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mrkstvns

What color is your Class B ?

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Our Sea Scout Ship has Hi-viz orange.  it serves a great visibilty purpose for us.  We want to be visible on the water and places where we are helping.  There aren't a lot of us so we need to stand out in a good way 🙂

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4 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

As I read the current discussion about red jac-shirts, it occurred to me that wearing bright red colors like that jac-shirt doesn't really fit with the more natural, earth-tone colors adopted my most outdoor-focused organizations.  Come to think of it, the colors used by many BSA units for their Class-B shirts clash violently with that same earth tone focus.

Why should we even care about things like colors?

Well, most outdoor-focused organizations adopt those earth tones for a reason, and that reason has nothing whatsoever to do with fashion sense, or personal preferences. The reason most organizations go for earth tones is usually:

  • Harmony with nature (dirt is brown, trees are green). Dress in those colors, and you blend in.
  • Camouflage. When you blend in, you can better observe wildlife without spooking them with unnatural hues. Fellow Audubon members tell me this is why they like earth tones, but I sometimes question that given the number of brilliantly plumaged bird species...but even then, I see their point because dirt is still brown and trees are still green.
  • Courtesy.  Being courteous to other outdoorsmen is one of the 7 principles of Leave No Trace, and there are a lot of people who enjoy being outdoors for the natural experience.  Day-glo green jackets, fire engine red backpacks and lemon yellow tents sure don't belong in a "natural" environment, so the more serious outdoorsmen avoid such garish fashion statements except for when golfing and yachting, where looking like a clown is acceptable behavior.

These things are discussed during the long 50-hour LNT Master Educator class, but most outdoorsmen pick up on it anyway by osmosis and experience. It's also discussed on various outdoor enthusiast sites.

One enthusiast site that enjoy perusing and pondering is "LNT Dude":  http://www.leavenotracedude.com/considerate-of-others.shtml

On this site, he says, in part...

Colors - Neutral colors help minimize the visual impact you have on others. Instead of bright yellow tents, use grey, green, or blue. Use a tan backpack cover and save the hunter orange one for hunting season. Consider the colors of your clothing and plan to wear earth-tones. This will help your group seem smaller and less noticable, especially in open areas where there is little forest cover.

 

So what are your thoughts?

Do colors matter in scouting?

Can we tell how serious a unit is about their outdoor skill level from the color of their Class B????

Inquiring minds want to inquire...

There are different reasons. My old troop had the neckers that were forest green with yellow writing (BSA symbol, etc.). Our Class Bs were the same color scheme.  I don't really buy the LNT argument against bright colors.  I don't find bright colored gear to be offensive.  That said, the neutral colors are better for nature watching. The bright colors are safer, especially in the woods during hunting season. 

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3 hours ago, PinkPajamas said:

We're at the cub level and we have the brightest neon orange known to man. I love it for tracking kids. 

best colors for cubs are bright colors for that reason.

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16 minutes ago, perdidochas said:

 I don't find bright colored gear to be offensive.  

No offense intended, but the LNT point about "courtesy" isn't necessarily about how YOU feel, but about how OTHERS might feel...

Serious outdoorsmen *DO* tend to prefer subtlty. 

Even if I absolutely LOVE day-glo yellow, I will avoid it in the backcountry out of respect for others, just as I will avoid wearing sexually suggestive T-shirts when I attend Sunday church services. 

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6 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

No offense intended, but the LNT point about "courtesy" isn't necessarily about how YOU feel, but about how OTHERS might feel...

Serious outdoorsmen *DO* tend to prefer subtlty. 

Even if I absolutely LOVE day-glo yellow, I will avoid it in the backcountry out of respect for others, just as I will avoid wearing sexually suggestive T-shirts when I attend Sunday church services. 

Our Sea Scouts are on water so we have the opposite, we need to be seen by other boaters on the water.  

I don't agree with you on the not wearing bright colors in the backcountry.  If a scout or scouts get lost in the backcountry, it would be easier to spot the day-glo scout shirts than earth tones.  

Are you saying you wear sexually suggestive T-shirts on the other 6 days a week?  🙂  Joking.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

No offense intended, but the LNT point about "courtesy" isn't necessarily about how YOU feel, but about how OTHERS might feel...

Serious outdoorsmen *DO* tend to prefer subtlty. 

Even if I absolutely LOVE day-glo yellow, I will avoid it in the backcountry out of respect for others, just as I will avoid wearing sexually suggestive T-shirts when I attend Sunday church services. 

So now you're saying I'm not a serious outdoorsman?  Basically you are saying that anyone that disagrees on this issue with you can't be a serious outdoorsman.  

  I don't see that bright colored clothes leave a trace at all.  They cause absolutely no damage to the environment, other than your sensibilities.  

Edited by perdidochas
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22 minutes ago, perdidochas said:

So now you're saying I'm not a serious outdoorsman?  Basically you are saying that anyone that disagrees on this issue with you can't be a serious outdoorsman.  

Not at all!!

I'm simply observing what is generally true. Just walk through any outdoor store in the world. I'll bet you find a WHOLE lot more camo jackets and khaki shirts than you do brilliant yellow and red shirts...

Similarly, I find that serious auto mechanics tend to have a lot of wrenches...

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

Not at all!!

I'm simply observing what is generally true. Just walk through any outdoor store in the world. I'll bet you find a WHOLE lot more camo jackets and khaki shirts than you do brilliant yellow and red shirts...

Similarly, I find that serious auto mechanics tend to have a lot of wrenches...

The point is your blanket statement is incorrect. There are plenty of serious outdoorsman who like bright colors.  If you had said "most" serious outdoorsman in your earlier statement, I wouldn't have quibbled.  The way you stated it implied that you weren't a serious outdoorsman if you liked bright colors.  Also, what's in a store is primarily what the store's marketing department likes, not necessarily serious outdoorsman.  

Edited by perdidochas

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1 minute ago, perdidochas said:

The point is your blanket statement is incorrect. There are plenty of serious outdoorsman who like bright colors.  If you had said "most" serious outdoorsman in your earlier statement, I wouldn't have quibbled.  The way you stated it implied that you weren't a serious outdoorsman if you liked bright colors.  Also, what's in a store is primarily what the store's marketing department likes, not necessarily serious outdoorsman.  

I suppose it depends on what you call an "outdoorsman".  If you just mean people who like going on weekend campouts in state parks, then maybe so.  But I'm referring to people who are naturalists. Or backcountry adventurers. Some of those people do, indeed, like bright colors....after all, taste is very individual. But aside from personal likes and dislikes, they understand the reasons why most serious outdoor enthusiasts refrain from wearing loud colors in the context of a natural environment. They can like whatever they want, but they respect nature, harmony, and the importance of courtesy towards those who try to find the illusion of solitude in America's dwindling natural spaces.

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Annually for summer we do a summer activity shirt.  Same chest design, but the back has summer camps and HA that the troop is doing

Some colors over the last few years

  • Burgundy
  • Grey
  • Black
  • Texas Orange
  • Navy
  • Scarlett
  • Forest Green
  • Red
  • Royal Blue

After the scouts have been in a few years nice to see the different colors at activities.  The leaders seem to have stacks of different colors.  As for the gentle blending in aesthetic mentioned, that may work if you and a friend or two are out in the wilderness.  You put 40 Scouts out on an outing, the blending in goes out the window

 

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Posted (edited)

If you eliminated all bright colors from nature, you would loose hummingbirds, wildflowers, butterflies ...

The very idea that somehow it's "disrespectful" to wear bright colors in the outdoors is rather silly. REAL nature is full of color. A group of boys in bright colors is no more "disruptive" than a cardinal in a tree. The world is full of bright and beautiful shades and hues, and none of those the boys may wear is going to detract from that - unless you choose to be bothered by it, in which case the fault is yours, not the shirt's.

Edited by The Latin Scot
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54 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

Humans and the Earth are more resilient than we give credit for. 

And the closer we get to annihilating life on this planet, the sooner we'll get to find out if you are right.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

 

And the closer we get to annihilating life on this planet, the sooner we'll get to find out if you are right.

I agree...but are bright colors part of the annihilation process?  I recommend we focus on the big issues concerning our planet, and leave color choices and free will to each man and woman.  Otherwise, LNT and other worthy movements get tuned out because they are perceived as just another bunch of rules and regulations and judgment from others--the very things we are mostly trying to escape when we hoist the pack on our back at the trail head.

Edited by desertrat77
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Just now, desertrat77 said:

I agree...but are bright colors part of the annihilation process? 

Of course not. 

And many of y'all are missing the point of the whole discussion.

There is absolutely NOTHING inherently wrong with any particular color. A color is just a color.

The point is that all of us can stand to better understand all 7 of the Leave No Trace principles and to think about how our outdoor manners affect the environment around us.  Usually that means respecting life: the flora and fauna we find outdoors. Point 7 is a bit different. It says "Be considerate of other visitors"

That means we're talking about people. Two parties: you and whoever you encounter.

Being "considerate" can mean different things to each of you, and it depends greatly on the circumstances.

We all know that some people are more easily offended than others. If we are aware of what factors *MIGHT* offend somebody else we are likely to encounter, then we can show courtesy by avoiding that person, or trying to respect them to minimize whatever behavior it is that offends them.

Today, I mentioned that loud colors offend some serious outdoorsmen, such as naturalists, bird watchers, backcountry adventurers etc.  Tomorrow I might share with you the fact that playing loud rap music on your boomboxes might also offend those people. And circling your jet ski around their kayak as they fish might offend some others. Next week I will share a thought about how stargazers would appreciate the courtesy of dimming your flashlights as you approach them instead of waving your new super duper Maglight in their eyes.

Obviously a few of you will say, "Screw 'em if they can't take a joke. It's their problem, not mine."

A few of you might actually ponder how many behaviors you and your scouts take for granted that might be perceived differently by others. One or two of you might even understand that the simple principle to "Be considerate of other visitors" is not an attack on your fashion sense or love of pop culture. It's not even about saving the planet. In fact, it's the last (and arguably least important) of the 7 LNT principles.  And it's just courtesy. (Which is already one of the points of our Scout Law.)

It's fascinating how this simple principle can so easily be misunderstood and argued over with such passion.

Imagine what could happen if we start talking about the first 6 principles!  Now I understand why it takes a full week to get through the LNT Master class... 😉

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