Sit. Rep. #45: Gear Thoughts

Back Packing Gear notes:  See Sit. Rep. 43.

Your backpack should not weigh any more than 25% of your body weight.  Ex: 100 pound Scout, 25-pound pack.

1- NO COTTON, No cotton socks, underwear, jeans, T-shirt.  It can take a pair of jeans 14-24 hours to dry if they get wet.  NO Cotton blankets!

  • 1B- 2 Exceptions:
    A- Cotton Bandana,  I like a cotton one and a silk one.
    B- Cotton blended 6 pocket (military style) pants.  The cotton in these are treated to not absorb water.

2- Sleeping Bag:  I prefer a synthetic fill over goose/duck down.  It is usually heavier by about 1 pound.  But it still insulates even when wet.  Down does not.
     I have 2 sleeping bags. One for summer, spring & fall.  And one for winter camping.  I have only owned 3 sleeping bags in my life.  The last 2 are these 2.  I try to take care of my equipment.  It is toooooo expensive to trash & treat like dirt.  I put mine in the dryer with NO HEAT after a trip to re-fluff and air out.

3- Shaving kit should have: Toothbrush & toothpaste,  Baking soda in a waterproof container…1-2 tablespoons is all you need for a weekend, Body / Baby wipes (I don’t like – you must carry them out and they attract insects and animals),  Moleskin for blisters.  All you need for a weekend hike is about 4 drops of toothpaste.  Don’t take the whole new tube.

4- Ground cover or ground cloth:  I use the heavy-duty “Space Blanket”… sometimes called the Sportsman’s Blanket.  Wintertime – bright reflective side up toward my sleeping pad.  Summertime – dull side up to my sleeping pad.  (Cost 15-20$ per – get the biggest that you can find – this is also your survival blanket)

5- Note pad: 3″ x 5″ – about 1$ each or a couple of 3×5 index cards.  And a writing utensil.

6- Did I say CAR KEYS?  There is a reason that I say that one twice.  CAR KEYS…CAR KEYS…CAR KEYS…CAR KEYS…

7- I like Dawn Dish Washing Detergent.  It cuts & breaks down the grease in the pots & pans.  (All you need is 1-2 ounces or a small bottle for the whole troop.)

8- I sleep in gym shorts and a T-shirt (not cotton).  I wash up (with baking soda n water) at the end of the day to get rid of food odors,  body smell (B.O. / body odor – yuck), and to keep my sleeping bag clean (& odor-free).  If you are sharing a tent —- yes it keeps the ragging conversation from happening.  Washing up also minimizes pits, privates & foot rot.  Make sure that you get dry, completely dry, before getting into your sleeping bag.

9- A broad-brimmed hat will keep you cooler and keep you from getting sunburned.  Most Scouts are still growing – check out the 2nd hand stores for these.

10- You can take a 1 to 2.5-gallon zip lock baggie to blow up with air and use as a pillow.  I wrap my jacket inside out over the baggie because of the soft feel.  An airline-style or travel style pillows are good & light.

11- What are your questions, concerns, comments, & thoughts?

12- Over the ankle boots.  Broken in a bit but not worn out.  Teva-type sandals for water crossings & around camp if you can carry the weight.  You must watch out for tree roots and stumps while wearing.

Ounces make pounds.  Pounds make pain!

A- They say that the mountain climber can’t improve anymore.
B- Yeah I heard.  He reached his peak

The BIG Book of Campfire Jokes and Riddles by Thomas Mercaldo

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