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Boy Scouts and Lightweight Backpacking
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Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Re: What is the University of Scouting??? on 10/15/2007 22:40:12 MDT Print View

From the National Capitol region.

Robb Simer
(robb77536) - MLife

Locale: Texas Gulf Coast
Begining Outfits for new Scouts on 09/10/2008 02:27:55 MDT Print View

You are all correct about the weight of a boy's hiking and camping gear being very important for the novice scout camper. Comfort is also very important. You might want to consider that most of the nation's parents of these boys have no idea that ultralight gear manufactures exist. They are going to go down to the local Walmart or Academy or Bass Pro Shop (or other store of that ilk) to get there son's gear. The best that can be hoped for is to educate these parents, scouts and Scout Masters about getting the lightest gear available to them. The retailers are doing better at carrying lighter gear, but improvements will only occur with input from these parents, scouts and Scout Masters. Price is also a large factor. Hence, the parents shopping at Walmart or Academy, etc. A "dress" uniform for their son will definitely be bought, the the Scouting Store and catalogue prices are almost prohibitive. This has been a long note but having had three son's in the Scouting program and now looking at having four grandsons involved, I've been there and can testify that done right, Scouting is really woth all the "hassels". Robb

(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
RE: "Boy Scouts and Lightweight Backpacking" on 09/10/2008 13:42:24 MDT Print View

Last year I held a training session for the new boys and their parents and introduced them to my lightweight pack and showed them alternatives. I provided a list of my gear (I am cheap), what I paid and what retail was. I introduced them to a two bag system (I am in California) that includes a cold weather bag and a lightweight bag. I noted what was at a minimum necessary and what kind of trips these items would be needed for.

The example seems to have helped many of the boys and parents understand what to look for. I would love to turn it in to a whole weekend class someday or teach it at our local University of Scouting.

Unknown abc
(edude) - F
Lightweight Scouting on 11/28/2008 13:42:12 MST Print View

Finally someone in the Boy Scouts other than me is catching onto the lightweight revolution! I am a First Class Scout in Troop 93 in Idaho.Ever since my first backpacking trip, I decided to look for a better way and when I found "Lightweight Backpacking and Camping" by Ryan Jordan and "The Ultralight Backpacker" by Ryel Kestenbaun in my local library, I was a self proclaimed 'Lightweight Backpacker'
making all my buddies look like pack mules laden with all their traditional gear and ideas on the next trip.

Thanks, I will send this link to parents in my Troop since my friends all think I am nuts.

Edited by edude on 11/29/2008 00:40:57 MST.

Curtis Ware
(ware_curtis) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Light weight backpacking and Scouting is not new on 08/09/2009 08:44:08 MDT Print View

As I was looking at boxes of scout stuff I came across my 1976 reprint of the Boy's Life Litepac Camping Equipment.

As I looked it over, I wonder how light the stuff could be made using the material that was not available in the early seventies. My patrol made the Hickory tent out of plastic and used it many times.

I was going to scan it, but a quick google showed that it has already been scanned. Check it out.

*Fixed pub date

Edited by ware_curtis on 08/09/2009 10:21:06 MDT.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Boy Scouts and Lightweight Backpacking on 08/09/2009 09:32:32 MDT Print View


Edited by kthompson on 08/09/2009 17:05:00 MDT.

Thomas Rayl
(trayl) - MLife

Locale: SE Tx
Quilts and Quarters on 06/14/2012 16:09:35 MDT Print View

Unless you're on a Yukon expedition or equivalent, consider a down quilt instead of a sleeping bag. They're lighter weight and compress REALLY well. And, if you get one with a closable head-hole like those by, they also serve as a really warm poncho-type wrap (under a poncho for rain protection, if necessary!) in early morning / cool evening / emergency. Another dual-use = lighter-weight example. You already mentioned (in the gear list) that a rain poncho can also be the ground cloth -- another dual-use.

Quarters: Cost is a very real concern, expecially in some areas and economies. Check with your local scouting organization and try running some find-raising projects with the scouts doing a significant part of the effort. (And check about gear sponsorships!) The boys will value gear more if they've actually worked to get it. (NOTE: It may require that the gear technically be considered "troop equipment".) This can also be valuable in generating a "can-do" attitude in young scouts.

Good Luck!