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Mr. Maass' Tips

What to Bring to Alpine:

Sleeping Bag
If you are buying a new bag, buy one rated for 20 degrees or lower (they all seem to exaggerate their bags ability by 10 degrees or so). Keep in mind that the temperature rating is just one factor and that weight and size are also major factors.  Invest in a good brand (Mountain Hardware, Kelty, REI, Sierra Designs, etc.) and try to get one that weighs 3 pounds or so.  If you have one already that is not that warm, you can get away with supplementing it with a sleeping bag liner that adds a rating of 10 degrees or so OR by doubling up with another bag for the Alpine trip.

Tents
You do not need to buy a tent for the Alpine trip as the Scouts can share a tent and the Troop has several tents to lend out for the new Scouts.  Also, we do not want to see any real large tents or more than two Scouts sharing a tent.  If you are buying a tent, get a small (two person) tent that can be used for backpacking as well as car camping.  Again, invest in a good brand (such as Kelty, REI, Eureka) and try to get one that is fairly lightweight (3-5 pounds). 

Backpacks
You do not need to buy a backpack for Alpine since it is basically car camping and the Troop has several that new Scouts can sign out.  If you are buying a backpack, try to get one with a volume of 60 liters or more and look for ones that have straps for carrying a tent (at the bottom).  A critical consideration is that the waist straps adjust down to the Scout's waist size as many only go down to 28" or so.

Accessories
Bring a pillow on the Alpine trip and every camping trip. You can bring your regular pillow for car camping trips and a camping one (lightweight, compressible) for backpacking trips.  Bring a sleeping pad on the Alpine trip and every camping trip.  It will keep you from sleeping on hard ground and insulate from the cold.  Lightweight, self-inflating ones may be your best bet, but there are other options such as foam pads.  Bring a mess kit w/ utensils and a water bottle on the Alpine trip and every camping trip. The Troop will not supply paper plates, paper cups, and plastic utensils on trips.  Bring a flashlight and headlamp to Alpine since it allows you to be hands free.