I recently talked about my gloves and layering system for keeping my hands warm.
Here is a closer look and review at the Mountain Hardwear Bandito finger-less gloves that I wear.
The body of the gloves are made of Deflection ™ Soft shell which is 100% Polyester.
The mitt portion of the glove is made from windblock and stretch materials pulls over fingers for added warmth.
The Palm is Synthetic leather, although it feels like fleece, very comfortable.
Weight: 3.6 oz or 103 g
They are windproof and breathable.
These gloves are Unisex and it is important to try of for accurate fit and sizing.
The Bandito glove is marked as a “Climbing glove”, but I find them great for backpacking, especially while hiking and doing camp chores.
The Mountain Hardwear Bandito glove retails for $45.
Was this review helpful? Let me know what you wear. Leave a comment and share.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Author Archives: Jerry Schleining Jr.
I recently talked about my gloves and layering system for keeping my hands warm.
I am back from an awesome weekend out with the Cascade Hangers for our annual winter Hammock Hang. I’ll have a video up on that soon. It was a great weekend of fun and hanging (no pun intended) with some really neat people. Most of my friends would label this a “non Scouting event” and it certainly was a camp out that was not under the banner of Scouting, but the skills, the attitude, and the fun was all the same. I have said it before, I am a Scouter all the time, so just because I am not camping with Scouts, does not mean that I forget about leave no trace or allow my gear to become a yard sale. I am still helpful and friendly and all of that food stuff. In fact, the knowledge of myself being a part of Scouting and the people knowing that I am in Scouting lent itself to a lot of questions on certain skills and techniques. Most of the people were impressed at how much we camp and what we do. Always telling the story of Scouting.
There were lessons learned and I will share them with you in an upcoming post.. but right now…
WE HAVE A WINNER!
But first, I want to thank all of the new subscribers/followers for jumping on this adventure. I appreciate you. I would like to thank everyone for leaving comments. It is nice to see how the Scoutmaster minute blog is helping you.
So.. here is your winner…
Sorry about the video.. filmed on my phone…
CONGRATULATIONS Gene ORourke!!!.. Thanks for stumbling in on the blog. I hope you enjoy the stove. Send us a note (Email to email@example.com) showing us how you are using the stove!
Thanks again to everyone that helped make this give away a big success, especially Warren at Blood River Stoves for the contribution.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Tonight I will get getting up on the mountain for my first “Winter” camp of the year. I have the pulk loaded and everything is double checked… except it looks like old man winter has taken a nap.
I checked the weather service yesterday.. this weekends low is going to be in the 40′s with highs in the 50′s. Not much swing there, but we are going out none the less.
So to be prepared, I am going to throw the pack in the truck and when I get to the snow park, if there is no snow, I can always load up the pack to hike in.
Being flexible in your planning is pretty important in winter camping, you have to plan for multiple contingencies. This is where “Be Prepared” really is important. I really don’t know what to expect tonight when I get out of the truck, so I need to go prepared for everything.
The basics of course are standard, but do I overdress? What boots I am going to wear? How about a jacket? Which one and how heavy? These are the questions that I thought about (and more) last night as I packed. I want to be prepared for whatever the mountain is going to give me so I can have the best time this weekend.
Just some things to think about.
Ok.. the giveaway is over. I will announce the luck winner on Sunday when I get home. Thank you all for following/subscribing and leaving comments. It was fun to see them all come in.
Building this online community is important to me and one of the ways in which we do that is by sharing and commenting here on the blog.
Well, thanks again.. I’m off for the weekend.. I’ll blog at ya on Sunday!
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Gloves play a major role in your warmth system when cold weather camping. Your gloves and your boots are key to keeping you warm. Think about it. Your hands and your feet are the farthest body parts from the core and when they get cold you are cold all over. They are also the most at risk for cold weather injury.
When shopping for gloves, don’t skimp. Gloves are not where you want to cut cost, spend a bit extra and get good gloves that will last and you will have a much better cold weather camping experience.
I use a layering system with my gloves. This gives me options in the cold without exposure. I start with a “Base layer” glove. The Mountain Hardwear Stimulu. It retails for $40. When not wearing them I wear a Fingerless mitten called the Mountain Hardwear Bandito. They retail for $45. My outer layer is a combination mitten. The Outdoor research Meteor. They retail for $70.
I added the retail prices here so you can see the value that I place on good gloves. I could spend more, but I have been using this system for some time and know that it works to keep me warm in extreme cold temperatures. Using the gloves in a layering system gives me a lot of options and works well to regulate my comfort.
What questions do you have?
What gloves system do you use?
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Last night at our Troop meeting I had the pleasure of meeting with a group of super enthusiastic Webelos. They came to the meeting to wrap up their Arrow of Light requirement of participating in a Scoutmaster Conference.
During the course of our discussion, we did it as a group, I talked about the Scout Oath and Law and gave them some pointers for not only knowing how to say the Scout Oath, but how to remember the promises you make in saying the Oath and living it daily.
I explained to them the three promises.
Duty to God and Country. It is important to always remember our Duty to our God and this great Country of ours. Our God that has blessed us and continues to pour out his love for us. No matter how you view that God or by which name you call him, he has given us so much and we need to remember our Duty to love him and serve him with all of our Heart, our Soul, and our Mind. And this Country, no matter what your political slant is is a Country that is free. A Country that still values Liberty over all. It is our Country that we call home and we need to serve it where and how we can.
Duty to Other people. We pledge to help other people at all times. We need to be of help in our community, our home, and everywhere that we have an opportunity to make a difference. It is when we have a Duty to others that we learn to live with an attitude of selfless service.
And finally, our Duty to our Selves. To keep ourselves Physically Strong, Mentally awake, and Morally Straight. When we remember our promise to ourselves we can be a better person for others. Staying strong, fit, we can be an example of wellness and enjoy a life without the burden of illness. Being mentally awake we continue to learn, to sharpen our skills, and to be aware of the needs around us. And to be morally straight keeps our internal compass of right heading the way that makes us the people of Character that we are. It guides us to do the right thing at all times.
Those three promises can be found in the Scout sign, a daily reminder to live the promises that we make each time we say the Scout Oath.
We say the Oath aloud each Monday night at our Troop meeting, this is an accountability measure. We all hear one another say the Oath and we hold each other to the promises that we make.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Abraham Lincoln is a man often quoted, but not always in the context of Scouting. I stumbled on a great quote that speaks directly to Scouts and Scouters.
“If you give me 6 hours to cut down a tree, I will take 4 hours sharpening my ax.”
Whats he saying here.. basically.. Be Prepared. He is telling us that preparation is the key to success. When we prepare for a task we can accomplish it with success. Putting the time in to plan, train, and practice will make you better at the skill.
We are getting into the winter camping months. The more we prepare, the more fun we will have. The more we train, the safer we will be. And the more we practice our skills the better experience we will have in our adventures.
We should always be looking at ways to keep our ax sharp. We should always be thinking about that next tree and sharpen the ax to make the work easier and more effective.
I am always looking at ways to make my camping experiences better. Toying with my gear, testing new stuff, learning and refining techniques to make my adventures fun and safe.
Are you sharpening your ax?
I was looking through an old external hard drive today and found this video. Shot about 3 years ago when I was a “Tent Camper”. Thought I would share it here. It is a good example of Sunday routine. Remember that we model expected behavior. No yard sale here.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
I recently was asked to review a new “Scouting Book” by new author Greg Cieply. I quickly read the book and posted a review on Amazon. After reading the book, I thought it would be a great idea along with Greg to interview him here on the blog.
Now doing a blog interview is new to me, so we thought it best to do it kind of like they do in the magazines. So here it goes.
Greg Cieply is a Scouter and Scoutmaster of his Troop 175 in Niles Illinois. He has just completed his first book called “Super Secret UnderCover Campfire Badges – Cool ideas to make any meeting or camp out more livelier, enriching and more FUN” – available in paperback or Kindle at Amazon.com
The book is a collection of 18 fun, easy and educational activities that any group of boys on a camp out can use to make their time together more enriching. Greg has been a Scouter for 10 years, recently attended the National Jamboree on the Pioneering Staff and has attended Philmont Scout Ranch in NM twice.
What inspired you to write your book?
I had been hearing lots of scouts talking about doing other “silly” merit badges – joking about the “Bee Keeping” merit badge at summer camp and a “duct tape” merit badge; novel things that Scouting would never allow. We had a counselor at summer camp one year who all the boys would ask about doing the “bee keeping” merit badge. She thought of it as a joke at first, but it got to be kind of a way to get under her skin. I suspect the other counselors would get other scouts to ask her. As time had gone by I also noticed that lots of the boys spent most of their days learning hard science and much more formal things in scouting – First Aid, Cooking, Pioneering. These are all good ideas and very useful for a later life vocation. However I also noticed that many times a boy would be working on a merit badge that was quite useful and worthy of his time, but one that he just couldn’t finish or lost interest in. I also noticed – especially at summer camp – that when boys had lots of down time in camp that they squandered with activities which really provided no benefit to them. I’m all for fun and relaxation but why not make it “relaxation with a purpose” – just like Scouting’s mantra of “games with a purpose? So that’s kind of how this came about.
How did you come up with the subjects?
So after someone jokingly mentioned that there should be a duct tape merit badge, I starting thinking that there has to be other merit badges that the boys would be interested in doing, ones that wouldn’t take up too much of their time. Mini merit badges I guess you could call them. More importantly I was thinking about subjects that we would sometimes talk about sort of hush hush when the boys weren’t listening or ones they would talk about while I would be driving them back in the car. You know how that is, they’re talking about video games and pokemon and girls. Things like that which we’d never really talk about in a scouting context. So I starting thinking about all the possibilities that we could come up with that would keep them occupied. Since I really didn’t want to listen to them talk about all these things when I was driving, my mind started wandering and I came up with these ideas.
How much of the book can realistically be done within the Scouting program?
Well I think in that context a lot of the concepts are already covered. You will probably encounter a good number of these topics; though not too many. More often they are less specific and usually the requirements for learning or even just participating are much longer. Also in the regular scouting program we have merit badge counselors, but in the book, all the leaders, parents and even other scouts can be “counselors”. You simply need to make sure they have some knowledge about the topic. For instance if you have a scout who has done some magic tricks and or some kind of performance, then you can have him be a counselor. Typically I would suggest an age limit of say 14 and above to counsel, but it’s really up to you.
What is your favorite of all your “campfire badges?”
I really like the idea of the Science Fair Campfire badge. I’d heard about other troops doing something like this at camp and I thought it was really neat and a great way to build rapport among the Scouts, have some friendly competition and learn how to overcome obstacles. But the magic and stand up comedy ones are close to my heart as well. I love doing stand up and always loved to see my son (Adam, who’s on the cover) do magic. Those two will be a lot of fun for anyone that does this book.
What is your hope for this book? What are you looking to accomplish with it?
Well as I said earlier, I really felt that there were certain topics that boys need to know about but that often slip through the cracks. For instance, the men’s fashion campfire badge section requires a boy to tie a Windsor knot, or even a bow tie knot. (This isn’t as hard as they make it out to be in the movies). However this probably isn’t addressed in any regular Scouting merit badge. It’s more like a life lesson that a Dad or an Uncle would provide for a boy on his first date or at prom. In a lot of cases we’re seeing more and more single Mom’s bringing their boys into scouting and that’s great. I’m sure there’s plenty of Moms who know how to tie a tie – my experience is that they don’t – but why not teach boys skills like this? And do so in the context of Scouting. I see that as a win win. And if a Mom wants to teach it, more power to her. YouTube or Pinterest is a great resource for that kind of thing. But the connection with an adult in the process is even better. If it’s a parent or an older scout that can pass along some good learning, then all the better.
You’ve been a scouter for 10 years, what has kept you going all this time?
Well like most leaders, it starts with a desire to help your own child accomplish important developmental goals in life. We all want the best for our kids and the more and more you get involved in the Scouting program, you see how it changes lives in such a positive way. When you see how much of a change it can make in your own child, you really start to see how it easily it can help others with very little work on your behalf. As time goes on you start to realize that someone had stuck it out and provided your son with the benefits of their knowledge and efforts and you should do the same. Pass it forward. I love seeing the look on the faces of Scouts when they are having fun, or learning something new. That inexplicable look of satisfaction and accomplishment they get when the achieve something memorable. Every time one of my Scouts earns a merit badge or advances a rank, I see how happy that makes them and it makes me incredibly happy as well. That will keep me going forever – (at least for an hour a week – per boy)!!!
Do you have any current book projects?
As time has gone by I keep thinking of new “campfire” badges that the boys can do, so there will probably be a part 2 and maybe even more. I’m also working on a book about Scouting and Health that I hope to have done by the summer. I expect it to be a great resource that’s also fun and interactive with the entire troop. I’m as excited about that one as I was about this one!
I would like to thank Greg for the interview and the information on the book. While it is not an “Official” Scouting book, I think it is a great resource for Senior Patrol Leaders and Scoutmaster that are looking for neat things to do with their Scouts. I can not tell you how many times I hear Scoutmasters talk about their Scouts wasting time. Well here is a possible solution that is fun and informative.
If you have a product, book, or neat idea that you would like to share and have promoted on the blog, drop me a note. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Book cover picture taken from Amazon.com
It is early Saturday morning and instead of firing up the alcohol stove, rigging up some hammock stuff, or prepping for a gear review, I am adding to a response post that I have been working on for two days. So pardon the interruption, but I need to do this and then move on.
It is very well known if you have spent more than a day or two on this blog, in my troop, and within my group of friends, my opinion on the non discrimination policy. A policy that now allows the Boy Scouts of America to do the right thing and make our program available to ALL young men. I have taken a lot of heat for my stance.. a stance by the way which remains simply… I DON’T CARE. Nothing in the BSA is going to change other than we are opening our doors to those young men that are not currently made welcome.
I received a lengthy email on Wednesday that essentially called me immoral and instructed me on the ways in which I would find myself in hell. I am not going to share all the details of the email, I am sure that this “Follower of Christ” would be ashamed at himself if he saw his email on the internet, although he is more than likely no longer following the blog. Dang, lost one.
What I find remarkable in all of this is the fact that this has drawn so much anxiety. Again if you are interested in my position or where I stand, read the blog. I am not going to rehash all of this over and over and this will… I promise be the last I blog about it. There are more important issues to address than this.
What I want to address here.. after many hits of the edit button.. is this issue of morality. Folks, you have no idea how much this post has changed since Wednesday. But the more I thought about it, prayed about it, and re read it over and over, the more I thought this is a perfect example of being Scout like.. even Christ like or follower of Christ.. which by the way is where we get the word “Christian”.
Central to the faith is this idea of morality. The common definition of which is this: The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct. (Websters) Religious Morality expands the definition by adding that system in which we learn how to live within those rules that govern moral thinking or morality. So does Scouting to a certain degree in that we make a promise to live by a certain set of rules or code. The Scout Oath and Law.
The Oath and Law were not derived from the Church rather, they came from a need to teach young men how to live a certain way stemming from a sense of honor and chivalry. Most people familiar with the Scouting movement understand that while Baden Powell felt a strong belief that religion plays a major role in the upbringing of a young man, Scouting was not a substitute for the Church, nor was it an extension of it. And while Churches have played a major role, especially here in the United States (not as much in other countries), Scouting is not Church.
So whats that got to do with morality? It is the Boy Scouts of Americas position that morality, reinforced by the code that we live in Scouting is taught at home and in the Church. When we pledge to be morality straight, we are pledging that we will live “in accord with standards of right or good conduct”. Now where does that come from? Is it through the Church that we only know what is right or wrong? Long before I could understand what the Church was teaching me I understood the difference between right and wrong. It was through more growth and understanding that I learned why certain things were right or wrong.
Living the Scout law directs the person to do what is right. But the twelve points of the Scout law are common sense. One really does not need further explanation as to why it is important to be Trustworthy or Kind. They are just right and deep inside each of us we know that. To be clean with our thoughts, words, and deeds are just right. I don’t need the Church to tell me that. It’s just right.
Reverent. What does the Scout law say about that? A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others. That is all that the BSA says about it.
When it comes to the part of the Scout Oath when we make our promise to be morality straight it says; Being morally straight means to live your life with honesty, to be clean in your speech and actions, and to be a person of strong character. And since this has become a religion argument and not one that really speaks to real morality, what of Duty to God as outlined in the Scout Oath. “ Your family and religious leaders teach you to know and serve God. By following these teachings, you do your duty to God.” from the Scout handbooks going back as far as I could find in my collection (1930′s).
I don’t know when the perception that Scouting was all about religion came in. I don’t remember it playing a major role other than Grace before meals and Scouts Own services when I was a Scout. I guess it has always played a part but it has never been the Main thing.
So what about this current non issue and why I’m heading straight to hell.
As a Scoutmaster I do not get to decide which Church is the right one. I don’t get to not sign off a handbook because the Scout believes in one thing or another. I don’t get to go to his living room and instruct his family on morality. I am example of living right. I am a Scoutmaster all the time, 24/7 and when I meet a Scout in our town they see an example of the Oath and Law.
I don’t need a Church to tell me to be friendly, courteous, or obedient. I am a believer in Christ and know what I was taught in the Church. To love my neighbor. To do unto others as I would have done to me. So why then would I discriminate based on orientation of anything. That is up to them and their God. I am not the judge and neither is my emailer friend.
I am not worried about law suits because boys are boys and in the context of Scouting they are by and large good. They don’t care about this issue, just ask them. It is the parents that are afraid that homosexuality will rub off on their son. I don’t think it works that way. But if it does than you better pull your son out of School, Sports, community events, and yep.. Church. It’s not a vapor virus that will infect your son.
There is no place for the sexuality discussion in Scouting, gay or straight. That has not changed and it won’t change.
Morality is where your heart is. You learn it from your family and develop it through your church, school, friendships. In Scouting we have our code of conduct. That is and will not change.
I have said enough on this and as promised once I hit ‘publish’ I am done with it. On January the 6th we held our first meeting of the year. The first meeting that would allow for openly gay boys to join Scouting. We did not get one new application that night. hmmm.
If you must leave Scouting over this. Sorry to see you go. I would challenge you to think about how you treat people and what your Church is teaching in so far as who your neighbor is. I really hope that I am not going to hell like this guy says I am. I have already been to Iraq.. so I know what it’s like. That and everyone here knows I enjoy Cold weather camping.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7: 1-2
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3: 12-14.
And Finally, from John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
And now I am finished with this subject.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
No matter how many times I say it, it seems to always be there.. a theme… Like the opportunity to do a good turn daily is just a matter of opening your eyes, a another theme for this week has rendered itself in front of me.
It seems that everywhere I turn this week, at work, on the radio, daily devotion, whatever.. the idea of being grateful keeps coming up. And so it got me thinking about just how grateful am I?
My thoughts immediately turn toward those things closest to me. My family. I am so grateful that I have a wife of 22 years. She is my partner and my best friend. We have been through it all together. She is the mother of my three amazing kids. Yes, I love to brag about my kids. Our son that is serving in the Army, I am grateful for him. He has become a great man. Our daughter who is a college student. She brings us so much joy. I am grateful for the way she is becoming a neat women that has compassion and a heart to be helpful. And then our youngest son who is going to graduate from high school this year. An amazing athlete and student. He has a heart as big as the moon and watching him grow and become the person that he is has been fun. None of this without it’s challenges, but for all of it I am grateful.
My parents are still around and close by. I love the fact that my kids all have the opportunity to grow up with their grandparents, something I did not get to do. I am ever so grateful for the lessons that my parents gave me that shaped me into the person that I am.
My home, as in my Country. The greatest Country on Earth.. says me. I am grateful that I am an American. A land where I don’t have to like or agree, because we have liberty. A Country where I have opportunity to go as far as I want to. I land that rewards hard work and drive. A Country that has lots of problems and a government that drives me up the wall, but it’s still home and I am grateful that I live here.
I am grateful for my health. I can still run and play and get out in the woods. I have never had a major health issue and have the ability to provide for me family because I am healthy.
I can talk, I can see, I can lift, I can move. I am grateful.
Scouting. A program that is all about the things that I believe in and love. Character, Citizenship, and Fitness. The great outdoors and making young people in to good older people. A program that I know works. I am grateful that I belong to a great troop. A committee that wants to keep me around. Assistant Scoutmasters that are fun to work with, great men that practice what they preach and are fantastic role models. And of course those young men that keep showing up every Monday night. Man am I glad that they stick with it.
I suppose the point of all of this is that sometimes we forget to show gratitude. We tend to take advantage of the simple things and often times let our thankfulness pass us by in our busy lives.
Its time that we take a moment and be grateful for all that we have. We have so much. If you are reading this, you are on your computer, tablet, smart phone, or other device. That means that you are doing ok.. be thankful.
Finally, I am thankful for all of you. I need to express that gratitude more often. Thank you for reading, subscribing or following, and thank you for showing interest in this blog. Thanks!
Have a Great Scouting Day!
So who here has a perfect Troop? A group of Scouts that get along with no issues? A unit that has a culture of absolute peace and harmony?
Yeah? If you have that Troop, please let me know what side of Utopia you live on and I will come and check that out.. I certainly have some things to learn.
For those of you that live on our planet and work with Boy Scouts you know that at some point you will be dealing with problems. Personal issues and friction among the Scouts.
The BSA includes a block of instruction dealing with Conflict Resolution in the NYLT or JLT sessions. Yes, I know that there is no longer a program called JLT, but many units still run their own Junior Leader Training sessions as part of their annual plan.
The Boy Scouts train our Scouts to use the Key word EAR. Express, Address, and Resolve. Those are great to remember when Scouts get into sticky situations with one another. Again, I still have lots to learn, but feel some what qualified to speak on conflict resolution. I have been married for over 20 years, raised 3 kids, and have been a Scoutmaster now for 10 years.
I have come up with a few general rules of my own for resolving conflict.
1. Calm Down. When tempers are flaring and the parties are upset the best thing to do is calm the situation down. Separate the folks involved and get them, and everyone around to calm down. No conflict will be resolved when the blood is still up.
2. Listen. Both sides of the story need to be heard. Spend more time listening and less time judging. Give both parties time and attention. More times than not there is no one right or wrong side of the issue. Typically it is a personality issue or and issue of who’s idea gets picked. Listen. I have seen the issues work themselves out just because they talked and I listened.
3. Focus on Behavior. Behavior is the key to the direction that conflicts go. Never allow the behavior to turn bad because of the conflict. The Oath and Law are great guides in directing expected behavior. Reinforce that behavior is more important than feelings. How we act is more important than how we feel. In the end our behavior will impact how we feel, so if we control our behavior and keep it within the values of the Scout Law, we need not worry about feelings.
4. Shake and look ‘em in the eye. Each conflict needs to have an end. A hand shake and look in the eye is the final point. Once that happens there can be no more issues. Those are the rules. Don’t shake and apologize if you don’t mean it and there is still conflict. It aint over till it’s over. When it’s over.. Shake and look each other in the eye.
I have been using those simple ideas for some time now and find that it works great. You have to be committed to working it through though. Don’t allow the emotion of the conflict override the resolution. Never allow the group to dictate or pick sides. That turns nasty and in the end you will divide the unit with that type of behavior.
Remember that the resolution is for the good of both parties and the unit. It’s not fixed till everyone has a sense of satisfaction in the resolution.
I hope that helps.
Have a Great Scouting Day!