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Thread: Rucksack packing.

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon.md View Post
    Holdalls are much more convenient in a tent (or indoors) than a large rucksack - sit neatly at the end of their beds and are easier to access the contents. That said our Scouts seem to find it necessary to take everything out of their bags and disperse across the entire groundsheet (with some items finding their way outside the tent).... so it probably doesn't matter what bag they bring.

    In addition to your list I'd add a full size pillow - sleep much better with one compared to a travel pillow or scrunched up jumper. Depending on the bunk arrangements (and other leaders) I might also pack a tent - one thing worse than no pillow is having to share with a snorer - no sleep at all!
    Nope nope nope. No pillow. Nope. Definite no feeling.

    We have no room for pillows, travel pillows maybe, so long as they pack down. I couldn't in good conscience go to any scout camp, indoor or out, and take a pillow. You can use folded up clothes in a pillow case perhaps (might stop the clothes ending up all over the floor, or a towel or your big jacket. I favour folded clothes with my towel on top...

    Maybe in the younger sections, but not for Scouts and up. I'm not saying we should go out of our way to be uncomfortable (I feel a thread digression coming on), but I think we often go out of our way to be too comfortable - and that can be problematic down the line. There is a philosophical question about camping - insofar as, it can be uncomfortable. So the question is - why do it? For me, I don't like to get too comfortable, at it's most simplistic, because I think it makes you soft. But it's more nuanced than that. It's about capability and being seen to be capable - it's also, conversely, about being prepared.

    How far do you take it (probably meandering into silliness at this point), why not pack bed sheets and a duvet?

    I'm definitely being snobbish about it, but there it is. I just think if you're going to embark upon any sort of scouting outdoorsy pursuit, you need to do it properly. We probably all have our own red lines. For context, tonight we're doing feather sticks at scouts for fire lighting. We'll mess around with flint and steel, but I'll be saying to them, if you're packing flint and steel, then you obviously think you might need to light a fire, so why not pack matches, a lighter and some petroleum jelly (say)?

    What I mean is, I'm not a complete Luddite. But there are different ways of being prepared, and sometimes, not always being 100% comfortable, even if you could be, is a valuable lesson to that end.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon.md View Post
    Depending on the bunk arrangements (and other leaders) I might also pack a tent - one thing worse than no pillow is having to share with a snorer - no sleep at all!
    At Lochgoilhead, I decamped out to my van due to another leader snoring. I'm not joking, it was biblical - it was so loud, I felt we were all in danger of being dragged into another dimension because of it. I keep a camp bed in my van, but that's only time I've ever used it, but I was so glad of it. There's nothing quite like the sound of rain on canvas, or on the top of a Vauxhall Movano, as it turned out...

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Nope nope nope. No pillow. Nope. Definite no feeling.

    We have no room for pillows, travel pillows maybe, so long as they pack down. I couldn't in good conscience go to any scout camp, indoor or out, and take a pillow.

    How far do you take it (probably meandering into silliness at this point), why not pack bed sheets and a duvet?
    always bed sheets if camping indoors.. those horrible plastic mattresses? urgh.

    and always a pillow if car camping.

    taken slightly out of context:Some people talk of 'roughing it' in camp. Well, a tenderfoot may find it rough and uncomfortable. But there is no 'roughing it' for an old Scout.

    Then again, comfort on a scout trip isn't always a good idea. I am reading a book at the moment by a leader who bought a Discovery with active corner enhancement and self levelling suspension for a road trip which any fule kno will be bound to go wrong so he's probably keen on roughing it now!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Nope nope nope. No pillow. Nope. Definite no feeling.
    Oh dear, you're quite wrong

    No room? Unlikely, can carry it with you on your seat if needed, stash in your holdall, chuck in the back on top of the other kit, etc..

    Too comfortable? Would you take a foam mat to increase comfort when camping? Would you take a blanket and a sleeping bag? There are lots of choices to be made regarding comfort vs practicality when camping / indooring. Chucking a pillow in isn't a difficult one (the answer is take it).

    Being prepared by ensuring comfort whilst respecting the reason for your trip and the logistical practicalities and working out how to maximise your comfort within those parameters seems an eminently valuable lesson to me

    I mean, I wouldn't take a full size pillow on a lightweight expedition and would accept greater discomfort at night for increased comfort when hiking but on the other hand if staying at a base camp with vehicular access I would say pillows for everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Must admit, it's partial outdoor snobbery when I say rucksacks only. The bag you link to is fine, it's still meant for the purposes of outdoor pursuits. It's waterproof, hard wearing and large.

    Thing is, not all the kid's parents will buy them one, and a rucksack - so it's a compromise situation. (If I could insist they all have a bag like yours, I would, it appeals to my mild selective-OCD around orderliness... Packing a van only with those types of bags... Perfect... And I'm not even joking...)

    It's a really good point about rucksacks having to be fully unpacked to get at things, meaning a fair bit of mess. Last time we were away was to Lochgoilhead, one of the rooms looked like a poltergeist had been in - there were clothes everywhere. But, this time, I'm re-introducing the full kit inspection so scouts at least get everything back which was theirs - even if the poltergeist visits again.
    I got it partially due to my OCD nature about packing and keeping my stuff tidy (though it does annoy me slightly that it doesn't have any side pockets)! It's also much easier for me to grab something I need from my kit quickly from a holdall, and that was a big impact on my decision to get one. I also often pack kit in it in bags to make it even either to use...

    If you don't do proper hikes where a YP needs to pack all their kit in a rucksack, getting a holdall for kit and decent daysack is a far better thing to ask parents to do - and a holdall is far more useful the rest of the time than a rucksack, so parents may be more likely to get a better quality one.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon.md View Post
    Holdalls are much more convenient in a tent (or indoors) than a large rucksack - sit neatly at the end of their beds and are easier to access the contents. That said our Scouts seem to find it necessary to take everything out of their bags and disperse across the entire groundsheet (with some items finding their way outside the tent).... so it probably doesn't matter what bag they bring.

    In addition to your list I'd add a full size pillow - sleep much better with one compared to a travel pillow or scrunched up jumper. Depending on the bunk arrangements (and other leaders) I might also pack a tent - one thing worse than no pillow is having to share with a snorer - no sleep at all!
    A full-size pillow on camp? Never! A travel pillow and/or rolled clothes is the best you should use IMHO. Though I do have a self-inflating mattress, which is my one concession to proper comfort on camp.
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    I take a pillow. I say it is my bit of luxury, but it probably is closer to essential. I do not get enough time allocated to sleep at camp. So when I get in my tent I could do with being comfortable. Good quality sleep is essential to put in those 20 hour days whilst remaining clear headed and physical able to do everything.

    I also get migraines. Interestingly only once whilst at a Scout camp with Scouts present. The main bit of care I need with a migraine is sleep. A pillow is needed to try to get that. Last Gilwell Reunion was hard to reduce the pain enough to be able to sleep.

    If I am camping without a car, then I will loose the pillow. But one with vehicle access - it is very easy to through it in.

    I have an array of camping pillows. None of them come close to having a real pillow.

    For the Scouts the kit list says “pillow (optional)”. In conversations they find out how to use things to create a pillow. Very few actually bring one.




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    a travel pillow is acceptable - that costs extra and is only rarely used but grabbing a pillow from home and chucking it in the car (at no extra cost) is frowned upon?

    that's illogical. I want to pay extra to own a thing that is not as good as something i already have that does the job better?

    also, i love escouts!

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  9. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    a travel pillow is acceptable - that costs extra and is only rarely used but grabbing a pillow from home and chucking it in the car (at no extra cost) is frowned upon?

    that's illogical. I want to pay extra to own a thing that is not as good as something i already have that does the job better?

    also, i love escouts!
    It's just a snobbery thing!
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    Okay.

    I get it if you get migraines. But you have to know, turning up to camp with a pillow... It doesn't look right.

    And travel pillows? I have one actually somewhere and I'll probably use it - even although it's not very good... It cost £5, hardly breaking the bank. And this thread is about demonstrating what the kids should pack. One leader with a pillow and their own transport is one thing, twenty kids each with a pillow is something else entirely. Plus, I reckon parents don't want to send one of their best duck down pillows (it's East Lothian), away on camp...

    I'm going to hit back. It's not snobbery, not taking a pillow is doing scouting properly. There, I said it. I mean to say, I think there is a place for holdalls if you're not walking any great distance, (although it needs to be the outdoor kind, not some faux leather of suede monogrammed thing...) That's the trouble with kids these days, they don't know they're born (there, I said THAT too!) A wee bit of discomfiture is good for the soul, it's character building and shows pluck.

    Or something. (Next you'll be telling me you tie poly bags to the outside of your rucksack when you're out on the hills... Uuurgh... I feel sick just thinking about it...)

    Philistines.


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    look... the bleeped out word makes this story pointless... but .. she meant "punk" and said something that sounds like it but is a bit rude.

    one mother once asked if we'd packed our tins of ***** for camp...

    we all looked awkward.

    i had a think... oh.... mum was a queen's guide, she taught me to light fires. this rings a bell... from the guiding website: punk, which is a selection of dead leaves, dried bark from a birch tree, dried grass, dried wood chippings, dried pine cones.

    so... no... we had not packed our ***** in little tins. but the guides apparently pack their punk in them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I'm going to hit back. It's not snobbery, not taking a pillow is doing scouting properly. There, I said it. I mean to say, I think there is a place for holdalls if you're not walking any great distance, (although it needs to be the outdoor kind, not some faux leather of suede monogrammed thing...) That's the trouble with kids these days, they don't know they're born (there, I said THAT too!) A wee bit of discomfiture is good for the soul, it's character building and shows pluck.
    You're forgetting the sixth Scout law: A Scout makes good use of time and is careful of possessions and pillows

    Or something. (Next you'll be telling me you tie poly bags to the outside of your rucksack when you're out on the hills... Uuurgh... I feel sick just thinking about it...)

    Philistines.

    On that we agree

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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    look... the bleeped out word makes this story pointless... but .. she meant "punk" and said something that sounds like it but is a bit rude.

    one mother once asked if we'd packed our tins of ***** for camp...

    we all looked awkward.

    i had a think... oh.... mum was a queen's guide, she taught me to light fires. this rings a bell... from the guiding website: punk, which is a selection of dead leaves, dried bark from a birch tree, dried grass, dried wood chippings, dried pine cones.

    so... no... we had not packed our ***** in little tins. but the guides apparently pack their punk in them.
    This is the strangest thing I've ever read on escouts.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon.md View Post
    Holdalls are much more convenient in a tent (or indoors) than a large rucksack - sit neatly at the end of their beds and are easier to access the contents. That said our Scouts seem to find it necessary to take everything out of their bags and disperse across the entire groundsheet (with some items finding their way outside the tent).... so it probably doesn't matter what bag they bring.

    In addition to your list I'd add a full size pillow - sleep much better with one compared to a travel pillow or scrunched up jumper. Depending on the bunk arrangements (and other leaders) I might also pack a tent - one thing worse than no pillow is having to share with a snorer - no sleep at all!
    Absolutely agree, we ask them not to bring rucksacks at all when space is limited, and very few younger members need them until explorer age at which point they've either left, or often can borrow. My particular issue is that a holdall can take pillow, sleeping bag (even grockel bags), lay mat and all their kit where often the ruck sack can't and you end up with a ruck sack and a massive bin liner with sleeping bag and lay mat and pillow separately, and then muddy, and lost often.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Absolutely agree, we ask them not to bring rucksacks at all when space is limited, and very few younger members need them until explorer age at which point they've either left, or often can borrow. My particular issue is that a holdall can take pillow, sleeping bag (even grockel bags), lay mat and all their kit where often the ruck sack can't and you end up with a ruck sack and a massive bin liner with sleeping bag and lay mat and pillow separately, and then muddy, and lost often.
    If you can't fit what you need in a rucksack, then you either have the wrong rucksack or aren't packing correctly. That's not really a reason to favour holdalls over rucksacks.

    Packing a rucksack properly is one of the things you teach at Scouts, as is ensuring they buy the right type of rucksack. In terms of this weekend, if a kid turns up with a holdall, we probably won't drum them out the troop. But using things like rucksacks is part of Scouting, and getting them used to using them even if you're not on an expedition I think is useful.

    Better they get the hang of these things on a weekend in an outdoor centre, or under canvas than trying to get along the West Highland Way, say...

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    Honestly you lot, what's wrong with a nice big Sports Direct bag for life with some string tying the handles together?
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Better they get the hang of these things on a weekend in an outdoor centre, or under canvas than trying to get along the West Highland Way..
    Although I now encourage Cubs to pack their gear in [slightly oversized] holdalls for camp, I well remember the instruction given by an old sweat leader before every camp I set out on as a Scout. Did anyone else have access to those clear PVC rucksacks used to demonstrate best packing practice? I don't think I've seen one since the 70s. And as pa_broon74 says, its a good thing to know. I wonder if I go for the holdall now because I haven't the kindly patience of my old Skip or because the 'I can't find my socks, toothbrush, trousers' mantra that accompanies every dawn chorus would be more than even he could bear
    Last edited by bigcheese; 08-02-2019 at 10:23 AM.

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