So I'm on the committee for my son's cub scout troop and have kinda emerged as the resident backpacker/camping expert. I'm on a mission to change some mindsets here, as the good parents of this troop are anything but lightweight. Our campouts are all car camping, and minivans full of gear for one night of camping are norm. If anyone brought less than 50 pounds of gear for one night, I'd be shocked. This is largely for two reasons: 1) we're in an urban area, and many of the parents grew up in this urban area, without much camping experience except for cabins and 2) we're in a somewhat economically depressed area, so bringing the cast iron skillet from the kitchen is the norm.
This isn't to criticize, just giving you a lay of the land... these are good people who want their kids to have outdoors experience.
I've talked to people about backpacking, and they like the sound of it, but investing a fair sum in just the pack, and then having to carry "all that stuff" is just daunting to them, understandably.
I can take care of the mindset (the urban lack of backpacking experience), but I need help figuring out the economics. My hope is that we can do a fundraiser for troop gear to share, but we'd still need to keep the gear cost down somewhat.
Inspired by this older thread, I'd like to hear updated ideas on the cheapest gear list. Here's some parameters: we can stick to late spring to early fall (average highs to 85, lows to 50), and fit would be for age 7 to 12 boys and adults. Think of "Big 3" but also all the little stuff that eats up the budget. Also, household items that can be re-used/re-purposed or dollar store items would be a big plus. And of course, light as possible :)
Hoping this is a fun exercise... thanks!