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mikecummings157

Scouts Tenting Alone?

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sandspur,

 

We have two troop trailers. One is troop/patrol gear that is literally packed solid and the other is the PG (personal gear) trailer that carries food, ice chests, camp chairs, packs, duffles, pillows, etc. Including adults, we can very easily have 50 on any given campout. The boys have five patrols plus the adult patrol. That is alot of tents, patrol boxes, dutch ovens, tarps, water cubes, lanterns, dining flys, fire buckets, KP buckets, etc. Turst me, our SM is an engineer and he is a packing space and efficeincy Nazi. While the troop does own some tents like you describe that we use for annual high adventure trips, we need more durable tents for monthly use. We have some of our Eureka Timberlines that are older than the boys. We just retired some from the mid-80's.

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The Scouts decide who they tent with. We have 4-man timberlines.

 

Most times it is two Scouts per tent because that comfortable fits the gear inside. We actually discourage three in a tent because we had a few busted zippers a several years ago with three in the tent. Looking back most of us Scouters believe this had more to do with two Scouts who moved on to another troop than having three in the tent.

 

If a patrol has an odd number of Scouts the most common solution is the odd Scout sleeps alone. The one exception to this is Klondike where the PLC requires at least two to a tent for heat capacity and safety reasons. Last year my son requested to sleep in my tent instead of going for three in a tent. Everybody was good with that so that is what we did. Normally we discourage Scouts from sleeping with their Dads because we believe it leads to a breakdown of the Patrol Method and this was an exception.

 

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Eagle92 wrote: "As for being alone, doesn't Wilderness Survival MB say you need to make a shelter and sleep alone in it?"

 

Actually (this one got me thinking and I had to check), the requirement reads: "Improvise a natural shelter. ... Spend a night in your shelter."

 

I'd interpret that to mean that a Scout has to build his own shelter (no teamwork, as requirements are individual things), but there's nothing barring another Scout who's not trying to complete that requirement from sleeping in the shelter with him.

 

Just my two cents.

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I've never known a scout to request a single tent, but when camping with odd numbers they are a necessity.

 

Arguments for requiring doubling up are

 

1. Medical Safety (asthma diabetes etc)

2. Buddy system

 

Basically that are the only ones

 

 

Now, why should we burden a scout with the medical safety of another scout? If a scout needs insulin every morning at 2 A.M., it should surely be the adult leaders who are in charge of distributing it, not the kids tentmate.

 

The Buddy System is not used when in campsite, really. When the kids eat, do you ask "Where is your lunch buddy?" in case they get a paper cut while using their napkin. Buddy system also does not work in any games covering a large area, either. In football the CB would tell the WR to "slow down buddy, I can't keep up", thus defeating the excess skill the WR possessed. In capture the flag, how would it be possible for a kid to sneak around through the woods to get the flag with a buddy. A buddy = 2x noise and 2x space and that = 2x getting caught.

 

A buddy is necessary when the kid is going a mile away or so. But when within the proximity of the camping area you don't use buddies.

 

And if someone woke me up in the middle of the night and asked me to go watch em pee, I would first wonder if they were serious, second if they were high off of anything, and if they insisted I would probably punch them.

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>>And if someone woke me up in the middle of the night and asked me to go watch em pee, I would first wonder if they were serious, second if they were high off of anything, and if they insisted I would probably punch them.

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Barry,

 

I can top that. In a troop I used to serve, we had a kid too lazy to get up and walk to the tree line. It was claimed by some of the other boys that he would pee on the ground in the vestibule of his tent. It was his tent and he tented alone. I'm not sure how he could put up with the smell and mess, but sometimes you just have to learn the hard way.

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Why tent? In good weather they're nothing more then a waste of a good night's sky. And, a small tarp works fine to keep the dew off the bag if's that a concern...

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Around here, in the main summer camping season, the answer is BUGS. You have three choices: (1) Use a tent, (2) rig up mosquito netting under your tarp, or (3) don't get any sleep. Most use a tent.

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Yes, I understand the bug issue as I sometimes tent in the Dismal Swamp, same goes for Maine. However, I've learned to camp at the top of windy hills to keep the bugs at bay. Means I don't use DEET, and not concern about future health issues caused by slathering myself with toxins. None the less, when the bugs are few to gone, much better to leave the tents behind, and "rough it" a bit...

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Ahh, hills... perchance to dream...

 

The highest spot in my county is a landfill. If we're not battling bugs on the trail, it's either raining or freezing. But I agree wholeheartedly with the no-tent sentiment!

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about the no tent thing, our guys at summer camp opted to take down the tents (last week of camp) the night before we left and sleep on their cots out in the open so they wouldn't have to do it in the morning and we could leave and get home quickly.

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Our summer camp has a mid week outpost where scouts and leaders hike to a remote location and make due with traps.

Last one I attended, 3 years ago, none of the scouts went back into their tents for the remainder of the week. They'd rather sleep under the stars. But don't have bugs.

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In our troop the BOYS (PLC) decided on how they wanted to handle tenting alone. Their decision was to allow First Class and above Scouts to tent alone. If that means a lower rank boy would be alone, one of the higher rank boys has to double up.

 

Scouts can bring their own personal tent provided they have set it up and used it prior to the outing. No first time setup problems allowed. One boy brought a ten man tent to Summer Camp last week. The SPL took one look at that package and sent it home with the Scouts Mom.

 

We have had no problems with Scouts tenting alone and I don't anticipate any. Like others, I don't see medical reasons as an issue unless it is a particular case. I understand the reason for the buddy sytem in some cases, but there is no buddy system in real life. Maybe it's a good thing to stop sheltering our boys and let them learn to handle things on their own sometimes.

 

I'm a 51 year old guy and every night last week at Summer Camp I had to make a 3 A.M. hike to our campsite latrine from my tent in which I camped alone. Never once woke anyone to go with me. Never got lost or fell through the hole. The friendly raccoons never turned evil and attacked me.

 

Frankly, I find the leaders and parents who are most concerned about the buddy system are the ones who have boys with the least self confidence. Is there perhaps a link? Safety is one thing and should be considered, fear is something different and needs to be overcome.

 

Ken

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Sometimes I am the only woman on a trip, so the modesty issue is real for me. A few years ago I found the perfect solution at one of the big bog store. I call it the portable phone booth. It is a pop-up cabana that starts out as an almost flat 36-42 inch disc and opens to about the size of an old school phone booth. It is nylon on all the sides with a zipper door on one of the sides. If my tent is not an option (like if we're going swimming somewhere away from the campsite) or if it's just too hot to zip up all the windows of my tent and all I'm doing is a qucik change, I can just pop it out, do my business and then pop it back down. It doesn't have a floor so I guess it could be a latrine for those with serious backcoutry privacy issues, but that sounds creepy to me and carrying that big a disc would be a drag, but it's great for car camping with the large group.

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