I’m about to get a crash course in scouting. I’ve volunteered to teach lightweight backpacking at the Cedarland’s High Adventure Scout Reservation in the High Peaks Region of the Adirondacks. I’m headed up there later in the week to be a guest instructor and to do a little backpacking with a scout troop.
There’s a huge need to help scouts, parents, and scout masters learn about lightweight backpacking techniques. Kids can’t carry heavy gear because of their size. If they end up carrying a ton of unnecessary gear on a backpacking trip, it won’t be an experience that they’ll ever want to repeat.
I was asked by Bill Laymon, the Director of Cedarlands, to come and teach because I let it be known that I’m interested in speaking to youth groups and outdoor organizations about lightweight backpacking. He’s also interested in bringing a lot of new high adventure activities to Cedarlands to expand the skills that visiting troops can acquire there. There are a couple of things I know I want to learn when I’m there, including fly fishing, forestry, and rock climbing.
Lightweight Backpacking Resources for Scouts
If you’re a scout, parent, or scout master and you’re interested in learning more about lightweight backpacking and scouting, here are some good online resources I’ve found that can help you out.
To start, watch the video here which features Scout Master, Steve Green. He’s got a very watchable series of thirty-thee videos about lightweight backpacking on his web site that you should check out, even if you’re not involved in scouting. I like his emphasis on how to outfit your kids or yourself without a lot of expensive gear. We need more of this in the UL community. Lightweight backpacking does not have to be expensive or exclusive.
Doug Prosser, another Scout Master, wrote a great article called Boy Scout Gear List: New Scouts, Three-Season, which is also a great read if you’ve never seen it. Doug is still very active with scouting and has been teaching BSA leaders about lightweight backpacking with Ryan Jordan, who is also involved with scouting.
Then finally, there’s a free PDF book about Lightweight Backpacking for Scouts written by Kevin Hauser which is a bit dated (1999) but still has a lot of excellent information in it.
That should get you started.
If you’re involved in scouting and would like to learn more, or can point out more useful resources, please leave a comment below.