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mikecummings157

Scouts Tenting Alone?

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There was a point made earlier about LNT principles. To me this would be reason enough to discourage, if not prohibit, single tenting. Another issue that arises when boys bring their own tents is bringing along the monster tent used for family car camping. This too was mentioned earlier. In discussing tents with parents I always point out that, not only is weight and bulk a problem, we often find ourselves in environments where the footprint of the tent is too big to fit in between the trees and rocks.

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We let the guys decide. Younger ones almost always decide to tent with buddy. Many older ones bring their own. Patrols all set up in tight groups. If backpacking, they automatically economize and group up more.

 

We actually have the opposite extreme, too. One patrol has been using a huge family tent for whole patrol and they love it. They know they will lose the privilege if it ever gets out of control or becomes a problem.

 

Its pretty common for them to sleep under the stars when bugs/weather permits, but they have learned to have some sort of shelter readily available.

 

The rationale we were given at Philmont for not sleeping under the stars or in bivey sacks was that those looked too much like a log which bear could be inclined to roll over in search of bugs.

 

If our guys ever wake up a buddy to take a walk to latrine (or bush/tree/rock) at the edge of the campsite outside of bear/cougar country, Ive never heard about it.

 

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"The rationale we were given at Philmont for not sleeping under the stars or in bivey sacks was that those looked too much like a log which bear could be inclined to roll over in search of bugs."

 

AAAAARG! Has this ever actually happened? Sounds like more of a rationalization, not rationale.

Contrary to popular belief, black bears are not stupid, nor especially nearsighted. A human in a bag is no log and any bear which cannot tell the difference is not long for the world anyway.

Whether Philmont or National Park rangers, I find you cannot argue with bureaucrats. They will simply invent a rationalization to shut you up.

 

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If a bear can smell out a candy wrapper in a tent, someone in a sleeping bag has gotta reek, course if you spilled food on yerself Mr Bear might think the good stuff is under the bag and still role you over to check, a Scout is Clean.

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Prairie:

 

Agreed, but if food is involved, a tent is irrelevant. Plenty of cases of bears and other critters busting into a tent in pursuit of food, some ending tragically.

 

Is there really anyone who thinks a human in a bag in a tent is safer from bears than a human in a sleeping bag outside the tent, assuming the food situation is equal in both cases?

 

Two per tent arguments seem to break down into:

 

A misreading of buddy system or YPG-not a valid argument

LNT-fewer tent sites needed-seems a valid point, but on a case by case basis, not worth a universal mandate. (would you permit hammocks which leave no footprint and are more LNT-friendly than tents?)

Weight in backpacking-a personal choice.

More reassuring for younger scouts-Again, a personal choice.

 

Tents vs. no tents (weather and insects permitting) seems to break down into:

 

Modesty and YP in crowded areas (a valid point which I will concede under those conditions)

A belief one is safer from big critters in a tent than out of it-I am not buying it.

 

I see no valid reason for Philmonts no bivy sack or sleeping under the stars rule other than bureaucratic Isay-so.

 

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Uk Scout camping tents commonly hold four or more, while here in America we seem to favor two man tents. I wonder why the difference?

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