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What a Scout Needs for Backpacking
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Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: great article Tad, thanks! on 02/17/2012 08:45:31 MST Print View

You sound a lot like me. I'm 44 and started 3 years ago. You should also read my paper that I linked to in the first reply.

Just do it. My first trip in May 2009 was pretty sad equipment-wise other than the new Lunar Duo I'd bought and my Super Cat. I went from that simple overnight to 11 days solo in the Smokies a couple months later. You can see those vids at my youtube page in my profile.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: great article Tad, thanks! on 02/17/2012 11:36:46 MST Print View

Ron, first things first, that is a great looking fish in your avatar! The dogs don't look bad either.

Don't worry about how late you start, just start. My dad didn't take up skiing until I was 12, we had some great times together but we would have missed them if he hadn't started.

My mom finished her BA degree at 65, and her masters at 68.

Just start.

Also, thanks for reading.

Mauro Nobre
(chebene) - F
Nice article, but one puzzling item on the list... on 02/19/2012 15:37:21 MST Print View

Very enjoyable article. I would just quibble with one thing: a bible on the list? Really? Even a few sheets of "the pages you are reading" is too much. It does not belong on a lightweight backpacking list.

Moreover, teaching religious superstition to impressionable kids is highly objectionable! They should be taught to develop their own innate moral sense, along with critical thinking, not superstitious garbage!

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Nice article, but one puzzling item on the list... on 02/19/2012 15:59:57 MST Print View

Mauro the atheist, Scouting is based on a belief in God.

Edited by jshann on 02/20/2012 09:37:26 MST.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Nice article, but one puzzling item on the list... on 02/19/2012 20:53:44 MST Print View

Mauro, thanks for reading.
My reason for listing "scriptures" (not bible, as you stated) is for the very reason you point out. Namely, allowing the boys to "develop their own innate moral sense". I don't dictate what they read, bible or otherwise. Scripture reading is a family issue and some families choose to read some form of scripture daily.

You might reread the title for that section "optional items". The boy decides what in that area he will bring and if they choose to bring scriptures, who am I to deny them that right. I just don't want them bringing the whole book; only to bring what they can read on the trip. So yes, it most definitely belongs on the checklist otherwise they would be carrying more then necessary.

Khader Ahmad
(337guanacos) - F

Locale: Pirineos, Sierra de la Demanda
Re: Re: Nice article, but one puzzling item on the list... on 02/20/2012 07:31:22 MST Print View

Religion flaming is delicious troll food, and its Mauro's first post, this usually means that Mauro is a troll (I might be wrong). My advice to the pious is avoiding internal combustion, and thinking before feeding a troll.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Re: Re: Nice article, but one puzzling item on the list... on 02/20/2012 16:08:11 MST Print View

I did the vast majority of my youthful backpack trips with my church youth group. We brought hard-back bibles, both testaments. A simple idea like xeroxing the part you intended to study would have helped us a lot. Sometimes it is the simplest ideas like not bringing a full 16oz bottle of sunblock or 8oz tube of toothpaste that are the ones that cascade into transforming a too heavy pack into something tolerable.

Rob Harrison
(robhar54) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Thank you! on 02/20/2012 22:58:48 MST Print View

Thanks Tad, this is great stuff. I'm hoping to get out with my almost-9-year-old on a few short trips this summer, both hiking and bike-packing.

I'm in Seattle. There must be local Scout troops. Any suggestions about how to find a compatible group?

Rob in Seattle

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Thank you! on 02/21/2012 10:57:25 MST Print View

Rob, the council would be a good place to start when looking for a troop, they can give you a list of the troops in your area.
If you are in Seattle or its suburbs, you will be in the Chief Seattle Council, (206) 725-5200,

Trying to find a troop that is compatible is like shopping for a new car, do a few test drives and see which one feels right. Yes, some cost more than others (troop dues and stuff) but unlike cars the cost of participation has nothing to do with the quality of the program. Just ask a lot of questions.

Thanks for reading the article.

Richard Perlman
(montclair) - MLife

Locale: Metro NY
How to find a scout troop on 02/21/2012 14:50:24 MST Print View

Click the Boy Scouts tab, punch in your zip code and click GO.

SM Troop 154 Golden's Bridge, NY

Warren Wilkinson
(icensnow) - M

Locale: New England, USA
0.2 cents on 02/22/2012 11:23:25 MST Print View

I also did some of my early camping with church groups and it was a very positive experience - great memories. I do however, think that specifying religious reading materials, rather than reading materials in general, to be a bad idea. I'd prefer to see us calling attention to the things that we have in common, that bring us together, rather than to be highlighting our differences. If we encourage kids to bring reading materials, and some bring religious materials, great. It may even turn into a teaching moment, but it should be a teaching moment that promotes the understanding and respect of all religious beliefs, not an opportunity for the leader to advocate for his/her own beliefs.

Q Smith
( - MLife

Locale: Texas Hill Country
Perfect timing on 02/23/2012 10:08:51 MST Print View

I just volunteered to help local boy scouts with backpacking. I was wondering how I was going to tell them that "being prepared" doesn't mean taking everything sold at Academy... I will reference your posts for help!

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Michael and Tad on 02/29/2012 11:45:42 MST Print View

between Michael and Tad's efforts to educate, in very simple terms that are easily digested by parents, scouts, and most important, the philosophy of Scouting, the future is in good hands. when i was a scout, well, weight wasn't considered - if you had room in the pack, you didn't have enough stuff :)

thanks so much for the timely article and paper, my oldest has just made the jump from Cubs to Boy Scouts. i am lucky in that the troop my son has joined very much is into a lightweight mindset, the issue then becomes helping to educate the parents.

my son's after school task today is to read parts one and two for a trip his is taking this weekend.

thanks again for helping to educate and remove that age old stigmata that prepared means packing it all in. prepared doesn't mean gear, it means so much more.