where to get cheap scout gear

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Home Forums Scouting Backpacking Light with Scouts where to get cheap scout gear

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    Bob Shaver
    BPL Member


    Locale: West

    I have to buy some stoves and water filters for your troop. I am glad they are getting used on backpacks, but its too bad they dissappear so regularly. Where is a good place to get cheap canister stoves and something like a PUR filter, but cheaper? thanks, Bob

    Shane L


    Locale: Nebraska

    I don't know if there are any specific things you're looking for in a stove, but I've been using a cheap folding stove from Amazon for over a year now, and it's worked just fine. (I use esbit when solo, but I still have at least a dozen nights of group cooking with mine)

    It might not be the best for a big, wide pot, but there are others under $10 that have pot stands that are a bit wider.

    Bob Shaver
    BPL Member


    Locale: West

    I saw some on Campmor for $20, made by primus. Those are the cheapest I've seen. Is there a water filter that is compatible with a PUR pump? I'd buy some of those also.

    Aubrey W. Bogard
    BPL Member


    Locale: TX

    Philip Werner (Section Hiker) reviewed this $10 stove from Amazon:

    Tony Ronco
    BPL Member


    If you're willing to consider a non-pump Pur / Katadyn Hiker replacement option …

    Then Walmart has Sawyer Mini filters for $20 (1.5 oz, 100,000 gallon capacity, and easily maintained = back flushed in the field).
    It is also easy enough to rig it into a gravity filter (= no pump to carry, leak, maintain or break). A gravity filter can be made utilizing "fittings" sourced from the top portion of a Smart Water sports bottle (and its sport cap) , in combination with one of Walmart's (Outdoor Products) 10 liter (yellow) dry bags.

    Here's the set-up to get the "fittings" attached to the bottom of the dry bag:
    Screw the sports cap of the Smart Water bottle on to the cut off top portion of the bottle, while sandwiching the fabric of the dry bag between the cap and the top.
    From the inside of the bag, use a heated soldering iron to touch to trapped fabric between the top portion of the bottle and screwed on the cap (which is on the outside of the bag).
    This will create an opening in the bag with the "fittings" providing an access port for the tubing. Turn the bag right side out. The tubing from your Pur water filter will be able to feed through into the opening of the sports cap (and then into the bag) with enough compression to be water tight.
    Install the Sawyer Mini approximately midway down the tubing.
    At the bottom outflow end of the tubing you can install another Smart Water sports cap only to facilitate easy back flushing if you like.

    My troop has used this set up on backpacking treks and successfully used the set up at Philmont last year. (Make sure you instruct the lads to make sure they have gathered "clear" water – no muddy water)

    EDIT: If still aiming for a pump style filter, there is the Timberline Water Filter option, which if you look around you can get for under $25.
    The manufacturer says it is good for Giardia, has a 50 gallon capacity, and weighs 6 oz complete. Replacement filters can be gotten for under $15.
    I have no experience with it in a Scout setting.
    (But I have a friend who loved it on his personal treks. He back flushed it at home between treks to make the filter element last longer … however he has since switched to the Sawyer Mini rigged as a gravity filter too.)

    EDIT #2: As Bruce notes below, purification tabs are another way to go (and is the lightest option). If using iodine tabs or chlorine dioxide tabs just make sure the lads know the right amount tabs for the volume of water being treated and wait the right amount of time to wait for the chemicals to be effective (… and have the diligence to consistently apply that knowledge. *smile*)


    Bruce Kolkebeck
    BPL Member


    Locale: Uhwarrie National Forest

    I have had terrible experiences with scouts and filters. They eventually broke and we were forced to go back to the iodine tabs. At Philmont they make you carry tabs anyway.


    Bob Shaver
    BPL Member


    Locale: West

    I got some of the $6 stoves from Amazon. At that price they are practically disposable. I'm still thinking about water filters.

    Michael Sagehorn
    BPL Member


    Cheap gear? Check the bulletin boards of universities and colleges near outdoor areas. College students, many who have pricey packs, bags, and tents, will run out of money and will sell their usually lightly used gear for a pittance before and after spring break. Craigslist too.


    Jeffrey Peters
    BPL Member


    At Amazon you can get a BSR stove for less than twenty bucks each.  For a filter you cant beat the sawyer squeeze.  Go to and join as a scout leader and you will be able to order from Sawyer at a pro deal price. The squeeze sell for $25 with the pro deal.




    Locale: Washington DC

    I bought both my son and my gear used off a combination of ebay, Reddit UL and here.  just setup email alerts on each site for the gear you want.  I got two zpacks tents (Triplex & Plexamid) this way (saved $250) two HMG SW 4400 –  70 Liter Packs (saved $300), I got our quilts by watching the websites for all the brands and only buying seconds, and in one case we got a prototype quilt for just over $200 for 850 Goose Down (20 degree), which is a bargain for a product made in America.  I did splurge on my quilt, just because – I wanted a more custom product and it cost me twice what I paid for my sons quilt. (950 Goose, 10 degree, 2 lbs overstuffed)

    Also Macon has an awesome list of frugal gear options… and alternatives for each item on this list

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