I admit to being a bit lazy as a Scouter in South Australia in the last year or so. Apart from running a 4 day bushwalking comp over Easter for Venturers (14-18 year old Scouts in Aus), I've only just managed to take out our Venturer Unit over the last weekend, bushwalking for 3 days (there was a public holiday) in the Flinders Ranges.
Ultralight gear and technique is pretty scarce in Aus, let alone in Scouting. Which is a shame. Actually, bushwalking is becoming really scarce...no doubt the trip we did on the weekend will rate as one of the top bushwalks of the year for any Scouts in SA. Crying shame.
The main issue is that leaders aren't trained or experienced or motivated (I luckily have the these assets...just not the time) in even heavyweight traditional bushwalking, let alone ultralight ideas. As a result, Scouts of any age recieve poor or little training, and just don't get out.
Anyway, I'm thinking, after I get back from my upcoming big trip (A fellow Leader and I are cycling touring our way to the 22nd World Jamboree), I'm going to start getting into trying to reverse the trend.
One thing I'm thinking of, is building up a suite of ultralight gear that I can loan out to Scout Troops and Venturer Units for bushwalking, providing it free of charge, as long as I (and some willing able helpers) can spend at least one night fitting them to it, and giving them some basic training in its use, and helping their leaders (preferably though, the Scouts themselves), plan their trip appropriately.
As part of this, I was also thinking of building up a big 3(+), to include a couple of dozen sets of gear. The + is some extras that I think are important, like cooking gear (lightweight alcohol stove sets, rather than trangias which are really common in Aus), sleeping mats (for pack frame), waterproof jackets, group first aid kits, etc.
So far, my thoughts are roughly:
Packs: combination of some Gossamer Gear Gorilla's (in varying sizes, plus spare hipbelts in different sizes) and Six Moon Designs Starlites (I like the idea of varying torso length). Both of these look like good ultralight packs, with good durable materials and construction, esp the Starlite. Sleeping mats to go with them would be 3/4 length Z-lites to fit. After a while I might consider making up G4 style packs with help from family seamstresses.
Shelter: I love my MLD trailstar. Only thing is its a little expensive. But something similar shouldn't be too hard to make. Large tarps are ideal for SA conditions at any time of year, and I think with a little training Scouts shouldn't have any trouble safely using them. They should last ages with care. I'll buy a roll of hardwear store plastic to cut up for lots of lightweight groundsheets.
Sleeping bags: not sure yet, but I'll go with synthetic bags, and have silk or nylon innersheets (homemade) to go with them. Probably wash the bags every few trips, and the liners after every trip.
Stoves: home made pepsi can or similar, with homemade stands and flashing windshields. Probably find alloy pots around the 1L size mark, and making lids from flashing or baking trays.
First Aid: I'll make these kits up myself.
Jackets: I'm thinking rainbird jackets (not sure if they are sold outside Aus, but they are a lightweight, compact, cheap $40 jacket sold in Aus). Its rare I see a Scout with a waterproof jacket, let alone a quality one. When they do, they are usually >750grams.
I'll probably get cracking on this whole thing in about two years I reckon, but have plenty to think about in the meantime. Hopefully I can get some funding from the State Branch.