Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions?

Posted by: KenK

Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 04/22/05 01:04 AM

The Boy Scout of America Boy Scout Handbook lists the following as Scout Outdoor Essentials:

Pocketknfe
First aid kit
Extra clothing
Rain gear
Water bottle, with water
Flashlight
Trail food
Matches and fire starters
Sun protection
Map and Compass

I've read various additions on internet Troop sites, including:
Whistle - I'll suggest a Fox 40 or WindStorm
Insect repellent
Toilet paper (multi-purpose paper)
Large trash bag - multi-purpose, but can also be used to hold trash :-)

I'm wondering if anyone would have additional suggestions - keeping in mind that these are 11-18 year old boys. Many troops prohibit butane lighters.

I was thinking of adding:
Brightly colored bandana - could be a neckerchief
Plastic signal mirror (Star Flash)
Parachute cord, two 25" lengths

I've also thought about including a few water purification tablets (Micropur), but these probably should only be used by older boys.
Posted by: Chris Kavanaugh

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 04/22/05 06:13 AM

Several years ago a boyscout became seperated from his troop on a hike. As I recall he simply dawdled while they marched on. There was a massive search . We found his candy bar wrappers and disposable camera with a few self portraits. Yet he vanished without a trace with the lights of Los Angeles twinkling below. The scouts periodically get poked at over gay scoutleaders and scouts who do not wish to include religous observations. Everytime I look up at those mountains I want to poke every scout to carry a basic survival card such as the STOP acronym or Doug's instructions in his PSK. We need to look out for each other in these relaxed hikes with relaxed guards. If Hobbits can do it why not us <img src="/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: johnbaker

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 04/22/05 07:56 AM

Ken

I think our suggestions may depend on the purpose for which you seeking the information. For instance, if you are a father whose son is about to join a Boy Scout troop or even one who is still looking for the right troop, then the questions might be most usefully and informatively put to the leaders of the troop(s) as to what gear your son would need. You should probably attend several meetings/functions of the troop to see how well it meets your expectations.

Any prohibition on butane lighters would appear to be a local one, probably restricted to that individual troop. You should consider all rules as to gear for scouts since they may manifest the outlook, as well as the probable behavior and kinds of outings pursued by the troop. Fortunately the restriction seems not to have reached my politically correct part of the country yet. And I will do my best to make sure that it not afflict my troop.

If you are already a scout leader who is trying to develop a checklist for the troop, then you should be guided by the principles and information on this website (ETS). The BSA list of 10 essentials is a good start towards a plan for carrying important gear, but only a start. Don't forget that regardless of how good your list is, you still need to make sure that the boys have the gear, actually carry it, and know now to use it. They also need to have earned their Totin Chip and Fireman's Chit to qualify to carry a knife and fire starting equipment.

Let us know more of what you have in mind.

Hopefully we'll hear more from some of the other scouters as well.

John
Posted by: KG2V

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 04/22/05 12:32 PM

I was going to post a long post about how to make scouting work, but nevermind

I will keep in short - there is an easy way to make sure the kids carry the stuff they are supposed to carry. It's called inspection

Done right, (and if you seperate "rank" from "leadership") soon, your patrol leaders and leadership corps will make it so that the parents don't have to do it

USE the old paramiltary stucture that the scouts used to have (don't know if they still do) to your advantage. Your "cadre" should be able to train the younger kids
Posted by: AyersTG

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 04/22/05 01:00 PM

I agree with what John wrote. Here are a few random thoughts:

The boys tend to add things to their pack as they aspire to whatever nifty gadget some adult has. Unfortunately, they tend to NOT remove items they are already carying... the first year ready pack is about right, the second year pack is 50% heavier, the third year pack is larger and at least twice as heavy... this is all exacerbated by well-intentioned parents who purchase, well, really wierd stuff as well as unservicable look-alike junk. Plan to deal with those problems.

Add a small sewing kit and extend that into a small repair kit. A little duct tape, a little 7 mil electrical tape, a small piece of hot melt glue stick, and a bit of dental floss (the bobbin from inside the container) paired with a stout needle will get used. (Or purchase inexpensive bobbins from fabric store and wind carpet thread on them with a sweing machine) But keep the sewing/repair kit small and functional - and protected from soaking. Oh, a thimble is useful (metal - the plastic ones rarely survive a boy's pack)

Make a habit of treating their minor injuries from their personal FAK and check to be sure they replenish used items. The best way to do that is to stock frequently used items at the Troop and sell at calculated cost back to the scouts, even if it's 6 cents for one bandaid.

I am not a fan of parachute cord as the sole cordage in a ready pack. I have carried and used paracord for 30 years and still do - usually about 50' - 60' total, most often broken down into several lengths. There are various arguements for what lengths are most useful, but the versitile range is about from 6' to 12'. If you let boys carry longer lengths, they tend to custom-cut, say, a 3' length for some chore instead of using a pre-cut length.

What I prefer the boys to carry is the white-and-pink polyester (Dacron) cord, again pre-cut. It is far better for a number of scout-related skills (learning knots, lashing, measuring, etc.) Keeping in mind that they should always be in buddy teams, you can start them off with 2 lengths of about 10' - 12'. Use a Sharpie permanent marker to turn one or both of them into a useful tape measure. 4 - 5 pieces will handle about anything they might need to tackle. You can toss in a 10'-12' length of paracord also, but I suggest that is part of an on-body PSK rather than a ready pack item.

Maps, maps, maps. When the new phone books come out each year, rip out the local maps (including indices). Go to any large business and they have pallets of them. Go to a visitor center when convenient and pick up the three most-likely state highway maps (Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana, perhaps?) If you have a map of any sort of your local scout reservation, add that. Go to Terra Server and laser-print B&W aerial and topo maps if nothing else. Put all the above, folded, into 1 qt or 1 gal ziplock bags and hand them out.

More later - got to do some work for a bit.

Regards,

Tom

Crew 258 Troop 258
Illowa Council
Posted by: KenK

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 04/22/05 03:25 PM

What diameter polyester cord would you recommend?
Posted by: KenK

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 04/22/05 04:11 PM

I am a Den Leader just finishing our Webelos I year, and giving some advice to Webelos who will just begin camping with Boy Scouts. In the next two months we actually have three different camping opportunities (Webelos Woods, a Pack overnight, and a Council weekend w/ family), so I am putting together a weekend camping list for the boys - based upon what is given in the Boy Scout Handbook and also upon what I've found in dozens of on-line Troop packing lists. Obviously not all of the things on the list will be needed as a Webelos though, and much of it will be accumulated over time.

We seem to have lots of troops in the area (6 or more) that we'll be camping with next year, so we'll learn a lot next year.

Over the last two years I have been teaching the boys (and parents) what to do if they get lost outdoors (or indoors for that matter). I went through some of the Hug a Tree and Survive materials with them (no one in our area to make the official presentation) . I tried to emphasize that even in our relatively suburban area there are plenty of areas where a boy could get lost, and that it can and does happen.

We put together little fanny packs with a large heavy orange plastic bag (and instructions/demo on how to tear a hole for their face), a whistle on a wrist band, and a small LED light. The main focus was to stay calm, stay put, stay warm & dry (orange bag), and to make yourself as "findable" as possible (thus the orange bag & whistle). The lights were available at very low cost so I added them as a comfort factor in case of darkness.

The boys are asked to bring their survival packs whenever we will have an activity in a park or rural area. They really like the kits, so they usually bring them.

Through the last few years we also made small Cub Scout-level first aid kits. We started by focusing on the boy treating themself rather than others. The kit included soap, bandaids, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, and sting-swabs. This year we added latex gloves, 3" gauze pads, and a small roll of adhesive tape.

Through the years we also played several games using compasses. We started by playing a pin the tail on the donkey type game using a compass with the boy covered by a sheet (the fog rooolls in). The boy would get a chance to take a bearing on a target on a wall (initially with LOTS of help from an adult), then he'd be covered with a sheet, and spun around in place. The task is to "box the needle" and use the compass to find the right direction and place a Post-it with his name on it on the wall. We always walked with them to make sure they didn't go headfirst into the wall. It was lots of fun and they got the idea fairly quickly. We've repeated this game each year since then.

Last year we ran a small three or four very short run orienteering type course where we gave them bearings and paces and let them follow the course. They had lots of fun.

While we've discussed maps of all kinds (school layout, street maps, satellite photographs, topo maps - both paper and on-line) and even GPS's, we haven't yet put the maps together with the compasses yet. Maybe next year.

As for the pocketknives, all of the boys in my Den have earned their Whittling Chip card, which gives them the right to carry a pocketknife to designated Cub Scout functions - with the approval of their parents. Right now my recommendation has been to stick to the official Boy Scout Pocketknife or a similar SAK.
Posted by: AyersTG

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 04/22/05 06:45 PM

Lehigh is probably the most commonly available retail brand in our part of the country and the 3/16" diameter diamond braid polyester cord has worked extremely well for us. http://tinyurl.com/89537
Posted by: Be_Prepared

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 04/23/05 03:28 AM

Ken,

It's great that you're trying to provide some guidance on what your new scouts need to bring. There is a lot of great information in the handbook, and fieldbook, and it's a good place to start. Like anything though, having a list of items doesn't always mean you'll have the "right" version of the item. "Extra Clothes", for example, is a real wild card for some boys.

One thing that has helped our troop is to engage the parents of our scouts in the preparation process, in addition to the boys. For example, I sent an email to the parents before our first winter trip of the year, since we had a lot of new scouts who hadn't done any cold weather camping before. I think "lists" are important, but, I also think that some elaboration about the items on the list is also vital to success.

If I can find it, I'll enter portions of that email as examples of what I mean in a follow-up post. It's like many concepts discussed here, having the gear is only part of the problem, knowing how to use it, and what's appropriate for various scenarios is at least as important.
Posted by: Be_Prepared

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials (WARNING: Long) - 04/23/05 03:47 AM

Ken,

Here's an example of what I mean about making sure people understand a little more about what's on your list. This is an example of an email to the parents of boys in the troop going on their first winter camping trip. Your situation will vary, it's just an example. It's also kinda long, so I put a warning in the subject... read on at your peril! Best regards - Ron

------------------------
Parents, I had mentioned at our meeting tonight that I would share some thoughts on Winter Camping in preparation for a campout after the Klondike practice this coming Saturday. For some of the new boys, this may be their first time camping in cold weather. There is great information in their Scout Handbooks that I would encourage you to review with your boys, for example:

- Page 204, Cold-weather clothing checklist
- Page 224,225 Personal camping gear checklist
- Page 226,227 Patrol/Group camping gear checklist
- Pages 322-24 Cold weather related first aid

The checklists contain very good starting points for making sure the boys are well prepared for winter conditions. At the end of this message is a small checklist you might consider using as a starting point, but, I recommend you tailor it to your needs. Follow the suggestions in the Boy Scout Handbook for the most part. There are some things Iíd like to mention, again mostly for people who might have boys doing a sub-freezing campout for the first time. These are not meant to replace the checklists in their handbooks. I hope other leaders in the troop will share their thoughts and experience as well.

Letís start with clothing, here are some thoughts:

- Please donít let the boys go out on a winter trip in sneakers. We will probably have to send them home. They must have insulated, waterproof boots. Take some time and show them how to apply waterproofing a few days in advance, itíll pay off. If we are going hiking, some waterproof gaiters that can go over the top of their boots and up their legs will keep snow from getting down in the boot.

- Inside those boots, they should have either wool or synthetic thermal socks. No cotton athletic socks, they will get wet, even just from sweat, and make it hard to keep feet warm. Some silk or polypro liners under the socks can also help.

- Just as important is their base layer of clothing. No Cotton please. Thereís an old saying among search and rescue teams: ďCotton KillsĒ. Cotton soaks up moisture, and it stays there against your skin, which is a big problem and contributes to your risk of hypothermia. In winter, you want synthetic or wool thermal underwear, tops and bottoms. The packages will talk about the wicking properties of good thermals.

- The next layer of clothing should probably be a fleece layer, which traps heat, but, lets perspiration escape. (Some people may have more than one mid layer. A lot of old guides still swear by the traditional Woolrich style wool shirt.)

- The outer layer of clothing should be wind and water resistant, but, hopefully a fabric that can breath, so you donít get soaked in your own sweat. Most modern parka shells and shell pants serve this purpose well.

- Gloves and/or mittens are important to keep the hands warm. Again, you need them to be water and wind resistant. Many people prefer to bring some light gloves for working on setting things up, when they need their fingers, then switch to heavier mittens to stay warm when they are done with setup.

- Last but not least, you need to keep from losing lots of heat through your head. People have their own preferences, but, consider some combination of a wool or fleece watch cap, the hood on their jacket, perhaps a neck gaiter, face mask, or a balaclava. Whatís right will depend on preferences, and just how cold/wet it is.

Ok, so we have suitable clothing, so weíre fine for the day, and now itís time to bed down. We need a good tent, sleeping bag, and pad for under the bag.

- The pad is a luxury item in the summer, but, in the winter itís a must. Your boys will lose a lot of heat to the ground if they donít have some kind of thermal pad under their sleeping bag. The two types that they might be using in winter would be closed cell foam pads, (either rolled, or folded up), or self inflating foam pads, like the ones made by Thermarest, and the many other very good copies of that design. One kind of pad that some people use in summer that is NOT effective in the winter is the classic inflatable mattress. It gets them off the ground, but, has very poor insulating qualities. Also, the moisture from their breath when they blow it up will basically freeze inside the tube, coating it with ice on the inside.

- Sleeping bags have improved dramatically in the past 10-15 years with the modern synthetic fills available. It used to be that you had to go with goose down for a really good winter bag. You can now get a 0 (zero) degree bag from Coleman that will keep the boys plenty warm, and not destroy their college fund. If they get serious about backpacking, and want an ultralight bag in the future, let them pay for it. Often, even a 20 degree bag is fine if they wear a pair of fleece pants and top, along with good socks and a watch cap. They can also line the bag with a fleece or wool blanket to increase the insulation. On that topic, itís important that the boys have something dry to change into to sleep in. Crawling into your sleeping bag with the clothes youíve been wearing all day is not going to keep you warm, or comfortable. Many folks sleep in a fresh set of dry thermals, others will want something more like fleece.

- We all know the tent keeps you out of the elements. Just remember that in winter, the wind is colder, often stronger, and the snow gets heavy on that tent. Some tents are simply too flimsy to use in winter. They canít handle the wind, snow, or both. Most 4 season tents will have a more substantial pole system to support snow, and a full fly covering the entire tent, perhaps with a vestibule at the entrance. (One of Murphyís Laws is that in the winter, any snow that comes into the tent has a good chance of melting, probably right under your sleeping bag. The vestibule gives you the equivalent of a mud room for your tent.)

I havenít talked about food yet. Itís on the checklists. Iím not going to get into menus here but, there are a couple things to remember:
- You need more food in cold conditions, because your body burns it up to keep warm.
- You need plenty of water, because you can dehydrate easily in dry cold conditions. (Remember, water freezes, so youíll need to have a way to keep the water liquid. Thereís often plenty of snow around, but, youíll get too cold eating snow, and it can be dangerous for other reasons, so you need a stove to melt it, and usually boil it before using it.) You can also sometimes carry water in flexible watertight containers under your jacket so they donít freeze. Keeping a water bottle under, or sometimes in your sleeping bag will keep at least some water from freezing during the night.
- Itís good to have some warm beverages, like cocoa, and warm soups that can help warm up your core. (plus, they taste good)
- Sometimes, conditions deteriorate to a point where itís difficult to ďcookĒ food, so itís always good to have a meal or two that can be eaten without much preparation. That could be as simple as some energy bars, or something like an MRE style ration.

Well, Iíve probably rambled on enough. I wanted to share some thoughts, so that as parents, you could have a conversation with your boys about being prepared for camping in cold weather. My notes are just a few ideas on the subject to start your conversation with the boys. Please make sure they have the essentials by following the advice contained in their handbooks. Those checklists were formulated by folks with a tremendous amount of experience. I have added a summary checklist at the end of this email that can be printed and used to help pack.
-----------------------------------------------
Camping checklist

Essentials:
- Knife
- First Aid Kit
- Whistle
- Extra clothing (see Winter Clothing checklist below)
- Rain Gear
- Water containers
- Flashlight w/spare batteries and bulb
- Fire starting gear, matches, lighter, or flint/steel firestarter and tinder
- Sun protection, sunscreen and sunglasses (in winter, sunglasses prevent snow blindness)
- Compass, map
- Food, meals plus snacks (Sufficient for your length of stay, plus at least one extra meal for contingencies)

Backpack with rain cover

Sleeping bag Ė must be suitable for conditions

Sleeping pad and ground cloth Ė pad is essential in cold weather

Tent - Suitable for expected conditions. Typically bunk with another Scout and split up tent and poles in their packs to share the load.


Cook kit: (adjust to your planned meal preparation needs)
- Spoon/Fork/Knife (or just a spork)
- Bowl/Cup/Plate
- Lightweight stove and fuel
- Cleaning sponge/scrubber


Cleanup / personal kit:
- Soap, Deodorant, Lip balm
- Toothbrush/Floss/Toothpaste
- Comb / Brush
- Washcloth / Towel
- Toilet paper / tissues
- Hand wipes


Other helpful extras, depending on your trip:
- Watch
- Camera / Film
- Notebook / pencil / pen
- Repair kit for your gear, things like: zip ties, duct tape, nylon cord, heavy duty needle/thread, safety pins, multi-tool like a Leatherman
- Trash bag(s)
- Small shovel / trowel for digging scat holes (when nature calls)
- Insect repellent (per seasonal needs)
- Handwarmers


Winter Clothing: (remember, in cold weather, you should stay away from cotton clothing)

Note: Depending on the length of your trip, you may need to take more than one of each:
- Long underwear base layer, tops and bottom, synthetic, wool, or silk
- Long sleeve shirt
- Long pants
- Fleece top and bottom insulating layer
- Hiking boots, waterproofed and insulated
- Gaiters for the boots if hiking through snow
- Wool or synthetic insulated hiking socks (polypro or silk liners also for extreme cold)
- Warm hat, fleece or wool. May want to have a full balaclava or a face mask also.
- Rain / Wind shell top and pants. Breathable, waterproof fabric rain gear is best, loose enough to layer fleece pants and top under them.
- Insulated, waterproof gloves and/or mittens. Liners if needed for severe conditions.
Posted by: johnbaker

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 04/23/05 06:49 AM

Ken,

It sounds like you're very much on track with your planning. The specific recommendations from the other scouters provide excellent details and qualifiers. I don't think I have a lot of specifics to add.

I am including one of our general checklists for routine outings for our troop. This form was originally a 3-columned checklist. The form is normally included with several other forms, but tries to cover several bases in the event that are omitted. I am obviously including this list to illustrate the content, not the form. Since our troop is in a warm climate, that does affect our general choices as well as contingency planning. I hope this helps.

Incidentally, I had originally drafted this post before seeing that of "Be Prepared." After reading his post, I see illustrative differences in our troops. My troop usually provides tents and some other large equipment. That is exactly the kind of information that parents need to learn before buying equipment for their sons. So warn parents to ask what paraphernalia their prospective troops will provide. If they later prefer to opt for different gear, they will hopefully make learned choices based on their experience.

Good luck,

John



Parents and Scout's INFORMATION:
Event: Miles to drive:
Location: Date(s):
Coordinator: Phone:
Home Contact During Event: Phone:
Depart: Date: Time am/pm Meet 30 min earlier at the Church.
Return: Date: Time am/pm at Place: the Church.
Cost per Scout: Food: $ Please pay to: Patrol leader Money for food $



EQUIPMENT for Outing: X=required O=optional r=recommended E=Ten Essentials+:
_x___Pocketknife E
_x___Flashlight, Spare Batteries, E
& Spare Bulb
_x___Compass E
__r__Whistle
__r__Mirror
__r__50' x 1/8" Rope
__r__Duct Tape
_x___Matches (watertight contanr), Hot Spark, & Tinder E
_x___First Aid Kit E
__r__3 Large Trash Bags
__o__Insect Repellent
_x___Sunglasses E

__x__Hat E
__x__Sunscreen E
__r__Bandana
_____Wool Watch Cap
_____1-3 Tee Shirts E
_____ Pairs Under Shorts
_____ Long Underware
_____Class "A" Shirt
_____2-3 Pairs Sock Liners E
_____2-3 Pairs Wool Socks E
_____1-2 Pairs Pants
_____1-3 Pairs Shorts
_____1-2 Pants/Shorts E
_____Hiking Boots
_____Extra Shoes (Tennis)
_____Windbreaker/Jacket (Light)
_____Warm Jacket
_____Gloves
___x__Poncho E
_____Mittens or Gloves
_____Swim Trunks
_____Aqua Socks
_____Sleeping Bag
_____Sleeping Pad
_____Pillow/Equivalent
_____Plastic Ground Cloth
____2 Water Bottles (wide mouth prefr'd E
_____Trail Mix E
_____Day Pack
_____Backpack (w. spare pins)


_____Duffel Bag
____Toiletry Kit w/ Comb,Toothbrush,
Toothpaste, Soap, & ToiletPaper
_____Towel
_____Lip & Hand Balm
_____Personally Needed Medicine
(Listed on Medical Forms)
__r__Sewing Kit (Small)
_____Mess Kit: Pot, Lid, Bowl, Cup,
Spoon, ( Fork?)
____Pot Holder, Scrub Pad, Detergent
____ Scout Book, Paper, Pen, Pencil
Personal Gear:
__o__Camera w/ Film
_____ Fishing Gear w Hard Case,Small Tackle Box
_____Swim Gear
_____Sack Lunch


My Scout, _______________________________, WILL_____ or WILL NOT_____ attend the Camping trip taking place 11/3 to 11/4. Also, if attending, I give my son permission to attend the above-mentioned event. I include the Medical Exam/History & Authorize to Treat; &Activities Consent.
Parent's Name: ______________________________, Parent Will________or Will Not_____attend
I can drive To site_____________________ From site to home___________________
Parent's Signature _________________________ Date: ______________
Posted by: Craig

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 04/27/05 08:16 PM

Things certainly seem to have changed from when I was in the Cub Scouts (late 1960s - early 1970s). Don't recall needing chits and parental permission for pocketknives. We might have, but I don't remember it.

I had a pocketknife I took to every meeting. I still have that very pocketknife. I think the general advice was, bring whatever you have, and the more the better -- for sharing and all.

Didn't carry a lighter, though. My parents would have gone postal over that. Found one in the gutter some years later and carried it. Learned all about setting fires and putting them out, right in my own backyard -- away from my parents' eyes. Told them later on. Their eyes did bug out a bit!

Things seem a bit too politically correct these days in scouting. Or is it me?

-- Craig
Posted by: Be_Prepared

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 04/28/05 12:34 AM

>>>Things seem a bit too politically correct these days in scouting. Or is it me?

I think that's pretty true, unfortunately. As a dad and Scout leader trying to give boys a chance to have the experience we did as kids, I will say that the Boy Scouts are trying very hard to survive and maintain their timeless values in a world that has some people working constantly to undermine them.

Things like the Scout oath seem to set too high a standard for some people: "On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight"

If they object to that, imagine what they must think of the Scout law: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

Imagine the kind of world we'd have if that caught on... better call the Supreme Court <img src="/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: NealO

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 04/28/05 01:54 AM

I recall whittlin' a Pinewood Derby (tm) car as a Cub Scout in the later part of the '60s, but I don't recall a "chit." However, there probably was a Cub Scout-level chit, as I do recall the Boy Scout's "Totin' Chit" card, and the tradition of leaders removing corners for transgressions of the knife rules. <img src="/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />

We weren't allowed to use (camp) stoves. Now, stove use is generally mandated in order to "leave no trace," at an unfortunate loss of fire making skills. Arguments over local vs. global impact of stoves are probably best expressed over on Campfire. Humm..., ironic name....

I give the BSA much credit, however, for standing up to a noisy minority in this country. BSA tries very hard to teach, and act consistently with, a system of values that includes (back to topic) the novel concept that (survival) tools, including self-reliance and a knife, are not inherently evil.

There is much flexibility in the methods and program delivered from one set of leaders to another. I find the occasional outbursts of Scouting within these forums enjoyable and useful.

WWW,

/Neal

I used to be a bear....
Posted by: brian

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 04/28/05 04:01 AM

Carving out a pinewood derby car ... ah the memories. I have been carrying a knife since the early grade school years (maybe first grade) and still carry one daily. I'm 32 years now old and when I pull it out in front of my mother she still lets out a modest but clearly intentional sigh. <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: Craig

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 04/28/05 01:47 PM

Being somewhat of a throwback, I have a difficult time with the whole "Leave No Trace" concept. I usually just keep my mouth shut. Don't want to be run out of town by the environmental contingent.

What about "Manifest Destiny?" That magnificent concept we learned in school. Mankind moves in, destroys the place, and rebuilds things how we want them. Worked for the settlers.

If our forefathers had left no trace, we wouldn't be here.

-- Craig (waiting to be tarred and feathered)
Posted by: norad45

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 04/28/05 02:35 PM

When it comes to things like littering, and the dorks who carve their initials into trees, then I'm a proponent of "Leave No Trace." But I think it can be taken to extremes. I see no problem with using deadfall to create a temporary shelter. I'll reuse a firepit if there's one handy but it's not going to destroy the environment if I build my own.

Regards, Vince
Posted by: Craig

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 04/28/05 04:58 PM

Agreed. I'm against littering. I've never done that. I clean up my own messes. I can make a bloody good mess, too. <img src="/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

As for carving one's initials in trees, well, I did my own fair share of that in my teen years, so I feel I can't protest too much. <img src="/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

-- Craig
Posted by: brian

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 04/29/05 03:41 PM

All I can say is I refuse to blue bag!!!! But I do pay extra for environmentally friendly TP (or just use leaves)! <img src="/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: Craig

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 04/29/05 04:58 PM

As for the leaves, may I say, "OUCH!"

As for the blue bags, I'm right there with you. I'm not carrying around bags of poop unless it's my dog's. Probably means I'm not meant for overnighting it in the woods.

When it comes to daily bodily functions, I'd head for the nearest outhouse, henhouse, doghouse, treehouse, or Motel 6 if I could find one.

-- Craig
Posted by: brian

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 04/29/05 06:19 PM

I do lots of hiking/camping but fortunatley I live in a part of the world that hasn't gone over the top (yet) with environmentalism and I have yet to go anywhere that requires blue bagging. Im not picking up after the dog when out in the woods either. Of course im not letting her relieve herself on or near any trails either. We are often way off-trail anyway so leaving unpleasant gifts for other hikers isnt really an issue.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials - Additions? - 05/01/05 11:40 PM

You forgot Totin' Chip and Fireman Chit. Without those your knife and matches/ lighter would be confiscated.