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Sentinel947

Troop/Patrol dining flys

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Hey all. My Troop has been debating changing from our current dining flys. We have the big ones with the alumininum frames to hold it together. It frustrates the patrol method by packing the troop into a confined space and dictates how camp is set up.

What does your troop use? 

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Our patrols do not often set up a dining fly.  And when they do it is always _after_ the rain has started 😞

For "everyday use" we have a few 10x10 nylon equinox brand from campmor.com along with various rope/cordage and some 2x2 wood poles.  We also have some Cook Custom Sewing (CCS) 10x12 tarps in the high adventure totes.  I picked these up cheap a few years ago at the Northern Tier end-of-year "garage sale".  

If what you really want is to allow patrols to separate and be more autonomous - just get some "blue tarps" from a big box store.  They will work just fine for car camping and are inexpensive enough that you're not out much if the patrols don't embrace that style.

The only suggestion I have is - if you are going to buy (or make) a decent tarp and have the option, get one with ties for the tie-out points rather than grommets.  Ties sewn onto the tarp will hold better and do less damage if they do pull out in heavy weather.  If grommets pull out they leave a big hole to repair.

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We only set up the big dining flys (as you describe them) if we're expecting guests, setting up tables, etc ...

Otherwise, it's tents and hammocks by patrols around their respective open-air fire/cooking area. Or maybe a small fly for each patrol as @jjlash described.

FWIW, I met one troop from Michigan who had backpacked in on the North Country Trail and only set up flys ... no tents. They seemed happy as clams.

 

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We have CCS tarps in 4 different colors and each patrols has their gear color coded. We set these up at every campout so the scouts can practice their knots. At the end of each campout they untie all guy lines and remove all taut line, bowline and 2 half hitches. Then the next month they tie the knots again. This allows the scouts to learn and demonstrate the practicle uses of each knot. 

As a side note CCS does provide a scout discount and the many tabs provided allow for many different ways to set up the dining fly.

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Sewing a lightweight SilNylon tarp is a rather easy task. Almost all of my scouts have taken a sewing course in the middle school. Some even asked if they could make gear in the sewing lab. Fleece hats, balaclavas are a favorite. Buying a few yards of fabric from ripstopbytheroll and some seam sealer is inexpensive. Plus the added benefit of scouts creating instead of the default purchasing. 

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Back when I was working on my Stegasaurus Husbandry Merit Badge....

Our Troop made our own light weight tarps.  The older Scouts took'em to Philmont and they made an impression there.

On of our dads had access to some really heavy duty Milspec duck tape.  That, and some 6 or 8 mil black plastic sheet (10 feet wide) and a grommet setting kit and voila, on the rec room floor of Mr. Coomb's house we made our own tarps. Much lighter than the BSA canvas ones.   You had to be careful not to drag them across the ground or step on them (yes, they could easily be "holed"), but they were very serviceable for one or two seasons, after which they became ground clothes for another season or two, after which they were recycled (garden drags, tractor covers, weed preventors, brick walk base, etc.  ). We didn't know the word "recycle". only re-use....  

!0 x 10, duck tape around the edges, one strip on each side (double thick), grommets on the corners, two feet apart on the edge, maybe one in a reinforced area in the middle if you wanted an "Explorer" style tent.   Now, back then,  you dealt with mosquitoes and bugs by "OFF" and "6-12" and burrowing into your sleeping bag at night, I knew no one with the luxury of "squito netting.  We might (might!) bring some collapsible aluminum poles, but more likely find/cut poles at the campsite.  The problem being,  the older Scouts had to instruct the younger ones to NOT cut up the nice straight poles they found leaning up against the tree for fire wood ("but they're just the right size!") because SOMEONE had thoughtfully left those poles there for tent/fly setting.  

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Our troop uses the basic 12 x 12 tarps available at Home Depot.  For the uprights we use 8' 2x2's (also from Home Depot for about $1 each) with a nail driven in the top.  Each patrol sets up a tarp, takes six stakes if setting up in a field.  Also can easily be setup in trees.  Each patrol has a table, and a patrol box with stoves.

For fun we recreate Norman Rockwell paintings

image.png.6c5d345d940cd111847fec29334b5595.png

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I'd love to see more *photos* of the various set-ups in the field. If I can avoid dragging a heavy framed cover thing on outings, I'd sure like to. Especially shorter outings, where it hardly seems worthwhile to drag that thing out for 24 hours or less. But the reality of our location is that outings happen in the rain or not at all, so good covers are necessary.

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14 hours ago, ValleyBoy said:

549492_129906360487615_1048786978_n.jpg?

I like that setup.  I will have to show that to my SPL

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18 hours ago, ValleyBoy said:

MAXXBHP-230411-103642.JPG

Is this one a regular square or rectangle shaped cover? Or is it more kite-shaped? Homemade or purchased? Tarp or nylon rip-stop? 

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6 minutes ago, Liz said:

Is this one a regular square or rectangle shaped cover? Or is it more kite-shaped? Homemade or purchased? Tarp or nylon rip-stop? 

Why not just buy a simple square tarp and a length of rope and experiment with re-creating some of these configurations?  Then you'll be able to amaze the scouts when you go on campouts.  Who knows, you might be able to come up with an improvised structure that's even better than the photos posted by ValleyBoy...

Hands-on experience, my friend.  Nuthin' like it!!

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40 minutes ago, Liz said:

Is this one a regular square or rectangle shaped cover? Or is it more kite-shaped? Homemade or purchased? Tarp or nylon rip-stop? 

Not really sure since I stole the picture off the web, but either type could be set up in this configuration.

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