Holiday and Birthday Gift Ideas for Scouts
Each year, we get asked for ideas and suggestions for gifts that Scouts can use for camping. Please note that the discussion of backpacking gear can be as personal as religion and politics. Here are just some general thoughts and ramblings, not meant to be the only answer when it comes to gear. We also have a wide range of economic situations within the troop. There are items on this list that run the range from stocking stuffers to the top end. Hopefully this list is helpful.
Please feel free to bring questions to one of the Scoutmaster Staff, who have had many good (and not so good) experiences with gear. If you find “Smokin’ Hot Deals” out there or have other ideas to add to the list, please let us know so we can send it to others.
Both packs are adjustable and will last well into the Mini Adventure ages. It is adjustable and will last well into the Mini Adventure ages.
The internal versus external debate rages on. External packs are more difficult to find. Older Scouts will find internal frame packs to be awesome!
o Foam pad should be closed-cell pad. Inflatable Therma-Rest pads are popular and some swear by them; others swear at them. However, they do require extra care that is sometimes a challenge for Scouts. Also, they are difficult/impossible to repair on a camping/backpacking trip.
o Sleeping bags should be “backpackable.” They should be rated to temperatures between 10°F to 0°F mummy bags. They can have either down or synthetic stuffing. See the discussions on the Backpacker and REI links below about synthetic versus down. In Colorado and the West, we rarely have a problem with wet down bags. We do tend to have a problem with cold-rated synthetic bags being too large and/or heavy for Scouts to stuff or carry. There are lots of combinations of clothes, liners, and multiple sleeping bags can work for a range of temperatures.
o Quality rain gear with Gore-Tex or the breathable fabric equivalent. Do not get “water-resistant.” Avoid heavy rubberized rain jackets and ponchos. Quality rain gear can be the difference to avoid hypothermia on a serious trip. Check out options at:
o Tents Get a two-person backpacking tent with a rain fly. Ideally the tent should be rated for three-seasons; a three-season tent has zippered flaps that leave no exposed mesh when closed. The tent must be good in rain and snow.
Other camping gear ideas
Other items and stocking stuffers:
Weakest links in gear: Most gear issues on our trips involve the following items:
Suppliers and Information Sources:
§ Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI) – 28th street in Boulder and on-line. Great source of how-to-buy information.
§ Costco. They’ve got nice merino wool long-sleeved shirts, wool & wool blend socks in big packs, and fleece pants & long sleeved athletic/polypro shirts.
§ Sierra TradingPost. Great prices and good customer service <-- ONE OF THE BEST PLACES FOR GOOD PRICES!
§ Campmor. Another great mail order company with great prices.
§ Boulder Sports Recycler 4949 N. Broadway #113
§ Play It Again Sports 653 South Broadway
§ Used Gear Boulder is a wonderful used gear town. Look on Craigslist.
For the Scout Who Has All the Gear:
Other thoughts: check out the desert/spring break camping lists on the troop Website.