Troop 175 offers several different types of camping experiences, and each type suggests different gear choices. Ultimately, the gear selected for a particular outing should reflect the type of camping, the weather forecast, and the skill, preferences and to some extent the budget of the camper.
Types of camping experiences:
Day Hikes. While not intended to be a camping experience at all, Scouts must “be prepared” for an emergency that turns an ordinary hike to a mountain peak into an impromptu overnighter. Scouts should always bring their “ten essentials” when venturing into the wilderness.
Car Camping. This type of camping, also known as “front country” camping, is usually done at permanent campgrounds, where camp is set up close to where the vehicles are parked. Gear doesn’t have to be carried long distances, so weight isn’t usually a factor. Extra clothes and gear can be brought just in case. Coolers with fresh food and perishables are common.
Float Trips. Similar to car camping since gear is carried in the boats (usually canoes). For gear choices the main difference is that care must be taken to protect from water. “Dry bags” and flotation must be included.
Backpacking. All food and equipment is carried by the participants some significant distance (miles) to the campsite. On some trips we break down camp and hike to a new site each day. Both weight and volume are important on backpack trips because everything must be carried at once. Typically the heaviest items carried are the backpack itself, the sleeping bag and tent. Minimizing the weight of these three items goes a long way to a more enjoyable trip.
Snow Camping. This is often a form of car camping, but can be a backpacking event as well, with snowshoes. Snow camping gear tends to be bulky, as it needs to be both warm and waterproof—water resistant isn’t good enough. There’s rarely an opportunity for clothes to dry on a snow camping trip. NO cotton clothing is allowed on a snow camping trip, including underwear, because cotton absorbs water and can easily cause hypothermia.
Resident Camping. Resident camping is the typical summer camp environment. Campers usually stay for a week or more, and the camps offer facilities like a dining hall, supervised activities, swimming, etc. This is a more “homey” atmosphere even than car camping, so fewer restrictions on gear apply.