Sep 28, 2009 at 10:58 am #1239701
Part of my Wood Badge ticket will involve purchasing gear that many of our Scouts can't afford for higher adventure trips. I need to focus on lightweight stuff that can take a fair amount of abuse and can be used year round preferably and for many years to come.
What would you suggest for the Big 3 to supply the Troop's "loaner closet" in this case? Bags should be easily washed so does this eliminate down??? To make it more challenging, let's say you can't spend more than $200 for a set (THAT likely eliminates down – LOL). Can it be done without MYOG or buying used? If not, what's the best you can do?
Thank you for your advice.Sep 28, 2009 at 11:39 am #1531211
david richardsonBPL Member
take a look at alps gear with a scout troop discount. The clearwater bags are a good value, but not ultralight. as are there tents and packs. But I think tey will stand up to several philmont trips as loaner equipment. daveSep 28, 2009 at 5:39 pm #1531299
Jamie ShorttBPL Member
@jshorttLocale: North Carolina
I will take a stab at it with one caveat. I have used gear by all these manufactures and found them to be great bargains, but I have not used these individual items.
Kelty Teton 2 Tent – 4 lbs 10 oz for $109 or $55/person 2 lbs 5/oz per person
Marmot Trestle 30 Degree Bag – $70 2lb 14 oz
Jansport Big Bear 63 Internal Frame Pack – $70 3 lb 4 oz
Assuming the tent weight & cost can be split equally the cost per kit is $195.
The weight of the big three is 8 lbs 7 oz.
The prices supplied are campmor's current price.Sep 28, 2009 at 9:10 pm #1531357Sep 29, 2009 at 7:09 am #1531405
There's no failing if you give it your best shot, right?
This will at least give me ideas of what y'all think would be Scout-proof gear at reasonable costs. I'll be organizing some kind of fund-raising event and the proceeds will go toward purchasing whatever I can get. Likely packs and bags first.
I'm also going to have them build some of the homemade tents we've been discussing in the Philmont forum – they may not be as refined or robust, but I can make them for $20/tent.
Keep the ideas coming!Sep 29, 2009 at 7:31 am #1531410
Great idea for scouts that cannot afford the right gear.
Campmor: If you call them and set up your troop as a "certified buyer", and use a troop check, you get 10% off all gear, including sale items, a good deal. We have used Scout Direct stuff as well, same deal, set your group up, really good prices. Their stuff is heavy, but we have had good luck witht their Taurus tents with aluminum poles, 4 man ones.
For gear, depends on what kind of temp range you are going to camp in bag wise. If 30 degrees is not out of the question, IMO, the campmor brand 20 degree down bags are a great deal. You don't have to wash bags often at all, and these are very warm bags. But if you are not camping cool/cold, then maybe synth. bags are better. But bulkier and heavier. Tents, as noted above, Scout direct likely best bang for buck. Get aluminum poles thou. We have also had real good results from the Kelty Teton 4 models, which can in fact sleep 4 smaller scouts, with packs, 3 larger scouts with packs, and the weight is easy to split up.
Good luck.Sep 29, 2009 at 10:02 am #1531427
I really like the campmor down bag too… Except the last outing had flinging, flying pancake batter… Stupid, I know, but it made sense to the boys at the time. Can I really trust a 12 yro to clean a down bag properly?
The goals I am toying with for my troop for the big three are:
> 1360 g (3 lb) – sleeping bag
> 1000 g (2 lb 3 oz) / person – tent
> 1360 g (3 lb) – backpack
I'm still looking for that cheap/solid gear, so I'm watching this thread too.
acronym 9/29/2009 12:00 PMSep 29, 2009 at 10:51 am #1531439
I had figured that a Scouter (eg, me) would wash the bags as needed because I wouldn't trust a Scout to do it right. They should only need it every couple years as much as we'd use them unless you had a "batter incident". ;)
When I first thought of this, I figured a Jam2 (on sale) would be a good pack for this except it's not adjustable so I'd need all 3 sizes. I've been quite pleased with how my Pinnacle has handled the abuse I've given it. I actually got my son a Pinnacle also (in women's small) so if he outgrows it my wife can then wear it. However, I think a Jam2 would encourage packing lighter.Oct 7, 2009 at 11:06 am #1533886
Tim MarshallBPL Member
Mont-bell BALANCE LIGHT 40-$70 2#4oz
Alps Comet 2- $100($50ea)5#(2.5# ea)
$120each so far.
The bag is the hard part, If you order 4 quilts i would make them for $110ea + shipping using 2nds 1.1rip(doesn't affect quality) and 6oz climashield green insualtion. Should be around 25*
that gets you $230 each and high quality packs and quilts.
or you could get 2 Lafuma Extreme 600 +45 Sleeping Bag from REIoutlet for each kid, a little cheaper than quilts from me and pretty flexible as if it is hot he only needs to take one of them, and they are only 20ozea.
that would be $210ea and 7.25# ea.
-TimOct 13, 2009 at 5:21 pm #1536025
Eduard MostertBPL Member
I like the following sub 2 lbs bags:
1. Mountain Hardware Lamina 45 – 1 lbs 12 oz, 45 degree, synthetic filled bag for $100 (Campmor)
2. Kelty Light Year 40 – 1 lbs 12 oz, 40 degree, down filled bag for $100 (Campmor)
3. Kelty Light Year XP 40 – 1 lbs 14 oz, 40 degree, synthetic filled bag for $80 (Campmor)
4. Lafuma X 800 40 Degree – 1 lbs 12 oz, 40 degree, synthetic filled bag for $85 (Backcountry Edge)
5. Lafuma Warm 'N Light 600g Down 40 Degree – 1 lbs 7 oz, 40 degree, down filled bag for $100 (Backcountry Edge)
To reduce the wear and tear and also add warmth you can add a Cocoon silk liner (5 oz) or a Sea To Summit Reactor Thermolite Mummy Bag liner (8 oz). According to the specs the silk liner adds about 9 degrees of warmth and the Thermolite adds 15 degrees. On the down side these liners are expensive – about $50 a piece.
For tents you can look at the REI Halfdome 2 person. They are around 5.5 lbs and will set you back $170. They are a little (a lot actually) heavy, but they should be able to handle some abuse. Another possibility is to buy some old tents from Tooth of Time Traders at Philmont. You'll have to call them to find out if they have any for sale. Last year the prices for the used tents ranged between $20 and $50 (If I remember correct). These tents are heavy – about 5.5 lbs – and require a lot of stakes, but they are very sturdy and can handle some abuse.
An alternative is to look at some mids. For example a Black Diamond Betamid is about $100 and weighs 2 lbs 10 oz.
EduardOct 24, 2009 at 7:00 pm #1539389
I have left service as an active Scouter, but I developed my own lending gear library for my outdoor education program I developed at my high school where I teach. I teach in an urban high school (Oakland, CA) where despite it being the home range for many environmentalists and outdoor enthusiasts, many of the region's school children haven't a clue about the natural world or the history of their own state. I take them to regional parks and historic sites and camp.
I have gradually built up a gear library by shopping eBay and craigslist. I have purchased used, sometimes brand new, packs, slaeeping bags, and tents at rock-bottom prices from people who tried backpacking and didn't like it or a life circumstance required them to clean their closets. I earn the money back by selling my great coffee to high paid administrators.Mar 24, 2010 at 9:06 am #1590266
If you join the scoutdirect.com you can get almost any Alps Mountaineering equipment at 45% discount.
The make a good 3900 cu in backpack (Not that light at 3 lbs 12 oz) but only $65.99 (The Orizaba 3900). They have a slightly larger 4500 cu in back pack (weighs 4 lbs 6 oz) for $74.24 (The Mojave 4500).
I usually go for a synthetic bag for the boys since they are more durable (Than my Mont-Bell) and require less care.
For a Sleeping nag they have a $35.74 20 degree bag (OK to 30-32 degrees) that weighs 3 lbs 12 oz (The Crescent Lake). and a $49.49 20 degree bag that weighs 3 lbs 5 oz (The Clearwater)
For a shelter they actually have some of the best options I have seen. For a smaller 2 man tent with AL poles that weighs 4 lbs 12 oz and costs $93.39 they have the Zephyr 2.0.
Slightly heavier at 5 lbs 2 oz (Still way less than the 8 1/2 lb Coleman 7×7's the troop used to use) with AL poles and a true 5 x 7 tent which can be used car camping as well they have the $98.99 Lynx 2. I especially like the Lynx 2 for longevity because it has 2 doors and 2 separate large vestibules. We teach the boys to store their gear in the vestibules and not take it in the tent, which helps the tent last longer.
You can get a scouts Big 3 down to 9 lbs 7 oz for $165 (Splitting the tent cost with another scout)
This is a cross between inexpensive and light, definitely not as light as some of the posts above.Mar 24, 2010 at 10:02 am #1590302
Joe ClementBPL Member
I second what Frank said. Heavy stuff, but it lasts surprisingly well. I bought some of their cheap tents on a case deal, and except for a few poles, we're using them 5 years later.Mar 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm #1590851
Walter UnderwoodBPL Member
@wunderLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
The Alps Orizaba pack is single-size and only works for smaller people. The other packs are adjustable.
Alps makes durable gear that isn't too heavy. If you want to stay under $200 without K-Mart quality, you will be buying used or from Alps.
An MLD Speedmid is the same price as a 5.5 pound REI Half Dome and easier to set up. Get a piece of Tyvek for the ground sheet.May 22, 2010 at 6:32 pm #1612622
Let's limit it now to best pack for under $100. Criteria would be under 3 lbs if at all possible, adjustable for torso length, and take normal Scout abuse.
I note Prosser recommended Kelty Long Trail Junior in his article. I like Tim's Mont-bell BALANCE LIGHT 40 suggestion though don't recall if it's adjustable. I've heard Jansport Scout are good but I'll guess it's too heavy.May 22, 2010 at 7:43 pm #1612644
>Let's limit it now to best pack for under $100. Criteria would be under 3 lbs if at all possible, adjustable for torso length, and take normal Scout abuse.
$ Make Model lb g cuin L merchant
$99.00 Jansport Klamath 55 2.13 990 3302 54 campmor.com
$89.99 Jansport Big Bear 63 3.25 1474 3850 63 campmor.com
<$100 Alps Mountaineering Orizaba Rust 3.25 1474 3300 54 Scoutdirect.com
I'm building a spreadsheet for the big three…
acronym 5/22/2010 9:43 PMMay 22, 2010 at 8:42 pm #1612658
-Lafuma Warm 'N Light 600g Down 40 Degree – 1 lbs 7 oz, 40 degree, down filled bag for $69.99 at Recreationoutlet.com. Not REI!!
-Outdoor products internal frame backpack. – Under 2 and a half pounds, $29.00 at Walmart.
-Wenzel Starlite – Under 3.4 pounds, a lot lighter if you throw away the fiberglass poles and use hiking poles instead. $24 at Walmart
$123 and less than 7 1/2 pounds.May 23, 2010 at 2:58 pm #1612848
> Outdoor Products internal frame backpack. – Under 2 and a half pounds, $29.00 at Walmart.
Never would have guessed it was that light. May have to buy one myself just to see, how it adjusts and if it could handle some abuse.May 24, 2010 at 9:31 pm #1613427
The OP $29 internal frame pack that I looked at tonight with tags on was .91 kg. I'm 6' and the waist strap was at my belly button. It might fit a scout. The label didn't list a volume, but my guess is 40 L.
acronym 5/24/2010 11:31 PM
Edit: correct weight is .95 kg. 5/25/2010 1:38 PMMay 25, 2010 at 5:48 am #1613502
> The OP $29 internal frame pack that I looked at tonight with tags on was .91 kg. I'm 6' and the waist strap was at my belly button. It might fit a scout. The label didn't list a volume, but my guess is 40 L.
Thanks for the intel. So it doesn't adjust I take it or you had it at it's limit? The need is for newer (smaller) Scouts coming into the Troop that wouldn't have the proper equipment. I'd expect the older and larger Scouts to have purchased something after a few years.May 25, 2010 at 8:12 am #1613543
It was .95 kg. Sorry I wrote .91 kg.
It didn't appear to have a torso length adjustment system. The shoulder straps were sewn in.
acronym 5/25/2010 10:12 AMMay 27, 2010 at 3:57 pm #1614608
Bob ShaverBPL Member
I have collected a stable of loaner gear for scouts. The most useful packs are external frame packs, and my smallest frame sizes are the most used. They are handier than internal frame packs, because the scout can lash on big fat sleeping bags and pads. I have two super small external frames, and some mid size external frame packs also.
I also have some synthetic sleeping bags, that my family members have outgrown or got a better one to replace it. I don't mint loaning those out.
I have seen some 2 man tents for $40 that are decent. A tarp would also work.
For sleeping pads, I would get $5 foam pads at walmart. I don't loan those out.
our troop blog is here: http://boisetroop100.wordpress.com/May 27, 2010 at 8:19 pm #1614696
> The most useful packs are external frame packs, and my smallest frame sizes are the most used. They are handier than internal frame packs, because the scout can lash on big fat sleeping bags and pads.
So what's the lightest external frame that would fit 11-13 year olds?May 28, 2010 at 7:59 am #1614809
Bob ShaverBPL Member
REI makes a super small one, and Kelty makes one. They are the smallest size external frame they make. I think the REI one is called the Long Trail. I cruise ebay, craigs list, and yard sales for them, and would add another two to my inventory if I find them.Jun 15, 2010 at 9:21 pm #1620485
Adam KilpatrickBPL Member
@oystersLocale: South Australia
I admit to being a bit lazy as a Scouter in South Australia in the last year or so. Apart from running a 4 day bushwalking comp over Easter for Venturers (14-18 year old Scouts in Aus), I've only just managed to take out our Venturer Unit over the last weekend, bushwalking for 3 days (there was a public holiday) in the Flinders Ranges.
Ultralight gear and technique is pretty scarce in Aus, let alone in Scouting. Which is a shame. Actually, bushwalking is becoming really scarce…no doubt the trip we did on the weekend will rate as one of the top bushwalks of the year for any Scouts in SA. Crying shame.
The main issue is that leaders aren't trained or experienced or motivated (I luckily have the these assets…just not the time) in even heavyweight traditional bushwalking, let alone ultralight ideas. As a result, Scouts of any age recieve poor or little training, and just don't get out.
Anyway, I'm thinking, after I get back from my upcoming big trip (A fellow Leader and I are cycling touring our way to the 22nd World Jamboree), I'm going to start getting into trying to reverse the trend.
One thing I'm thinking of, is building up a suite of ultralight gear that I can loan out to Scout Troops and Venturer Units for bushwalking, providing it free of charge, as long as I (and some willing able helpers) can spend at least one night fitting them to it, and giving them some basic training in its use, and helping their leaders (preferably though, the Scouts themselves), plan their trip appropriately.
As part of this, I was also thinking of building up a big 3(+), to include a couple of dozen sets of gear. The + is some extras that I think are important, like cooking gear (lightweight alcohol stove sets, rather than trangias which are really common in Aus), sleeping mats (for pack frame), waterproof jackets, group first aid kits, etc.
So far, my thoughts are roughly:
Packs: combination of some Gossamer Gear Gorilla's (in varying sizes, plus spare hipbelts in different sizes) and Six Moon Designs Starlites (I like the idea of varying torso length). Both of these look like good ultralight packs, with good durable materials and construction, esp the Starlite. Sleeping mats to go with them would be 3/4 length Z-lites to fit. After a while I might consider making up G4 style packs with help from family seamstresses.
Shelter: I love my MLD trailstar. Only thing is its a little expensive. But something similar shouldn't be too hard to make. Large tarps are ideal for SA conditions at any time of year, and I think with a little training Scouts shouldn't have any trouble safely using them. They should last ages with care. I'll buy a roll of hardwear store plastic to cut up for lots of lightweight groundsheets.
Sleeping bags: not sure yet, but I'll go with synthetic bags, and have silk or nylon innersheets (homemade) to go with them. Probably wash the bags every few trips, and the liners after every trip.
Stoves: home made pepsi can or similar, with homemade stands and flashing windshields. Probably find alloy pots around the 1L size mark, and making lids from flashing or baking trays.
First Aid: I'll make these kits up myself.
Jackets: I'm thinking rainbird jackets (not sure if they are sold outside Aus, but they are a lightweight, compact, cheap $40 jacket sold in Aus). Its rare I see a Scout with a waterproof jacket, let alone a quality one. When they do, they are usually >750grams.
I'll probably get cracking on this whole thing in about two years I reckon, but have plenty to think about in the meantime. Hopefully I can get some funding from the State Branch.
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