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Thread: Scout campsites should think about electrick hookup pitches

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Scout campsites should think about electrick hookup pitches

    I'm just back from a camping holiday to a very small site just south of the Lakes and for 20 a night we got a pitch with an electric hookup. I have never had this before but it is an absolute revelation for family camping. We had the ability to charge our cameras, phones and tablets and we had LED strip lighting off the mains in the tent.

    This can't have been a massive undertaking to install as it was only a small field next to a farm and i doubt they invested heavily in it. I would definitely look more favourably at a scout campsite that offered this for the mess tent. We can't be too far off this can we?

    Last edited by big chris; 29-07-2020 at 09:52 AM.

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    It would certainly stop the use of generators, the noise from which I find downright antisocial.

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    On the face of it, its a no brainer, but on a bit more reflection its perhaps not so simple.

    If you only put one on a site you can't split the site between two groups and you limit the camp layout. If you start putting multiple ones around you need to stop the young people plugging their phones etc in all week, and again you'd have to think carefully on siting to maximise flexibility of the site use. That's before you get into infrastructure cost which maybe sites don't have right now.

    We've stopped doing it for now but we used to do a week long festival camp each August where the only concession to home comforts was a daily freezer block swap. I'd take an onsite lockable fridge and freezer over a tent power supply any time. These days with solar panels, battery banks and LED lights, you can do a lot without actual mains hookup, and whilst you can use gas fridges etc, that's one thing I've always been nervous of.
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    The kids would need to bring a raher cumberson connector, they don't take normal plugs. We bought this especially: https://smile.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079YV...740111_TE_item

    I am thinking of the more classical county type sites where you get allocated a pitch or 2 or 3 depending on the size of your group. You turn up and are told that you have sites 32, 33 and 34 and they are clearly identifiable. It would not be hard for those sorts of sites.

    I reckon this must be coming, as Neil says, plenty of group are running generators (which is not ideal on a shared site) and this would be far more civilised for every
    bnody.
    Last edited by big chris; 29-07-2020 at 10:18 AM.

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    Hmmm...

    I don't think it's as simple as that. It's not easy to put electric hook ups in, it's expensive.

    If all you're doing is charging phones, there are other, much cheaper ways to do it. Powerbanks for example, or solar trickle chargers etc.

    Also, would it not detract from the whole camping experience? Scout camp would just turn into a family camp. Call me old fashioned but...

    (I would install lockable charging lockers onsite though. They're a lot cheaper and a good compromise.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    (I would install lockable charging lockers onsite though. They're a lot cheaper and a good compromise.)
    That's a good idea. And unlike KISC, strictly one per site. For some reason at KISC they give large groups several and then others can't get a look-in.

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    I remember the olden days when you would leave your phone at reception to charge but take your sim out as that was the valuable bit!

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    I think its time will come especially if due to all the RA malarky we start to see the need for more camping fridges and similar. Phones can be charged in other ways and YPs phones - forget it, they get advised not to bring and if they do there is no facility to charge.

    Probably of more use though will be charging points for electric vehicles. It won't be long before the need will be there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dralphs View Post
    I think its time will come especially if due to all the RA malarky we start to see the need for more camping fridges and similar. Phones can be charged in other ways and YPs phones - forget it, they get advised not to bring and if they do there is no facility to charge.

    Probably of more use though will be charging points for electric vehicles. It won't be long before the need will be there.
    I look forward to the day someone can supply me with a vehicle to transport 16 Scouts that can tow a further 3 Ton+ of kit behind up and down the country powered by electricity! But not a chance thats going to be in my life time...
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsheehan View Post
    I look forward to the day someone can supply me with a vehicle to transport 16 Scouts that can tow a further 3 Ton+ of kit behind up and down the country powered by electricity! But not a chance thats going to be in my life time...
    An electric minibus? Bearing in mind that you can get electric service buses that can manage most of the day in service without a charge, I say give it 10 years at most.

    I've just bought a new (used) car. I am near-certain it is the last internal-combustion, manual transmission car I will ever own. (As the value of ICE cars will plummet, I suspect it's going to make most sense to run it into the ground and sell for scrap value at the end, so that's probably 5+ years).

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    Great idea in theory, but i'm not sure it's a good idea for Scout campsites in the same way it would be for family campsites.

    You lose your flexibility to put your mess tent, etc. wherever you want - you are reliant on putting it where you can plug it in.
    You will also find you also become more power hungry and relying on more devices and appliances being able to be plugged in.
    Then there's us being on a Scout camp where we like to be outdoors, so we should use alternative fuel sources for things like cooking.
    There are alternatives to plugging in to mains electricity - like solar chargers and power banks and batteries for what we really need.
    Do we want to discourage Scouts from using their phones? The less they can charge them the less they'll be able to use them.

    If you really need access to power in addition to what you can power off a generator, for example if you are running a camp, you' d also hire a building as your camp base anyway.

    It's a great idea for camp sites for families to go on camping trips, but not really for Scouting.
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    It's an interesting one. I agree with Neil about Generators... i dont think they have any place on shared sites (other than central services at Jamborees etc). We used to use one on greenfield summer camp, but over time it went from being run all day and turned off at lights out, to being run for a couple of hours (usually late afternoon / tea time) to charge the various batteries that powered everything. Usually as it was started up you'd see leaders (and YLs) running to fetch their powerbanks to plug in to charge

    One site we used a couple of times actively encouraged you people to bring their own generator, and provided the reverse of a campsite electrical hookup... which would then provide power to the toilet block, kitchen, etc. I wonder how often people connected up small generators and then blew fuses.

    Public sites do tend to have Electrical Hook Up (EHU) on a lot of pitches... and its quite popular. It is fairly expensive to install correctly. I've only been to a handful of scout sites that have anything similar - usually on very limited numbers of pitches. IF groups go down that route (or the generator route) then obviously its important they use the right cabling, connectors, etc... i've seen some pretty horrific setups which quickly drop from a weatherproof round 16amp connector into a row of domestic 13 amp sockets, which then get left out on wet grass etc.

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    Generators hack me off on Jamborees too, they never consider their positioning (needs to be far, far away from sleeping tents) and they seem to like using them to fully floodlight camping areas (totally unnecessary and stops me sleeping).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    An electric minibus? Bearing in mind that you can get electric service buses that can manage most of the day in service without a charge, I say give it 10 years at most.
    It could be a bit less than 10: https://electricbrands.de/en/ebussy/

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    Ahhh ... the Olden Days

    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    I remember the olden days when you would leave your phone at reception to charge but take your sim out as that was the valuable bit!
    Yes, I remember the Olden Days as well. We didn't have mobile phones, so we had to find a phone box or ask the Camp Warden to use his / her phone! Good times!

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