Wish List - Christmas, birthday - for parents and youth
Bob Nix (boomerang@MINDSPRING.COM)
Tue, 15 Sep 1998 23:17:28 -0400
To Scouts-L, Scouts-UMM: I generated the following list about 4 year=
update it a little every year, give it to parents of 1st ans 2nd year
Webelos, and first/second year Scouts, at about Thanksgiving as a sta=
rt on a
Christmas shopping list. For those not Christian, pick an appropriat=
Hope you find it useful; if not, the delete key works. Adjust the lo=
companies, add your biases, add your name, reformat to fit on one pag=
and back, send it out. Enjoy. Every time I hand this list out, I ge=
Ideas for a Boy Scout Christmas Shopping List, by Bob Nix 11/97. A=
Opinions. Prices are Estimated.
Note: All gear will receive HARD wear and use, and is subject to imm=
loss. Buy good stuff (not great stuff). Between 10 and 15, your son=
grow about 1 foot and gain 40 lb. Be aware of this change when consi=
boots, clothes, sleeping bag, backpack sizes. Many of the items you
purchase initially will not last more than 18 months because of growt=
attrition, and use.. Assume that any item taken camping will be drop=
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 w=
-Pocket knife, whetstone $15+=85 Swiss Army with can opener; Gerber;=
are all good.
-First aid kit, homemade; in a zip lock bag the size of the back pock=
et on a
pair of scout pants $5+
- Flashlight. My preference is a 2-cell AA Maglite; indestructible, b=
easily lost, $10; Petzl headlite, $40; Snakelight, $20 is excellent=
versatile, but heavy..
- Clean-up kit. Toothbrush, paste, soap (liquid biodegradable is bes=
roll toilet paper in ziplock bag, small towel (big towel for swimming=
$10+. 3-5 bandanas.
- Compass $6. Scout compass is adequate.
- Nylon or parachute cord, 50 ft., 3/16=94 or 1/4=94 - should support=
- Camp shovel, like small gardening scoop, but strong. $10. Metal
preferred; for with hot charcoal and hard clay.
- Plate, cup, fork, spoon, bowl. Stainless, aluminum, lexan. Chea=
plastic stuff breaks, encourages disposal rather than conservation. =
reusable cereal bowl. Many meals can be eaten using only a spoon and=
oz. stainless cup, reducing cleanup. 1 quart pot. No-stick skillet,=
($18), with folding handle. Measuring cup. Nylon scouring pad. $20+=
the handles of every item an ugly color for easy identification after=
- Folding backpack saw, spare blade. Lightweight. $10-$15
- Small hatchet with cover; flat metal file with handgrip; leather gl=
- Engraver; permanent pens; paint pens; put your name on EVERYTHING
--- bigger $ items----
- Backpack. Consider the Scout=92s size; then buy the biggest pack w=
fits. $50 - $75 for the first one. 3-4 lb. weight is good. Figure =
for the lifetime backpack. Borrow and swap several before purchase.
- Sleeping bag. 30+ degree bag ($50); later, allow for a 15 degree b=
($100). We camp perhaps four times per year in weather below 30 degr=
perhaps more in the future. Total bag weight of 3 lb. is excellent; =
is heavy. Don=92t consider the weight of the insulation in the bag; =
the total weight and the temperature capability. Slumberjack, Cat=
Frequently on sale at 30% off; but hunting required.
- Foam mattress. Army closed cell foam pad, Army Surplus, $5; next a=
Rest (softer closed cell foam pad), $25, or ThermaRest self-inflating
mattress, $50+. For year-round usage, purchase full length, not 3/4 =
- Rain gear - nylon waterproof jacket, headgear, and pants (poncho mi=
adequate) $40+. No Gore-tex until your Scout takes care of cloth=
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 =
Scout stops growing, Wal-Mart has the best deal on boots. Buy boots =
$25-$40 price range. The Coleman boots wear out pretty fast, but are=
comfortable, do the job. Once you are looking for adult sizes, long-=
the sky is the limit. I own Dexters, about $80, walked 85 miles in 1=
got one sore spot. You can add insulation, Gore-Tex, Thinsulite, and=
over $200. Mine work just fine. Rockport Goretex hightops are avail=
- Use a thin sock liner. Silk is best; $8 / pair. Nylon (your grand=
s thin white nylon Sunday socks) are OK, about $2 /pair at Wal-mart. =
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=
quickly. Buy one pair and test. $6-9/ pair.
- White gas: MSR builds (arguably) the best. The $58 multi-fuel stov=
cover almost any need. Ignore the stoves with a tank and a burner in=
complete unit; too big, heavy, clumsy; can=92t use a wind screen. Wh=
is available across the U.S. Use only Coleman fuel; gasoline will sm=
your pots and may have some bad chemicals for food.
- Butane/propane: Coleman Peak 1 butane/propane works great; packs ve=
small; the fuel is expensive. People who have them like them. Perha=
plus fuel. Several other good brands. Fuel not available in all are=
Reduced performance in cold weather or high altitude.
- Camp stove. White gas: Coleman dual burner. $40 - $60 Propane dua=
burner: Coleman. $50
Tent. Groundcloth is essential; use plastic; a tarp is porous. I rec=
a shower curtain.
- Wal-Mart 2-man A-frame, $25, is almost unacceptable; it misses almo=
every feature listed below.
- Recommended starter tent:dome, fiberglass shockcord poles, about 7=
probably $70-$100, 6+ lb.
- Need a rain fly over the entire tent. Expect leaks; practice with =
hose at home; purchase and use waterproofing BEFORE you travel. Liqu=
Paint-on type is best; Camp-Dry spray is good.
- Vestibule is valuable to keep boots and gear dry and outside the te=
- Absolute minimum floorspace is 15sqft / person; and at this minimum=
someone will be touching the side of the tent. Self-supporting tents=
probably better than those requiring stakes for support. Note that t=
stakes don=92t hold a tent up; they hold it down in high wind.
- Assemble the tent in the store prior to buying; get in, lay down, s=
out, sit up, evaluate complexity. The tent will be regularly assembl=
the dark. Easier is better. So is practice.
- Thin annodized aluminum shockcord poles are best; followed by fiber=
shockcord; followed by rigid pole (based upon weight, long-term quali=
- Expect $160+ for a backpacking 2-man tent which exceeds the minimum=
for 30-40% sales.
- Kelty, North Face, Walrus, Sierra Designs build top of the line gea=
Eureka covers the entire market.
- Weight under 5 lb. and 35sqft. is excellent; under 6 lb. is good.
Where to go:
- Jumbo Sports, Airport road parallel to I-40 close to US68. No disco=
for Scouts. Boy Scout equipment dealer; knowledgeable staff.
- Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, Friendly Shopping Center. Knowledgeable=
20%(?) off for Scouting if you ask. Two sales per year, 20% off; get=
- Appalachian Outfitters, Battleground at Fleet Plumber. Knowledgeab=
staff. 10% off for Scouting if you ask. At least one sale per year,=
off; may have a mailing list. Going out of business.
- Sports Authority. Lower (generally adequate) quality, no trained s=
- Camp-Mor. Mail order. 1-800-230-2151 for catalog. http://www.campm=
- 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 o=
Asheville. Good prices; Boy Scout dealer; knowledgeable staff.
- REI, Inc. 1-800-426-4840 for catalog; store in Cary @ Crossroads. =
- Mast General Store, Boone, Waynesville, & Valle Crucis. Knowledge=
Winter gear: Fleece pullover / jacket, 10 degree bag, Gore-Tex pants =
jacket; gloves; glove liners; silk / synthetic briefs / boxers / t-sh=
earmuffs / ear wraps / toboggan, ThermaRest mat
Misc: backpack cover; folding chair; dutch oven; folding oven; fires=
trail food; first aid / CPR education; American Flag; new uniform; re=
your Scoutmaster in your shopping.
BobNix, Troop chaplain, Troop 316, Greensboro, NC, ..ustababeaver.. S=
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City