The Equipment of Scouting
The very first thing a new scout must do is to secure his Class “A” uniform and his scouting handbook. These items can be found at either of our local scout shops – Broad Creek Memorial Scout Reservation 1929 Susquehanna Hall Rd. Whiteford, MD 21160 (410) 452-8155 or Baltimore Scout Shop 800 Wyman Park Dr. Baltimore, MD 21211 (410) 338-0144 or you can order online at http://www.scoutstuff.org. The scouting essentials include:
- Handbook & Fieldbook
- Requirements Book
- Council Shoulder Patch
- Unit Numerals
- Shirt (long or short-sleeve)
- Patrol Emblem
- Shoulder Loops
There is also a Class “B” uniform that Troop 809 uses and Troop 809 periodically places orders for “troopwear” suitable as part of a class “B” uniform. The troop expects all scouts to travel to campouts/excursions wearing a class “B” uniform consisting of a red shirt and a pair of neat green or beige pants. It is very helpful all of us to be able to pick our scouts out of a crowd by scanning for the red apparel. (If you do not have a troop shirt, please wear a red shirt close to the troop shirt color.) Please contact our Troopwear chairperson for information/availability of troopwear products.
The next order of business is to secure the items you will need for camping out with Troop 809.
The first item you need is a “mess kit”. A standard BSA aluminum mess kit includes 1-7″ Frying pan with steel folding handle, 1-3/4 quart pot with lid, 1-7″ plate, 1-8 oz plastic mug in a mesh carrying bag. Additionally a scout should have a “spork” or knife/spoon/fork combo in their kit. The plate, mug, spork, knife/spoon/fork are all essential – the Troop has pots and pans in each patrol box. However, you may appreciate having your own pot and pan to heat-up a small quantity of water for a hot-chocolate or to make a quick grilled cheese sandwich.
Next, you will need a sleeping bag. We recommend that at a minimum your sleeping bag be rated for temperatures to 30 degrees. Synthetic fill bags are generally recommended since they do not readily absorb water, dry faster and can provide some warmth even should they become thoroughly soaked. The particular style and size should be to your liking. Further, we recommend a “ground pad” or “sleeping pad” to provide cushioning and, more importantly, additional thermal protection from the ground. Prices can vary greatly on these products and you may want to consult with the scoutmaster and other scouts to find out which products have performed well for our scouts in the past.
One other clothing item you will need, and one that should always be packed when camping, regardless of the weather forecast is a rainsuit! Scout activities proceed rain or shine and the Troop has gone on more than one campout where we were rained upon even though the forecast said there was no chance of rain. So make certain you have a rain suit that fits and allows you to be active even if it does rain.
You may also want to carry a flashlight or headlamp with you to help locate items in your tent at night.
About the only other thing you really have to be concerned about is a duffel bag/gym bag for your clothes. Anything that can hold your clothes and personal hygiene supplies will work just fine. You may want to place your clothes in “zip-lock” bags to further to protect them from the elements should your bag not be waterproof but that is entirely up to you. All I can say is that there is nothing I look forward to more than a dry, warm change of clothes while on a campout and nothing I hate more than having nothing but cold wet clothes left to wear!
And that is all you really need to have for your adventures in scouting! Through the continued fundraising efforts of Troop 809 we have tents, cooking equipment, camp lanterns, fuel and just about everything else a scout needs for a campout and we are always upgrading and replacing equipment as necessary.
We suggest that you begin your scouting journey and take advantage of the equipment we have for your use before you even begin to explore the possibility of getting more “personal gear”. Some scouts may choose to have their own tent or lantern but that is more of the exception than the rule.