One of my coworkers tipped me off to this fascinating thread over on the r/BSA subreddit:
What are some indulgent purchases you’ve made that make camping more fun as a Scoutmaster/assistant Scoutmaster?
And boy, did the people show up with answers!
Of course, a Scout is thrifty, but a strategic splurge on the right gear can pay dividends in how much better a camping experience can be. (We’ve all been there.)
Below are some of my favorites.
What piece of gear would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments!
Propane smoker cabinet. Spent 14.5 hours tending one at summer camp this year, made enough pork butt for a meal for the whole campsite and was able to share a giant tray with staff.
(Editor’s note: The next time you bust this out, please invite us to your campout.)
• 6-person dome tent for one person, that I can stand up in
• massive, heavy duty cot
• down duvet
• three pillows
• electric candles in various sizes
• battery operated aromatherapy defuser
• iPad mini preloaded with a movie or two and some episodes of The Office
• Over ear Bluetooth headphones.
I basically turn it into a little after hours spa that I can feel comfortable in.
I’ve paid my dues. I’ve slept on the ground enough. Now that I am here more in service to others, I deserve to treat myself in little ways, if I so desire. Self care.
I deserve it. I am worth it.
(Editor’s note: 100% agree – you’re worth it!)
I always bought the crap flashlights, like you get by the register at the hardware store. After I got to a point where I was going backpacking with boy scouts, not dealing with cub scouts who would borrow my light and lose it within five minutes, I decided to upgrade to the good ones (‘Coast’ brand headlamp, pen light, and regular flashlight). OHhhhh my…..these things are amazing. In the old days, you used to have to buy a maglight the size of a softball bat to get this amount of light.
(Editor’s note: I, too, have always bought crap flashlights. Time for me to learn what these new-fangled ones are all about.)
It has saved my back, I couldn’t make it more than about 4-5 hours trying to sleep on an air mattress, cot, etc., before my back would start to ache so badly to wake me up and impossible to get back to sleep. Plus I’d be stiff for much of the remainder of the day.
There is a little bit of a science to hanging one properly and laying in it to eliminate/reduce the “calf ridge” that can cause some discomfort. But once you get it down, it is sleeping nirvana. I started sleeping in a hammock back in March, and have used it at every troop campout and summer camp since.
(Editor’s note: I’ve always felt that a hammock isn’t for me, but so many Scouters seems to disagree … perhaps it’s worth a shot?)
• Lounge style camp chair
• Large inflatable pillow
• Thicker inflatable sleeping pad
• Rubbermaid tub with wheels for gear so I never have to unpack at home, just put the tub away
• Battery operated fan
• Baby/Dude wipes
Between all those I usually feel like I’m in the lap of luxury.
(Editor’s note: I had never heard of DUDE Wipes before seeing this. Now I’m annoyed I hadn’t heard of them sooner.)
Click here to read the entire list on reddit, and add your own in the comments below.
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