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Why a trailer?

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A cot? I have never carried a cot into the woods; a hammock yes. Anyway, the main purpose of my building that chair was for the boys to see the utility of a littele extra rope and knowing some pioneering skills. To that end it worked perfectly.

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A cot? I have never carried a cot into the woods; a hammock yes. Anyway, the main purpose of my building that chair was for the boys to see the utility of a littele extra rope and knowing some pioneering skills. To that end it worked perfectly.

I'm only giving you a little poke.  You are correct in that every opportunity needs to be taken to engage the boys in all opportunities especially on outings.  I, too, have lashed the camp chairs throughout the years, but my "pattern" has been the tripod tipped on the side and lashing a seat around the base.  The extended "top" of the tripod is often cited as a trip hazard because they extend into the shadows behind the person sitting at the fire.  It would be good to find a better pattern for the boys.

 

I've never been a hammock person, always did well with just finding a comfy spot on the ground if necessary.  For me, tents are always optional.  A walking stick and poncho always do well for lightweight tenting.

 

The glamping comes in when we see all sorts of 4-man tents with 2 boys each, adult tents that could hold a circus, and kitchen setups that are better than what most people have at home.

 

The trailer of one of my former troops was 20' long, side door and double back doors.  Shelving and walkway from front to back.  The non-door side had a stainless steel removable/storable counter.  There was an awning over it and able to hold 3 gas lanterns fed by 20# tanks.  2-10' tables to be able to serve food to the troop buffet style.  3 double burner propane stoves provided plenty of cooking opportunity.

 

Their "adult" tent could easily house 10 adults on cots and still have room for all their personal gear.

 

This troop was known among the council as the epitome of high adventure Scouting.  The outside of the trailer was painted with the technology that could produce nice big pictures of the boys on former outing, like what businesses do for their fleet vehicles and municipalities do for their transit system.

 

The closest thing of glamping when I was a Scout back in the '60's was each patrol got a big military wall tent in which all 8 of us could fit into.   It was handy to be able to keep card games going well into the night.  I'm thinking the only card game for the guys in hammocks is solitary.  :)

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I know I dumped the term plop camping on the forum many moons ago, but in recent years I have had to modify that to the more 21st century term "glamping". 

Yeah, I used to call it "Tailgate camping", but have gotten lazy and taken up the shorter plop

I suppose there are nicer was of describing it..... tailgate or glamping both work....

 

A cot? I have never carried a cot into the woods; a hammock yes. Anyway, the main purpose of my building that chair was for the boys to see the utility of a littele extra rope and knowing some pioneering skills. To that end it worked perfectly.

Maybe I'm wrong but I think that was meant tongue in cheek..... glamping and all....

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Our troop “travels heavyâ€. Scouts are responsible for transporting personal gear and food, but all patrol and troop gear travel in the trailer.

 

Some of what we do is a response to outside forces. For example, we had a several year drought here in Texas that resulted in statewide burn bans. For about 4 years, we were required to cook entirely on propane gas (what with white gas being ruled out by national). So we started carrying lots of propane and we never really got out of the habit. (Although we have started making conscientious decisions to do so.) For another example, we dry camp 2 or 3 times a year, so we have lots of water jugs and coolers that are filled and brought to the campsite.

 

Some of it is our size. We have currently something like 8 patrols, plus a “staff†patrol and the adults. That’s just a lot of gear for cooking and such. We have perhaps 15 12†or larger Dutch ovens, and a similar number of water coolers and water jugs, and a similar number of propane lanterns.  We have perhaps 10 dining flies. We have portable tables that break down for each patrol.

 

And some of it is choice. The adults use one of those large 15’ white canopies with all the metal poles, and stove that are much nice than the little camping stoves the scouts use.

 

But it doesn’t necessarily limit our camping activities. That you have all that equipment doesn’t mean you always have to use it. We still have a canoeing, a backpacking, and a caving trip most years, and we always have a rock climbing trip. We also have a very active high adventure program. In 2017 we will have a ski trip over Spring Break, send two crews to Philmont and two crews to Sea Base, while putting together a backpacking trip to the back country of Yellowstone National Park. We go to Sea Base almost every summer. In years we don’t go to Philmont, we canoe in the US/Canadian boundary waters.

 

So, the trailer is what it is…a useful tool for our camping program. It also serves as a rolling storage unit for our gear as our CO doesn’t really have any place for us to store it. And we don’t “take everythingâ€. If a patrol runs out of propane, they better find someone willing to trade or lend because we don’t have extras in the trailer. It is a beast, though, and as someone said, no matter how big or small it is you will fill it up.

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I think I mentioned earlier that our trailer was damaged in the recent hurricane.

 

I had heard that the SM was considering going with something a wee bit smaller as a replacement..... I heard wrong, or he changed his mind.

 

Talked with him some time later, and have since overheard him talking to others, about getting something at least as big as we had, or bigger.

His thought is that the trailer is really bigger than our size troop needs now, but if we want to grow the troop we should be planning for it....

 

Our old trailer was fairly big.  I'm guessing 16ft or 18ft enclosed, dual axle with the single side door....

 

My 2 cents is that we should go the same size or SMALLER.  My thinking is

  • we don't need that big of a trailer now, it tends to lead to bringing along the kitchen sink as others have suggested here, etc...
  • also those that can tow it are limited to folks with large trucks with brake controllers.
  • and if we ever do grow, maybe it would be better to have a second smaller trailer at a later date, rather than one big one now....better versatility and all.... (take one or take them both, something folks with SUV's could tow.....maybe the future SM won't have a pickup truck...etc...)

Help me make a good case for that thought process, so that I can better throw out my 2 cents to the committee

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Size of the troop does not necessarily mean one needs a larger trailer. With a larger troop, different patrols can go to different locations. This is better accomplished with 2 smaller trailers. Many locations also limit group size, which lends itself to patrol based camping. Plus lnt teaches to decrease group size to minimize impact. Key idea: think patrol camping not troop camping as the default design.

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oh, that's good....patrol based activities.... a bullet point I'll use for sure!

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