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MM60

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Camping: How much gear is too much? - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 9:14 PM ( #1 )
From what I've read in other threads, I believe there are a lot of guys here who like the minimalist style of camping. I try to be minimalistic with the gear I bring, although it is difficult in certain situations. Even when I feel I'm bringing too much, though, it's nothing that I can't fit in my backpack or on my person - I'll never bring more than I can carry.

I'm an assistant Scoutmaster in the BSA, and I have noticed (on virtually every campout I've been on with the troop) that most scouts, scout leaders, and other campers seem to want to make the outdoors into their house without any walls, rather than be at home in the outdoors with only a few necessary items. It seems that it is almost impossible to have a scout campout without hauling along a trailer with pre-made "camp kitchens", propane lanterns, hand warmers, and griddles, a coffe-maker, dutch ovens, tents for all, coolers and 5-gallon jugs of water, and a bin full of pre-cut firewood. At the same time, almost nobody brings along a knife at all - much less a strong and useful fixed blade (which our troop does allow). We did go on one "wilderness survival" campout last fall - bringing only what we could carry; others in the troop decided to carry along a cooler, a water jug, a 5-gallon bucket full of rope, and a first aid kit about the size of a milk crate.

I think that it would be much simpler and more beneficial to the scouts if - on most troop campouts - each person brought only what they could carry on their backs for the entire outing, including their own food to cook over an open fire.

What do you think: where would you draw the line and say it's too much/unnecessary gear?

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Katana

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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 9:53 PM ( #2 )

where would you draw the line and say it's too much/unnecessary gear?

 
That would depend on who you ask. If you asked me, Im in the same boat as you, if I cant carry it, then I just have to do without or improvise. even so, when I backpack into the back country, a pack thats over 50 lbs seems a little much. I usually try to cut some gear that I could do without.
 
If you asked my in-laws, then they think that you cant have to much gear. I love em to death, but there idea of camping is what you said, bring the house without the walls. I was pretty much dumbfounded on the family camping trip last year with how much stuff they brought. even dumb stuff, like they packed along about 4 extra camp chairs (just in case, they said)
 
I dont have anything to do with the BSA, but I would think, that maybe they(the boys) should start out with what seems like to much, then, as they learn, they will be able to see what is useful to bring along and what is a complete waste of space and time to pack in and out. Also, they could probably use some handy advice from their assistant scoutmaster
EDIT: also, someone should let them know that a knife is the single most handy piece of gear in the wilds.
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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 10:00 PM ( #3 )
On my most recent camping trip, I made a list of things to bring... it was almost 30 things!  This was car camping, but I my goal was to have a pretty rudimentary camp out.  Most of my camping gear is backpacking gear, so they are compact and lightweight.  Going camping with a carload of stuff seems against the point; it feels like forever to get packed and on the road.

If you're interested, here is my "light" camping list:
SHELTER
emergency blanket
8x6 tarp
stakes
nylon cord

BEDDING
sleeping bag
thermarest
Pillow

COOKING
pots
hobo stove 
news paper
thermos
spork
nalgene

CLOTHING
knit hat
bandanna
thermals
2 pairs of socks
gloves
work gloves
bandages

TOOLS
Mora
shovel
axe
machete

NECESSITIES
First aid kit
Small tool bag (SAK, fire steel, compass, etc.)
Toiletries


FUN
radio 
book
candle lantern
ocarina

NEED TO BUY
wood

Simple things are best. 
       
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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Thursday, January 13, 2011 4:12 AM ( #4 )
My lightweight list.
Tarp (wraps around my kit, lashed to the frame),
Roycroft packframe (converts into frame for bowsaw blade, line for tarp makes the straps.)
billycan (with sawblade stowed inside it)
Knife with a firesteel on the sheath, 
Snugpack quilt
Thermarest,
tub of tinder,
Shemagh
Spoon


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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Thursday, January 13, 2011 5:04 AM ( #5 )
with my experience. i can tell than you can travel with MAXIMUM 65 pounds of equipment on your back. because that was the weight recommended by the Canadian forces during my time. i did it dozen of time. and the maximum distance i did was around 20km.

for about the equipment require it depend of so much thing. it's really case by case. but be sure to have the bare essential.
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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Thursday, January 13, 2011 4:39 PM ( #6 )
azrael


with my experience. i can tell than you can travel with MAXIMUM 65 pounds of equipment on your back. because that was the weight recommended by the Canadian forces during my time. i did it dozen of time. and the maximum distance i did was around 20km.
 



That's about right. I humped a lot more than that, outside the service as well as in, but if I can't comfortably hump it 50 km's over the road or 25 thru terrain, it's not coming with me. That pretty much limits it to around 30 kgs or so.


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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Thursday, January 13, 2011 6:09 PM ( #7 )
For me it's 30lbs (unless in winter / wet COLD) conditions.  If it weighs more than that I've got too much.  Long term survival and military applications are a totally different story.  I'm dealing with the OP's style of "camping / wilderness trip).
     I'm dealing with a very similar scenario as you.  It's not with the scouts but my wife and I are wilderness guides for a group that works with high school and college kids.  We bring them into the wilderness and teach them some basic camping / survival skills.  There seems to be an ongoing debate between the area leaders who bring students, the organizations chief operator and us guides.  The guides want to get more and more basic, the leaders want luxury (with the illusion of roughing it) and the Chief operator is trying to make everyone happy.

     The wisdom I'm trying to develop is that it is a balance in this situation.  You want the people to have enough supplies to be comfortable and focus on the primary objective (for us that's the wilderness skills but more a Bible study, personal growth, team building, or other goal that the local groups are interested in).

     I for one see the need for tents, change of clothing, pots & pans and even small portable propane stoves.  Us guides do not use propane stoves but I can see the need for the convenience and these can be loaded in people's packs.  I disagree with the use of coolers, solar showers and the like.  I believe that freeze dried foods are more than doable (not always the most tasty).  This seems to be a constant debate.
     We have a general list that is given to every individual and a camp list for each site.  If I can dig them up I'll post them for you but try to keep in mind that your trip and experience are going to differ from others.  I like the idea of decreasing the gear as the skill increases.  Also try talking to members of your troop and raising interest a more basic survival trip.  We did this and had a great "leave no trace trip".  It went well though I can't say it was the most fun ever.

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jsquared

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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Friday, January 14, 2011 8:00 AM ( #8 )
MM60, besides being a Scout myself when young, all the way to Eagle, I do a lot with my son's troop now. I'm usually the one that takes the Scouts on high adventure trips and other things. We did a Smokey Mountains backcountry backpacking trip last year and are planning this years high adventure trip.

First, Scouting is about adventure outdoors, with a ton of varied activities. It is perfectly fine for comfortable car camping, some of the time. However, it's also OK to have a survival theme campout, a backpacking camping trip, canoe trip...

In other words, if all they ever do is comfortable car camping, then they need to expand their horizons, however, every campout can't be a minimalist campout either. Depends on what the goals and theme of the campout are. We have done an "iron chef" campout. This required bringing along more cooking stuff than normal, and all that cast iron is pretty heavy.

OK, now to help you along. You are going to have to volunteer to run a couple campouts. Find a camping spot that is about 0.5 to 1 mile away from the parking area, and tell the boys they will not only have to carry their own gear, but make a trip to get the troop gear too. The first time they will pack way too mach and make a bunch of trips. The second time, they will be a lot smarter about it.

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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Friday, January 14, 2011 1:55 PM ( #9 )
when i said the max weight was 65. i counted everything but if we talk only the back pack : 45 pounds maximum, including : blanket and/or sleeping bag. ground sheet.
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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Wednesday, January 19, 2011 9:03 PM ( #10 )
  Matches, blade, and a tarp...
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
Hood

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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Wednesday, January 19, 2011 9:03 PM ( #11 )
the end.
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
MM60

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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Thursday, January 20, 2011 7:28 PM ( #12 )
jsquared
OK, now to help you along. You are going to have to volunteer to run a couple campouts. Find a camping spot that is about 0.5 to 1 mile away from the parking area, and tell the boys they will not only have to carry their own gear, but make a trip to get the troop gear too. The first time they will pack way too mach and make a bunch of trips. The second time, they will be a lot smarter about it.  


What I'm really looking to do is to prepare the scouts for camping outside of scouting where there won't be any troop gear - only what they can carry on their own persons. This would basically limit what they can bring along to that which fits in their packs and clothes pockets. It doesn't need to be completely minimalistic survival camping, but I do want to see the scouts become reasonably self-sufficient in the outdoors. If the scouts would feel the need to bring any troop gear such as tents or cooking gear, I think it should be packed along with their other equipment and carried in one trip.

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jsquared

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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Friday, January 21, 2011 9:02 AM ( #13 )
MM60, that's in part why you have a Backpacking merit badge, a wilderness survival merit badge and what not. From my Scouting experience, and I'm pretty involved, you will find not all Scouts are interested in going that deep.

Scouting is a pretty large program, and encompasses a lot of activities, not just minimalist camping. But what you are asking is basically why Scouting includes the concept of "High Adventure" events and the Venture patrols. Philmont Scout Ranch in NM is a multi day backpacking trip, where you are in the backcountry for over a week. Base camp is at 6,500 ft and elevations go up to over 11,000. It's a great backcountry experience.

Now, I've gone through exactly what you are trying to do. The troop my son is in started only 7 years ago. You have young boys and helicoptor parents to deal with. The parents are more at fault for "overpacking" then the Scouts are.

If you are starting at ground zero, you gotta take baby steps, and you are going to have to be the champion, meaning you are going to have to do a fair amount of the planning. Start by having a campout where the parking lot and campsite require carrying the gear a half mile to a mile. At the end of the campout, debrief on what was used and not used and could they have left some things behind.  Plan a backpacking 101 weekend. Plan a wilderness survival weekend. Plan a weekend backpacking trip. Then plan a week long high adventure trip.

Remember, when you start, the Scouts and their families won't have gear suitable to that type of camping. You have to take that into consideration. If you take some young, inexperienced Scout on some overly long trek, and his only shelter ends up being a tarp that doesn't work well and he gets soaked in the rain, he's likely not going to your next event.

It's not always easy convincing a helicopter parent to let their 12 year do some things. We did a winter camping weekend. That weekend turned out to be a high of 15 degrees and with chill well into the negatives. I made a point of explaining to the parents the safety precautions that were in place to keep their children safe. We had a great time, and the Scouts learned a ton about camping in the cold and about what they were made of. But we were well prepared for it.

Also remember, Scouting is suppose to be fun. Too many adults get all hung up on trying to teach some skill they take the fun out of it. We did a backpacking trip in the Smokies in summer, it was hot, but we planned some recreation too. We also went tubing as part of the trip, went to a BBQ place and went shopping in Gatlinburg.

We took it in steps, and built up a base of support. Our first High Adventure trip had 4 Scouts and 2 adults. The second had 8 Scouts and 5 adults. You can grow the concept, but it does take time and effort.
MM60

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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Friday, January 21, 2011 11:02 AM ( #14 )
Jsquared,
I know exactly what you're saying and I mostly concur with all your points. Basically what's happened here is that I joined my troop around 1997 when I was 15 and the troop consisted almost exclusively of athletes who liked being in the outdoors. We actually spent more time together outside of Scouts than within Scouts - hiking, shooting, offroading, making zip-lines, pulling eachother on sleds behind our vehicles, climbing rocks and water towers, etc. Most of us reached the rank of Eagle, and afterwards - I went into Naval Special Warfare, one friend joined the Marines, another friend/Eagle became an Air Force MP/sniper, another friend/Eagle couldn't get into the Air Force but now he works for Lockheed Martin, etc. We were all self-motivated to be successful and we were all personally interested in going outdoors and having adventures.

On the first campout I went on, I brought only a medium ALICE pack, and the other guys brought about the same sized school backpacks - not because we had to, but that was just all we happened to bring along - and we had plenty of appropriate clothing and gear to last through the weekend. I was actually never really even aware of the idea of survival living until the last few years. I didn't earn the Backpacking Merit Badge (as far as I remember) but I did do lots of backpacking and general hiking just because we were outside a lot and that's how we got places in the woods. We also never thought of things as "having to learn outdoor skills" from the adults; we mostly just knew what we were doing in the outdoors because we'd all grown up being outside and engaging in skillful activities on our own - without any adult supervision! And I didn't grow up out in the boonies with a family that was into hunting and fishing and camping. I grew up in the suburbs in a small college town where I had to ride my bicycle 5+ miles to get out into the countryside - and my friends all did the same thing! Also, this wasn't back in the 50's or 60's - I'm talking about 1990 up until 1998 when I got my driver's license and a Jeep Wrangler.

Prior to my joining the troop, there had apparently been at least three High Adventure trips over the previous 3-4 years. I only got to go on one High Adventure trip - canoeing in the Adirondacks - along with 4 other Scouts, two fathers, and a guide. We all wanted to be there, and only one of us minded the up-to-a-mile-long canoe portages (the guy who minded wasn't ever very well-liked in the troop). Also, at any normal weekly meetings there were rarely more adults than the scoutmaster and two assistant scoutmasters, and only one scoutmaster was a parent of a boy currently in the troop at any given time while I was there. The scouts mostly either walked, skateboarded, rode bikes or drove themselves to get to the meetings.

In 2000 many of us graduated high school and left the troop for the military or college. Three of my friends remained who were part of the "old troop", and they told of how a new scoutmaster came along with several very young boys and basically destroyed the troop with new policies and his idea of "scout-appropriate activities". My three friends all achieved Eagle and left as soon as possible. That scoutmaster is now gone, and the current scoutmaster is a cool guy, but the troop has never been the same. There has not been one High Adventure trip since the one I went on in 1999, and what's more - nobody in the troop really seems very interested in going on such a trip now, or on any trip that requires physical activity or real outdoor skills. The parents all seem to want to be involved in Scouting more than the scouts do; on the last trip we had 5 adults and 4 scouts. Many parents also sit through every meeting; on any given evening the ratio of adults to scouts is probably about 50/50.

So, it's not like I'm trying to start a new troop here - I'm just trying to undo the damage that's been done over the last 10 years. I am hoping that someday I might be able to start my own BSA-type organization that would be very similar to the way my old troop was run without having to abide by any BSA policies. My organization would require the boys to be in high-school and pass a bi-annual physical fitness test based on national or military standards. Also, only men would be eligible to be adult leaders, and they would also have to pass the fitness test. I might also require the adults to watch Nutnfancy's video, "Dangerous Things" and sign a form stating that they agree to participate with the atitude that "dangerous things are good" and that they'll promote "responsibility, not fear." This wouldn't be a possibility for me to do for a while still, but someday - hopefully.

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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Friday, January 21, 2011 11:22 AM ( #15 )
I wish my scout master had been as cool as yours when I was in cub scouts. My dad volunteered to teach a basic firearms safety course during one of the scedualed campouts. The scoutmaster and most of the other parents thought he was crazy for even suggesting that 11 year old boys learn anything about guns. Myself and 2 friends left shortly after this happened as we had all been shooting guns since we were 9 years old and thought it was dumb that we that people thought this was wrong.  
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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 10:03 AM ( #16 )
Trog, yep, sometimes all it takes is one good champion. Looks like MM60 will be a good champion for his troop.

When I was a kid, my Scoutmaster was also a farmer. They had over 200 acres. We had sledding hills at his farm, woods to camp in there. Hardwood trees lnot only provided areas for rappelling, but the maple trees were tapped for syrup.  We were able to lash towers and do all sorts of real cool stuff.

I may not own a farm, but I am trying to bring some of the adventure I had to the troop my son is in. Generally, it's the parents that are more hesitant, which is a shame.
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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 8:55 PM ( #17 )
jsquared


Trog, yep, sometimes all it takes is one good champion. Looks like MM60 will be a good champion for his troop.

When I was a kid, my Scoutmaster was also a farmer. They had over 200 acres. We had sledding hills at his farm, woods to camp in there. Hardwood trees lnot only provided areas for rappelling, but the maple trees were tapped for syrup.  We were able to lash towers and do all sorts of real cool stuff.

I may not own a farm, but I am trying to bring some of the adventure I had to the troop my son is in. Generally, it's the parents that are more hesitant, which is a shame.



Thanks Jsquared! I don't understand how things changed so much in 10 years. It's like most of society has gone completely crazy. When I was growing up in the 80's and 90's, my parents always allowed and encouraged me to go outside and be creative as much as possible. I was almost literally gone from home all day - on my own - from somewhere around age 10 to 12 with no means of communication. I'd just go home when I felt like going home. Of course, my parents usually liked to know where I'd be going, but that was all they wanted to know. Today, most parents do everything they can to keep their kids in their own yard if not inside the house itself, and it seems they must be tethered by cell phone at all times no matter where they are. I think that the parents, more than their children, seem to be scared out of their minds about any risk that could potentially rise in any given situation. I can't imagine living life like that.

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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Thursday, January 27, 2011 11:47 AM ( #18 )
Hood


  Matches, blade, and a tarp...


Matches? Wimp!

Tarp, knife, flint & steel, and for food: nails.
That's what I call roughing it!

On a serious note, however, I've only ever allowed myself what I can easily carry on my back. If I can run, jump, and swim with it on, it's all good.
Does anyone know of a good blanket or bedroll to take the place of a sleeping bag? I've started on my "bare bones" camping phase.
And I'm starting a Tips & Tricks thread in Survival, come post your own Tips & Tricks.
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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Friday, December 30, 2011 2:39 PM ( #19 )
A good knife that you're used to using, a machete with a sharpening file, water purification device or tablets, and toilet paper. I'm too old to be using leaves, especially the wrong ones!

As a note on scouting, my original old troop was great. We camped in winter snows and summer heat, backpacked, rode bikes a few miles to our camp sites, had fun and learned the basics of outdoor survival and teamwork. Then all my friends quit. I was going to as well but the old scoutmaster begged me to stay so the troop didn't lose the bus and all the tents and gear the troop had accumulated over the years. So I stayed on and gradually the troop was filled with a bunch of younger boys. The new scoutmaster was the father of one of these and one day he decided that everyone in the troop would start off as a tenderfoot. You could still keep your merit badges. I needed to have a couple of requirements reviewed and I would have made first class but his decision stripped me of everything except my merit badges. So, after being an unpaid babysitter for spoiled brats for a summer, I resigned myself. I did get to see an old friend's eagle ceremony which was cool, and summer camp was great but after the new crop came in, it just wasn't the same anymore.
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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Friday, December 30, 2011 8:38 PM ( #20 )

It's hard to beat a GI poncho liner for warmth and utility.  




Freshblood459


Hood


Matches, blade, and a tarp...


Matches? Wimp!

Tarp, knife, flint & steel, and for food: nails.
That's what I call roughing it!

On a serious note, however, I've only ever allowed myself what I can easily carry on my back. If I can run, jump, and swim with it on, it's all good.
Does anyone know of a good blanket or bedroll to take the place of a sleeping bag? I've started on my "bare bones" camping phase.
And I'm starting a Tips & Tricks thread in Survival, come post your own Tips & Tricks.


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Ron Dean

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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Friday, December 30, 2011 9:09 PM ( #21 )
I somehow manage to make do with a 25lb pack for a 3 day outing , it's my B.O.B. with a bit more food . An 8x12 tarp and a surplus wool blanket for cover and warmth , it works down to about -5c anything colder and I switch to a cold weather sleeping bag . I've been camping like this for many years and I'm very comfortable , it makes long days hiking so much easier (I'm not getting any younger)

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MM60

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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Thursday, January 19, 2012 4:53 PM ( #22 )
Avalzaunt
The new scoutmaster was the father of one of these and one day he decided that everyone in the troop would start off as a tenderfoot. You could still keep your merit badges. I needed to have a couple of requirements reviewed and I would have made first class but his decision stripped me of everything except my merit badges.


There is no way a scoutmaster is legally able to send you back to being a lower rank than what you've already earned. If it was me, I probably would have told him to get out of my troop and go pound sand. You should have done one or more of the following three things:
-Called him on his illegal policy and make it clear you were keeping your rank.
-Contacted your local council and reported what he was doing.
-Switched to a different troop.

What's really needed is for a new nationwide organization to be started to replace the Boy Scouts. It would only allow boys who are in high school to be members, and only the fathers and other good male role models would be able to be leaders - no women would be allowed to join in any way. Everyone would have to pass a physical strength/endurance test to be involved, and the test would be based on concrete standards - not effort or improvement over time. Unit events would revolve around themes of outdoorsmanship, sportsmanship, leadership, citizenship and patriotism, and firearms and shooting activities of all sorts would be permitted. Everyone would pay their own way and be responsible for their own actions and this would be confirmed by signing a one-time all-encompassing waiver; there would be no universal rules and policies regarding safety or liability.

Unfortunately, most kids today are extremely lazy and boring and would rather sit in front of a screen all day than go outside and have any real adventures. I distrubuted 120 flyers to attract high school students in my area to a Venture Patrol I've been trying to start within our troop that would be much like I described above, and I haven't received one single response. So far we just have three discouraged adult leaders.

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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Friday, January 20, 2012 2:17 AM ( #23 )
So, MM60, your group would exclude fat kids and scrawny ones: too bad, they might benefit from your experiences. having no rules or policy regarding safety is very likely to be a real turn off for any guardian of children...you might want to rethink it.

But on the entitled point, too much gear happens when you fall backwards from the weight or regret carrying it...no matter how heavy or how many items you have with you. the limitations can be as varied as the number of trips one takes. this is a highly subjective question.
 I apologize for consecutive posts but my mobile phone doesn't let me edit messages.    

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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Friday, January 20, 2012 8:15 AM ( #24 )
Personal experience from me 2 much gear is one or more of the following happens.
1. You can't lift the pack
2. The pack has a weight ratio that you go over
3. you have trouble moving with the pack/ it quickly becomes uncomfortable
4. the pack rips
5. you havent trimmed down the gear to suit your needs.
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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Friday, January 20, 2012 1:17 PM ( #25 )
MM60
 

.... It would only allow boys who are in high school to be members, and only the fathers and other good male role models would be able to be leaders - no women would be allowed to join in any way. Everyone would have to pass a physical strength/endurance test to be involved, and the test would be based on concrete standards - not effort or improvement over time. Unit events would revolve around themes of outdoorsmanship, sportsmanship, leadership, citizenship and patriotism, and firearms and shooting activities of all sorts would be permitted. Everyone would pay their own way and be responsible for their own actions and this would be confirmed by signing a one-time all-encompassing waiver; there would be no universal rules and policies regarding safety or liability. 
 



That sounds like the recruitment strategies for the Hitler Youth 
So much steel , so little gold !!!

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MM60

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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 8:37 PM ( #26 )
Lemmesee
That sounds like the recruitment strategies for the Hitler Youth 


It's intended to be similar to the recruitment strategy of our military's special operations units. The whole program I'm putting together is intended for guys who want to join the military and try out for any branch's special operations after they graduate high school. There's nothing Nazi-like about it.

Adolfo
So, MM60, your group would exclude fat kids and scrawny ones: too bad, they might benefit from your experiences. having no rules or policy regarding safety is very likely to be a real turn off for any guardian of children...you might want to rethink it.


I don't really know how you're figuring that "scrawny" kids would be excluded, but any guys of Boy Scout age are eligible to try out for my patrol after joining the troop. It's unlikely that anyone who is out-of-shape or timid will be able to pass the physical requirements, and therefore they should not be in the patrol because of the physically demanding nature of the activities that we'll be doing. The November campout involved carrying 40-50lb packs for about 7 miles on very rough terrain. We had 4 guys: a cross-country runner, a former Marine, the former Marine's very in-shape younger adult brother and myself, and we were all very tired by the end of the first day's hiking. If any of us was unable to pass the basic physical requirements to be in the patrol, it would have been very doubtful that we would have made it to our destination by nightfall or at all. So no, "fat kids and scrawny ones" would probably not benefit much from our experiences. Also, I didn't write that we don't have any rules or policies regarding safety; I wrote that - if a new organization was to be started to replace the Boy Scouts - then there should not be any rules or policies regarding safety. As things stand, we have to follow all the rules set forth by the Boy Scouts of America. I personally think that the only rules necessary are: Use common sense; Be responsible for your own actions; and If you're going to be stupid, you'd better be strong. It would always be better to have no rules at all than to have rules that anybody would consider to be unfair or unreasonable. When there are no rules, things become self-regulating.

Here's a video of the trip from November. It's part 1 of 3 and each part is 10 minutes. Enjoy!


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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 8:48 PM ( #27 )
a easy way to know if it's too much:

take your inventory, check what could be use in what you have, instead of something else you have. do that until you reach a list of thing where each thing have their own utility and you cannot use something else. 

during a weekend, go to the nearest forest, not far from home or your vehicle, and try your equipment for a day and a night, then look at what you used. 

another test. take all your gear, clothe and boot you gonna wear too, and go take a around 10km walk. keep a natural pace. in the end, how do you feel ? are you tired ? is that too heavy ? how comfortable are you ? 
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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 10:36 PM ( #28 )

Actually using you B.O.B. for camping is a -very- good idea.  You soon learn what is important and what isn't, what works and what doesn't. What you need and what you don't need.  More people should do that.  After TSHTF is no time to be learning that your gear was not well chosen.  




Ron Dean


I somehow manage to make do with a 25lb pack for a 3 day outing , it's my B.O.B. with a bit more food . An 8x12 tarp and a surplus wool blanket for cover and warmth , it works down to about -5c anything colder and I switch to a cold weather sleeping bag . I've been camping like this for many years and I'm very comfortable , it makes long days hiking so much easier (I'm not getting any younger)


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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Monday, January 30, 2012 9:17 AM ( #29 )
jsquared has got it right. When I was in BSA the only thing I needed to realize I was packing too much stuff was to go on a trip where we had to pack in about 2 miles. From then on I packed smarter. I would pair up with a buddy and we would split the weight of our tent, food, and cooking gear. Everything else was up to the individual.
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Re:Camping: How much gear is too much? - Monday, January 30, 2012 11:32 AM ( #30 )
I guess scouting has changed a lot in 25 years.  Parents are too protective of their kids to experience some real life. 
I also like the idea of taking your BOB camping, but I guess I'm also at the age where I prefer some comfort to survival prep type of camping.  For instance, I would take a Bic lighter with flint steel as back up and stripped down MREs rather than freezed dried stuff. 
I'm guilty of carrying more than I need(back up:two is one, one is none), but never uncomfortable enough with the weight to make the hike not enjoyable.
Bit of comfort goes a long way for enjoying the outdoors, but bringing the indoors out, takes the whole point away.
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