Backpacking Unlike Trailer-camping, when backpacking, the scout is carrying EVERYTHING on his or her back. …shelter, sleep gear, food, water, etc… EVERYTHING. Needless to say, the key to backpacking is keeping everything as light as possible. Taking only what you need and taking the appropriate gear is essential to keeping things light. When looking at backpacking equipment, an area to focus on is getting a good pair of properly fitting hiking boots/shoes and quality socks. Backpacks, camp stoves, water filtration and such can all be acquired over time. Scouts can buddy-up, pool resources or borrow from the troop any equipment you do not currently own. …bottom line, backpacking does not need to be an expensive endeavor. There are ways to start out on a budget and grow into the activity. Please keep in mind as you assemble your gear, your total pack weight should be no more than 25% of your body weight: this is the 25% rule. If you weigh 80 pounds, then your fully loaded pack (including food, water, and troop gear) cannot be more than 20 pounds. Do not carry more than 25%. Try for 20% or less. This weight limit should be part of every decision when purchasing pieces of equipment.
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