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Mafaking

What equipment does every troop need

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What is the minimum, ideal or it would be nice to have in a troop storage room?

 

This is my ideal kit list for a troop:

 

First Aid kit

Cook set for each patrol

Stove for each patrol

Enough tents to house all scouts for the weekend

Rain/dining fly

A storage room

Trailer

 

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Great start.

I would add for the minimum;

1. Rope

2. Woods tools; Axe, Hatchet, Shovel, Rake, Saw, sharpening stone

and file

3. Water Jugs (1 per patrol)

4. Spare tire

5. Extra Tarps

 

My Ideal list would include;

1. Staves for lashing

2. Lanterns

3. Dutch Oven (Love my peach Cobbler)

 

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There are still places on this earth that do not have pit latrines, flushers, or porta-kybos.

 

Latrine screen (especially if the camp is mixed gender), porta-stools and retention sacks, and bio-degradable decomposition agent (to get the process started).

 

For that grill at the campsite that seems to be gnarly? WIRE BRUSH.

 

 

 

(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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Yah, for da minimum I'd say yeh just need enough to outfit boys who can't afford or haven't gotten it together to get the gear they need yet. I've seen troops that didn't have a storage room and pretty much just relied on the gear of the members.

 

Ideally, I do think each patrol should have its own gear that it's responsible for and that allows the patrol to be self-sufficient. Whatever that happens to be for your area of da country and your style of campin'. For some it means patrol backpackin' gear, for some a patrol canoe trailer. :) But da focus should be on the patrol havin' what it needs to be independent, and bein' responsible for its own gear.

 

Beyond that I have to admit that I'm an old dog that has learned new tricks. I don't encourage troops to buy trailers or heavy gear anymore. Big waste of money. I encourage 'em to buy lightweight gear they can pack small and use for a wide range of activities beyond car-camping. It's funny, but gear drives the program in more ways than you think. If yeh have heavyweight trailer-gear, that pretty much limits a troop to heavyweight trailer-camping. If yeh have lightweight backpacking gear, I've found those troops do a lot more with their outdoor programs, because it's so much easier to plan a backpack trip, or a canoe overnight, or a snowshoe trip, or whatever. And since they don't have da expense of trailer purchase/maintenance, they have a lot of cash available for other stuff that makes their programs better for the kids.

 

In my experience, if the adults let 'em, the kids will slowly drive a troop toward more and more lightweight, easy to handle, versatile gear. They much prefer quick-pitch backpackin' flies to hauling out those monster frame jobs that take a gang of guys an hour to set up. Problem is gettin' adults to change.

 

Kudu put me on to this notion, IIRC. I'm sure if poked he'd add many paragraphs ;).

 

Beavah

 

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AMEN Beav!

 

We have a lightweight stove, a pot, a water filter and first aid kit for each patrol. That's about it. Fits in a grocery bag.

 

Yea, we still have remnants from the previous administration - 2 burner coleman stoves, 5 gallon propane cylinders, lanterns, dutch ovens - and we'll occasionally pull them out for the annual family camp - but in general we are lightweight and Leave No Trace oriented.

 

Anyone can do 'seige' camping. IMHO - You bring too much gear and you are removing yourself from the outdoor experience. Yes, it takes more effort and isn't quite as cozy, but...... so what? ;-)

 

 

 

 

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Agree with the Beav 110% get the backpacking stuff from the get go,as it will move your progrma to more adventures AND save money in the long term.

 

Also good lists of troop gear, with modern updates of course, can be found in the 1979 ed. of the BSHB as well as the 3rd ed. SMHB.

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We have been building plastic totes with gear for each of the 6 training areas we have designed for the Troop Instructors.

 

Totin'Chip/Knife&Axe: All the tools and stuff you need to teach Totin' chip and set up an axe yard. Couple of worn pocket knifes, sharpening stone & oil, hand or scout axe, file, gloves, safety glasses, bow saw, rope to delineate yard. Place all in plastic tote.

 

Rope, Knots and Lashing: A tub with dozen or so 6' lengths of rope to practice knot tying. A couple of stubby candles for fusing the end of rope. Twine or floss for whipping rope. We also have the lashing boxes. 4 nested boxes with notches cut in the sides that hold staves in position so a lashing can be tied. Dozen of the scout staves for basic lashing. Several lengths of rope about 15-20 feet for lashing.

 

Fire: Plastic tote with several ziptop backs of tinder (birch bark, cedar bark, cattails, steel wool, cotton balls & vasoline, pitch pine/fatwood/lighterwood) A few spark generators like the BSA Hot Match, Gerber Strike Force, etc. A 12" metal BBQ pan so fires can be built above ground and now worry about burning other surfaces.

 

You get the idea. We have a tote for each area to be taught, First Aid, Fire, Totin'Chip, Ropes & Knots, Orienteering, etc.

That way the troop always has all the materials for any scout to teach or complete the necessary task.

 

 

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Huh, in the last few years our troop went from a mishmash of gear to a classic heavy patrol box, suitcase stove, 20# propane tanks, and a giant trailer mode. I suspect if you asked the boys how they like it they'd say that they LOVE having dedicated gear for their patrols, BUT they HATE those incredibly heavy awkward patrol boxes.

 

I'm starting to think that the Beav has the right idea. I'm going to start a new thread to discuss a few details of lightweight patrol gear.

 

Ken K.

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When we started our troop a few years ago we took the Forum's sage advice of light weight stoves and nestled backpacking cooksets.

 

It didn't work out as planned and we had to add more robust Coleman table top stoves and patrol boxes.

 

The trouble is most scouts come in with only the basics of cooking skills. Getting a patrol of 5-6 scouts to cook meals in a backpackers cookset just didn't work out for us. The scouts also were not ready to change their eating habits and pick Cuscus over noddles. Pancakes are almost always on at least on patrol's menu and getting twenty pancakes out of a six inch backpacker's pan takes about an hour.

 

Eventual we moved into light weight plastic chests for patrol boxes. One good cast iron pan in each and a pot to cook enough noodles to feed a soup kitchen. We still have the backpacking stuff but its traditional car camping 8/10 times a year.

 

 

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You can car camp with backpacking gear, but not vice versa unless you have a couple of troop mules.

 

Now your car camp might be a little more rustic and your menu a little less limited than if you had a trailer along with all that stuff, but it can also make it more of an adventure. Anyway boy led let them make the call if possible. Some guys like car camping and if they do then go that direction.

 

We have a trailer with all the stuff and gizmos but over the last three years we pull it on fewer campouts each year. 1. No one likes to pull it. 2. The scouts don't like to unload, set up, pull down and reload stuff. The PLC decides (within reason as with all their decisions) if we pull the trailer.

 

Basically these guys would rather leave the propane tanks, tables, Dutch ovens, camp stoves and giant white pavilion thing behind in favor of BP stoves, mess kits, no lanterns, and a Wal-Mart tarp for a dining fly. We pull the trailer to summer camp, winter camp and the annual family outing and thats about it.

 

One of the campouts we had last year was one where each patrol made their own camp stove (see link) and also made cook pots out of coffee cans or soup cans. [Watch the safety aspect if you have a two tier stove + pot on top]. We limited the guys to a single coffee stove + pot in the interest of avoiding the emergency room. They really got a kick out of using something they had made. Make sure to remember LNT when you set your stove up and take appropriate safety measures.

 

 

 

 

(This message has been edited by knot head)

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"The trouble is most scouts come in with only the basics of cooking skills. Getting a patrol of 5-6 scouts to cook meals in a backpackers cookset just didn't work out for us. The scouts also were not ready to change their eating habits and pick Cuscus over noddles. Pancakes are almost always on at least on patrol's menu and getting twenty pancakes out of a six inch backpacker's pan takes about an hour. "

 

Gentle, non-threatening, non-judgemental comment:

 

Yes, low on the cooking skills but that when you teach 'em. Teach 'em to do more with less, to open their minds to new ideas, foods, etc... There is a wealth of information on great one-pot backpack meals that are easy to prepare and VERY tasty.

 

We don't cook breakfast on backpack trips. We heat water only ( oatmeal, coffee, hotchoc ) so we can do a quick cleanup and get on our way. The idea is to be out there on the trail, climbing mountains, fishing, etc.. we DO make a big deal out of dinner though.

 

Just, ahem... food for thought... ;-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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