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Thread: Rucksack packing.

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I don't know if you read my last comment there, (obvs not).

    Am oot.
    Well, it isn't quiet any longer!

    The rucksacks vs. holdall discussion was interesting though. I also have a 65l rucksack that is still in fine working order, at least 20 years old, and has been subject to abuse worse than scout camp i.e. airline baggage handlers, on many occasions. It is a Coleman rucksack, which even then wasn't a particularly top quality brand.

    However, I think even 20 years ago, there wasn't Sports Direct and Go Outdoors who frankly (how can I be polite about this) sell to a price point. The acquisition of brand names, only to then degrade the quality (not just by the stores, but other firms as well), is a habit I despise. It's short-term profit-taking at its worst. (See also: berghaus, speedo, slazenger, etc. etc.). Cotswolds do sell quality stuff that will last but how do you convince parents to go there when Go Outdoors is bigger and brighter and cheaper. (By the way, at least some Cotswold stores will still give a scout discount, if you ask politely. They give pretty much anyone a discount...!)

    I'm not sure I buy the argument that a rucksack for an 11-yo will get outgrown. By the time you're buying a 65l rucksack, I would expect it to be adjustable to fit an adult. But I do have some sympathy for the space challenge, because synthetic sleeping bags don't pack down anywhere as well as a down sleeping bag will - to get a reasonably warm synthetic bag into the bottom portion of my rucksack would be beyond the squishing capability of most 11-yos.

    I see kit inspection as about building scouts' self-respect (as in, I don't have to live in a pigsty, so I will take some positive action to at least organise all my stuff, and get into this as a habit). And anyway, all the teddy bears deserve to see daylight at least once!

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  3. #62
    Senior Member Puzzledbyadream's Avatar
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    The wet bed situation can be easily checked by getting all scouts etc to unzip their sleeping bag to "air it out", then doing a cursory tent inspection to check for tidiness. Then if you spot a wet bed then, oops, spilt my drink whilst checking your tent, better hang it out to dry.

    A lot of our cubs weren't quite dry at night and were quite happy to wear pyjama pants.

    I think kit check wise it's getting the scouts to check they have everything they brought, so running through the kit list in patrols perhaps getting them to go through their bags and find those items, not necessarily waving them about.

    I have been on a lot of camps where everyone brings a cuddly toy, that way anyone who needs to have one with them isn't embarrassed cos everyone has one.

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  4. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveh01 View Post
    Well, it isn't quiet any longer!

    The rucksacks vs. holdall discussion was interesting though. I also have a 65l rucksack that is still in fine working order, at least 20 years old, and has been subject to abuse worse than scout camp i.e. airline baggage handlers, on many occasions. It is a Coleman rucksack, which even then wasn't a particularly top quality brand.

    However, I think even 20 years ago, there wasn't Sports Direct and Go Outdoors who frankly (how can I be polite about this) sell to a price point. The acquisition of brand names, only to then degrade the quality (not just by the stores, but other firms as well), is a habit I despise. It's short-term profit-taking at its worst. (See also: berghaus, speedo, slazenger, etc. etc.). Cotswolds do sell quality stuff that will last but how do you convince parents to go there when Go Outdoors is bigger and brighter and cheaper. (By the way, at least some Cotswold stores will still give a scout discount, if you ask politely. They give pretty much anyone a discount...!)

    I'm not sure I buy the argument that a rucksack for an 11-yo will get outgrown. By the time you're buying a 65l rucksack, I would expect it to be adjustable to fit an adult. But I do have some sympathy for the space challenge, because synthetic sleeping bags don't pack down anywhere as well as a down sleeping bag will - to get a reasonably warm synthetic bag into the bottom portion of my rucksack would be beyond the squishing capability of most 11-yos.
    The whole getting-the-sleeping-bag-back-into-it's-stuff-sack is always something of a challenge for younger kids. Sometimes it's a challenge for adults too.

    Also agree about Go Outdoors. Some of their stuff is decent, bu as you say - the really cheap stuff is cheap for a reason. The old adage, buy cheap buy twice, is certainly true there. Saying that though, if you're buying a therm-a-rest (say), it may be better to go cheap or stick with an old foam mat.

    In the past, with Explorers we've done both expedition and stationary (indoor) type trips. We met a Scout Troop on the Great Glen Way a few years ago, they had quite young scouts walking with full kit - which surprised me if I'm being honest. It's not a hard walk - mostly flat, my current scouts, the very youngest in any case, I don't think would manage (or enjoy it) with full kit. I'd take them along with a day bag no problems though...

    What I meant to say was, we always packed differently for different trips. It's always more of a compromise if you're walking with kit, you're not going to pack the same sleeping bag (for example) as you would if you were going to be indoors for a week. We even did road trips which were sort of a hybrid between the two - although we weren't carrying full kit, it still had to fit in the minibus, so we couldn't take absolutely everything we wanted to take.

    In terms of rucksack v. Holdalls... I can't remember the last time I actually had to tie a bowline... But we still teach it at Scouts. There are loads of things we do that are just Scouty in nature, using a holdall isn't dumbing Scouts down, but I do feel that it is diluting (ever so slightly) what Scouts is about. The pillow thing I'm joking about of course. If you have space then take one. I've lost count of the number of times I've woken up with a literal impression on my face of what ever I was using as a pillow the night before. The older I get the longer it takes for my face to assume it's normal form...

    Also, where we're going in April, has those awful plastic mattresses on the beds. I know what we do to them, so there's no way I'm not putting something substantial between myself and the one I end up lying on.


  5. #64
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    Kit inspections are pretty important IMHO (particularly so if you're on a week's camp). They are obviously easier in patrol tents than hike tents, but the point is simply to get the YP to tidy up! Telling them to lay out their kit on their sleeping bag just means they have to tidy and actually know what kit they have - no leader would ever actually give more than a cursory glance to the actual stuff that's been brought.

    When it comes to cuddly toys, I always made a point of bringing one along myself just in case there are any issues.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASLChris View Post
    Kit inspections are pretty important IMHO (particularly so if you're on a week's camp).
    Quite right, in fact 'Understanding the value of inspections' is one of the assessment criteria for a nights away permit.

    Inspections can take various forms and it's important to respect young people's privacy when doing so. Teaching young people to keep their belongings tidy, airing out sleeping bags, hygiene standards, generally not living in tip for a week all sounds like valuable skills for life to me.

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    Unless I’m hiking I would tend to use a hold-all myself. I have a 70ltr one with a area for wet stuff which keeps dirty stuff separate. It’s to old to have the twin carrying ruckstrap type straps of the more modern ones but I think these offer a suitable compromise for shortish carries for a static type camp. I’ve used it on international camps and found it better when travelling as it has survived mishandling at airports better than some of the rucksacks on the trips.

    We have asked explorers to come to two day indoor camps as if they are going on and expedition and use it as an opportunity to look at what they pack and compare the new explorers with more experienced ones. Their kit is always packed in plastic bags so we are talking about size of kit, numbers and types of changes of clothes from the skin out that they’ve packed. We ask them to unpack some of the outer layer packs if they look to big or too small for what they are meant to be for so we can discuss if it’s a sensible choice given they have to carry it. We also weigh the packs and talk about not carrying to much kit as they still need to add in water, food, cooking kit and tents. It’s interesting that explorers on a four day trip can survive on less kit than those doing their first two day trip. We stopped giving out kit lists for expeditions, instead pointing to sites like the DofE for suggestions and getting them to think and talk through things that they would need depending on possible conditions.

    I think it’s about making the right choices for the camp though I’d draw the line at a suitcase being used, they are at a scout camp not a festival.

    We’ve seen improvements in the younger teams expeditions following this approach.

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    Wonderful, so a sensible post about packing rucksacks contains a series of posts that, if read by the right people in the food-chain, could actually result in a leader being suspended !

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    Anyhoooo.

    Kendal mint cake!
    Everything else is optional 👍
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Anyhoooo.

    Kendal mint cake!
    Everything else is optional 👍
    Traditionally, we're always shipping Fizzy Haribo these days. A trip up a Munro is not the same with out it.

    Not sure what our policy will be on sweets. There's always one kid who will eat a weekend's worth of Maoam and strawberry laces then boak all over his sleeping bag. We used to say don't bring anything then run our own tuckshop, that way we could limit their intake of E numbers.

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Traditionally, we're always shipping Fizzy Haribo these days. A trip up a Munro is not the same with out it.

    Not sure what our policy will be on sweets. There's always one kid who will eat a weekend's worth of Maoam and strawberry laces then boak all over his sleeping bag. We used to say don't bring anything then run our own tuckshop, that way we could limit their intake of E numbers.
    For some camps especially in winter, we actually tell the explorers to bring cake.
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    Senior Member Shaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Traditionally, we're always shipping Fizzy Haribo these days. A trip up a Munro is not the same with out it.

    Not sure what our policy will be on sweets. There's always one kid who will eat a weekend's worth of Maoam and strawberry laces then boak all over his sleeping bag. We used to say don't bring anything then run our own tuckshop, that way we could limit their intake of E numbers.
    Our policy is donít bring them.

    If they do, we hold them for safekeeping and return them 30 minutes before pickup.
    They can throw up or have the sugar rush in their parents car.

    We had one lad who we watched detox over the weekend, he was picked up by his parents who handed him a 2 litre bottle of coke several packets of sweets and rushed to McDonalds.
    Apparently we gave him food poisoning as he threw up in the car when he got home


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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun View Post
    Our policy is donít bring them.

    If they do, we hold them for safekeeping and return them 30 minutes before pickup.
    They can throw up or have the sugar rush in their parents car.

    We had one lad who we watched detox over the weekend, he was picked up by his parents who handed him a 2 litre bottle of coke several packets of sweets and rushed to McDonalds.
    Apparently we gave him food poisoning as he threw up in the car when he got home


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    We have a real range of attitudes. Some parents won't allow their kids any sweets or fizzy juice at all, while others... Hmmm... I think it's all they can get their kids to eat.

    Our current crowd are mostly okay (with one or two notable exceptions), but we've also lost a few livewires (since replaced by new, so-far quite calm scouts, up from cubs). For a while a lot of the Scouts really didn't need sugary stuff, we were sponging them off the walls anyway. Last time we were away, I'm not actually sure what sweets they had, we were at Lochgoilhead, and it was a total nightmare. The worst weekend for behaviour I've ever witnessed - it had everything. Maybe it was aided by Haribo... (If I'm being honest, I was thinking it might have been something a lot harder and more illegal - crystal meth maybe?)

    So I think yes, I think we tell parents not to send sweets at all.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    For some camps especially in winter, we actually tell the explorers to bring cake.
    I think Explorers is a slightly different proposition. The feral potential just isn't quite so high with them...


  15. #73
    Senior Member Shaun's Avatar
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    Rucksack packing.

    We make a point of explaining that they get 4 meals a day and fresh fruit is always available.


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    Last edited by Shaun; 12-02-2019 at 01:18 PM.
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