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Just wondering how tents are handled in your units.


What kind of unit?


Does the unit have tents for members?


If so, what kind of tents?


Does the unit permit members to use their personal tents?


Are privately owned tents encouraged?



As for our units:


Boy Scout Troop: Owns the older Eureka Timberline in the 2 and 4 person sizes. Most adults and older Scouts own and bring and use their own tents. We actually encourage older Scouts 14 and up to get their own tents. Most do. Some of us just put up a tarp and a ground cloth - some of the Scouts just lay their sleeping bag out on a ground cloth - although the first dew stops most of that.


Venturing Crew: The unit owns no tents. Each members owns, brings, and uses their own. Some of the Venturers share tents.


We find that the Scouts who own their own tents care for them and unit owned tents much better.


I am not sure that unit owned tents are a good idea. I know of one troop that REQUIRES all Scouts to use a troop owned tents (Timberline) on all outings. Tents present a fairly significant cost to the unit and in many units get a lot of wear and tear. But most younger new Scouts do not own tents and it may be a negative to recruiting new Scouts to not have at least some unit tents.



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We're a Troop, around 20 Scouts.


Our PLC recently overturned the "no personal tents" rule. They felt if a Scout is willing to bring their own gear they are more likely to take good care of it and, by example, teach others how to care for a tent. It also provides an opportunity to see how different types of tents work, as there is a variety of tents owned. This reconsideration came up before a backpacking trip. Our Troop tents are more suited for car-camping.


Our Troop has about 8 3-man tents of the dome style, Wenzel brand I believe. They have served us well for about 4 years. The patrols are constantly having them repaired though.


The argument against allowing personal tents was; the campsite looks cleaner and more organized when all tents are the same, a damaged personal tent could cause an arguement of who is responsible for repair, somebody might feel bad because they don't have their own personal tent.


Adults don't encourage or discourage either way.


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The troop I serve had only about 18 scouts when my son joined and I was called to its service. Kids started bringing their own tents because the troop didnt have enought as we grew from 18 to over 90 in less than 3 years. The troops money was going for stoves, coolers, water containers and tents were always placed on the back burner. By the time the troop statrted talking about tents, most families had them and wanted to keep them in use. We do have a motely selection of tents, but then new scouts always have a variety of styles to check out before they purchase one for themselves.

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Our troop owns about 15 tents. They vary in models. I believe we own like 8 Tentragon 9's, a few Winnebegos (old), and a couple A-frame tents made by Eureka I believe. Many people dont realize that our tents cost about $250 apiece!


Our policy on tents is very simple-- We prefer that you use a troop tent at all camporees and preferably all campouts except summer camp. No cots and no food allowed in troop tents. Food not reccomended in personal tents either. No flames in any tents.


We have about 50 boys registered in the troop as well as probably 10-15 leaders. Usually, though, our campouts only consist of 30-50% troop participation. Summer camp the last two years we have been right around 30-35 boys and 4-5 leaders.

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My troop has used the 2-Man Eureka Timberline for the boys and the 4-Man Eureka Timberline for the adults and has now gone to the Eureka Tetragon 7 for the boys.


I don't discourage personal tents, especially among adults as we don't have enough good tents for adults, but for the boys prefer them to use a troop tent. The reason is that at an official function we will look uniform and we know what the condition and quality of the tent is. I am a big fan of Eureka tents having used them for about 25 years.

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  • 2 years later...

Our troop has mostly 2 and a few 4 man Eureka Timberline tents. They are aging but in fair condition. We don't see many other troops with them, although Eureka still makes them.


Seems like troops are using other tents. We see mostly Coleman dome tents, other dome tents of various manufacture.


Most of our aduts have their own tents as do some of the Scouts. But some use the troop tents. We actually encourage Scouts to get their own tents and most eventually do. They are a major expense and the Scouts seem to take better care of their own.


We were just wondering what other troops did for tents?

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We have now gone exclusively to the 4-man Timberline Outfitters. We bought 15 last year alone. We kept a few of the Tentragon dome tents, but those only come out for canoe trips now in order to protect the Timberlines. We get them at a very nice discount!

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Our troop has use the 2 and 4 man Timberlines. A couple of years ago some new Timberlines were purchased along with two 8 man tents, can't remember which brand. The nice thing about the larger 8 man tents is they create less of an overall footprint on the land.

One alternative to personal tents is tent hammocks. A couple of our scouts and leaders have switched to Hennessy Hammocks instead of tents. The owners are very involved with scouting and hold several patents on the hammock designs. The hammocks are very lightweight and very compact. They are great for backpacking and very little impact on the enviroment. My son picked one up last year at NOAC. He was suppose to pay $60 for a $120 hammock, but because he help them break down the display, they gave him one for free. SWTSOE (She Who Thinks She Owns Everything) won't sleep in a tent anymore if she can talk him out of his hammock. Check out their websit at www.hennessyhammocks.com.



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