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Monthly Archives: August 2009
Have a Great Scouting Day!
There is not a Scoutmaster that I know that has not said those words in conversation. We all know of a boy that really does need Scouting. We have them in our Troops, we know them in the neighborhood, we see them in our kids Schools.
NOTE: I am updating this post to reflect some questions/comments that I have received (8-28-09)
What’s in My Backpack.
Most Backpackers are always tweeking their gear, replacing old stuff with new, looking for lighter, tougher, more useful (multi use) and of course just plain cool gear.
Recently I upgraded some gear, namely my backpack.
After years of carrying my Kelty External Frame Tioga 5500 I have switched to an internal frame pack. Now, before anyone says I jumped ship on my philosophy of External frame packs being better for younger bodies or beginning Backpackers.. Stop. I still believe that. External frame packs offer a much easier platform for the beginner and the young Scout to load and carry.
I have been looking for about a year now and finally fell in love with a pack I could not live without.
Loading it and walking around with it, doing the homework to see what its capabilities are and what I won’t be able to do with it. Looking at all my gear and how I use it and what I use it for.
A couple things I am not willing to sacrifice some comfort and safety. So I am willing to carry a little extra to stay comfortable and safe.
So here is what is in my Pack Now.
Pack: Mountain Hard wear Koa 55
Camptrials pack cover
Tent: MSR Hubba
Sleeping Bag: Marmot Sawtooth 15 degree
Bag liner (10 Extra degrees)
Sleeping Pad: Thermarest Z lite
Water pump: MSR Sweetwater
Stove: Snow Peak Giga Power
GSI Soloist cook system
Guyot Designs -The Utensils (Spork and Spatula)
Platypus Water Bladders (2 Liters X 2)
Light My Fire Fire steel Scout
REI Storm Proof matches
First Aid kit (personalized)
Trekking Poles: Black Diamond Trail
Snow Shoes: Tubbs Sojourn 25
Gerber Pocket knife (not in pack)
Small role of Toilet paper
Personal kit (toothbrush, toothpaste)
Small Bic lighter
Sock liners (1 pair)
Wool Socks (cushion) 2 Pair
Cool max (Under armor) shirt
Long Sleeve sweat wicking shirt
Mountain Hard wear beanie
Marmot light gloves
Columbia Outer Shell
Poly Propylene tops and bottoms
Wool socks (3 pair)
sock liners (2 pair)
Mountain Hard wear gaiters- Gaiters I have found to be an essential part of my gear. I actually wear them in more than just the winter. I love them when trekking through meadows and in rocky areas as they keep my legs dry and keep little things from getting into my boots. They work great in the winter keeping snow out of my boots and keeping my laces dry.
Rain gear: Frog Togg Dri Duck top and bottom
I received a comment on my post about Backpacking Trip planning made easy. The Reader asked a few questions I would love to answer.
Oregon must be a great place for backpacking. Tell us how far you have to go to get to the trail heads around you. And how far is too far away for a weekend camping trek.
I live in the midwest, in a plains state, and have to travel hours to get to even the Ozarks in Arkansas to find more than a 2 mile wilderness trail. Do you go 3 or 4 hours from home base? More than 150 to 200 miles? Do you camp at a park the first night and hit the trail in the morning? Or do you hike a bit at night and camp on the trail?
By now most of you have read the most recent issue of Scouting Magazine. Bob Mazzuca started off the theme of fitness in his “From The CSE” article on page 8. Then on page 45 there is an article called “Fat Chance”. In the intro of the article it says, ” People who recite the Boy Scout Oath promise to keep themselves ‘physically strong’. That goes for adult leaders, too. It’s time for you and your Scout to get fitter and faster- and avoid missing out on Scouting’s greatest adventures.”
I have talked about it before.. but I love to pass on “Expert” advice on backpacking and camping gear. I always tell the Scouts that if you take care of your gear it will take care of you. Your tent is more than likely the most expensive or at least in the top three most expensive items you have in your gear collection. If you take care of it.. it will last a long time.
We have been talking a lot lately about gear. I did a couple podcasts on gear and have received lots of great feedback and comments on what is peoples backpacks and what they prefer to use when out on the trail. Yesterday I took some time and listened to my good buddy Shawn’s latest podcast. He talked about “gearing up” his new Troop. He suggested a few things that him and I have talked about at length regarding outfitting a Scout Troop in the “Backpacking style”. I am finding that many more Troops are going to this style of camping… weather they actually hit the trail or not.. the “Backpacking style” or “light weight” camping offers many more options for both the Scouts and leaders of a Troop. Without sacrificing any comfort, nutrition, or skills. The lighter weight style requires the Scouts to have a few more skills and requires the leaders to do a lot more teaching up front. But once routines are established camping is more enjoyable for the Scouts and the leaders.