Please remember that Scouting stuff makes great birthday and/or Christmas presents. Please stick to the brands and types of gear recommended whenever possible. If you have question please ask. There is a reason why specific gear is requested. We know our Troop needs, where we go, the size of the boys, it all matters.
Our Troop is fortunate that we have a gear room created to assist with first year Scouts in need of much of the necessary Scout gear. It is an expectation in Boy Scouting that boys have a pack, sleeping bag, boots, etc. We offset a lot of that for many boys. The Troop owns excellent tents to house all of our Scouts, saving a considerable amount of cost to boys and families (not the case in most Troops). Leaders and boys who own stoves have been and still are happy to offer their stoves to allow boys to cook on for campouts (never once asking for fuel fees). I have given out boots to scouts who fit into them with the expectation that when they grow out they return them to me to give to another boy.
We are happy to outfit new Scouts as well as possible, but we ask families that if there is a need past the first year to use Troop equipment that they communicate with us to fit a boy and make a plan forward throught the years for the Scout to earn his own equipment. It is absolutely wonderful that we are growing near 40 Scouts, however gear organization is not an easy task and we can use all the assistance we can get.
- Remember, wicking shirts are cheap at Marshalls, TJ MAXX, Target, Walmart. Polyester Fleece can be found anywhere cheap these days.
- Gloves and Mittens are a HUGE good purchase. Please look for waterproof breathable, but a bit bigger than the boys size, a little extra room is good. Fleece is not suitable for winter use unless just a hiking set, not for snow or higher altitudes. Fleece catches snow, then when warmed it gets very wet, even though it can insulate when wet, the fingers is not a good place for any extra moisture.
- Waterproof/breathable Rain Jacket and Pants are a must; ponchos will not work. It always helps to ask older Scouts in the Troop; many have rain gear that they have outgrown and could pass down.
There are ways to earn your way in Scouting, please speak with us about this if you need help.
If a Scout wishes to purchase a stove, and already has the appropriate sleeping bag, traction devices, backpack, footwear, etc., please look only to a white gas stove. We recommend MSR whisperlite (tops) or Brunton or Primus stoves (white gas is optimal over a canister stove as in the conditions we typically camp in in NE region Oct-April, canister stoves do not handle cold temperatures anywhere near freezing; they are very touchy and the fuel canisters are also much more expensive.
Please be smart for pricing, if you have ANY questions, please ask me anytime, call or email!
Gear can be purchased from major local stores such as EMS, REI, NE Backpacker, however please know pricing and understand what you need as there have been times that Scouts have been misguided, purchasing inferior gear or overpaying. Please follow the recommendations of your Scoutmaster and Troop Leaders as they know what we will be doing and what will assist the most. There are specific reasons certain gear is expected.
Wicking shirts (polyester), pants, fleece, wind/rain pants and jackets can all be found at GREAT bargains at TJ MAXX and Marshalls or even Sam’s Club or BJ’s, Costco, Walmart, Target, etc. Brands include Champion, Russell, Starter, Brooks, Nike, Columbia.
NO COTTON (other than boxers) IS ALLOWED TO BE WORN ON OUR OUTINGS.
Online deals are good at:
If not sure about gear purchases, please contact the Scoutmaster. Nobody should ever have to pay retail for anything! Most people have what they need at home to outfit well enough for winter, especially if you live in Rutland.
Winter Gear recommendations:
Go to AlpsMountaineering and look, then go to HikerDirect and order informing you are from Troop 306 Rutland MA. The Kelty Coyote is a great pack for smaller Scouts; it is a good-quality pack and is highly-adjustable. Look at sierratradingpost or campmor for great deals, remember to know the size of your scout, please ask the Scoutmaster for details on fitting a pack before purchasing. Overall, look for a stable, internal frame pack with low weight, adjustable fit suspension, and two stays in the frame.
Kahtoola Microspikes are an excellent purchase for safety on mixed ice and rock. A MUST have for winter travel, they are inexpensive and very versatile in most cases where we go on winter treks.
MSR Snowshoes, Denali or Denali Evo models are excellent! Please do not buy any other snowshoes; they are a waste of money for where we use them. The Troop owns some for some first year scouts to use.
Warm Puffy jackets for camp or higher altitudes when not moving much- made of lightweight material: either down or primaloft are best. Poly fill material is good, any puffy hollow core fiber fill type fill works well
A Zero Degree sleeping bag is needed for winter camping. Bag weight should not be heavier than 5 lbs. 4 is better. Down bags are not a good option for younger Scouts as New England conditions tend to be wet and down does not do well with moisture. Brands to look for include North Face, Sierra Designs, Kelty, Eureka, EMS, Alps Mountaineering (45% off Scout discount, ask the Scoutmaster), and REI.
REMEMBER – a zero degree sleeping system can be acheived with a liner bag and extra puffy clothes big socks, and warm layers.
Good waterproof gloves and mittens with as much loft as possible. Everyone should always have an extra pair in their pack, along with extra socks and ziploc baggies for an emergency. FLEECE gloves or mittens are not a good option for snowy conditions.
Winter boots with removable liners to be placed in sleeping bag overnight to prevent freezing. Or, ziploc bags with a liner sock and warm thick sock over it works well, vapor barrier. Ask the Scoutmaster about this.
Chemical handwarmer packs
Cheapest in-bulk. Invaluable.
NO COTTON at all. Wool, synthetic, or a wool synthetic blend are best. These can be found in sporting goods stores, EMS, REI, etc.
Scout supplex pants, shorts, convertibles, or a three-season equivalent. (anything wicking/polyester/nylon.)
Thermal pants under rain pants or windproof pants. For small guys who get cold easily thermals under snow pants if water resistant, speak with the Scoutmaster.
Needed for balance in the winter; not necessary the rest of the year. Cheap generic brands will be fine, $10-20 Ocean State Job Lot, Dicks, google search. Better poles: Leki, Komperdell, Black Diamond.
Please, NO COTTON !