Captain Jack (cj123@TCONL.COM)
Sat, 20 Jun 1998 19:02:01 -0500
First a quick favor to ask the list. I need the benefit of wisdom and
experience on an issue, mainly to insure that I have looked at my question
from as many sides as possible. I am the ASM for a new Troop which has
been meeting for about 4 months. Our SM has been a Scouter going on 25
years. Between us wee have extensive camping and backpacking experience.
Heres the dilemma. We do not agree on the best approach to what tents to
acquire for the Troop, short term and long term. I do not mean specific
brand or model, but rather the type of tent.
At present we have six new scouts age 11, and two more experienced Scouts.
If all goes well, we will double or more in size by next years cross-over.
We are currently using personal or borrowed gear for outings, and have one
large "family size" tent which was donated.
Our SM thinks we should plan for and acquire top of the line 3-season tents
of size and weight suitable for all applications, including backpacking. At
a minimum of $200 and realistically probably $300 per tent, ie per two
boys, that would be about $2500-$3000 or more to outfit the Troop for all
the Scouts we will have next summer.
I suggested we consider the canvas one pole dome tents. At $50-$60 per
tent, we could equip the troop with the funds we currently have. The tents
are durable bordering on indestructible and easy to repair. They will stand
up to what 11 and 12 year olds can dish out, better IMHO, than the high
tech tents with all the mesh and poles, etc. This Troop is not going to be
doing any harcore backpacking in the next two years to the degree that the
5# difference in weight will make a difference. By the time they are, we
should be better financially and able to afford the gear. What is more, I
would submit that for non-hiking outings the canvas tents should be used
even with the better tents available. Now I know the down sides of the
canvas ones, I camped in them for many years as a scout. They are hot in
the summer at least during the day, they increase in weight when wet, and
have to be dried out after outings, things the Troop I was in as a Scout
did pretty religiously the first monday meeting after a weekend outing.
What have other Troops experienced starting out, what has been the
experience of Troops with young scouts in the expensive high tech tents,
and does anyone have other suggestions or considerations?
Thanks in advance for your advice and wisdom.
Dean R. Adams, MD
ASM, Troop 494.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City