Summer Camp 2008

Hi folks!   This is a revised & updated gear list for participants in the 2008 Troop 8 summer camp trip.   Please destroy your old copy from the June parent meeting and use this list exclusively.   We apologize for any confusion.


When reading this list, please understand that in camping we try to travel light, and use each piece of gear for a variety of purposes.   Rather than have a separate windbreaker, jacket for when it’s cold, rain jacket, etc. we use layers, which allow us to adjust by adding and removing items depending on the conditions, without carrying a separate piece of clothing or gear for each condition.   Clothes will be re-used for multiple days, rather than carrying a separate change of clothes (or two!) for each day.  This is very different from family vacations and might be a bit new to you, but the kids do just great with it.   Large amounts of gear and clothing are hard to keep clean and dry in a tent, and yield “gear explosions” that make a teenager’s room look clean.  So please stick to the list.   As always, if you have any questions, a scout should ask his patrol leader, or a nervous mom or dad should ask Colin the summer camp adult field leader.



Scout uniform

NOTE:  If you are a new scout or have outgrown your previous shirt or pants, please do not purchase a new uniform shirt/pants for camp.  The BSA uniform is changing in August, and we would prefer you save your money for a new (much more high-tech and outdoorsy) BSA uniform next month.


Sunny Weather

• 1 Sun hat with brim (baseball cap, Seattle Sombrero, etc.) 

Also used for rain, with or without a rain jacket hood.

• 1-2 Bandanas (good for all kinds of things)

• 3 T-shirts or other lightweight summer shirt (ex. BSA nylon activity shirt, etc.)

Where possible, non-cotton shirts are nice because they dry faster and can also be worn in the cold/rain.

• 2 pairs long pants (or zip-offs).

At least one of these should be light weight nylon / quick drying fabric.  Jeans and other cotton pants when they get wet are very hard to dry and uncomfortable.

• 2 pair shorts (can be zip-offs – see above!)

• Swim suit

Shorts – style swimsuits only, no Speedo briefs, please.  Nylon multi-purpose shorts are OK.

• underwear (max one pair per day)

Please note that using non-cotton “sports shorts” with lining, silk, or polypro underwear is preferable to cotton underwear on wet days. If using cotton underwear, 1 pair per day; otherwise you will do fine with less but not more.  Underwear should be kept in a ziplock to keep it dry until ready for use.

• 3 pair “regular” socks

These can be regular cotton socks.  Coolmax socks are better, or lightweight polypro socks.

• 1 pair light hiking boots (water-resistant and broken in)

Light hiking boots for kids offer some ankle support, good tread.  Generally they’re made of a combination of fabrics.   Some come with a waterproof lining, but a spray-on water resistant treatment is acceptable.

• 1 pair sneakers / backup shoes

• mosquito head net (optional)

Keeps bugs away from face in the evenings.  Most of us don’t use them, but some boys who are frequent mosquito targets might appreciate one, particularly if they choose to sleep out (see below)


In sunny weather, a well-equipped scout might be wearing a baseball cap, T-shirt, pair of lined sport/multipurpose shorts, Coolmax socks, and sneakers or lightweight hiking boots.   Another might be wearing a nylon shirt with pockets, BSA uniform zip-off shorts over polypro underwear, and light polypro socks in lightweight hiking boots.


Cool Evenings, Rainy Weather, and paddling in cold water.

1  Fleece or wool hat or balaclava

Especially for smaller/younger guys, a warm hat can help stay warm on a cold, wet day

1 1/2 upper insulating layers

An upper insulating layer covers the torso and both arms. 1 layer is the equivalent of a heavy sweater or jacket. A half layer could be polypropylene or wool long underwear (midweight to heavy). Avoid cotton as cotton offers no insulation when wet.  Examples: midweight polypro top (1/2), fleece jacket (1).

1/2 to 1 lower insulating layer

A lower insulating layer covers the legs with the equivalent of a wool sweater in thickness.  Examples: expedition-weight polypropylene long underwear (1); mid-weight long underwear (1/2); wool pants (1/2). Again, avoid cotton (blue jeans).  We highly recommend midweight polypro (“wicking layer”) top and bottom for year-round use.

1 rain jacket/windbreaker

This should not be insulated and should be breathable.  It is worn as an outer layer to protect the inner layers from wind and water.  There are a lot of great, relatively inexpensive waterproof/breathable jackets available on the market these days, and these are preferred.  Water resistant/repellant wind shells without cotton linings are acceptable.  Non-breathable waterproof jackets and ponchos are generally not acceptable for troop outings.

1 pair rain/wind pants

These are used like the rain jacket/windbreaker as an outer “shell” worn over lower insulating layers or pants.  They should not be insulated.

2 pair light polypro or silk socks (optional)

            Worn under wool socks for hikes to prevent blisters.

2 pair wool socks.

Worn over light socks in all weather to help prevent blisters, also for insulation in bad weather and to keep feet happy when paddling a canoe or raft with cold water sloshing around in the boat.

1 pair nylon gaiters (optional/recommended)

Gaiters are a sort of tube that covers the top part of hiking boots up to the top of the calf.  This keeps water/stones/sand/snow out of the boots, and protects the pants and lower legs from cuts and scratches when bushwhacking through brambles and poison ivy.

1 pair sandals, water shoes, or old tennis shoes

These should be able to be worn while canoeing or rafting and able to get wet.  They need to be able to be firmly attached to feet so they don’t fall off when swimming/flipped/in current.

1 safety strap for glasses for water activities (Croakies, Chums, etc.)


A well-equipped scout on a cool evening might be wearing his nylon warm weather shirt with a fleece jacket and his rain/wind jacket, his sun/rain hat, and his zip-off pants to cover up his legs from the bugs.


A well-equipped scout going whitewater paddling on a cool, cloudy day with some drizzle might be wearing midweight polypro tops and bottoms, a fleece jacket, and his rain/wind shell pants and jacket with a fleece hat under his rain hat.  Wool socks with old tennies on for shoes, and a Croakies strap holding his glasses on.


Gear for sleeping

• Sleeping bag

            Synthetic insulation, easily compressed, rated to an appropriate temperature depending on

 individual preference.  Not cotton linings!  If you are thinking of buying a sleeping bag (or any similar purchase!) please consult with one of the adult scouters beforehand.

• Sleeping bag stuff sack (waterproof nylon).

To keep the sleeping bag safe and dry while on a trip.  The stuff sack that comes with a sleeping bag is often a bit too small for younger boys to be able to stuff it on their own, so it’s worth getting a separate sack that’s somewhat larger.

• Insulating pad

Closed-cell foam or open-cell foam inflatable (Thermarest) pad.  ¾ or full length are both fine.

• Nylon ground cloth (optional)

Approximately 3x7 feet, for use under a “Thelma” rain fly to keep your sleeping pad and sleeping bag from getting wet/dirty if you are sleeping out. We are trying to arrange for purchase through the troop.

• Mosquito head net (optional)

            Might be useful for a boy who chooses to sleep out.

• Small folding camp-chair (optional)


Troop 8 provides two-person tents and 3-4 person “Thelma” rain flies for sleeping quarters.  Boys in conjuction with their patrol leader may opt for either at summer camp.  A well-equipped scout might set up his Thermarest self-inflating pad with his 10- degree year-round sleeping bag inside a tent, used as a loose blanket just around his legs.  Another well-equipped scout may lay out a ground cloth and his Ridgerest foam pad under the Thelma fly, and sleep in his nylon pants, shirt, and mosquito head net if there are a lot of bugs.


Gear for Camping

• Backpack or waterproof duffle to pack everything in.

Most scouts with an internal frame backpack use that, others may use a reasonably-sized duffle to put their gear in for the car ride.  Pack or duffle should be able to sit out on its own in the rain with no ill effects (pack cover or heavy-duty garbage bag cover OK).

• a few packing/organizational bags

These are to organize clothes and items.  Nylon sacks, small nylon duffels work well in combination with a few small garbage bags for clothes that have become “toxic.”

• 1 day pack

This can be any type of bookbag-size backpack. It needs to be able to hold things like water, an insulating layer, and raingear + anything else you would want for a day’s activity.

• “Ditty bag” of personal eating-wear including insulated cup, bowl, spoon/fork/spork,

Each boy keeps his own personal eating-wear in a small bag.  A cheap plastic 12-oz insulated cup with lid works great and is available lots of places.  Bowl should be plastic of some sort and “unbreakable”.  There are fancy “origami” bowls that are fun, but a dog or cat bowl works too.  Plate not necessary.

• 2 Large-mouth water bottles or equivalent

Boys should have capacity for carrying at least two quarts of water.  We recommend at least one Nalgene-style bottle because of the ease of adding drink mix.  Camelback-style bladders are acceptable.   Traditional metal canteens are not rcommended.

• Pocket knife

            Swiss Army style work well, or small locking blade knives.

• 1 water-resistant wrist watch

• Compass

Rectangular plastic compass with a rotating bezel that allows the scout to set a bearing.   No need for expensive models with sighting mirrors, but the compass should be big enough to have marks denoting 2-degree increments on the bezel. 

• Headlamp – style “flashlight” and spare batteries.

• Sunscreen & insect repellent

PLEASE DO NOT BRING PRESSUREZED INSECT SPARY CANS.  Small bottles of lotion-type insect repellent which contain at least 20% DEET are recommended.

• Small Shower/Toilettries Kit (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc..)

• 1 Bath/Beach towel

• Boy Scout Handbook in waterproof ziplock

NOTE: New scouts may choose to wait on purchasing a handbook because we are encouraging Boy Scout Fieldbook purchases instead.

• Small notebook and pen/pencil (in ziplock with scout book)

• Troop 8 / Wilderness Medical Society Wilderness First Aid book (recommended)

• Camera if desired (should be cheap or be able to survive rain/damp)

• Money for trading post

$3 per day should be sufficient.  If desired, bring extra money for T-shirt souvenir.  Please try to avoid large sums which encourage Ice Cream and Candy splurges in lieu of dinner.

• Money for on-the-road meals

            1 fast-food meal in each direction.

• a few small games (hackey sack, small balls, cards, frisbee, etc.) (optional)



A well-equipped scout can pack for summer camp in just two bags – his backpack/duffle and his day pack.  He puts his headlamp in an outside pocket for setting up camp in the dark, and wears some of his camp clothes for the car ride.


In camp, he has the smelly socks from yesterday’s river hike in a small garbage bag, and stuff he’s not using in his backpack/duffle in a few nylon bags for organization.  In his tent and vestibule he keeps a small bag or two with the clothes & gear he’s using or putting on tomorrow, and his day pack.  He’s got a good notion of where he always  puts his compass, his water bottles, etc. when going on a hike or a day trip.


Technical Gear for specific activities

• Long-sleeved shirt and long pants for caving.  Coveralls are acceptable.

Clothes used in caving will be crawled in through mud and dirt and rocks and such.  Caving clothes should be old clothes that can be “trashed”.

• Bike Helmet

            Please bring this even if you aren’t bringing a bike!

• Frame backpack

If you don’t have this contact your patrol leader, who will see about getting you a troop loaner pack.

• Food bag

For “bear bag” storing food in your pack and away from your campsite at night.



Optional Technical Gear (only if you already own it and want to bring it)

• Bike gloves and shorts (optional)

• Mountain bike (optional – special)

Only bring this with specific instructions from the trip leader.  We have limited space to transport bikes and are looking for specific sizes, etc.  We’ll be sharing and/or renting bikes for some activities.

• Personal climbing gear (harness, helmet, etc.) (optional)

• Small flashlight with spare batteries as backup caving light (optional)

If you have one of these lying around, bring a small second flashlight, such as a mini-maglight.