When Scouts Return

A Scouting trip doesn't end when a Scout comes home - it ends after he cleans up his gear and packs it away. This isn't a parent's responsibility - it's the Scout's responsibility.

What should not happen:

  • Johnny Scout comes home and drops his backpack by the front door and goes into the living room to play COD. Parent picks up the backpack and empties it, cleans gear and stores it.

What should happen (please help Johnny to figure this out at first - pretty soon, he will be doing this without being told):

  • Johnny Scout comes home and goes into the back yard with his gear
  • He empties everything from his backpack (every item!!) and sorts it into piles
    • Hang out to air out/dry pile (sleeping bag, tent, ground cloth, sleeping pad, tarps, bivys)
    • Clothes pile (no dirty or clean - just consider everything dirty) - to be washed
      • Also includes hat, jetboil insulation sleeve (probably has food dripped on it)
      • Don't forget the clothes Johnny is wearing
    • Kitchen pile (plates, spoons, mugs, water bottles, stove pots, jetboil cup, measuring cup, cap, food)
    • Camping stuff to store away (first aid kit, trekking poles, empty backpack)
    • Stuff to rinse (shoes, water shoes)
      • If coming from forests with Sudden Oak Death (Big Basin...), wash ground tarps, tents in soapy water, rinse and dry (or at least rinse well with a hose and hang up). This helps slow/prevent the spread of the fungus to other forests.

After the gear is separated:

    • Hang the gear to air out/dry on a clothes line. It's ok to leave it out overnight if you forget to bring it in. Just leave it until later the next day to make sure all the dew has dried out completely. Packing moist gear into a bag will rot it out quickly and make it stinky. After it's dried, store it with your other camping gear. Sleeping bags MUST not be stored compressed. It can be hung (best) or loosely packed into a large breathable bag.
    • Put clothes into washer and wash on 'sports' or 'permanent press' setting with cold water. Don't forget detergent. Hang out to dry after washing. Ok to use a dryer if you use low heat. Put away clothes with other camping clothes/dresser.
    • Kitchen gear: Throw out food you won't eat; store trailmix for lunch snacks. Put in things that can go into dishwasher (jetboil metal can, stove legs, lid, mugs, utensils, plates, bowls). Rinse out water bottles, platypus and any hoses you used to drink with. Lids for these things can be put into the dishwasher. Hang water bottles, platypus, hoses out to dry. Make sure you open the platypus bags up completely so all the water can dry out.
    • Store camping stuff away. Aquamira premix bottles should be emptied and opened up to be dried before storing.
    • Rinsed stuff - put away after it dries completely

Congratulations! - You are now done - take a shower and relax!!