymnets in Nov, Feb and last one in April were published for all crew members. Our Crew rule was if you drop out, you lose your money, and all knew this going in...If you had to drop put and found a replacement, you got your money back. THis happened with one of our boys, and he found a replacement and got his money back. Nov08 I was beside myself in the planning process, nobody except the 3 leaders seemed to have a clue, naturally the boys were not doing much research or anything to get ready. The leaders, all three of us have extentsive backpacking experience, but of the boys, none had been under a rucksack for more 3-4 days at a time. Fitness hikes and rucking did not occur as we had hoped for. In the end it didn't matter, even to we relatively "flatlanders" from the Piedmont part of NC. We did two trail hikes, neither verylong and the boys and adults did fine out west, even when we summited Baldy. Fitness was not our issue. In Nov08, the leaders met and mapped out a few things we thought were extremely important for our trek, #1 was summitting Baldy, #2 was summitting Tooth of Time, # 3 was rock climbing, and #4 was Black Powder Shooting. After that it was all gravy. This was what the leaders wanted. I Feb09 we held a Crew meeting and showed the boys all the options available. We had them list their top 10 activities but as a Crew they had to include Baldy and Tooth of Time. Once we had each boys top 10 events, we tallied them and showed the boys what they were looking at. Then we matched as close as possible the events to a trek. We had an ambitious crew and ended up selecting Trek #32, over 80miles of trail to ruck. Our plan was to have our request in the mail back to Philmont 24 hours after we had received the various trek options. Our boys ahd their top 4-5 treks identified, so all the adults had to do was match the boys request to what Philmont was offering. we did and we got our first choice of Treks. SO make sure in your planning you get your Trek request out early! March 2009 we finally decided that flying made more sense and was part of the adventure. None of our boys with 2 exceptions had ever flown on a plane. We priced tickets and eventually flew out of Charlotte, NC into Denver for 3 days of acclimation. The worst part of this was having to rent a Suburban and a Minivan to haul our 12 bodies and rucks and then having them sit idle for 12 days at Philmont. That was expensive, but still cheaper and more freedom than one of the charter/bus services, taking the train was a horrible option for us and more expensive than flying. Driving out an d back was not a good option, with adult vacation days maxxed out. We spent two nights camping at the US Air Force Academy, toured the Olympic Training Center, attended Church Services at the AF Academy where the boys got to serve as ushers, hiked and played in the Garden of the Gods and drove up Pikes Peak, lots of snow still on the ground in mid June. Our third night we stayed at Santa Fe Trails Council Scout Ranch on the Colorado/NM line. Next morning we pulled into Philmont and the adventure really took off! Knowing now what we pulled off in with little outside guidance worked out for our crew. The 3 adults was all good in very different areas and made our planning process work. Decide early on the transportation mode, that was the biggest cost for us, and one of later decisions. Back on the summer of 2008 gas was really high priced and that scared us off of driving, plus vacation days were at a premium and the thought of spending 3-4 more days with the crew after 12 days of tough hiking...our thoughts were when it's over, we want to be through. We knew that during the 12 days of the trail, some of us would be tired of others by the end and the drive home would probably result in a visit to the funny farm or jail....So we flew. It was the right choice. Have fun, good luck and enjoy Philmont. As an adult, planning was actully part of the fun. Our Crew was boy lead and we adults stayed out of the decision making process as much as possible, which meant we hiked about 6 miles more than we should have one day when our map/compass man didn't read his map very well. All 9 boys served at least one day as the map/compass man responsible for getting us from one campsite to the next one. After everybody pulled their duty we let those that wanted have a second day on map/compass duty. This worked well for our crew, even the extra miles we hiked one day. It was all part of the adventure. Hope this helps. Enjoy Philmont, wish I could go back. Maybe Northern Tier Canoe Base next go round....
  14. CRK7376

    What patch(s) means the most to you?

    1.Eagle 2.Vigil Honor 3.Scout Lifeguard 4.Philmont Arrowhead
  15. CRK7376

    2010 Scout Weight Restrictions

    Height and Weight are important and I was worried about the inprocessing portion at Philmont this past summer. I'm a big guy and as a military officer I always bust the Army's height weight table but qualify when they put the tape to me. Anyway back to Philmont, I was concerned that Philmont Medical Staff would see my weight and say no....They didn't ask me to step on a scale, didn't ask my weight, they did take my BP/Heart rate, do a very minimual health screening. Mostly how are you feeling, taking any medication etc...I'm big, but do lots of physical fitness training, running/aerobic activity etc...Our Troop did Trek #32 probably close to 90 miles worth of trail at Philmont, our average elevation was 7600ft, not bad for a bunch of NC flatlanders.....I had a blast as did my son and the rest of our Crew!