Sit. Rep. #43: A sense of wonderment, Hike!

Let me exercise my editorial discretion and talk about Back Packing for a bit.  (is backpacking 1 word or 2?)

     I like backpacking and where it takes me.  It takes me off of the beaten trail where most of the planet does not tread.  The air smells different.  The sounds are natural and uninterrupted by car horns and alarms.  At peace is the best way I can describe it.
     But it takes a different kind of thinking and attitude to reap the rewards of the outdoors.  Your house and kitchen are on your back.  The “sidewalk” is not smooth.  It takes and develops a sense that a person can take care of themself.  Electronics and electricity are not what it takes.  It takes a smile and a sense of wonderment. 

So Let’s Go!  Google Docs printable list:
The Google Docs list is much longer and more detailed with more options – pack using your own discretion.

1- What to take:  I am going to assume that we are going on a Spring weekend backpacking trip (the winter list is only a bit longer).  Notes & discussion to follow as necessary.

Personal Gear MUSTS:

   A- Backpack – internal or external
   A- Tent or Tarp or Hammock with rain cover,  & Ground cover (Space Blanket)
   B- Sleeping bag or blanket,  Sleeping pad
   C- Rain Gear, Poncho or Rain suit
   D- Personal Mess Kit (spoon & bowl as a minimum) & Cup
   F- Flashlight or headlamp (small/lightweight as possible, rechargeable)
   G- Canteen or Camelbak type hydration system, Water purification (tablets or filters)
   H- Shaving / First Aid kit & microfiber towel, female items, inc: OTC Meds.  RX per Parent, Doctor, and Scoutmaster’s instructions.
   I- Leather Gloves, + wool & liners in the winter
   J- Small roll toilet paper
   K- Note pad (shirt pocket size) or index cards plus writing instruments
   L- Extra matches & Firestarters
   M- Sunscreen, Insect repellent, chapstick/lip balm
   N- Personal ID & Health Insurance & parental / family contact info.
   O- Car KEYS!!!
P- Knife or Multi-tool
Q- Map

Cook Gear:

   A- Backpacking stove & Fuel (max 2 per patrol)  Stove repair kit?
   B- Knife & large spoon for stirring the pot (Chef’s Kit), Can opener?
   C- Bear Bag & rope
   D- Biodegradable soap (Scouts are supposed to Air Dry cooking utensils)
   E- Collapsible water container (patrol size)
   F- Pots & pans as needed for the menus selected.
   G- Cutting board (if needed per menu items/prep)
   H- Trash bags
   I- Pot scrub brush / Green scrubbies / Brillo pads


   A- Spare set of clothes
   B- Jacket or sweater
   C- 2 Bandanas, neckerchief, Shemagh
D- Rain gear, poncho  (can be same as B above)

Patrol / Buddy Gear:

   A- Split the 2 man tent  (one take poles & one take the tent)
   B- Needle & Thread to repair clothes or tentage
   C- Small about of “duck tape” (wrap around a water bottle)
   D- Extra rope (I like 550 cord – light & strong or 1/8″ Nylon)
   E- Larger First Aid Kit for larger injuries/illnesses (Sam splint, EMT scissors, Cravats / Triangular bandages x 4)
   F- Extra pair (extra long) show laces (will 55o cord fit thru your shoe eyelets?)
   G- Latrine shovel / spade
   H- Small bar soap & container
               (I put bar soap inside an old sock with a piece of rope to attach to tree limb at wash station)
    I- Trail Guide / Directions

  On your Person:

   A- Hat (I like wide-brimmed all the way around vs ball cap)
   B- Compass & map
   C- Matches & backup fire starter
   D- Pocket knife or multi-tool
   E- 2 bandanas
   F- Whistle
   G- Small amount of change (dimes & quarters)
   H- Canteen or Camel Back


   A- Sun Glasses  (in snow & ice – required)
   B- Hand sanitizer (soap & water are better & lighter)
   C- Star Chart, BSA Handbook, Field Book
   D- backup prescription Glasses & / or Glasses repair kit
   E- Day Pack (what are your plans?)
   F- Camera, memory cards, batteries, solar or crank charger
   G- Trekking poles
   H- Pillow
I- Second water bottle

      If you think of something to add to the list or have a question – let me know.  I am going to move more of the discussion to the next SR.

The trail is not always easy,  But it is always rewarding,

A- What did the Football Quarterback say to the new Scouts?
B- Hike.

Scout Jokes by Thomas Mercaldo

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