Here are some camping tips & trick for our new scouts who may have not been on any, certainly not many, Boy Scout campouts.
New Scouts/Parents – PLEASE DO NOT RUSH OUT AND BUY EVERYTHING! Ask older Scouts or their parents if you can borrow gear. Call or email folks you know or send out a TroopRoom News Event blast for the items you want to borrow.
We have LOTS of Scouts and Adults with LOTS of supplies that could be borrowed the first few campouts until you figure out what you really need and don’t! Usually new scouts pack way too much anyway – later – when they have to have everything in a backpack and hike 15 miles – they’ll learn the minimalist methods that work great!
Good pages to read and review (new Scout book – 12th Edition) are reference below.
New Scouts - ask your Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader, Instructors/Guide and older higher ranking Scouts for Tips & Trips too!
Know this is too many words, too much to read – but if you’re new – READ ALL OF IT – PLEASE – it will help you &/or your Scout have a much more enjoyable campout at Camporee in Mid-March & the Patrol Method Campout on the 1st weekend of April!
General Camping Do’s and Don’ts:
- Food, Cooking, Drinking, & Eating (pages 292, 324-341):
- This campout (and most others) has Grubmasters assigned for each patrol. They’ll purchase all the food needed – unless you have special dietary restrictions – which hopefully you told your Grubmaster so he can help support your needs. So you really shouldn’t need to bring any food/snacks.
- No food, candy, snacks, or drinks other than water in the tents. No need to contaminate your or someone else’s tent with stuff that will attract ants, bugs, raccoons, or in rougher terrain bears, etc. Do all your eating outside!
- Cooking and clean-up gear are provided by the Patrol/Troop.
- Fresh, potable water will be supplied by the Patrol/Troop – either packing it in or obtaining it at the campsite.
- You MUST bring at least one water bottle. Water will be provided but you need something to drink from. It is best to make sure you keep one water bottle for water only – no lemonade, punch, etc.
- You MUST bring your own eating utensils (plate &/or bowl, cup, spoon, knife, fork, or related “sporks”, etc.) You’ll learn how to safely clean-up your eating gear and the cooking gear.
- Paper plates and plastic ware are usually Cub Scout gear – only used on special big events in Boy Scouts (think Leave No Trace, conservation & camp wash stations.)
- Clothing (pages 270-276) – wear/pack appropriate for weather and activities:
- Pack your spare/change of clothes in “dry sacks” of thick 1-gallon baggies to keep them dry. Nothing worse than not having dry clothes to change into – if it’s hot or especially cold out.
- Always dress/pack to wear “layers” of clothes. That way you can add layers when your cold or take layers off if you’re hot.
- If you have polyester “wicking/wickable” clothes – wear them & pack them. They’re good for hot & cold weather. “Underarmor-style underwear and shirts (short or long, long preferred) are excellent.
- If you don’t have “wicking” clothes – use layers of cotton (tshirts under other shirts) helps pull sweat away from the layer against your body to outside layers.
- In general – have at least 1, if not 2, changes of clothes (at least underwear, tshirt, and socks.) If you skimp on anything – don’t skimp on the socks – 2 or 3 pair are preferred.
- Hiking boots (already broken in) are always preferred for better support and protection. If not bring tennis shoes, however, be cautious about rough terrain – some items (mesquite thorns) can easily penetrate a tennis shoe – and many hiking boots! Best used with the 2-sock method (inner “wickable” sock liner with other wool/polyester sock.)
- You’ll want a “ski” hat and gloves this weekend!
- You’ll probably want sweat shirts, winter coats, hoodies, etc. too!
- Sleeping gear (pages 305-306) – again – think layers:
- Boy Scouts seldom use the big battery powered air mattresses (MOM’s Patrol of old folks can sometimes get away with them!)
- A bed roll is always advised. Use of a foam pad, self-inflating bed pad, thick blanket folded 3-4 times, etc. This is important for comfort (most Texas camping is rocky) and insulation on cold campouts like this weekend.
- Sleeping bag on top of bed roll.
- “Winter” camping should use a rating of a minimum of 30F, 15F if you can.
- Your selection of polyfiber v. down fill is you choice…
- Mummy-style is suggested if you have it for this cold weekend. You’ll want to pull the drawstring around your head/face to save body heat.
- If you don’t have a mummy-style sleeping bag, use a polyester “skull cap”, clean tshirt/towel, etc. to cover your head at night to retain body heat.
- If you have a sleeping bag liner – bring it. They can add an extra ~ 10 degrees or so to your sleeping comfort.
- Sounds funny but sleep in your sleeping bag in your underwear or underwear and tshirt. Do NOT sleep in all your clothes (blue jeans, sweatshirt, etc.) in your sleeping bag. Most sleeping bags are designed to use your body heat to reflect heat back to you while allowing moisture out…
- Clean/dry blanket, spare clothes, or “emergency” blankets can be laid on top of your sleeping bag to keep you toasty hot if needed!
- Tents (pages 302-303)
- Troop 146 does NOT provide tents, however, most Boy Scout will come with a tent – or have made previous arrangement with a friend to make sure they’ll share a tent.
- New scouts are NOT encourage to sleep alone in a tent but either in a tent with 1 or more other new scouts.
- Markles will bring an extra tent or 2 – with ground cloth/tarps.
- Always have a tent “footprint” or ground/cloth/tarp. Really helps protect the tent floor – and in an emergency can be used for shelter.
- Personal gear (pages 292-295, 297-299)
- Scout book – for Rank Advancement & reference
- Always a good idea to have your own:
- Head-lamp (preferred so you have both hands free) &/or flashlight
- Knife (must have earned BSA Totin’ Chip)
- “Shave Kit” – toothbrush/floss, toothpaste, comb, small towel/wash cloth
- “Personal Items” – “Gold Bond” powder – especially summer camping, small roll of toilet paper, duct tape, 1/8- or 1/4- inch nylon cord, safety pins, “carabineer” hooks/clamps, etc.
- Scouts should NOT bring cell phones, Gameboys/PSP/i-Touch/i-Pods, etc. of any kind – personal electronics will be confiscated
Lastly, as you transition from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts remember the boys need to move away from “car camping” where they can make infinite trips from the car to the campsite.
If they can pack everything into a backpack or duffle bag they can carry to the campsite – great. If not this campout – they’ll get there within the next year or sooner! It’s all part of the learning process…
Enjoy your outings
Scout Tips from our Scoutmaster