The start of the Scouting Year often means getting back in the swing of camping for Scouting Groups. After weeks of family road trips, visiting the cottage or cabin, and days at the beach, many members haven’t pitched a tent since May or June. Camping always requires some flexibility and a willingness to adapt to circumstances, but that doesn’t mean we need to make things more challenging than they need to be—especially while base camping (driving right up to your campsite, and not hiking or paddling in the backcountry).
A few comfort items can add flare to your fall campsite or amp up Scouting spirits. This goes a long way to ensuring everyone has a great time in the outdoors on your next camping adventure!
- Pack your stuffy. For Beaver Scouts and even some Cub Scouts, an overnight outing in a tent can cause some anxiety. Bringing a favourite stuffed friend from home can make a world of difference. Scouters should not only encourage youth to bring along something to snuggle, but remove any stigma by bringing along their own stuffed animals.
- Treat yourselves. There aren’t too many things that can boost your spirit like indulging your sweet tooth. Be sure to plan something tasty for dessert, and plan on another treat before bed. Have a surprise treat on hand just for when you need it—bust out some chocolate bars when the gang starts flagging on a hike, and every Scout will make it back to camp smiling.
- Deck your site. Make your campsite shine with a solar charger and LED Christmas lights—and maybe even a disco ball!
- Just add flavour. It’s important to keep hydrated on outings, but water just doesn’t appeal to our tongues the ways other drinks do. Add a squirt of flavouring to everyone’s water to keep people sipping.
- Treat your feet. Tired dogs after a long hike? When you change into fresh socks, indulge your feet with a spritz of peppermint spray. Not only does it feel great, but it’ll also keep the funk down in your tent!
- Be prepared with games and books. To stave off boredom and restlessness on a rainy day or after the sun goes down, have a deck of cards on hand. There are countless travel-size games that can be worth packing, too. A book of jokes and brain teasers can also be a lot of fun, both in camp and on the drive home.
- Go deluxe. Some sleeping mats are designed to pack up small and weigh as little as possible. Of course, when those mats are rolled out, they don’t offer much cushioning. If you’re base camping, is this a mat you’re happy to settle for? You might sleep better on a mat that’s thicker and wider.
- Pack a pillow. Yes, stuffed up clothes in your sleeping bag’s sack can suffice as a pillow when out on the trail, but if you’re car camping, why not bring a proper pillow?
- Wipe up. Degradable camping wipes are a quick and easy way to keep clean on an outing. Seeing dirt come off your hands on a wipe can feel surprisingly good. You might be more of a clean freak than you suspected!