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Equipment suggestions for new scout parents
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Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
Equipment suggestions for new scout parents on 03/10/2012 19:09:52 MST Print View

We have a steady but small trickle of parents of new scouts who want to get into backpacking with their scout and our troop. I put together some suggestions about gear as a page on our troop website. It is located here:

I'm not trying to steer these new backpackers into super ultralight, but I want to keep them from buying totally wrong gear. Comments and suggestions are invited.

I have another page for gear for new scouts, located here:

our troop website is here:

Edited by rshaver on 03/13/2012 09:07:54 MDT.

Paul Johnson
(johncooper) - F

Locale: SoCal
Scout Equipment Suggestions on 03/12/2012 12:36:21 MDT Print View

Your web page and information on equipment for both scouts and scouters is excellent. I like that you provide specific purchase recommendations and are clear setting priorities and gear not to buy.

My biggest issue is with scouts/scouters, myself included, that have bought a set of equipment that is not well suited to our longer hikes. It's tough to rebuy gear to save a few pounds.

I have two minor recommendations. First is to emphasize buying gear online. I find the prices and availability much better. For example, I recently purchased a Kelty Cosmic Down for $75. My second suggestion is to put a short summary at the beginning or your guides. I suspect new parents just want to buy a few things before the first trip. This gives them a quick and easy reference. Buy "this", don't buy "that" - go.

Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
good ideas on 03/12/2012 20:48:26 MDT Print View

thanks John. I'm hoping to get this to parents before they buy equipment, but if they already have gear, they are kind of stuck. I don't know what to do about that.

What online places have you found to be good places to buy gear? I'm aware of the REI clearance site, and GoLite Clearance Closet. Any others?

Paul Johnson
(johncooper) - F

Locale: SoCal
Online sites on 03/12/2012 21:10:59 MDT Print View

I do a combination of Google searches, ebay and deals from this site.
To be effective online, you need to tell them exactly what to buy and the brand needs to be widely distributed.

Examples of recent deals
Kelty cosmic down $75 at Sport Chalet through a Google search
Montbell UL down jacket $95 at campsaver, BPL deal reference
BA Fly Creek UL2 $220 on eBay
Backpacker mag for $3 BPL deal reference

I do not see as many deals on packs. My last two packs were the Golite clearance
and a MYOG in process.

Edited by johncooper on 03/12/2012 21:12:12 MDT.

equipment on 03/13/2012 19:48:41 MDT Print View

sierra trading post
CLean Snipe
Dept of Goods
use rebate sites too (mr rebates, etc)
use coupons (retail-me-not, etc)

Look for a Golite model yr clearance around Dec-Jan

Use google shopping for specific items,etc

Edited by livingontheroad on 03/13/2012 19:49:56 MDT.

Paul Johnson
(johncooper) - F

Locale: SoCal
Online stores on 03/15/2012 22:32:02 MDT Print View

A good list Martin. Some others:
Sierra Trading Post

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Equipment suggestions for new scout parents on 03/15/2012 22:38:04 MDT Print View

Have you read this?

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Equipment suggestions for new scout parents on 03/16/2012 07:59:11 MDT Print View

I believe Bob did comment on my dissertation at some point. If you look in Appendix A, Bob, I have a list of online retailers that often have decent deals. I think most have been mentioned already.

Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
excellent info on 03/16/2012 09:31:19 MDT Print View

Thanks, I'll add those sites.

I did read Michael's dissertation, and found it to be excellent. His work starts from the assumption of converting an experienced adult backpacker to ultralight, with rationales for why lighter weight packs is good.

What I wanted to make a shopping list for scout parents who are probably not at all knowledgeable about backpacking, to buy for young 11 year old scouts, starting with the most important purchase first, and working toward the least important. As a "shopping list", it is far shorter and easier to read than the dissertation, but it has the information needed to make purchases. It also has pictures, and is a lot more abbreviated than Michael's dissertation. The rationale for lighter gear for 11 year olds is so that their gear can fit in a small pack, and so the total pack weight can be halfway reasonable for an 80 pound scout.

I see a lot of parents go out and buy the wrong sleeping bag, and I wanted to prevent that first and foremost. Its money down the drain. Second, parents buy boots and packs that a scout can "grow into", and the kid has to suffer with a pack that the waist belt doesn't work, or the boots are loose or tight. I had one kid have to carry his boots for the whole trip, and wear his keen sandals, because his boots were too tight.

Edited by rshaver on 03/16/2012 09:33:36 MDT.