Author Topic: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment  (Read 9028 times)

Offline joeandmich

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Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« on: March 01, 2013, 08:27:49 AM »
My 7 year old son and I are joining the Cub Scouts and we need some recommendations for camping equipment specifically tents, etc.  We live in south Florida where its usually damp and hot.

thanks

Joe

Offline flippydidit

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2013, 09:14:57 AM »
Joe,

I live in Central Florida and can empathize.  We've tried quite a few different styles and have found that one that is lightweight with large windows on all sides is best.  We erect ours with all the windows open and use the rainfly as a shade.  Then, above the rainfly we hang a tarp as the primary shade source.  When it rains, we just "button up".  The tarp is also very helpful in keeping the area around our entrance much more dry.

I'm also a BIG fan off military camouflage netting.  It's heavy and takes time to set up, but for an all-weekend spot it can't be beat for the amount of shade it provides.  Hope this helps!

Offline joeandmich

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2013, 11:46:10 AM »
Any particular brand names?

Offline flippydidit

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2013, 12:45:07 PM »
Well, currently we're using a Marlboro tent that we got from redeeming points some years ago.  That doesn't help you much, so I've looked around for other tents like it.

It's somewhat like this one (though ours is more like a screen room than a dome tent):

http://www.rei.com/product/846624/big-agnes-lone-spring-3-tent

I don't know what your budget is or what your concerns are for weight, how big, etc.  I assume that it's just for you and your son, but some packs and troops also accommodate for boys who are just starting out and don't have their own tent (or Dad).  So it's conceivable that you might want a tent that sleeps more boys.  Especially at the Cub Scout age when the boys like to all be in the same tent.

There are a number of tents available from the BSA website as well.  Here is an example:

http://www.scoutstuff.org/bsa/camping/shelters/tents/tent-midori-2-eureka.html

I think the biggest problem in finding the best tent is that many tents are made for "other" climates.  The manufacturers sometimes don't understand that it can be raining AND hot at the same time.  My tent includes a modification that we made the first time out.  To do it, you need a tent with a rainfly that has it's own poles.  The rainfly poles have a one foot section of "extra" tent pole attached (purchased separately).  The extra pole length lifts the rainfly up and away from the tent to increase the circulation of air.  Between this "mod" and the shade tarp, our tent is always cooler than the other "sweat lodges".

Let me know if you're still having struggles with options.

Offline inconel710

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2013, 01:01:34 PM »
For basic warm weather camping, it's hard to go wrong with a Coleman.  Yes, they're cheap.  However, they do work for a year or two depending on how much you use them.  I've been using one here in Colorado since 2010 for when I take my son out and the worst thing I've had happen is the shock cord broke in one of the poles.  Not the end of the world and I was able to fix it at home for pennies.  When I'm going solo, it's a hammock and tarp for me.

I'll second flippydidit's recommendation about an extra tarp over your tent for shade and rain resistance.

Enjoy Cubscouts!  Mine started last fall and I'm looking forward to taking the den out for a camping trip.  Did they tap you to be a den leader?

Offline inconel710

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2013, 01:28:27 PM »
Other equipment - Coleman sleeping bags are OK.  Add 10F to the temp rating to get a better idea of how comforatable you'll be.  I went to a surplus Military Sleep System for myself.  It's heavier than the high end gear, but the whole set (warm weather bag, cold weather bag, bivy cover, and compression sack) can be put together for around $100 by keeping an eye on Uncle Sam's Retail Outlet or hitting up Old Grouch.

A three burner Coleman propane stove is hard to beat for car camping.  If you're planning to backpack much, then you'll appreciate an isobutane stove from MSR or Snow Peak, a woodburning stove like the Emberlit, or an alcohol stove like the Trangia.  BSA does not allow Scouts to make their own coke can or "penny" stove.  One benefit of having a stove is typically you can still cook when there's a burn ban in effect (no open flames).

Cub Scouts are not allowed to carry a fixed blade knife, so look for a Swiss Army Knife if you think he's mature enough.  I found an actual Cub Scout edition SAK at a gun show for $15.

Get him a Camelbak - they sell Cub Scout themed ones at your local Scout store or you can find the kid sized ones at most places you find Camelbaks for sale.  This gets them used to drinking lots of water.

Build your son a basic survival kit - a few bandaids and a whistle to start with, flashlight, maybe a space blanket, add firemaking stuff when you think they're ready.  Keep it simple and go over the pieces with them.  Mine likes to play with the whistle while we hike, which I don't mind, but I do remind him that three blasts means "HELP!" and to not do that unless he really needs it.

Another fun project I'm setting up for our den is making survival bracelets.  SupplyCaptain.com has plastic buckles with whistles built in and any color cord you could want.  I bought Neon Yellow with reflective markers and Navy Blue 550 cord for them.  When they're done, they'll have a little less than 10 feet of cordage and a whistle with the added benefit of something reflective if they're out at night.

It's also an unwritten law that you must the makings for smores whenever you go out!  They seem to put with alot of "suffering" if you give them chocolate and sugar afterwards!

Offline chickchoc

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2013, 07:24:08 PM »
We went all the way from Tiger Cub to Eagle with our son and were very active with the adult committee too.  I would recommend borrowing a tent or two to get the feel of different styles before opting for purchase.  Many of our older scouts who either quit or aged out simply donated their uniforms and equipment to the troop.  It didn't take long before NOBODY had to buy a tent because the troop had plenty.  Ditto for cooking equipment, etc.  Cubs rarely camp more than overnight, at least around here.  Summer Scout camp doesn't require any special camping equipment most of the time if it's held at a regular facility with cabins or semi-permanent tents.

I would recommend you get a good personal eating set that will last your son throughout his Scouting career.  The squishy bowls are light and easy to use, although they tend to float when the boys are boiling them to sterilize after eating.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5hoHTr_FRQ   Get a couple of sporks, too.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2SlaRXJBsA  Regular cooking equipment will probably be provided by the troop.

Food is generally prepared cafeteria-style at summer camp here.

Three things you MUST have, though, are a sleeping bag, ground cover, and pad.  We bought ours at an end-of-season clearance  at a local sporting goods store and have been very pleased.   Cubs generally don't hike and backpack as much as Boy Scouts, so you should hold off on the quality stuff until your son is older.  When my son was a Cub we just used a large plastic tote to keep his stuff collected and dry for campouts and Summer Camp.  Permanently label everything!!!  Finally, whenever your son camps out be prepared for rain no matter what the forecast may be.  We always packed plenty of plastic bags in a variety of sizes to keep wet clothing and shoes from mucking up everything else. 

Regarding getting your son a knife, wait until he earns his Totin' Chip (http://www.usscouts.org/advance/boyscout/totinchip.asp), then ask his Scoutmaster what is allowed.  Younger Scouts must prove they're responsible before they are allowed to carry any kind of blade on Scouting activities.  Ditto for his Fireman Chit (http://www.scoutingbsa.org/programs/awards/bsa_non_rank_awards/Fireman_chit.html). 

As a last thought, you might want to join the adult committee to learn more about Scouting in general and the specifics of your son's troop. 


Offline inconel710

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2013, 10:08:10 AM »
Thanks for the resources you posted Chickchoc.  You reminded me that I need to get trained.  My den leader and I have been kind of winging things so far, but we want to take the boys camping when the weather warms up and one of us needs to get certified.

Offline chickchoc

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2013, 01:36:08 PM »
For adult leader training, I would suggest contacting your local Scout Council for the next Merit Badge College date or other adult training dates.  There is a plethora of information online, too.  One thing that was stressed in our training was the "two-deep" rule, i.e. there had to be at least two adults at all activities.  The Scouts required all committee members to  be certified in several areas such as how to protect the boys from being alone with non-parents, Scouting incident reporting rules, etc.  I would recommend highly that leaders be trained in first aid, too. 

Scouting is an incredible opportunity for boys and both parents to develop deeper relationships through shared activities.  It also provides role models for boys and the extra "parenting" that all kids need. 

(Extends left hand for Scout shake)  Good luck and have fun!

Offline cheryl1

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2013, 01:41:33 PM »
I always have a lantern style flashlight to hang from the top of the tent. It's easier to see to get ready for bed, etc. when the light is hanging up instead of trying to hold the flashlight and get dressed at the same time.

Offline joeandmich

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2013, 08:49:52 AM »
Thanks!!!!

Offline donny44131

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2013, 08:44:59 PM »
I'd suggest  the Marmot Trestle sleeping bags.  They are a high quality, low cost bag.  Made from synthetic down, they are as compressible and light weight as down, but they will still hold warmth when wet.  I was able to pick up on at REI for about $60 around this time of year last year.

I have a tent from ALPS that I use for backpacking (when I'm not using a hammock) and I've liked that far.  It will definitely be more expensive than a coleman though.

Keep an eye on the backpacking deal sites and slowly pick up discounted equipment over time.

Any other specific items you wanted to know about?

Offline joeandmich

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2013, 06:00:10 AM »
Which online sites have the best bargains for decent equipment?

Offline donny44131

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2013, 06:47:36 AM »
steepandcheap.com (daily deals that change every 20 minutes or so)
cleansnipe.com (monitors certain deal sites like Steepandcheap.com)
Backcountry.com
Sierratradingpost.com

Rei.com/outlet as well, but the first four usually have better sales.

Offline joeandmich

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2013, 11:31:39 AM »
steepandcheap.com (daily deals that change every 20 minutes or so)
cleansnipe.com (monitors certain deal sites like Steepandcheap.com)
Backcountry.com
Sierratradingpost.com

Rei.com/outlet as well, but the first four usually have better sales.

Thanks!!!

Offline RobisMarshall

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2013, 11:25:22 PM »
I would get a rounded tent with windows on all sides, dont get a pop up old fasion stake up will be your best bet. and for suplies i would go to a military surplus store you will find some good deals

Offline Cryptozoic

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2013, 11:46:01 PM »
10 things everyone should have.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttRFIvsuf4A&feature=related

Many people are shifting from tents to tarps but you have a lot of bugs so that may not work.

Your son may be interested in some of these 800 videos.
Click 'playlists' and 'recent uploads' to get the full list:
http://www.youtube.com/user/wildernessoutfitters

Survival basics -or- what to do when lost:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1KnQp7D8sw&list=PLZLagqylZ3j4YRWkpZIE4qsFDi5Otk4Jb

Offline chezrad

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2013, 05:24:03 AM »
As a Scout leader for many years I will suggest the following; check with your pack-master and find out if the pack has an account with Alps Mountaineering. You can check them out online. They give a 45% discount to scouts. But you have to sign up. My pack and troop have been using their tents for years. No issues except for scout inflicted damage. The damage I'm talking about was not general handling by scouts either. These things have been durable. Once you sign up, you can be the packs representative and offer discounted stuff to other scout families.

Talking to other troop our tent have held up better than some of the popular brands and replacement parts have been easy to get because customer service is outstanding. Cheers.

Offline doublehelix

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2013, 10:49:22 AM »
Pretty decent website here for all things Scouting, including equipment reviews and lots of photos:

http://www.scoutmastercg.com


Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2013, 11:59:19 AM »
Jumping into an old thread late, I've got to put in a word for Eureka's Sunrise series of tents.  They're basic dome tents that have big screened windows on all four sides, and a fly that forms awnings over all four windows.  They're good for warm weather camping (pretty much year-round in the deep south), and the fly is enough to keep rain out of open windows most times.

Campmor keeps them for a decent price:
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___28332

Offline MTUCache

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2013, 01:24:13 PM »
Wow... crazy... I was just looking around for info on this topic yesterday. My son just had his first Tiger Den meeting last week, and I'm looking at gearing up for an October camping event.

We have most of the "typical" campground gear you'd find in a State Park or around some RVs, although everything could use some updates, and I'm actually looking for some smaller stuff for just him and I, rather than the whole family. The bigger tent we own is okay for going up to the cottage and "camping out" with cousins or something, but it's never been on a hike and I'd like to look at something a little more rugged anyway.

Awesome resources here guys, thanks!

Offline inconel710

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2013, 01:07:29 PM »
Wow... crazy... I was just looking around for info on this topic yesterday. My son just had his first Tiger Den meeting last week, and I'm looking at gearing up for an October camping event.

We have most of the "typical" campground gear you'd find in a State Park or around some RVs, although everything could use some updates, and I'm actually looking for some smaller stuff for just him and I, rather than the whole family. The bigger tent we own is okay for going up to the cottage and "camping out" with cousins or something, but it's never been on a hike and I'd like to look at something a little more rugged anyway.

Awesome resources here guys, thanks!

Congratulations!  Have they begged you to be a den leader yet? :)

I'm a Bear Den Leader and it's a blast.  It can be a time consumer, but there's a lot of places for adult volunteers in Scouting.  I'm also the Outdoor Chair for our Pack Committee and I've had the Basic Adult Leadership Outdoor Orientation (BALOO) training for Cubs Scouting.  For Cubs, it's all car camping.  Pack camp outs are required to have restroom facilities and water available, so they're almost always in established campgrounds.  I wouldn't spend a whole lot of money on smaller gear for him since there's not going to be any real backpacking until he's a Webelos and he'd outgrow much of it in the next three years.

Offline MTUCache

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Re: Need advice on scouting supplies and equipment
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2013, 01:54:40 PM »
Congratulations!  Have they begged you to be a den leader yet? :)
No, surprisingly enough, they had Den Leaders already set up for both of our Pack's Tiger Dens before they even assigned the boys... I guess we just got lucky this year with parents having older sons already involved and their younger sons now becoming Tigers. I do plan on staying involved, but I haven't quite figured out where they need help yet.

Quote
For Cubs, it's all car camping.  Pack camp outs are required to have restroom facilities and water available, so they're almost always in established campgrounds.  I wouldn't spend a whole lot of money on smaller gear for him since there's not going to be any real backpacking until he's a Webelos and he'd outgrow much of it in the next three years.
Thanks for the tips. I guess I can probably get away with just about anything for the one camp-out we're likely to have this fall. I doubt we'll be doing any overnights through this winter, so I probably have until Spring before I really commit to getting any new gear anyway.

Besides... it's not like this isn't all part of my grand plan to fully stock up for a weeklong trip with my boys out to Manitou Islands or Isle Royale. That's probably five or six years off yet though.  ;D