Christmas list for new Scouts, Webelos..
Robert S Nix (bnix@JUNO.COM)
Tue, 18 Nov 1997 22:06:11 -0500
To Scouts-la, Scouts-UMM, other friends:
I put the following list together a year ago, and refined it this year.
I hope that some of you might find it useful, and might consider printing
it for your Scouts, Webelos, and parents. If you format it carefully,
you can print this list on one pagem front and back. Replace my stores
with your stores. The winter portion of the list is good to perhaps 15
degrees; you will need to adjust the clothing and gear for colder
weather. I name names; my experience is by no means complete; but the
gear I recommend is gear I have used.
Hope this helps,
YIS, Bob Nix ..ustaBabeaver.. firstname.lastname@example.org
..twice as effective as a placebo..
CC, Pack 316; COR, ASM, Troop 316
Mt. Pisgah UMC, Greensboro, NC
..The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well..
Ideas for a Boy Scout Christmas Shopping List, by Bob Nix 11/97. All
My Opinions. Prices are Estimated.
Note: All gear will receive HARD wear and use, and is subject to
immediate loss. Buy good stuff (not great stuff). Between 10 and 15,
your son will grow about 1 foot and gain 40 lb. Be aware of this change
when considering boots, clothes, sleeping bag, backpack sizes. Many of
the items you purchase initially will not last more than 18 months
because of growth, attrition, and use.. Assume that any item taken
camping will be dropped more than five feet onto a hard surface and
stepped on once per trip.
This list will suffice for most events up to bigger backpacking and COLD
-Pocket knife, whetstone $15+ Swiss Army with can opener; Gerber;
Shrade, Buck are all good.
-First aid kit, homemade; in a zip lock bag the size of the back pocket
on a pair of scout pants $5+
- Flashlight. My preference is a 2-cell AA Maglite; indestructible, but
easily lost, $10; Petzl headlite, $40; Snakelight, $20 is excellent,
versatile, but heavy..
- Clean-up kit. Toothbrush, paste, soap (liquid biodegradable is best),
1/2 roll toilet paper in ziplock bag, small towel (big towel for swimming
trips) $10+. 3-5 bandannas.
- Compass $6. Scout compass is adequate.
- Nylon or parachute cord, 50 ft., 3/16" or 1/4"
- Camp shovel, like small gardening scoop, but strong. $10. Metal
preferred; works with hot charcoal.
- Plate, cup, fork, spoon, plastic cereal bowl. Stainless, aluminum,
lexan. Plastic stuff breaks, encourages disposal rather than
conservation. Plastic reusable cereal bowl. Many meals can be eaten
using only a spoon and an 18 oz. stainless cup, reducing cleanup. 1
quart pot. No-stick skillet, SMALL ($18), with folding handle. Measuring
cup. Nylon scouring pad. $20+. Paint the handles of every item an ugly
color for identification after patrol cleanup.
- Folding backpack saw, spare blade. Lightweight. $10-$15
- Small hatchet with cover; flat metal file with handgrip; leather
- Engraver; permanent pens; paint pens; put your name on EVERYTHING
--- bigger $ items----
- Backpack. Consider the Scout's size; then buy the biggest pack which
fits. $50 - $75 for the first one. 3-4 lb. weight is good. Figure
$150+ for the lifetime backpack. Borrow and swap several before purchase.
- Sleeping bag. 30+ degree bag initially ($50); later, allow for a 15
degree bag ($100). We camp perhaps four times per year in weather below
30 degrees; perhaps more in the future. Total bag weight of 3 lb. is
excellent; 5 lb. is heavy. Don't consider the weight of the insulation
in the bag; consider the total weight and the temperature capability.
Slumberjack, Cat's paw. Frequently on sale at 30% off; but hunting
required. Fleece liner will add 10-15 degrees of protection.
- Foam mattress. Army closed cell foam pad, Army Surplus, $5; next a
Ridge Rest (softer closed cell foam pad), $25, or ThermaRest
self-inflating mattress, $50+. For year-round usage, purchase full
length, not 3/4 length, mat.
- Rain gear - nylon waterproof jacket, headgear, and pants (poncho might
be adequate) $40+. No Gore-tex until your Scout takes care of clothes;
even then, expect damage. With a poncho, a windbreaker is required.
Waterproof boots and nylon gear with CampDry spray (Wal-Mart, $4).
- Boots. Buy your socks first; the shoe has to fit the sock. Until your
Scout stops growing, Wal-Mart has the best deal on boots. Buy boots in
the $25-$40 price range. The Coleman boots wear out pretty fast, but are
cheap, comfortable, do the job. Once you are looking for adult sizes,
long-term, the sky is the limit. I own Dexters, about $80, walked 85
miles in 10 days, got one sore spot. You can add insulation, Gore-Tex,
Thinsulite, and spend over $200. Mine work just fine. Rockport Goretex
hightops are available ($100). Shop around.
- Use a thin sock liner. Silk is best; $8 / pair. Nylon (your
grandfather's thin white nylon Sunday socks) are very good, about $2
/pair at Wal-mart. Try the silk; you may never go back.
- Heavier synthetic socks. Avoid cotton; too much moisture retention.
Thorlo hiking, trekking, or coolmax are all good. Wool OK, doesn't dry
quickly. Buy one pair and test. $6-9/ pair.
- White gas: MSR builds (arguably) the best. The $58 multi-fuel stove
will cover almost any need. Ignore the stoves with a tank and a burner
in one complete unit; too bulky, clumsy; can't use a wind screen. White
gas is available across the U.S. Use only Coleman fuel; gasoline will
smoke up your pots and may have some bad chemicals for food.
- Butane/propane: butane/propane works great; packs very small; the fuel
is expensive. People who have them like them. Perhaps $35 plus fuel.
Several good brands. Fuel not available in all areas. Reduced
performance in cold weather or high altitude.
- Camp stove. White gas: Coleman dual burner. $40 - $60 Propane dual
burner: Coleman. $50
Tent. Groundcloth is essential; use plastic; a tarp is porous. I
recommend a shower curtain, $5.
- Wal-Mart 2-man A-frame, $25, is almost unacceptable; it misses almost
every feature listed below.
- Recommended starter tent: dome, fiberglass shockcord poles, about
7'x7', probably $70-$100, 6+ lb.
- Need a rain fly over the entire tent. Expect leaks; practice with a
water hose at home; purchase and use waterproofing BEFORE you travel.
Liquid Paint-on type is best; Camp-Dry spray is good.
- Vestibule is valuable to keep boots and gear dry and outside the tent
- Absolute minimum floorspace is 15 ft2 per person; and at this minimum,
someone will be touching the side of the tent. Self-supporting tents are
probably better than those requiring stakes for support. Note that tent
stakes don't hold a tent up; they hold it down in high wind.
- Assemble the tent in the store prior to buying; evaluate complexity.
The tent will be regularly assembled in the dark. Easier is better. So
- Thin anodized aluminum shockcord poles are best; followed by fiberglass
shockcord; followed by rigid pole (based upon weight, long-term quality
- Expect $160+ for a backpacking 2-man tent which exceeds the minimums
- Kelty, North Face, Walrus, Sierra Designs build top of the line gear;
Eureka covers the entire market.
- Weight under 5 lb. is excellent; under 6 lb. is good.
Where to go:
- Jumbo Sports, Airport road parallel to I-40 close to US68. No discounts
for Scouts. Boy Scout equipment dealer; knowledgeable staff.
- Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, Friendly Shopping Center. Knowledgeable
staff. 20%(?) off for Scouting if you ask. Two sales per year, 20% off;
get on the mailing list.
- Appalachian Outfitters, Battleground at Fleet Plumber. Knowledgeable
staff. 10% off for Scouting if you ask. At least one sale per year, 20%
off; may have a mailing list.
- Sports Authority. Lower (generally adequate) quality, no trained
- Camp-Mor. Mail order. 1-800-230-2151 for catalog. http://www.
- Hills and Trails, Winston Salem. First rate sales force, Scouting
supplier, discounts to Scouts (I think); Boy Scout dealer; real class
- Diamond Brand Outlet, Hendersonville, I-77 South perhaps 15 miles out
of Asheville. Good prices; Boy Scout dealer; knowledgeable staff.
- REI, Inc. 1-800-426-4840 for catalog; store in Cary @ Crossroads. High
- Mast General Store, Boone, Waynesville, & Valle Crucis. Knowledgeable
Winter gear: Fleece pullover / jacket, 10 degree bag, Gore-Tex pants &
jacket; gloves; glove liners; silk / synthetic briefs / boxers /
t-shirts; earmuffs / ear wraps / toboggan, ThermaRest mat
Misc: backpack cover; folding chair; dutch oven; folding oven;
firestarter; trail food; first aid / CPR education; American Flag; new
uniform; remember your Scoutmaster in your shopping.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City