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.
So far as gear. I am a big believer that you take better care of what you own. Having Scouts own their gear is a great way to teach responsibility. It is also a fantastic way to get the Scouts and their parents thinking long term about the their gear purchases.
Starting up a “Light Camping” unit is not hard, but does take a certain degree of knowledge and training. That is the fun part. There are a lot of resources out there to help, I would encourage you to take a look at putting away the green Coleman stoves, the cabin tents, and the patrol boxes. Give packs and trekking poles a try. Break down the patrols cook boxes and replace them for buddy team cooking and one pot meals. Backpacking is a wonderful way to teach an appreciation for the outdoors and a great way to show the wilderness to Scouts that may never have another opportunity to see it.
Try it.. you may just like it.
Have a Great Scouting Day!