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Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Lightweight Scouting Dissertation on 01/09/2012 10:18:07 MST Print View

Thanks to all for their help on this, whether directly or through your posts that I read.

Please distribute as you see fit.

I'd also like to expand and improve upon this over time, removing the limitations I imposed, so contact me if you have anything to add, change, suggest, etc. Hopefully, it will be a benefit to Scouts everywhere.

Lightweight Scouting Dissertation

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Looks very good on 01/09/2012 11:15:26 MST Print View

Looks very good. I liked your idea of mentioning trips by Jordan and Skurka and pointing out they were in scouts. Has it been approved yet or are you waiting to find out?

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Looks very good on 01/09/2012 14:04:51 MST Print View

Luke,
It will be approved. They might ask for corrections or more footnotes perhaps. I had sent my first draft a while back and they were fine with that other than no footnotes at the time. It's much better now (like the idea from Phil Barton to add Jordan/Skurka, for example).

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
Re: Lightweight Scouting Dissertation on 01/09/2012 15:05:44 MST Print View

Looks like a lot of work went into that. Nicely done.

If you edit it further, it would be nice to include more pictures. Seems like the Scouts always respond well to photos, especially if they are of gear in nice settings. :)

If you are ok with it, I would like to make it available to our troop as we prepare for a Philmont trek this summer.

John

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Lightweight Scouting Dissertation on 01/09/2012 15:13:03 MST Print View

As I said, distribute as you see fit. I'd rather see it be of benefit to people. I'd also hope we could expand it.

The pics were a last minute addition. Would be nice have better ones, but that was the best I could find and I wanted to keep it clean. Several of MikeC's would be ideal, but I didn't like borrowing a few pics without express permission as it was.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Pictures on 01/09/2012 17:47:03 MST Print View

I'm not a professional photographer but if you want pictues I have lot if you'd like some.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Pictures on 01/09/2012 19:53:07 MST Print View

If anyone has pictures (especially with Scouts in them) that would go well in a particular place, I'd be happy to add them. Just tell me where they should be.

One of my main challenges was MY troop doesn't backpack yet. It's been quite frustrating, but we'll get there eventually.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Last minute changes on 01/11/2012 09:25:43 MST Print View

It has been accepted, but they said it was fine if there were things I wanted to add so any last minute critiques are welcome!

Kai Larson
(KaiLarson) - F
Re: Last minute changes on 01/22/2012 01:08:37 MST Print View

Good summary. I don't agree with your conclusions regarding goretex footwear, however.

I happily wear goretex shoes. Particularly in snowy conditions, I like being able to keep my feet dry. I hate hiking with wet, cold squishy shoes/socks.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Last minute changes on 01/22/2012 10:24:57 MST Print View

You'll note winter was one exception to perhaps wearing boots, but winter wasn't within the parameters. I'd still caution on Goretex type footwear depending on the type and level of the snow but they can work just fine as you know. I haven't hiked much in mine yet, but I do know my feet can sweat quite a bit in them.

Kai Larson
(KaiLarson) - F
Re: Re: Re: Last minute changes on 01/22/2012 15:09:50 MST Print View

My scout outings are typically in the mountain West. We hike in the Rockies, and can get snow in July. Where you're from, I guess that isn't an issue.

I have hiked many hundreds of miles in Goretex footwear. I guess I just don't understand your caution (other than price.)

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Like Your Bibliography on 01/22/2012 15:30:38 MST Print View

Michael I looked over it again and I really like the way its come together. Very good work. Its something I would give to someone who was new to UL backpacking whether they were scouters or not. Make a few common sense modifications and it works for anyone.
I like that you included Andy Skurka's new book in the bibliography. I can't wait to read it but I'm guessing it will be a good resource.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Goretex footwear on 01/22/2012 16:25:15 MST Print View

It's not just me that cautions against Goretex footwear. Unless you're not going to be walking through creeks the majority of people here don't wear them either. Aside from price and inability to dry they are also heavier than a similar shoe without it.

My trips have been in the mountains, but no snow I've had to hike through yet. I'd still wear normal trail runners just like most PCT thru-hikers do. Might change what type and thickness of socks depending on how extensive it was.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Like Your Bibliography on 01/22/2012 16:43:18 MST Print View

Luke,
As some others here have discovered, it could be useful as a newbie gear primer. As I pointed out they could save more weight and money by going to items not covered because of BSA rules (alchy stoves) or patrol method (solo tents & cook kits). Maybe I should add a chapter for non-BSA, too?

I hope his book his good. I was disappointed by his sample chapter but it sounds like he's really changed and added quite a bit since then.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Bibliography on 01/22/2012 16:55:19 MST Print View

I think the book will be good. From what I've seen of Andy Skurka's gear lists I don't think there will be anything shockingly new, just good common sense UL stuff. It appears to be well illustrated so that will make it an easier read for non-gear geeks. I also think it makes UL more credible to a skeptic. Gotta admit Andy has an impressive hiking resume

As far as your article goes I think you could easily modify it and turn it into a basic backpacking guide. I wonder if you could get it published somewhere?

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re Re Bibliography on 01/22/2012 18:49:49 MST Print View

I have no interest in publishing. I'd rather just keep it in PDF format though I do wish it were more of a community effort (like open source software).

David B
(FunnyBizness) - F
Re: Lightweight Scouting Dissertation on 01/25/2012 20:14:21 MST Print View

Well done! Bravo!

A few comments:

Hand sanitizer and soap: Personally, I think hand sanitizer is a waste of space. I put a little Boraxo powdered soap in a small spice container. One ounce lasts a really long time; it weighs less than bar soap and never turns gooey.

Dehydrated food: It might be worth mentioning that dehydrated EVERYTHING is available online.

Patrol tarp: 8x10 or 10x12 silnylon. Not a must-have, but a really-nice-to-have. Especially in the rain.

Packing: Your drawing showing how to pack your pack is great!

Kitchen: Consider adding paper towels to the list. Scouts like them, and might use TP if not PT is available. Gross.

Again, nicely done. Thanks for doing this.

Daniel Smart
(smartd) - M
Re: Lightweight Scouting Dissertation on 01/30/2012 22:31:06 MST Print View

I've been a Scoutmaster for several years and took many Scouts backpacking. I totally agree that one scout with too much gear can ruin the whole trip for everyone. It is every hard to have a proper shakedown, but I now think its mandatory. Too bad about Alky stoves. I think the boys would have a great time making them and using them.

I think its good to give this info to new Scout dads, so they understand what good gear is and avoid buying inappropriate stuff too early.

Thanks for your hard work. I will read it in detail and may make some suggestions.

-=Dan=-

Steven Scates MD
(scatesmd) - MLife
overweight packs on 03/20/2012 13:18:51 MDT Print View

The PDF is great and I hope to convince others in our troop to read it carefully.

I know this post is a bit late, but I just returned from a scout hike this weekend and still see packs far heavier than needed and scouts hunched over for miles carrying them. This weekend, one of the scouts came with a 105 # pack that actually had 2 dumbbells in it.

Part of the issue (IMO) is that scouts are frequently told that carrying this mass is the way to build up strength and endurance. They are encouraged to carry extra weight. Additionally, the Be Prepared rule is used as an excuse to carry unneeded gear. Some overpack in anticipation of being in Spec Ops in the future where these packs are carried.

My suspicion is that this damages knees and joints over time and serves to make the hikes death marches.

I try to keep my kids' pack weight under 20# for now and hope to get it down further in the future. I want them to enjoy the outdoors for life.

Thanks, steve

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: overweight packs on 03/20/2012 15:55:07 MDT Print View

105 pounds?!?!? I'd guess that's more than most infantryman. How old and big was this pack mule?