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Thread: Rucksack packing.

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    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...
    Simply because our Scouts don't all have neat expensive sleeping bags with stuff sacks, travel pillows and laymats which will fit a rucksack. Because for a week's camp it's hard to fit it all in a rucksack which is limited in space, because rucksacks are not space efficient in packing, not necessary for a static camp, expensive and the richer kids have the gucci bags, and because they catch on everything. Apart from that perfect.

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    Also - the type of rucksack bought for a 11 year old Scout to go to camp is unlikely to really be suitable for a 2 or 3 day hike carrying all kit. The biggest impact on comfort is having an adjustable back, and decent belt to carry weight on the hips. Neither of those features are likely to factor into a purchase decision when little Johnnie is off to camp for the weekend.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Simply because our Scouts don't all have neat expensive sleeping bags with stuff sacks, travel pillows and laymats which will fit a rucksack. Because for a week's camp it's hard to fit it all in a rucksack which is limited in space, because rucksacks are not space efficient in packing, not necessary for a static camp, expensive and the richer kids have the gucci bags, and because they catch on everything. Apart from that perfect.
    I'm not talking about a week long camp, this thread is about a weekend camp. I've been around for long enough to know, you can get half decent gear at a reasonable price. So you've essentially zero'd in on the worst case scenario for everything and cited it - so I still think you're wrong.

    I don't even have all the gucci gear and I manage. I deliberately don't buy it, because it's over-priced and faddy and unnecessary. I maintain, I've been away for week long expeditions with full kit in a 65+10ltr rucksack and managed. I led a group of 12 Explorers and they managed fine as well - although some of the stuff they packed (a rugby ball for example) wasn't overly practical.

    Part of Scouting is teaching young people how to do this stuff. And the best way to teach it, is to actually do it. Like I said, if a scout doesn't have a rucksack, or chooses to pack a holdall, fair enough. But it's scouts, it's what we do, or are supposed to do.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by rach View Post
    Also - the type of rucksack bought for a 11 year old Scout to go to camp is unlikely to really be suitable for a 2 or 3 day hike carrying all kit. The biggest impact on comfort is having an adjustable back, and decent belt to carry weight on the hips. Neither of those features are likely to factor into a purchase decision when little Johnnie is off to camp for the weekend.
    Which is why I think we need to be covering that as part of what we do. This is all part of Scouting, I'm not sure when or why it dropped off what we do.

    I didn't realise other leaders had dumped it. Which is fair enough, it's your choice.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by bigcheese View Post
    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
    Out of interest, does any one still do full kit inspections while you away?

    They're universally hated by kids (I hated it when I was a Scout), but, absolutely necessary in terms of not having literally all parents coming at you with clothes their kid brought back from camp that ins't their own.

    I remember the old SL standing at flag break the week after camp, brandishing lone socks and the odd pair of briefs. I always used to think; argh, just bin them.

  6. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post

    Out of interest, does any one still do full kit inspections while you away?

    They're universally hated by kids (I hated it when I was a Scout), but, absolutely necessary in terms of not having literally all parents coming at you with clothes their kid brought back from camp that ins't their own.

    I remember the old SL standing at flag break the week after camp, brandishing lone socks and the odd pair of briefs. I always used to think; argh, just bin them.
    We do kit inspections in Cubs and Scouts. For a week long Scout camp we will often get them to pull out the groundsheets completely to help give their kit a good airing

    Funniest bit of lost kit we had... End of Scout camp and one of Scouts claimed he couldn't find his uniform. Despite telling him it must be in his bag this uniform didn't appear and due to needing to get on with packing away and travelling home we gave up and let him travel back in his camp clothes. Assumption was he either hadn't looked properly (or didn't want to find it) or had been packed into someone else's bag. Anyway, fast forward to the following May when our Cubs were camping, putting up one of the patrol tents we found the uniform. It had been taken down and packed away still hanging up on the line (which also hadn't been taken out).

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    Quote Originally Posted by rach View Post
    Also - the type of rucksack bought for a 11 year old Scout to go to camp is unlikely to really be suitable for a 2 or 3 day hike carrying all kit. The biggest impact on comfort is having an adjustable back, and decent belt to carry weight on the hips. Neither of those features are likely to factor into a purchase decision when little Johnnie is off to camp for the weekend.
    I had a 65L Karrimor rucksack off my parents for my 12th birthday, I took it on every Scout trip I went on and it did all my expeditions when I was in Ventures including my QSA expedition. I still use the same rucksack to take my stuff to camp 25 years later!. Mind you my Dad was our Venture Scout Leader so he knew what he was about when choosing a rucksack (this was back when Karrimor were proper quality before Sports Direct got their hands on them)

    We specify large rucksack or holdall for Scout to pack to bring on camp and specifically say no suitcase as they take up too much room in a share tent as they don't pack down and aren't soft.

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Previous Scouting Roles
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    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
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  8. #36
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    I've had my Karrimor 65+10ltr rucksack for about 20 odd years too. It's been along the great glen way two and half times, along the West Highland Way three times, numerous weekend camp, week long camps. It's been to Ireland for 10 days too...

    It's out-lasted everything else I bought at the same time too. It's a decent bag.

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    Snap - well almost - mine is the 63L version without side pockets although I think somewhere I have or had pockets you could attach. Still a decent bit of kit.
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon.md View Post
    We do kit inspections in Cubs and Scouts. For a week long Scout camp we will often get them to pull out the groundsheets completely to help give their kit a good airing

    ........
    I have no more desire to inspect our young member's kit than I would have them inspect mine, and think it's just as invasive of privacy tbh.

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    We sometimes do tent inspections on week long summer camps which requires kit to be tidy but we don't go poking around in the kit at all (its really an oppertunity for people to find all the things they have "lost")

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Previous Scouting Roles
    2003 - 2013 ABSL
    2017-2018 AGSL

    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
    www.leeds-solar.co.uk
    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    I have no more desire to inspect our young member's kit than I would have them inspect mine, and think it's just as invasive of privacy tbh.
    It's about making sure kids get all their gear back. I don't even know why you'd thing it was about any invasion of privacy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    It's about making sure kids get all their gear back. I don't even know why you'd thing it was about any invasion of privacy.
    Absolutely an invasion of privacy - I've seen private belongings inspected = girls' underwear, their "hygiene bags" - I stopped the inspections by those involved when the kids comlained in tears. (One guess who the "inspector" was).

    You know, kids come on camp, if they go home with the wrong kit, it isn't my problem. They sort it out between themselves and oddly, they tend to look afer their kit next time.

    The only kit check we ever do is before we go - Have you got X,Y, Z? I take their word for it and if it turns out they haven't got X,Y,Z, then they are in a bit of bother. No toothbrush? Here is a Hazel twig, go make one...
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    I wonder if some of you are 'recoiling in horror' at the thought of kit inspection because you are taking it too literally!

    We have kit inspection both when under canvas and at residentials and it is aimed at keeping the living space both clean and tidy. Everything packed away by the Cubs and in its place, and the area swept for litter (following those midnight feasts). The only 'personal items' that we go through are those laid out for visual inspection, torch, batteries, plates, cutlery wash bag, and yes cuddly toys. And that's because these items are regularly mislaid, and its a chance for us to help the Cubs get their hands on them. Too military for some no doubt, but a Cub without a torch is most bereft

    When under canvas we will also, if necessary, check for illicit stashes of food (hidden away in bags - holdalls or rucksacks -by those parents who think their children will starve). We all know that squirrels are no respecters of bags, nor are they toilet trained. And we will check, if primed, for soiled nightwear and sleeping bags; a necessary invasion of privacy (and yes we are discreet)

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    We do tent inspection on most camps. But their bag is not emptied out (except the below). They are expected to have their bedding tidy along with their bag closed and looking tidy. We have only ever had one tent pass. The kids accept it as a fun challenge to try and get the tent to my ASLís incredibly high standard. There is no actual gain or loss for the scouts. (They do not see #skillsforlife at that stage.)

    If someone has lost something - normally a scarf. They get sent back to their tent, perhaps with their patrol, to locate said item. They are under threats to find it else their bag will be completely emptied, along with their patrolís bags. We have never yet had to do that. The item has always been miraculously found.

    The one time I would see kit (not actually go through it) is at the end of camp when presented with a badly packed rucksack. I have only had to do it twice. Suddenly a bag with ten things hanging off if it plus two carrier bags with stuff spilling out is reduced down to one bag. I hope not to have to do it a second time for the same scout.

    The repacking is done with the scout, in full view of others. But nothing is waved about and I do not poke about. I am trying to get the best out of the scout and get on the road. Embarrassing them is not going achieve much.


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    Hi folks, I'd like to add my tuppence ha'penny to this thread.

    I probably fall in to the OCD catagory with a place for everything and everthing in its place when bag packing, it's the only way I can keep a track of things. My personal preference is for a holdall when not hiking. My boys and I have a NATO deployment bag each. Very good! Sorry, I tried to post a link to one but have yet to figure out the technique for embeding links. We always have day bags too with waterproofs, sun/wooly hats, waterbottle, suncream and FAK. I'll have to write up a full kit list sometime, but frankly, the amount of kit needed changes little between a weekend or a fortnight, just more food.

    There are definitely two camps regarding pillows here, but I have been using a middle way for years now and I believe you are all going to thank me for what I about to tell you. Simply take a pillow case and fill it with spare clothes! Simples. In fact, a pillow case can be one of the most useful things you can have when camping.

    We don't currently do kit inspections, but given the amount of kit which comes home as lost property, I feel that we need to start doing an inspection on the last morning to get everything back to its owners. Nothing invasive, but if I can get the Cubs into good habits of keeping their kit together by doing this, I'm willing to give it a go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Absolutely an invasion of privacy - I've seen private belongings inspected = girls' underwear, their "hygiene bags" - I stopped the inspections by those involved when the kids comlained in tears. (One guess who the "inspector" was).

    You know, kids come on camp, if they go home with the wrong kit, it isn't my problem. They sort it out between themselves and oddly, they tend to look afer their kit next time.

    The only kit check we ever do is before we go - Have you got X,Y, Z? I take their word for it and if it turns out they haven't got X,Y,Z, then they are in a bit of bother. No toothbrush? Here is a Hazel twig, go make one...
    No. It just isn't, and if I'm being totally honest, thinking that it is, somewhat questions my (and others) motivations for doing it, not to mention my or their integrity. Mention of girls and their underwear for example - that you'd even think I'd do that under any circumstances... I don't really know what to say about that.

    Bigcheese has already said it. They're laying out their clothes, we're not thumbing through their belongings. The closest we might look, is to see if their soap is wet - if they even bring soap. There's a way to do it - you may be surprised to know (although I've said it already), the point is, that they get their belongings back, so they lay their things out in an order... That's as close as we ever get. What the hell interest would I have in their clothes anyway?

    As for it not being the leader's problem? These kids are in our care for the duration, if we're sending them home with other kid's stuff, what are parents supposed to think we're doing if we can't even send their kid's home with the right clothes? Try telling all the parents who turn up for weeks after a camp, with trousers, jackets, shoes and god knows what else...

    And anyway, since all their clothes are lying on the floor of the tent in full view anyway, the only difference is, they're folded (sort of) and with the right child (hopefully).

    I can't believe folks here are reading the things they're reading into it - where is the trust? Seriously, sometimes the things people say on this forum are totally out of order.

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