Troop 200 camps EVERY month! For the wintery parts of the year that means that our Scouts need to be prepared to be outside in frigid weather. For the late fall and early spring campouts scouts need to Be Prepared for changing weather ranging from 70 degrees to below freezing. This gear list explains how to prepare ourselves to stay warm for these campouts, both during the day and at night, in the event cold weather sets in.
Things you need to stay warm (plus extras):
- A hat that covers your ears during the day along with a pairs of gloves or mittens.
- Warm shoes or boots to keep your feet warm and dry. You can bring an extra pair of lighter hiking boots or shoes to wear if it gets warmer than usual. DO NOT SHOW UP WITH ONLY TENNIS SHOES to wear all day in the cold and possible rain.
- A warm coat with a hood if possible. This hood does NOT replace the hat.
- Multiple layers of warm clothes like sweatshirts, fleeces etc. Several loose fitting layers of clothing will keep you warmer than tight fitting cotton jeans. You can take off or add layers depending on the temperature. You should have enough layers to keep you warm without a heavy coat. The heavy coat is a protection plan. If you need your heavy coat to stay warm with then you do not have enough layers on. For clothing material, wool is best, a synthetic is second, and a synthetic/cotton blend is third. 100% cotton as a layer next to your body holds moisture from you sweating which can make you cold. If cotton is all you have then bring an extra pair so you can change out of them if they become wet. The idea is to stay cool, so you don’t sweat while exercising, but not to cold. Layering makes this possible.
- An extra change of clothes in case you get wet during the day.
- Rain gear that will fit over all your clothes.
- Class “A” Scout Uniform. Show up wearing at beginning of the campout. You can wear a sweat shirt under your Class A to keep warm and still show off your uniform. (Note: The Order of the Arrow sash is NOT a normal part of Class A. Sash should only be worn at OA functions and at formal Troop functions (like Courts of Honor).
- Night Gear to sleep in. ALL SCOUTS.
NOTE: Sleeping clothes are separate from day time clothes. You need separate sets!
- A totally separate clean, dry set of clothes to sleep in. This especially includes underwear and socks. Sweat pants and a sweatshirt work well for winter sleeping. A clean dry ski type pullover hat to sleep with. This is separate from the hat listed above which may become wet during the day. You do not want to sleep in the same clothes you wore all day and sweat in. The oils trapped in your clothes will make you cold during sleeping.
- A pad to go under your sleeping bag. This is a key element. You have to separate yourself from the cold coming up from the ground.
- A sleeping bag. If you only have a summer 30 degree bag or warmer bring 2 extra blankets for, one on top and one inside your sleeping bag. You can also use two summer sleeping bags stuffed inside each other with one extra blanket. If you have a 10 to 20 degree or colder bag you need to bring at least one extra blanket to go inside the bag or under the bag. Better to have an extra blanket than be cold.
Special Winter Tent Camping Considerations for Scouts:
- No Scout will be allowed to cold weather tent camp alone. Each scout must tent camp with either a Scout buddy or their parent.
- Smaller (2 or 3 person) tents are the desired sizes. Larger size tents simply mean you must heat a greater area. Bottom line: smaller size tents are usually warmer.
- Ground Cloths or Tarps. Be sure to bring a suitable piece of material to serve as a ground cover under your tent. This will keep moisture from penetrating your tent floor. The idea is to have a piece that is the same footprint as your tent. If its too big, it may collect water (in the event of rain). If it’s too small, it may not sufficiently protect your tent floor. In addition to an exterior ground cover, a similar piece for the inside of your tent is also a good idea and does offer secondary protection from moisture.