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Basic New Scouter (and new scout) gear

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I'm an Eagle ('79) whose 11 yr old son just joined the ranks of the troop at our church...


So, I am stoked and ready :-)


I have 2 sons, 5 years apart, and it appears that I am gonna be doing this scouting thing for the next ten years (or more), and there is nothing I hate more than replacing cheap gear that fails easily with something that works later.


I already had some gear, but my pack had been donated by my wife (luckily the Philmont patch was removed for safe keeping first) and my 1980 vintage tent had gone thread bare a couple years ago.


What would have done me really good is to have someone lay down some good essential equipment for a new scouter to have, (much less a new scout).

Obviously, cost is an issue, but I would prefer spending an extra $40 to get something that will last me a lot longer.


I had to do much of my own homework. Here is what I got, and why...


backpack - I have always used an external, and in Texas, heat isn't an issue, it is THE issue. I ended up with the Kelty Super Tioga 4900, which filled all my prereqs, and I founf it online 47% off list price at $99.95.


Tent - I have never been comfortable in a small tent that I can't sit up in. I also hate carrying a 7 lb tent if a 5 lb tent will do. But, I am not going to sacrifice significant comfort for 2 lbs, and I like having the room. When I go venturing, I may get a one man tent that weighs 2.675 lbs. but not for anything that I will be doing 90% of the time. I went with the 2004 version of the Sierra Designs Gamma. It has lots of headroom (four grown men could sit up and play poker in this thing), is easy to set up, weighs under 5 lbs, and best of all I found it for $119.00. Sierra Designs is one of the heavyweights in tentage, and it should serve me well. I'll let you know if it falls apart at some point...


Ground cloth - 2 mil painters plastic. Sure, I'll replace more often than 6 mil, but it is very cheap, and 1/3 the weight of 6 mil. (1/3 the space required as well)


Clothing - Starting to stock up on man made fabrics. Apparently, Cotton is out. It is too Hydrophilic. Campmor.com is a great site to find tee-shirts and pants and stuff.


Flashlight - My wife bought me the 3 LED headlamp last Christmas, on the two campouts so far, I am impressed. It is the way to go.


Boots - Bought a pair of ASolos from the local REI. I'm not about to buy those online :-) (Actually got these 2 years ago)


Rain Gear - Got a Sierra Designs rain suit. I have never known a poncho that worked worth a darn.



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Pad - watch campmor.com for some great deals on Therm-a-Rest pads with slight imperfections. I might also recommend you purchase a matching stuff bag and repair kit.


If you want an small LED handheld light, campmor currently has a great deal on the tiny Princton Tec single LED lights for 1/4 of the regular cost.


I've got to ask, is your rain suit Gortex or just coated nylon?



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Rain suit is Nylon, similar to what you would find on a tent rain fly. It is also 14 years old. Still works too. Someday, I'd like goretex, but then I would have to contend with the weight...

I bought a thermorest before I had kids. That too still works great. (Before kids, we did a little backpacking too)


Aspirin, I got the 300 pill generic bottle:-)


Unless I specifically have the need to drop some weight, I will continue to use these items, until they fail.


Thanks for the pointer to Campmor. As I discover what I left off in the future, I will be adding items as I need them, and I will be looking for them on-line and on-sale.



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