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#107436 - 12/05/08 07:12 AM $200 and 20lb challenge
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I have to first credit phat for this idea. Moderators, if this belongs in another area, feel free to move it. Maybe it belongs in the beginner area. Anyways, there is a constant problem newbies and especially scouts face when backpacking. Getting the weight down, and not breaking the bank, and usually the bank has very small funds. Plus, you have to look at growing boys and not knowing how long this hobby will last. Well, for every challenge you need rules. The first two, it has to be under $200, and without food or water, 20lb. The 20lbs includes the clothes and shoes on the body, along with stuff to hold water and cook food. The location, 3 season Philmont. I believe the nighttime lows can easily reach 20F in 3 season (correct me if I am wrong). Plus, it rains every day (well, it did when I was there). MYOG is encouraged, but it must be easy for someone who has never made one before (and is between the ages of 12 and 18) to make it. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> I am sure I am missing something. I guess we will see how this goes. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Oh yeah, no sale prices, they aren't predictable.


Edited by finallyME (12/05/08 07:13 AM)
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#107437 - 12/05/08 08:58 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: finallyME]
Ender Offline
member

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 779
Loc: ME
I really like this thread idea... I'll have to put some thought and research into it before I respond properly. Right off the top of my head though, I think the most difficult think to get into that weight and budget will be the sleeping bag.

I look forward to everyone's responses!

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#107438 - 12/05/08 10:36 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: finallyME]
Poma Offline


Registered: 10/01/08
Posts: 3
Loc: Michigan
Shop at your local thrift stores (think Salvation Army and such), they can be a very cheap gold mine for all sorts of goodies.

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#107439 - 12/05/08 11:40 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: finallyME]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2853
Loc: Portland, OR
If the premise is that the gear must be all-new at retail and whatever isn't new is guaranteed to be available, either lying around the house already or in plentiful supply at thrift stores, then I am skeptical the $200 limit can be met.

However, I do think our scout is going to be using a plastic tarp and ground cloth, in spite of all the rain he's going to face. Let's hope the scoutmaster knows how to pitch a tarp, because we can't assume the scout does, or his parents either. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

The sleeping bag is going to be tough. To get inside the budget & be warm enough means synthetic and we'll probably spend at least 5 lbs of our weight budget. I'll let someone else carry the ball on that one. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

As for the sleeping pad, a cheapie WalMart blue pad is the obvious choice. Our scout needs the ground insulation in sub-freezing temps. He might have to trim it down somewhat to meet the weight budget.

With all that rain, he'll need rain gear, too. And clothes that won't slurp water like a sponge. I'd consider a sil-nylon poncho, or else a Dri-Ducks type of papery rain suit. I'd check thrift stores for polyester or nylon shirts, pants and shorts.

He's probably going to end up with a Scout-style aluminum mess kit. There is a reason why it is a classic. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

I'm sorry I haven't researched actual weights and prices for these choices. I suspect I've already spent quite a lot of the $$ and weight budgets, even on these cheapie options. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

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#107440 - 12/05/08 11:49 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: finallyME]
Ender Offline
member

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 779
Loc: ME
OK, to start with I would buy this pack...
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___90387

For $50 list price and 3lbs, 10oz, it's a decent pack. I had a similar pack growing up, with the plastic external frame, and it's still one of the most comfortable packs I've worn. I still have it in fact.

For a stove and cookset, I would make a Pepsican stove and stand, for a total of around 1 ounce. For the pot I would pick up a grease pot at KMart for $5, and 5 ounces. Windscreen would be a scrap piece of aluminum baking pan cut to size... free, and maybe 1 ounce.

For a sleeping pad I would get something like this...

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___41312

$10, and 8 ounces, and while maybe not the most comfortable, it'll be enough padding and will provide enough insulation.

Still haven't figure out shelter and sleeping bag yet, but so far that's the Backpack, Cook gear, and sleeping pad, for $65 and 4 lbs 9 ounces.

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#107441 - 12/05/08 12:06 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: finallyME]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
Sounds like fun <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

But......exactly what gear do we include in our budget? For instance, is raingear part of the $200.00? Many scouts will already own some. Or is it just the big 3? Are items like navigation gear i.e. compass included? Is everything included in the weight total also included in the budget? How many shirts will each scout need? My point is, everyone's idea of required equipment is different, especially when it's not their own, and your answers are going to be all over the board.

You mentioned clothing on the body is included in the total weight. Does that also include items in the pockets? Or are we talking pure skin out weight? We'll be counting ounces to keep it under 20 pounds.

What is the duration of the trip? It sounds like fuel and other consumables(other than food and water) are included in the total so that makes a difference.

Sorry to be so doggone nit-picky but I work in a nit-picky profession and that spills over into my hobbies <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

The first item on my list is an alcohol stove of some kind, preferably the Super Cat. Light, dependable and almost free.
_________________________
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

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#107442 - 12/05/08 12:47 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: Trailrunner]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2853
Loc: Portland, OR
Speaking of nits, we should have a sense of the physical size of this Scout, so we can figure out what kind of pack and sleeping bag he can fit into. Should we assume a modest 5'6", or is he a gangly 6ft?

I'm tempted to have his mom sew him a Ray-Way pack - just a big nylon bag with shoulder straps - except few moms have that kind of skill anymore, or the time to devote to such pursuits. The alcohol Cat stove idea is simple enough, though. Same thing with the soda-bottle reused as a water bottle - with another one as a fuel bottle. Those are practically free!

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#107443 - 12/05/08 12:51 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: Trailrunner]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Quote:
My point is, everyone's idea of required equipment is different, especially when it's not their own, and your answers are going to be all over the board.


I think this is a great point. And, this is the BIGGEST problem with newbies and scouts. Both groups tend to take more than they need. Usually, the younger scouts' moms try to make sure their little baby has everything and loads him up with 4 pairs of extra clothes (all heavy cotton even). Is the discussion of what is NEEDED too much for this little post? Well, probably, so I will say this, boys don't change clothes unless forced to. They put on a jacket when cold, and take it off when warm. Anything more is asking a lot. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> As for trip duration, the average is a weekend, or two nights (although I am in the one night only group for religious reasons). So two nights out.

Don't worry about being nitpicky, I work in a nitpicky profession as well, <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> .

The total weight is everything carried minus the nekked body. Another good point you bring up is that many scouts already own equipment. Or, their brothers or cousins have it. But, there are always brand new scouts with nothing, and clueless parents. Or that new person who has never backpacked before and has nothing as far as equipment. This is for them.

Thrift stores are hard to use because they don't always have something, like the ridgerest I bought for $3. But, there are things that they always have, like fleece, wool sweaters, nylon shirts and pants. If you can walk into any thrift store and find it, then it is legal to use in this scenario. The idea is, if you are scoutmaster, and you get a new scout, and their parents are asking what to buy, where do you send them for a guaranteed piece of equipment?
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#107444 - 12/05/08 01:35 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: finallyME]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2853
Loc: Portland, OR
(NOTE: I have edited this to reflect additional information about Philmont requirements, as described in a post further below this one.)

If we're starting entirely from scratch, here's a stab at a list of NECESSARY items:

a pack (and a way to keep its contents dry in the rain)
a tent (as per Philmont rule)
tarp to cover pack at night (as per Philmont rule)
a sleeping bag (or quilt or blankets) warm down to 20F
insulation underneath while sleeping (sleeping pad, clothing piled up)

cooking pot
stove and fuel (Philmont rule: cannot be alcohol-based)
eating utensil
water container
optional: a water purification method

toothbrush
light source (flashlight, LED pinchlight, LED headlamp, etc)
whistle (best way to be found when lost)
optional: pocket knife (usu. part of Ten Essentials)

personal rain protection (poncho, rain suit, etc)
warm hat (fleece, wool, etc)
torso warmth layer (fleece, wool, etc)
wind-blocking layer (rain suit, nylon wind breaker, etc)
gloves (too cold to go without these)

footwear (boots, shoes)
sox (probably wool)
pants (not denim, please)
shirt (polyester, please)
underwear

Note: the clothing system needs to be 100% adequate to prevent hypothermia in cold weather with some rain. That probably means something more than just one of every clothing item listed above.


Edited by aimless (12/06/08 08:18 AM)

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#107445 - 12/05/08 02:16 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: aimless]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Aimless, great addition. To add, I might need to specify the "rain everyday" I said originally. Having lived in the PNW and Rocky Mountains, there is a big difference. At Philmont, it rains everyday, but not all day. Generally there is an afternoon shower. It does not rain like in the PNW. A poncho is enough for standing around or hiking. As long as the tent is waterproof, then that is sufficient.

The reason I picked Philmont is because it is high on scouts go to list, and many scouts start backpacking because their troop gets a slot to go. So, for a lot of scouts, it is their introduction to BPing and they buy equipment specific for it. It also is a good example of covering many environments. It is mostly high alpine (like the Sierras or Rockies). It is dry and warm during the day (except when it rains) and drops around 30 at night in the summer.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#107446 - 12/05/08 06:02 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: finallyME]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods

I'll throw in a few more "caveats" as we just went through this drill last summer.

(And yes, it still rains every afternoon at Philmont.)

Crew gear has to meet Philmont requirements so for some things your choices are somewhat restricted. Crews are made up of 8-12 Scouts/Adults. As a crew, we decided what we would take and who would carry it. We spent a year gathering and testing out different gear. Some of it we got through ebay, some from here on this forum, other through fund raiser$$$. Some of it was borrowed from previous year's crews.

Here is a link to a Crew from Arlington, Tx that has sent several groups over the years and seems to have it down pretty goood. This is a link for their home page and from there you can look at their crew gear lists and their personal gear lists. I used these as guidelines rather than absolutes. Some things we took, others we didn't. They do try to cut weight where they can.

http://crew445.org/philmont/2008/

I'm going to work on this over the weekend and see what I can come up with.

Here's the link to the Philmont website:
http://www.scouting.org/HighAdventure/Philmont.aspx

My goal next year is to take some of our Scouts hiking in Arkansas (now that we're in East Texas) and use more of the lightweight techniques that I've learned here.
We'll see how it goes.

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#107447 - 12/05/08 07:36 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: finallyME]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Too easy <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


Sleeping
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___42050 - 2.7 lbs $55.00
blue pad - wal-mart (wide 27" for hammock use) 1 lb $8.00

shelter:
http://www.imrisk.com/testhammock/testhammock.htm 1.5 lbs $10.00
elastic ridgeline and muslin or mesh bugnet for above
(from walmart - sewing section - you just need a piece
of elastic, a cord, and a big piece of bugnet or veil, etc to drape
over, .5 lbs $10.00
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___20069 .7 lbs $65.00

Clothing 5 lbs?
from thift store down the block( and yes , I actually looked!)
2 pairs poly dress socks $2.00
2 pairs wool socks $4.00
fleece jacket $5.00
nylon swim trunks/shorts $5.00
nylon track pants $5.00
cashemere sweater $5.00
long johns bottoms:
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___05665 $8.00
plastic poncho (wal-mart) $3.00
I'm assuming the kid has 2 pairs of underwear, and a a pair of running
shoes, and two tshirts. a toque, hat, and gloves,

Alky stove (homemade)
small pop bottle for fuel
plastic spoon from Wendy's
Heineken Canpot .3 lb free

2x 1 litre bigmouth pepsi bottles .2 lb $3.00
(you drink the pepsi, then fill with water)

packing:
http://www.backpacking.net/makegear/sgt-rucksack/index.html $10.00
plus garbage back packliner .7 lbs

2x garbage bags for stuff sacks.

I got $180 and I'm *way* under 20 lbs... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
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My 3 season gear list
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#107448 - 12/05/08 08:05 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: phat]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2853
Loc: Portland, OR
In the spirit of constructive criticism:



This bag is rated to 35F, while spec required 20F. Also, the 'regular' price at Campmor is shown as $60, whereas the $55 is a (forbidden) 'sale' price. I'm not sure this would cut it for three season use in a high alpine setting, as described by our spec. Otherwise, excellent value and a great find!



I'm assuming the rainfly for the hammock would be rigged from the plastic poncho. A hammock may ("may") be a bit of a tough setup for a high alpine setting, where trees may ("may") be a bit stunted and sparse. Otherwise, an outstanding find!

In the interest of fulldisclosure, I could not have done half so well. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#107449 - 12/05/08 09:57 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: finallyME]
BpackerDon Offline
member

Registered: 10/05/07
Posts: 87
Loc: Northern Calif
A few things to keep in mind when selecting your Philmont gear. Philmont has some restrictive rules (been there, done that)

1. NO tarps or bivys or hammocks for sleeping. For reasons regarding bears, Philmont REQUIRES a TENT for sleeping. They will, however, require a tarp to be set up for use as a rain fly to protect your packs, which are NOT allowed in the tents.

2. Food- you will resupply several times in your trek, and usually will not have to carry over 4 days worth of food at a time on your 11 day trek (Food pickup interval depends on the actual trek you choose)

3. Philmont strongly discourages ponchos as raingear. Rainsuit is considered a must. It rains a LOT, particularly past mid July.

4. Fuel- the choices sold at Philmont are limited and do NOT include alcohol fuel. They DO include white gas and Powermax fuel. So if you want to use alcohol, you must figure out a way to ship it to Philmont. Also, the way they provide the food, you will most likely be using LARGE pots- 1 or 2 GALLONS as you will be feeding a crew of 7 to 12 scouts and advisors, maybe divided into 2 cook groups. Pot size may not be appropriate for alcohol stoves

5. At some point, you will get a book from Philmont called "Guidebook to Adventure" Please read it in detail. It gives recommended gear lists, and lays out all the special rules.

6.For some really good info, including gear lists and Philmont trip diaries, check out:
http://www.troop111.org/highadv.html

Have a great Philmont trip!

Don

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#107450 - 12/06/08 06:50 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: BpackerDon]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I think we should assume kids are starting from scratch, except when it comes to normal school clothes. Also, I don't think we should target the 12-18 year old age group for this, as that gets up into adult sizes. I am going to focus on the 12 year old, from 3 percentile to 97 percentile boys. That is from 4'5" boys up to 5'5" girls.

Finally, we MUST assume these kids will hike 20km a day, otherwise WE are off on the wrong track!

Growth Charts
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/major/nhanes/growthcharts/html_charts/statage.htm

Mark Verbers page on sleeping systems
http://www.verber.com/mark/outdoors/gear/sleep-system.html

I'm going to tackle the sleeping bag issue first, and update later. When we say 'easily reaches 20degF' I will assume it can get lower but will outfit for 20degF. That calls for 2" of loft, but not neccessarily a 20F rated bag. One problem however is finding a bag to fit the kid. There are fewer kids bags out there than there are kids sizes. A 5' kids bags might work for 50% of 12 years, but too small for about 40% and too large for perhaps 10%.

These might fit 50% of 12 year olds...

This one is 2" of loft, and only 1.2 pounds, but at $190 out of our price range.
It's also probably too roomy for most kids, but you might fit two in. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
http://www.westernmountaineering.com/ind...mp;ContentId=73

This one is >2" loft, and is 2.3 pounds for $80 which ain't bad.
http://www.backcountry.com/store/MHW0846...C_ID=WR_MHW0846

Or, why not make something to custom fit your kid?
http://www.questoutfitters.com/fabric%20lightweight-cart.htm
Nylon shell on outside, 2 layers of Primaloft, fleece on inside...
1.1 UNCOATED RIPSTOP 60"x 1.5yds 2.8oz for $11.25
4oz Primaloft Sport 60"x 4.5yds 30.0oz for $44.78
5.9 oz Fleece 100M 60" x 1.5yds 14.8oz for $16.13
=================================================
3 pounds for $75
That is actually about 2.5" of loft, top and bottom, which is overkill.


Good clothing for 20F and still hikable for 20km will add up, $-wise, unless they shop around. They could get by with what they might alread have for school, but the smaller ones will really be unneccessarily encumbered unless if they get dressed my their mother, unless they go with something like this...

skin layer - normally packed
200wt fleece pants - normally worn
underwear - this I will leave to their mom
skin layer top - normally worn
wool sweater - normally worn
LIGHTWEIGHT nylon rain jacket with hood and pants - normally packed
wool socks.wool mitts. wool hat. wool neck tube

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#107451 - 12/06/08 07:06 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: JAK]
Cesar Offline
member

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 217
Loc: El Paso, TX
Quote:
When we say 'easily reaches 20degF' I will assume it can get lower but will outfit for 20degF. That calls for 2" of loft,


I may be wrong but I was under the impression that synthetic bags dont really have the same loft per degree rating that down does. So in other words a synthetic bag can be as warm as down but with less loft since depending on synthetic type. I think I read this on a discussion of clo values for climashield. So I guess a synthetic bag of 2 inch of loft might not be needed to get 20deg, but like I said I may be wrong.
_________________________
My gear is no where near lightweight

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#107452 - 12/06/08 07:13 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: Cesar]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
It could be argued either way. Not a lot of variation in warmth per inch.
I think it is simplest to assume that all insulation varies by weight but is the same warmth per inch.

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#107453 - 12/06/08 07:36 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: JAK]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Boots?

Boots for youngsters is a real issue, especially for the smaller kids. My 9 year old daughter is 48" tall, and weighs 50 pounds, and can easily hike 20km/day in snow, but only if you give her time, and it is much much slower in boots. We can safely average 3km/hr without hurrying too much, but not in the boots most place try and sell you. They must be for ATVers or something. I use the 20km/day for up to 4" of snow on a trail as a guideline. That's about 7 hours of travel and 1 hour of lunch for a 48" kid. If they want to do 10km and play for 3 hours that would be fine also. I just want to indicate how unencumbered they should be. I can't give you a canned solution here, 'cause their aint one. Last trip she wore here sneakers and was fine, but what kids really need is a lightweight mukluk or ankle moccasin, and they are really hard to find in smaller sizes, and hard enough in adult sizes also but not so critical. It's when they scale down adult stuff into kids sizes without really giving a thought to function that really bugs the crap out of me.

By age twelve, it is less of an issue but most kids boots are still wrong.
Most sneakers and trail runners hold too much water in non-drying conditions.

So here is another diy project...
http://www.thefarm.org/charities/i4at/surv/mocinstr.htm
Make the ankles high, and leave room for felt insoles and thick wool socks.

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#107454 - 12/06/08 07:58 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: BpackerDon]
Cesar Offline
member

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 217
Loc: El Paso, TX
1. NO tarps or bivys or hammocks for sleeping. For reasons regarding bears, Philmont REQUIRES a TENT for sleeping. They will, however, require a tarp to be set up for use as a rain fly to protect your packs, which are NOT allowed in the tents.

Can this be an item that gets shared? Probably say 3-4 kids per tent? This way they can share the cost? If this is the case then the tent options have greatly improved. Either way I know Alps Mountaineering gives discounts to scouts. So if they split the cost of one of those tents then that would be a great savings.

4. Fuel- the choices sold at Philmont are limited and do NOT include alcohol fuel. They DO include white gas and Powermax fuel. So if you want to use alcohol, you must figure out a way to ship it to Philmont. Also, the way they provide the food, you will most likely be using LARGE pots- 1 or 2 GALLONS as you will be feeding a crew of 7 to 12 scouts and advisors, maybe divided into 2 cook groups. Pot size may not be appropriate for alcohol stoves

If this is the case Im assuming each kid would not need to purchase and lug around a 2 gallon pot. So how does this work do we need to account for the cost but not the weight? On the stove can split the cost of this as well? I got a whisperlight on ebay for 40$ plus $12 for 33oz fuel bottle at a local store. Again can this cost be split between 7-12 scouts?



As for bags I don't know what the difference is between thermolite extra and thermolite extreme but this bag has the same fill weight as the Mountain hardware for a lot less but is only rated at 25*. On the down side its not a name brand like MH bag.
Calypso 25*

for another 5ft bag there is also the TNF Tigger at 2lbs 1oz
TNF Tigger
_________________________
My gear is no where near lightweight

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#107455 - 12/06/08 08:00 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: JAK]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I think there is a real opportunity here that most scout and guide troops and parents seem to miss, myself included up until now, which is to use the problem of inedequate gear and clothing choices as an opportunity for a few critical DIY projects as shared learning experiences. Great was to boost morale in a troop also, if everyone in a troop wears the same troop made moccassins, or bedrolls, or two-person pup tents, hiking staff...

OK, backpacks, once they've started down the road to functional gear and clothing choices...

http://www.primitiveways.com/pack_frame.html
Sylnylon stuff sack, custom fitted triangular wooden packframe.

If we follow my clothing suggestions, keeping the main insulation layers, the weight of clothing packed won't be very much. This leaves the bedroll, skin layers, rain layers, extra socks, blue foam pad, their half of a two-person pup tent, map, compass/whistle/thermometer, knife, matches, buddy burner, mug, spoon, canteen, their share of food. Hat and mitts go in pockets when not warn. So regardless of the size of the kid, they could slide their blue foam pad into their nylon stuff sack, then stuff in their bedroll and food and extra layers, and then tie it onto their homemade triangular wooden packframe.


Maximum Weight Guidelines...

Maximum Skin Out Weight (pounds) = Height(inches) x Height(inches)
e.g. 16 pounds for 48", 25 pounds for 60", 36 pounds for 72"

Packweight shouldn't be much more than 50% of that however, in my opinion.

So for the 'average' 12 year old, 12.5 pound pack and perhaps 4 pounds of clothing worn. That 12.5 pounds would include perhaps 1 pound of water and food for 1 day at a time, or 1.5 pounds. So the base pack weight would be 10 pounds.

1 pound for packframe and nylon pack bag
1 pound for blue foam pad and half of puptent
3 pound for sleeping bag or bedroll
1 pound for nylon raingear
1 pound for socks, map, compass/whistle/thermometer, knife, matches, buddy burner, mug, spoon, canteen
========================================
7 pounds, leaving 3 pounds to spare, perhaps 2 more days of food on a long trip


We must all realize this can be done, because it's been done for over 20,000 years !!!
Most of the struggle is in dealing with our post-modern consumerism. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />
You would think that something like Scouts and Guides might be part of the solution. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

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#107456 - 12/06/08 08:26 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: Cesar]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
OK. Here is my final list (projected 5 years into the future);
After 5 years of lengthy and thorough indoctrination training my kids hate tents and store bought gear, and by now they are a tough flame hardened unit. We take the greyhound down to Philmont, staring down anyone on the bus that looks 'sketchy'. When we get to Philmont we are somewhat bummed because we have to rent tents. So we rent the tents and hike 20km into the Philmont wilderness but pitch our tarps anyway in a tight bivouc formation, with the 'bear or ranger sentries' armed with their hiking staffs and opinel #7 knives and posted to cover 6 overlapping sectors. On the signal we all dive out of our beloved hoochies and into the darn tents. It was just the darned ranger this time. Dang. Maybe next time. Anyway someone whips out their buddy burner and offers him tea, and so we all share ghost and bear stories 'til the wee hours of the morning, then break camp and shoulder up our Ítzi the Iceman packframes and hike 20km deeper into the great unknown, as a fresh Philmont snow begins to fall.

Clothing:
Homemade Ankle Moccassins
Felt insoles
Thin Wool socks
Thick Wool socks
Long underwear bottoms
Light nylon rain bottoms
200wt fleece pants
Long underwear top
hand knit wool sweater (200wt fleece sweater until they get merit badge for knitting)
Light nylon rain top
wool mitts
wool hat
wool neck tube that can cover ears/nose/mouth/neck
troop uniform hat

Gear:
Homemade Triangular Wooden Ítzi the Iceman pack-frame
Large Nylon Stuff Sack for Pack (some kids just use their tarp)
Cord, pegs for tieing pack to frame, and for pitching their puptent
Blue foam sleeping pad
3 pound homemade bedroll (my kids like to call it a bedroll)
Sylnylon Tarp, with velcro seam, for 1/2 of puptent shared with buddy
Wooden Hiking staff - for pitching half of puptent, and striking cool poses
map
compass/whistle/thermometer
knife
matches or flint kit
buddy burner or hobo stove
stainless mug
stainless spoon (my kids ain't no gram weenies)
food for 3 days
water canteen
firstaid/repair kit
other stuff their scoutmaster forgot but they didn't

Special Winter Gear:
cross country skis/boots/poles, or homemade snow shoes

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#107457 - 12/06/08 12:03 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: aimless]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
In the spirit of constructive criticism:



This bag is rated to 35F, while spec required 20F. Also, the 'regular' price at Campmor is shown as $60, whereas the $55 is a (forbidden) 'sale' price. I'm not sure this would cut it for three season use in a high alpine setting, as described by our spec. Otherwise, excellent value and a great find!


Well, I'd supplement with some warm clothing in bed, but if you really want, go down a few - there were
lots of choices there in the middle weight range. Or better yet, have 'em build a ray-way style quilt
for that hammock, but I was being a bit lazy since I already put two DIY projects in there <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

I also think the ratings are a complete crock of crap - but that's another story well discussed
already here <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


Quote:



I'm assuming the rainfly for the hammock would be rigged from the plastic poncho. A hammock may ("may") be a bit of a tough setup for a high alpine setting, where trees may ("may") be a bit stunted and sparse. Otherwise, an outstanding find!

In the interest of fulldisclosure, I could not have done half so well. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


Nope - that's what that nice 8x10 silnylon tarp is for - I could have gone 6x8 to save weight but I think considering the likelyhood of going somewhere rainy, having a bigger area to stand under out of the rain as well as keep the hammock dry is a very nice thing. particularly for a kid.
_________________________
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Winter list.
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#107458 - 12/06/08 12:23 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: Cesar]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
1. NO tarps or bivys or hammocks for sleeping. For reasons regarding bears, Philmont REQUIRES a TENT for sleeping. They will, however, require a tarp to be set up for use as a rain fly to protect your packs, which are NOT allowed in the tents.


Yeah.. because 1.1 silnylon is bear armor.. and I can't put a garbage bag over my pack and hang it? (
hello! I almost NEVER have my pack with me at night)

Quote:

Can this be an item that gets shared? Probably say 3-4 kids per tent? This way they can share the cost? If this is the case then the tent options have greatly improved. Either way I know Alps Mountaineering gives discounts to scouts. So if they split the cost of one of those tents then that would be a great savings.


Yes, absolutely it can, and by teaching people the only way to camp is in 4 person expedition tents we teach scouts a certain way to backpack that almost guarantees they will not be able to do it in later life. we're talking about getting them gear they can build on if they enjoy the sport, yet by making this decision (which is an easy one to make, because it saves money and is much easier on the leader to have say, 5 big shelters that work instead of worrying about each kid having their feces conglomorated) we're making sure nobody has the most basic of gear to go out with a couple of people.

Quote:

4. Fuel- the choices sold at Philmont are limited and do NOT include alcohol fuel. They DO include white gas and Powermax fuel. So if you want to use alcohol, you must figure out a way to ship it to Philmont. Also, the way they provide the food, you will most likely be using LARGE pots- 1 or 2 GALLONS as you will be feeding a crew of 7 to 12 scouts and advisors, maybe divided into 2 cook groups. Pot size may not be appropriate for alcohol stoves

If this is the case Im assuming each kid would not need to purchase and lug around a 2 gallon pot. So how does this work do we need to account for the cost but not the weight? On the stove can split the cost of this as well? I got a whisperlight on ebay for 40$ plus $12 for 33oz fuel bottle at a local store. Again can this cost be split between 7-12 scouts?


Sounds to me like philmont (forgive me I was never in USA boy scouts) is geared toward jamboree style
heavy camping rules and exactly *not* the thing to teach kids how to do reasonable backpacking in any kind of sane way. Powermax fuel and white gas eh? you must be sponsored by coleman <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Sure, there's a time and place for the big party adventures, and shared big cookgear and tents make a heck of a lot of sense then. I personally have a full complement of this kind of gear, and I almost never talk about it in this forum - it's my spike camp gear that goes moose hunting with me. But focusing on this as the only way to get out in the wilderness because of "philmont" striks me as a way to ensure that we leave kids with the impression that the only way they can get out later in life unless they are fortunate enough to always be in contact with 3-8 other like minded individuals with similar hiking skills, fitness levels, desire to go, and work schedules. Something I think is usually impossible to find for most people. Sounds to me like philmont is geared to teaching people heavyweight "everything is an expedition" skills that ensure they will never be able to do this after leaving scouts if they have anything like a real life. (As it sounds a lot like my scouting experience up here). So perhaps these are fightin' words, but to me the philmont rules sound like some of the things that express everything I didn't like about my scouting experience in the late 70's early 80's and that none of that has changed very much.

Sorry to sound cranky.. the philmont rules just hit a raw nerve of everything I think is wrong with scouts <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> perhaps I should just resign myself to the fact, and enjoy it because it ensures that the majority of the sheeple won't even walk my trails unless in groups of 6 as a military expedition, means I always have room and don't get overrun by the clueless..


Edited by phat (12/06/08 12:34 PM)

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#107459 - 12/06/08 12:41 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: Cesar]
BpackerDon Offline
member

Registered: 10/05/07
Posts: 87
Loc: Northern Calif
Can this be an item that gets shared? Probably say 3-4 kids per tent? This way they can share the cost? If this is the case then the tent options have greatly improved. Either way I know Alps Mountaineering gives discounts to scouts. So if they split the cost of one of those tents then that would be a great savings.

Yes, tents can be shared. Typically two scouts per tent. Philmont WILL PROVIDE at NO extra cost two man tents for everyone on the trek. However, the Philmont tents are not light. They use the BSA Philmont backpacker tent, weight 5.6 lbs. If you want to purchase your own lightweight two man tents, and bring them to Philmont, that is allowed. It may be difficult to use 4 man tents at Philmont due to the large size of the tents. How the costs of such a purchase are shared is up to the troop and scouts involved.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If this is the case I am assuming each kid would not need to purchase and lug around a 2 gallon pot. So how does this work do we need to account for the cost but not the weight? On the stove can split the cost of this as well? I got a whisperlight on ebay for 40$ plus $12 for 33oz fuel bottle at a local store. Again can this cost be split between 7-12 scouts?

Philmont will also provide aluminum cooking pots at NO extra cost. The choices are:

Trail chef kit:
8 quart pot
4 quart pot with lid
fry pan with handle

OR
6 quart pot with lid
4 quart pot with lid
fry pan with handle

Philmont will also provide:

12x12 dining (rain) fly
2 poles for dining fly

cutlery kit:
2 large spoons
1 large spatula
hot pot tongs

Bear bags and ropes
Water purification pills
toilet paper

Stove: best to bring your own so you know how to use it. Typically 1 stove per 4-6 scouts, so you probably will want two stoves minimum. Philmont will RENT you a stove if needed. Cost splitting as per tents- up to the troop and scouts involved.

So 20 lbs and $200 will provide some bookeeping challenges depending on what Philmont gear you decide to use (heavy, no cost) and what you decide to bring- lighter, but will cost against your $200 budget in some shared cost depending on the number of scouts sharing the item.


One way to do this is to decide what group gear provided by the scouts will be shared, and then when you have that total weight and cost, divide by the number of scouts sharing the gear and allocate that amount to your 20 lb and $200 budgets. Then add the weight of the no cost items provided by Philmont, again divide by the number of scouts sharing these items, and add that to the weight budget (but not the $ budget)

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#107460 - 12/06/08 01:05 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: phat]
BpackerDon Offline
member

Registered: 10/05/07
Posts: 87
Loc: Northern Calif
I agree that taking a troop backpacking should be done in a lightweight manner, consistent with the skill level and safety of the scouts. This is a good way to instill a love of the outdoors in youth.

However, the OP said the destination was Philmont, and if he is really planning on taking scouts on a trek at Philmont, that location comes with a set of rules, which may not be known by most on this group, and which emphasizes safety and durability more than lightweight.

Therefore, all our help will be of use for general troop backpacking, but some of our favorite gear may not be appropriate for a Philmont trek.

It is possible to go lightweight to Philmont, but as the crew size is defined as 7-12 people, it is very different than a few people going backpacking by themselves.

Even with a bit more weight than I might carry in the Sierra, Philmont is still a beautiful place and a memorable adventure.

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#107461 - 12/06/08 01:09 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: phat]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Quote:
Sorry to sound cranky.. the philmont rules just hit a raw nerve of everything I think is wrong with scouts <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> perhaps I should just resign myself to the fact, and enjoy it because it ensures that the majority of the sheeple won't even walk my trails unless in groups of 6 as a military expedition, means I always have room and don't get overrun by the clueless..
I gotta agree. I didn't read much past the no tarp rule. I don't even know where this Philmont is. I just assumed it to be another park someplace. I didn't know it was some sort of concentration camp gestapoland to keep scouts from learning how to be scouts. LOL

Can we start a new thread for anywhere but philmont?

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#107462 - 12/06/08 01:17 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: BpackerDon]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:

Even with a bit more weight than I might carry in the Sierra, Philmont is still a beautiful place and a memorable adventure.


Sounds like the jamborees we had up here - which yes, they were a memorable adventure and they were fun, but they had almost nothing to do with backpacking - they were closer to good car camping, or hiking up to furnished huts.

I'm not saying jamboree type activities aren't fun. I'm saying they arnen't backpacking. and unfortunately, gearing ones backpacking gear toward attending jamboree type events has negative consequences for every other type of backpacking - which is what most of the rest of us do.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#107463 - 12/06/08 01:19 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: BpackerDon]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I agree that Jamborees are fun, but they aren't real scouting. Clearly scouting isn't real scouting.


I think we have to decide whether this thread is about the way scouting should be, or the way scouting is. I think it should be about the way scouting should be, because that is what scouting should be for, to teach kids what scouting could be, and should be, not what it is. Adult troop leaders and some of the larger scouts could still carry some special emergency stuff, such as communications and extra first aid stuff and perhaps some troop level camp and kitchen stuff, but in principle there is no reason a scout and his buddy couldn't be equipped from the get go to learn how to hike and to be reasonably self-suffient. Shared items. Nothing really needs to be shared. Two scouts could share a hoochie by zipping two tarps together, like I did in basic training, but they would also be essentially self-sufficient. I seriously doubt that that is the way Scouting works in North America today, but we can start changing that right here by changing this thread.

Lets just forget about Philmont and Boy Scouts of America and start over.
Let's talk about equipping scouts the way they could be and should be.


Scouting for under $200 and under 15 pounds per scout should be just as easy as it is cheap.
We should all just agree that most of the obstacles are artificial because of post-modern consumerism.
Scouts and Guides should be a means to correct that problem in our society, not make things more difficult. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

The way life should be, <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />
http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=z9OoPyYGKdI

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#107464 - 12/06/08 01:42 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: JAK]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I don't think you really need to start over.. I just say, take the spirit of the place and pretend you weren't
constrained.. (since the OP didn't post what the philmont rules were for us clueless canuck's anyway, and I've never been much for following rules <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

let's see - recent trips.. here ya go - skyline. I went on this trail for the first time in 1982. My scout group wouldn't do it. I did it in "scout type gear" that I had leftover from scouts with three friends. The weather we had in 82 was similar to what you see with me doing this with my brother (not the best - rain, and note the snow under my hammock). My trip in '82 was "epic", not in a particularly good way. I've done this trail many times since and enjoy it. most importantly, I take almost exactly the same gear as I'm talking about.
so, have a peek through:

http://bofh.ucs.ualberta.ca/beck/pictures/skyline2008

we had snow, heavy rain, extremely heavy wind, and very cold mornings.

and notice in particular:
as cold as original specs:



and defineatly as rainy:



Heck, I was sheltering fellow hikers who had obviously learned from boy scouts to carry a giant tent (which was ok because I got to have 45 minutes of pleasant conversation with two young ladies
who sheltered under my tarp while I lounged in my hammock and their male friend who was too proud to ask for help set up their "bombproof" shelter in a storm.. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> nothing like a boy scout style tent and a little machismo to make you look like an idiot.)
_________________________
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My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#107465 - 12/06/08 02:12 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: phat]
BpackerDon Offline
member

Registered: 10/05/07
Posts: 87
Loc: Northern Calif
I agree that it would be more generally useful if the OP changed destination to something other than Philmont.

However, in defense of Philmont, it is still a very special experience. Philmont is 137,493 acres (215 square miles) owned by the Boy Scouts of America. You are backpacking for between 50 and 100 miles ( depending on the trek you choose) over the Sangre de Cristo mountains in New Mexico, at altitudes from 6500 to 12,441 feet. A trek is one day at base camp, and 11 days and nights in the backcountry. Car camping it is NOT. There are no furnished (or unfurnished) huts. However, it is also not lightweight backpacking in the Rockies or Sierra. It is a unique experience.

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#107466 - 12/06/08 03:54 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: phat]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Great photos phat. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

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#107467 - 12/06/08 04:53 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: phat]
Bearpaw Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 1732
Loc: Tennessee
Very nice rig Phat. I admit that I spent a lot more on my full pack-load than $200, but for less than that I have my tarp and hammock set-up solidly in place.

I've found that I am quite happy with a tarp used in condition with another bit of shelter, whether that be my hammock or my bivy sack. Teaching scouts to use a tarp early on can definitely cut weight, bulk, and likely cost as well, so long as they have solid knot skills, which all U. S. Scouts of 1st Class rank are supposed to have.
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#107468 - 12/06/08 05:54 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: BpackerDon]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods
Very well said Don in both your posts. I would also add that the experience has a lot to do with learning to work together as a unit. Something that 14-16 year olds have a hard time doing sometimes. Approximately 360 Scouts/Adults arrive each day during the season (mid-June thru mid-August I believe) so this is about 21,600 Scouts/Adults per year, so they must be doing something right!

We had 5 Scouts and 2 adults in our crew (I would have made the 3rd adult, but had to pull out at the last minute due to medical reasons). We had two other crews of 8-9 people each.

Our crew members slept two to a tent and we took our own. Brand names included Eureka, Big Agnes, REI, and one other I can recall. We did this to save weight.

We took two Coleman Exponent stoves because I don't like messing with white gas. I own one and we borrowed another. Are these heavier than I would take if I were leading a trip on my own? Maybe. It depends on how many are going and where. We used a 4qt and a 6qt pot to cook in (used turkey bags to keep clean up to a minimum) and made our own lids for them. Lexan bowl and spoon to eat with. We probably could have gotten by with just one stove, but if there were a problem we'd have been S.O.L. and a long way back to base camp. Perhaps here would be where 3-4 alky stoves would have been a viable alternative. Having two Exponents though allowed dinner and clean up to be done much quicker. The other two crews used white gas to cook with.

Home made 8x12 black silnylon tarp to cook under and to store packs under (much lighter than the tarps provided). Mason braided nylon twine for guy-outs. Blue amsteel cord for hanging bear bags (much lighter than the rope provided). Made pot cozies for the cook pots to hold in the heat an not have to use as much gas to keep water warm.

I believe was I somewhat successful in teaching our crew the benefits of going light weight where we could and still follow the rules of Philmont. Will I continue to expand the knowledge of light weight backpacking to our new troop? Absolutely. We'll be working up to some longer hikes on the Ouachita Trail in Arkansas and we'll be using light weight gear.

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#107469 - 12/06/08 06:50 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: phat]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods
Quote:
Heck, I was sheltering fellow hikers who had obviously learned from boy scouts to carry a giant tent


Why? Did they say something to lead you to believe that? Maybe they "learned" it all on their very own!

Why do you make assumptions and generalizations that ALL Scouts don't know anything about light weight backpacking?

As has been said in other posts on this board, 90% of Scout camping is car camping, not backpacking. So, most parents spend their money on bomb proof equipment. And many troops provide the tents (3-4 man tents) so these aren't appropriate for backpacking.

I believe all of the "high adventure" bases (Philmont, Sea Base, BWCA - Norther Tier) have an age requirement of 14 so by then a youth has been in Scouts for 3 years. Hopefully by the beginning of their 3rd year they know whether they want to try out the high adventure programs and can start accumulating gear accordingly and they've learned how to take care of it.

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#107470 - 12/06/08 08:53 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: Tango61]
BpackerDon Offline
member

Registered: 10/05/07
Posts: 87
Loc: Northern Calif
The official BSA age requirement for Philmont is "At least age 14 by January 1 of the participation year or have completed the eight grade (and be at least 13 years of age) prior to attendance"

So discussion of 12 year olds may be appropriate for lightweight scout related backpacking, but 12 year olds are too young to attend Philmont.

This forum does an excellent job of discussing lightweight backpacking. If the OP or others are interested in the details of Philmont, which is a bit off the subject for this forum, you might join the Philmont list. Go to http://usscouts.org/ ,go to Discussion lists and forums, ussp e-mail lists, and subscribe to the Philmont list. They will send you a return message to which you must reply, and then you are signed up. Watch out- gmail placed this return message to me in my spam folder- so it took me awhile to find it and complete the subscription. As with many lists they have both newbies and old timers. The list is a bit slow at this time of year, but as summer approaches it is very busy and very useful for those going to Philmont.

I will leave it at this.

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#107471 - 12/06/08 10:35 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: JAK]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Quote:
I agree that Jamborees are fun, but they aren't real scouting. Clearly scouting isn't real scouting.


I think we have to decide whether this thread is about the way scouting should be, or the way scouting is. I think it should be about the way scouting should be, because that is what scouting should be for, to teach kids what scouting could be, and should be, not what it is. Adult troop leaders and some of the larger scouts could still carry some special emergency stuff, such as communications and extra first aid stuff and perhaps some troop level camp and kitchen stuff, but in principle there is no reason a scout and his buddy couldn't be equipped from the get go to learn how to hike and to be reasonably self-suffient. Shared items. Nothing really needs to be shared. Two scouts could share a hoochie by zipping two tarps together, like I did in basic training, but they would also be essentially self-sufficient. I seriously doubt that that is the way Scouting works in North America today, but we can start changing that right here by changing this thread.

Lets just forget about Philmont and Boy Scouts of America and start over.
Let's talk about equipping scouts the way they could be and should be.


Scouting for under $200 and under 15 pounds per scout should be just as easy as it is cheap.
We should all just agree that most of the obstacles are artificial because of post-modern consumerism.
Scouts and Guides should be a means to correct that problem in our society, not make things more difficult. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

The way life should be, <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />
http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=z9OoPyYGKdI


I guess I should do two things, either do a better job of explaining in the first post, or do a better job watching the discussion to help it go in the right direction. My bad. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Anyways, JAK here expresses my sentiments better than I could, so I am quoting him.

The purpose of this "challenge" isn't to actually take a troop to Philmont. Been there, done that. Philmont is used because we all say that we pick equipment for the climate. Alot of us know the Philmont climate. Well, I assumed so. Maybe I am wrong. But, it seemed like a good area because we are targeting scouts AND adult newbies. I thought about just saying 3 season alpine, but I thought that was too vague. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> Would ANY 3 season location work? phat, how cold are your summers? We could make an "ultimate prepared for the worst" list, but that would be unnecessary. And, then again, it might not. Let me think out loud as the the intent I am thinking. I have been to other "non backpacking" sites for other outdoor pursuits. At one site, the price of admission (or gear you have to buy) is very steep, and this discourages newbies from participating. So, they have a "beginners setup" for a very good price (maybe half of the average minimum). The idea is to make entry much cheaper with the intent to buy better later when you decide you like it. On the other thread phat started (and which was subsequently hijacked) phat showed a $250 beginner kit. I thought "Wow, what about $200". For a parent with a new 12 year old, $200 is pretty steep. Especially if they don't know how long he will hang with it. It might not be steep for a newbie adult, but we could say "hey try this setup, if you like it, there is a better way, if not, you are only out $200". The problem with making a list like this, is location specific gear. Could we just hit the extremes? It might rain like in the PNW, or be dry like here in Utah. Daytime highs in the 100's and nighttime lows in the 20's. Maybe even throw in 100% humidity like in Houston.

Back to Philmont. I know that they have rules. And, they give you equipment if you want it. But most troops practice before they go, and so they have to bring their own stuff on the weekend, two night, overnights. This is why I didn't say "no tarps or hammocks". What are you going to use to practice before Philmont? It is also hard to figure personal gear when you don't know crew gear. So think of this as a solo trip with a group, BYOE (Bring Your Own Everything) but safety in numbers. There are things I like about scouting, and things I don't. I think we should follow JAK in "Let's talk about equipping scouts the way they could be and should be." So, let's just define a scout as a 12-18 year old boy who is going to grow and wants to go backpacking with his friends and a knowledgeable, responsible, adult.

To sum it up, I think we have had a great discussion, and I would hate to end it on a technicality. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
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#107472 - 12/06/08 10:56 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: Tango61]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
Quote:
Heck, I was sheltering fellow hikers who had obviously learned from boy scouts to carry a giant tent


Why? Did they say something to lead you to believe that? Maybe they "learned" it all on their very own!

Why do you make assumptions and generalizations that ALL Scouts don't know anything about light weight backpacking?


Based on my own experience in scouts, and every overpacked mob of scouts I pass on trails (If *I* hike faster than you, you're carrying way too much!), However, you're very correct, I am overgeneralizing - mea culpa. For that I apologize. I presume there are some troops who can do a better job - definately sounds like from your posts that you are taking the crew you are working with in the right direction.
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#107473 - 12/07/08 12:12 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: finallyME]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:

The purpose of this "challenge" isn't to actually take a troop to Philmont. Been there, done that. Philmont is used because we all say that we pick equipment for the climate. Alot of us know the Philmont climate. Well, I assumed so. Maybe I am wrong. But, it seemed like a good area because we are targeting scouts AND adult newbies. I thought about just saying 3 season alpine, but I thought that was too vague. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> Would ANY 3 season location work? phat, how cold are your summers?


Those pics in my previous post were from mid July in the northern rockies. When I hit the mountains I basically have to be prepared for the temperature range you described - up to 25C or so in the day
and -5C at night.

Quote:

On the other thread phat started (and which was subsequently hijacked) phat showed a $250 beginner kit. I thought "Wow, what about $200". For a parent with a new 12 year old, $200 is pretty steep. Especially if they don't know how long he will hang with it. It might not be steep for a newbie adult, but we could say "hey try this setup, if you like it, there is a better way, if not, you are only out $200". The problem with making a list like this, is location specific gear. Could we just hit the extremes? It might rain like in the PNW, or be dry like here in Utah. Daytime highs in the 100's and nighttime lows in the 20's. Maybe even throw in 100% humidity like in Houston.


I don't think it's that location specific. There's an awful wide range of backpacking you can do with that
kind of stuff. You need more water capacity in complete desert, and a hammock doens't work so good with
no trees.

I do think a lot of DIY is not necessarily the best for a beginner. A scout troop perhaps, as some can be
done as a project at a meeting, but a regular beginner who doesn't have the bug like us freaks is not necessarily going to invest the time in the bigger kind of DIY projects, so while a stove is maybe ok,
thinks like Rock's backpack or a quilt project. - while very good money savers take some time and
may not be something a beginner will want to invest the time into.
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#107474 - 12/07/08 06:28 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: BpackerDon]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Quote:
NO tarps or bivys or hammocks for sleeping. For reasons regarding bears, Philmont REQUIRES a TENT for sleeping. They will, however, require a tarp to be set up for use as a rain fly to protect your packs, which are NOT allowed in the tents.


Someone explane to me what makes a tent more protection from bears than other sleeping setups?
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#107475 - 12/07/08 06:31 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: chaz]
Folkalist Offline
member

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 374
Loc: Fredericksburg, VA
I don't think bears have opposable thumbs. Can't work the zipper. Takes a few seconds longer for them to rip through the sides. Obviously, the camper can work the zipper and escape in those few seconds. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Sorry, too much caffiene this morning . . .
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#107476 - 12/07/08 06:33 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: JAK]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Lets just forget about Philmont and Boy Scouts of America and start over.
Let's talk about equipping scouts the way they could be and should be.

Totally agree. They can learn hardship when and if they ever join the service.
Teach em lightweight. And yes popcan stoves, alcy fuel, hammocks etc.......
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#107477 - 12/07/08 07:17 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: chaz]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Cudos to BPackerDon and Tango61 for their work in scouting.
Cudos for finallyME for the rules clarification.

$200, 20 pounds, 20degF, 12-18 years old.

So here again is my list. I'll be working on getting my daughter outfitted this way this winter. She is guides now, but I am hoping to keeping hiking and skiing with her in parallel with what she is doing in Guides, in a complementary way. Her troop doesn't do alot of outdoors stuff, but they do alot of other great stuff and it's enough for me that they are keeping the girls interested in outdoors activities including hiking and camping.

So this is what I'm currently working on.

Clothing:
Homemade Ankle Moccassins
Felt insoles
Thin Wool socks
Thick Wool socks
Long underwear bottoms
Light nylon rain bottoms
200wt fleece pants
Long underwear top
hand knit wool sweater (200wt fleece sweater until they get merit badge for knitting)
Light nylon rain top
wool mitts
wool hat
wool neck tube that can cover ears/nose/mouth/neck
troop uniform hat

Gear:
Homemade Triangular Wooden Ítzi the Iceman pack-frame
Large Nylon Stuff Sack for Pack (some kids just use their tarp)
Cord, pegs for tieing pack to frame, and for pitching their puptent
Blue foam sleeping pad
3 pound homemade bedroll (my kids like to call it a bedroll)
Sylnylon Tarp, with velcro seam, for 1/2 of puptent shared with buddy
Wooden Hiking staff - for pitching half of puptent, and striking cool poses
map
compass/whistle/thermometer
knife
matches or flint kit
buddy burner or hobo stove
stainless mug
stainless spoon (my kids ain't no gram weenies)
food for 3 days
water canteen
firstaid/repair kit
other stuff their scoutmaster forgot but they didn't

Special Winter Gear:
cross country skis/boots/poles, or homemade snow shoes
Her cross country ski gear alone will be $200, but I guess that's extra.

Some of the clothes she already has probably add up also, but its pretty rare that places have the right stuff in her size. Most was on sale though. I am fairly happy with the light nylon raingear from L.L.Beans. It's double what it needs to be but alot lighter than the other stuff they and other places carry for rain and snow. This is the rain gear she carries on hikes as rain, wind, snow layer. It reasonably packable, and spends most of the time there. She has a really nice Alpaca wool sweater with hood and stomach pouch, which is her main layer this winter. It was expensive, can't remember how much, but it cost less that the heavy winter jackets most places would try and sell, and its alot warmer and lighter and less encumbering. So she wears wool sweater and fleece pants, like her old man. Working on the other stuff. Her non-clothing stuff will be under $200 for sure though, except for the cross-country skis. Hey, maybe Santa will bring those. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

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#107478 - 12/07/08 07:36 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: chaz]
Bearpaw Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 1732
Loc: Tennessee
Quote:
Quote:
NO tarps or bivys or hammocks for sleeping. For reasons regarding bears, Philmont REQUIRES a TENT for sleeping. They will, however, require a tarp to be set up for use as a rain fly to protect your packs, which are NOT allowed in the tents.


Someone explane to me what makes a tent more protection from bears than other sleeping setups?


The issue is based off a study from several years of North American Bear Attacks. Statistically speaking, from the reported episodes of bears attacking sleepers, those in a tent are somewhat less likely to be attacked than those under a tarp or out in the open.

Whether food or unfamiliar odors played a part aren't factored in. But Philmont puts on a hard press for scouts to control those odors in any case. The findings are enough that Philmont errs on the side of caution.

On NOLS courses in the Absarokas, (Grizzly kingdom of the lower 48), we were also required to sleep only in tents for this same reason. NOLS has had only one bear attack on a sleeping human since the school opened in 1965. It was 2003 in Utah, on a young man sleeping in the open. (Who BTW had freshly salted dreadlocks...)
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#107479 - 12/07/08 10:01 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: Bearpaw]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:

The issue is based off a study from several years of North American Bear Attacks. Statistically speaking, from the reported episodes of bears attacking sleepers, those in a tent are somewhat less likely to be attacked than those under a tarp or out in the open.

Whether food or unfamiliar odors played a part aren't factored in


Sigh. gotta love psuedoscience via one factor statistics. the same sort of "science" that used to be used to tell us coloured people were dumber than whites because of test scores.. While I imagine it depends a great deal on the bears, I'd love to see similar statistics for how many people rigged a tarp over a cooking area then slept under it - because the weather was so fine.. exactly the way I see tarps used in many camps.
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#107480 - 12/07/08 10:26 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: phat]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
For an adult with a very small child, like when I hike with Margaret, up to 50 pounds and 48" tall say, I think it is comforting for both her and myself to have a tent because I know she is not going anywhere without me knowing about it. I wonder also, in the case of non-predatory Black Bears as we have here in New Brunswick, if even a friendly Black Bear nosing about might find a small child sleeping under a tarp just a little too tempting. We have lots of bears here, like 1 per 2 square miles, and no recorded fatalities in New Brunswick, which I still find hard to believe, but we don't have alot of statistics on small children sleeping in remote areas under tarps. So until she is bigger I have opted for a tent with me in it with her. Now she is getting big enough, I think, for being under a tarp next to me. We'll see what she thinks. Safe enough in winter though, with bears asleep. There are still Eastern Coyotes, which you never know when you hear them whether they might be coy dogs or feral dogs. Anyhow, generally speaking for across North America I think for scouts 2 man pup tents open on each end or perhaps with flaps should be just fine, as you could always put them in a tight formation and post sentries, and all the usual precautions regarding bears and food. Good way to build some character. Get them realizing at a young age that the risks are small, but real, but manageable. Now I can't speak for out west, or even up in Ontario and Quebec, but I don't see much difference between 2 man tents and 2 man tarps.


I think there would be a great benefit to Scouts however, if they all went back to a tradition of hiking with homemade hiking staves, and using them to pitch a tarp with their buddy, that required them to cut some jute twine with their knives and and tie a few knots and stake out the four corners out and the 2 ends just so. Even bears would have to show some respect for a well turned out hootchie. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />



Maybe each half could have a hood also, but they would still need rain gear. I just recall there was a way to sit back to back with these tarps to stop in heavy rain for a meal in these type of tarps without pitching them.

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#107481 - 12/07/08 11:33 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: finallyME]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Ok, in the spirit, though not within the rules and kind of for
comparison, what about the weekend type lightweight trip, temps
above freezing, but NO DIY, No internet purchases, just have to buy
it. what if you just had to walk into the box store and buy it all -
relatively light, and keeping the cost down.

Here's what I got on the "walk into MEC" and gear thyself bit. Since this is already outside
the original scope, weights are in grams, and prices in canadian dollars <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

---------------

MEC Alpinelite 30 pack
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detai...D=1228674615562
680 grams $54

Mec down barrel bag
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detai...D=1228674862789
1200 grams $114

blue foam pad (2 for hammock use)
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detai...D=1228674985708
440 grams $25.00

Hennesey Hammock
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detai...D=1228675197541
1200 grams $139

GSI solo cookset
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detai...D=1228675531470
269 grams $26

MSR pocket rocket
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detai...D=1228675550619
85 grams $38

Lexan spoon (not online, but they're in store)
10 gram $0.50

Opinel knife
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detai...D=1228675807298
36 grams $14.75

Petzl E-lite
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detai...845524442621007
27 grams $26.00

Water purification
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detai...D=1228675985481
17 grams $8.75

First Aid
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detai...D=1228676090680
85 grams $7.25

--------------------

4049 grams $453.25

+ 2 pop bottles for water.
+ clothing
+ runners/hikingshoes/boots
+ food + water + fuel
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#107482 - 12/07/08 11:43 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: phat]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Good stuff phat. Still very light, and not too extravangant. I like the doubling up of the blue foam pads. Lets them carry a big pack and still be light. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I gotta try the hammock thing some day. Maybe hoist the daughter up out of boy scout reach when she gets a little older. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

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#107483 - 12/07/08 01:15 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: JAK]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Actually that's a very small pack - 30 litres - I know it works with that gear though, because I've carried basically the same.

the second blue pad actually gets hacked in half to make a pad that's cross shaped with the arms of the cross around your butt an love handles in the hammock for warmth.. Both roll up and are carried on the outside of that pack, strapped vertically.

You could of course, spend more, and get a bigger, and heavier, pack at MEC - but I've done up to 5 night
outings with that one.
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#107484 - 12/07/08 04:29 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: finallyME]
verber Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/04
Posts: 269
Loc: SF Bay Area, CA
I don't have time right now to put together a list. In the past, I have been doing this with adult who had a bit more budget. There have been similar challenges in the past, though most were shooting for lighter weight, and weren't saddled with Philmont restrictions (like must bring a tent rather than a tarp). I collected a few notes on a page about backpacking for cheap.

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#107485 - 12/08/08 07:31 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: verber]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Mark,

I generally refer people to your webb site. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

I did a spreadsheet on a similar challenge long ago, but it is difficult to keep updated. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

I lost interest in this thread when the Philmont rules were added. I need a better reason than "rules" to leave my hammock and alcohol stove behind.

Thank you for keeping your site updated. I know how much work it is and I appreciate it.
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#107486 - 12/08/08 10:20 AM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: phat]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I tried to do what you did phat, except I picked Walmart. Well, I failed miserably. If I looked online for it, all the good stuff said "not sold in stores". So, I opted for the online version. Here is my first attempt.

Pack
OP Pinnacle from Campmor
This weighs 3.5 lbs and is $60 not on sale.

Sleeping Bag
Marmot Tresle 15F
This one is $80 and 3.5 lbs.

Shelter
Plastic tarp
The price for this is $6.99 and it is 9X11 ft tarp. It showed the shipping weight to be 2.5 lbs. I am guessing that the actual weight is half. Buy two, one for tarp and one for ground cloth.

Pad
Blue foam pad
This one is 8 oz and $10.99

Rain protection
Nylon poncho
This is 1 lb and $35.

With these, I am at $189.97 and 11.3 lbs. I still need cook kit with stove, water bottles, clothes, shoes. By using a super cat stove, a beer can pot, used soda bottles, and a spoon from McD's, those are all free. I don't have weights for them yet, though. Can you get clothes and shoes for $10 and under 7 lbs? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />
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#107487 - 12/08/08 12:31 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: finallyME]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:

Shelter
Plastic tarp
The price for this is $6.99 and it is 9X11 ft tarp. It showed the shipping weight to be 2.5 lbs. I am guessing that the actual weight is half. Buy two, one for tarp and one for ground cloth.


blue tarps are heavier than you think - mine of this size weigh about a kilo - so that's pretty
close. although I know there are different "grades" of them - some made of heavier materiel than others.


Quote:
you get clothes and shoes for $10 and under 7 lbs? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />


At least with kids, I think a trip through the average kids' dresser would probably reveal at least 50% of what would be suitable to bring (sometimes closer to 90). I also think any
"beginner" can be begun with good socks and their regular running shoes. After that they can buy a dedicated "trail runner" or boot. Yes it means the "beginner" trip should probably
be on-trail enough so that doing it in runners is ok for a newbie. but that covers a lot of trail hiking. Yes some will need to buy a shoe. I know I *have* picked up light hiking boots for my kid at the thrift store for $10 before, so it's possible, but likely not something to consistently count on - in availablility or quantity - whereas finding fleece, windbreakers,
and nylon clothing in normal size at such places is usually pretty easy as long as you don't
care about brand names - (although I know I've seen patagucci clothing in the thrift store!)

I used to regularly take my kids there before hunting season, and buy 'em a couple of layers
that fit them each year. Cheap enough I didn't have to worry about it and they only wore
it hunting.
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#107488 - 12/08/08 08:01 PM Re: $200 and 20lb challenge [Re: phat]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6391
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Interesting discussion, and an excellent idea! Would it perhaps be a good idea to cross-reference this thread in the Beginners' section?

For more ideas, there are some articles, gear lists and forum posts on BackpackingLight about items for Scouts, specifically geared to Philmont. Fortunately, these are all free to non-BPL members. These are referenced on Mark Verber's website, which also lists inexpensive possibilities for each gear item in his "preferred gear" section.

There's also an interesting "ultralight, ultracheap" gear list on the Gossamer Gear website, in their gear list section. I suspect this is several years old, so the prices will need updating.

It is quite possible to get nearly all one's clothing, and a number of gear items, from thrift stores for next to nothing. It may take a number of visits, though.
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