Selecting Camping Gear

Rain Gear – Ponchos are generally best. Easy to dry out and can be used as tarps in a pinch to cover gear.

Camp chair – Something to fit your body. Nice to have cover sleeve for storage and carrying ($15)

Hiking boots – A boot that goes over the ankle. The troop will do activities where this type of footwear is required. For scouts I would recommend that shopping done at garage sales or Thrift shoes. Scouts will generally outgrow their boosts every year between the ages of 12 and 16.

TentsSee recommendations below. These apply to general purpose camping. (not applied to backpacking tents). I have long told families that any tent below a MSRP of $140 is a waste of money. The cheap Coleman tents ($30-$60) will have not so kind words to say about them after the first campout under heavy rain. Most of these will not last a year. I have used my Kelty tent ($130) for 8 years and it is just as good now as it was when new. The spring is the best time to find good prices on quality tents. These are marketed just like cars and you get great deals on old model closeouts. Many companies make good quality tents but always consider 2 vestibules with a full rain fly (goes all the way to the ground on all sides). I prefer Kelty tents due to easy set-up and large vestibules. Finally always get a tent size that is +1 on the number of people who will sleep in it. (ie 2 sleepers get a 3 person tent)

Sleeping bag - Actually need 3 different types

Mummy Bag to 0 degrees – best price in the spring (usually 50% off)

Rectangular Bag 45 degrees – Cloth inside for comfort Cheapest at Walmart/Kmart/Target

Fleece Bag (liner) – bumps up the R-factor of any bag and doubles as summer bag. It is also more comfortable if you have a mummy bag with a nylon interior. Can find at K-Mart for around $15

 

Scout Recommendations

Tents - Scouts should have a 3 person tent. This will allow for two scouts room to move around and store some gear. Try to get 2 vestibules so scouts can enter from both sides.

Rick’s Pick – Kelty Gunnison 3.1 simple for scouts to set up, full coverage rain fly and will last for years

 

Ground cloth – Need to protect the bottom of the tent for long life. If you buy certain tents from Campmor they have fitted ones. These are more expensive but will not gather water in the rain like non-fitting tarps

 

Sleeping Pad – Depends on your needs. I used a therm-a-rest self inflating but it was a major pain to get the air out of it to pack up. I have been using therm-a-rest foam for many years for the insulation factor but not always the most comfortable. Recently seen mattresses from Big Agnes that are very impressive without the problem of packing away.

 

Other Tents

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___28104

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___27638

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___27877

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___27909#

Adult Recommendations

Tent – Adults should have a 2 person tent. This will allow for room to move around and store some gear. Try to get 2 vestibules so pack can be stored on one side and entry on the other

Rick’s Pick – Kelty Gunnison 2.1, simple for 1 person to set up with full coverage rain fly.

 

Ground cloth – Need to protect the bottom of the tent for long life. If you buy certain tents from Campmor they have fitted ones. These are more expensive but will not gather water in the rain like non-fitting tarps

 

Sleeping Pad – Depends on your needs. I used a therm-a-rest self inflating but it was a major pain to get the air out of it to pack up. I have been using therm-a-rest foam for many years for the insulation factor but not always the most comfortable. Recently seen mattresses from Big Agnes that are very impressive without the problem of packing after a campout.   

 

Mummy Sleeping bag  note – If the adult is 6’ tall seriously consider getting a 6’6” sleeping bag. I used a 6’ for a couple of years and always felt “tied up” at night. The 6’6” bag allows for comfortable head/foot room. Tossing a hand warmer in the bottom of the bag before climbing in keeps your feet nice and warm.