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 Cub Scout Pack 418 - Roanoke, Virginia
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Camp Site Camping Essentials ? Camping and Hiking Ideas

Camping and Hiking Ideas

bullet Hike - to Bottom Creek Gorge Preserve near Bent Mountain.  Forming the headwaters of the Roanoke River, Bottom Creek Gorge boasts spectacular scenery; the 2nd highest waterfall in Virginia; virgin hemlocks; and hundreds of wildflowers.  Photos from April08 in the photo gallery linked here.
bullet Hike and Camp - Crabtree Falls in Nelson County.  For a spectacular view, hike to the top of the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi River and enjoy the sights and sounds of cascading water.
bullet Hike, Swim and Camp - Blue Ridge Mountains Scout Reservation in Pulaski County.  The Blue Ridge Scout Reservation includes Camp Powhatan, Camp Ottari, Claytor Lake Aquatic Base and 16,000 acres of rugged beauty high in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  The Scout Reservation is open for year-round use by Packs and Troops.
bulletHike, Swim and Camp - Camp Bethel in Fincastle.  Shelter facilities, cabins, outdoor education, dining facilities and camp sites for a quick getaway or event.
bulletHike - Cascade Falls in Giles County.  About 150,000 visitors a year visit the Cascades.  Cascade Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Virginia. Little Stony Creek falls over a vertical cliff in several different streams. Several streams cascade a couple times on the way down while others fall the whole distance of the falls.
bulletHike, Swim and Camp - Jefferson National Forest < this is link to their main recreation website or . . . .  Click Here for interactive map of various hiking and camping locations.
bulletHike - Read Mountain Trail in Roanoke County.  Photos from September 2009 Hike are in the photo gallery linked here.
bullet Where to Go Camping Guide - comprehensive look at scout camps and national forests in Virginia.  Created by the Order of the Arrow Shenandoah Lodge 258. 


What are your favorite spots?  Submit them to cubmaster@camp418.com


Being Prepared for Pack Campouts

Scout Outdoor Camping Essentials 

bullet All BSA rules apply. Two deep leadership. One leader and a parent.
bullet Bring any personal medications that you or your scout may need for an overnight campout.
bullet Avoid glass items. It is heavy and breaks easily.
bullet Class I Medical Forms are required at organized events


The following items should be available for each Scout on an outdoor trip. Consider small fanny packs or similar bags to organize the items and make them easy to carry without interfering with normal activities.


Day Hike Gear for each scout

bullet Water bottle – nalgene wide mouth
bullet Flashlight and/or headlamp with good batteries plus spare ones.  Night trail hikes.
bullet Trail food
bullet Whistle for signaling
bullet Hat
bullet Troop level first aid kit.
bullet Matches


Overnighter Gear for each scout

bullet Tent or tarp. poles, and stakes
bullet Ground cloth
bullet Sleeping bag (20 degree F or better) & pillow.
bullet Sleeping pad.
bullet Rain gear
bullet Clothing (Winter) All underwear, socks, and long underwear should be packed in zip-lock bags. All other clothing should be stored in something waterproof.

1.     Warm jacket, sweatshirt, sweatpants (It could get very chilly over night)

2.     Scarf

3.     Hand and/or foot warmers (i.e., Grabbers)

4.     2 shirts (wool, best, or flannel)

5.     2 pairs wool or synthetic pants (Strongly recommend against cotton pants like jeans. They absorb moisture like a sponge).

bullet Fishnet, thermal, under armour or polypropaline underwear
bullet Boots (WATERPROOFED)
bullet 2 pairs of heavy socks (wool recommended)
bullet 2 pairs lighter socks (polypropaline is best)
bullet Hooded Windbreaker (as is or part of heavier jacket)
bullet Stocking cap (wool is best)
bullet Parka or heavy jacket
bullet Mittens, (WOOL, gloves not recommended except as extra pair)
bullet Extra shoes
bullet Thermos
bullet Lots of water
bullet Slippers
bullet Cup (for hot & cold liquids), bowl, spork, mesh bag
bullet Extra clothing
bullet Toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, washcloth, towel, comb, toilet paper
bullet Durable shoes
bullet Hat or cap
bullet Be sure to insulate yourself from the cold of the snow. This means providing insulation between the floor of the tent and your sleeping bag. Air mattresses do not work, unless an insulating layer of wool blankets, sleeping pads, etc., are placed on top of the mattress. Closed-cell foam pads, thinsulite pads, or aluminum foil sandwiched between layers of corrugated cardboard work the best.

Optional Personal Items

bullet Camera
bullet Sunglasses
bullet Notebook and pencil
bullet Compass
bullet 5ft hiking stick

Pack Supplies

bullet Cooking gear: Gas stove for cooking. Cook pots to boil water.
bullet Large water storage container with water in case we haul water (i.e., platypus)
bullet Pots for boiling water, eating utensils, and cooking utensils.
bullet Trowel
bullet Rope
bullet Cleaning supplies


Rules and Instructions for Keeping Warm at Night


1. REMEMBER: The sleeping bag doesn't heat you, you heat it. So use this rule, "Thickness is warmth", to keep this heat. If you're cold, add some more insulations (blankets, clothes, more newspaper).

2. DO NOT SLEEP IN BOTTOM OF BAG: Your breath contains water. If you close your bag with your head inside, then this water sticks to the bag. Wear a hat to keep your head warm.

3. CHANGE CLOTHES: NEVER sleep in wet clothes. Even perspiration will chill you at night.

4. EAT A CANDY BAR: This increases your metabolism (moves your blood faster) and it helps keep you warm.

5. GO TO THE BATHROOM BEFORE BED: This saves you a middle of the night trip in the cold.

6. DO NOT DRY "WET" CLOTHES IN BAG: Moisture will travel from wet clothes to sleeping bag.

7. PUT TOMORROW'S CLOTHES UNDER BAG: This heats up clothes for tomorrow's cold morning and also provides more insulation.

8. FLUFF UP YOUR BAG: Always fluff up bag before using to create the thickness important in keeping warm.

9. MOST IMPORTANT, KEEP IT DRY: Keep all your sleeping gear dry and follow these rules, and winter camp should prove to be a rewarding experience.




1. Clothing does not make you warm; it is your body processes that keep you warm. Clothing merely provides the insulation to preserve your warmth.

2. Layered thickness is warmth.

3. Keep your torso warm so that it can send heat to the extremities.

4. Avoid sweating by ventilation.

5. Keep rain and wind out of your insulation.

6. Use your head. Keep it covered when you're cold; remove cap as you warm up to avoid sweating.

7. Strain one muscle against another to maintain metabolism.

8. Wool clothing is best but needs wind protection, synthetics are next best. Down is OK as long as it stays dry, cotton is a poor choice.

9. If your feet are cold, put a hat on.

10. Remember the word "COLD" -

Keep your clothing - Clean.
Avoid -------------- Overheating
Wear clothing ------ Loose
Keep it ------------ Dry


It is always best to stay dry when camping in the snow, but you can expect to get wet and should be prepared. Boots or other shoes which are not waterproof will normally start getting the feet wet and cold after less than 15 minutes in the snow (depending on temperature, the colder it is, the longer the feet stay dry). Low top shoes will not keep the snow out of the shoes. Gaiters can be made from plastic bags and a strong tape like duck tape. Do not cover the bottom of you shoes with plastic, doing so will cause you to lose almost all of your traction (and you will fall down!).

Unless your parents are planning to buy some of the items on this list anyway, do not run out and start spending lots of money on cloths and equipment. If all your pants are jeans, for example, bring three or four pairs and change frequently. If you are in doubt or have questions, call one of the troop leaders for advice.


Winter Camping



Myth #1: Leather hiking boots will keep your feet warm. -- FALSE

-       The snug fit of most leather hiking boots can limit the circulation of blood in the foot. Especially with thick socks on. Overboots cut generously enough to hold your foot and shoe are much more effective. The cloth stitching in leather boots can also wick moisture into the shoe. Nothing is worse that wet feet in cold winter.


Myth #2: Waterproof clothing is ideal for cold weather camping. -- FALSE

-       To keep warm, in the cold, your clothing must allow body moisture to escape. Moisture that is trapped too close to the body can wick heat away through evaporation. It is better to layer your clothing on in cold weather. Wool, Gor Tex, and polypropylene garments work nice in the cold. Always wear insulated underwear.

Myth #3: Winter camping does not require much preparation. -- FALSE

-       Arctic conditions exist when the wind is blowing and the temperature drops below 20 degrees F. There are only seven states in the U.S. that do not experience arctic weather. Indiana is not one of them.. It is very important to prepare and even over prepare. I've never heard anyone complain about being too warm or having too many dry clothes on a winter campout.

Myth #4: Mental attitude has little to do with winter camping. -- FALSE

- A positive mental attitude is the most important ingredient in the success of cold weather camping trips. The demands of winter will drain your energy and you'll have to rely on yourself to keep your spirits high.

Myth #5: In cold weather, tasks can be done just as quickly as in warm weather. -- FALSE

-       Every effort in cold weather takes longer to complete. Be sure to bring some winter patience with you when you camp in the cold.




There are three ways to lose body heat. Keeping them in mind will help you be much more aware of what you are or could be doing to keep your body warm.

RADIATION - The emission of body, especially from the skin areas exposed to the elements. A good set of gloves, hat, and scarf can help best in keeping bare skin to a minimum.

CONDUCTION - The absorption of cold by the body when sitting or laying on cold ground, or handling cold objects such as metal cooking utensils and metal canteens. This is why a decent sleeping pad is required for cold weather camping. The same goes for wearing gloves. A camp stool is a must on a winter camping trip. Try not to sit on the ground.

CONVECTION - The loss of body heat due to wind blowing across unprotected body parts. This situation can also be reduced by keeping bare skin covered with hats, scarves, and gloves. It is important to keep exposure to a minimum, ESPECIALLY in a windy situation. Convection heat loss can reduce body heat the fastest. Wet clothing will accelerate this process, making staying dry even more important.



Tent Placement.

Whenever possible, place your tent in a location that will catch the sunrise in the morning. This will aid in melting off any ice and evaporating any frost or dew that may have formed during the night. This will also warm your tent as you awaken in the morning.Cold air sinks. Try to place your campsite on slightly higher ground than the rest of your surroundings. Try to choose a protected site if it is snowing or the wind is blowing.

Water Consumption In Cold Weather.

Dehydration can seriously impair the body's ability to produce heat. Drink fluids as often as possible during the day and keep a water bottle or canteen with you at night.

Cooking In Cold Weather.

Cooking in cold weather will take about twice as long as normal. Always use a lid on any pots that you are cooking in. This will help to hold in the heat and decrease the overall heating time. Make sure you start hot cleaning water before you start cooking. The pots and utensils must still be cleaned. Try to keep your menu to good one-pot meals. Things like stews, chili, and hot beans stick to your ribs, lessen the cleaning time, and provide good sources of energy and fuel for your internal furnace. A good high-calorie snack before bedtime will also keep you warm all night. Stay away from an overabundance of sugar, cheese is a good high-calorie bedtime snack.

Sleeping Tip #1.

Do not sleep with your mouth and nose in your sleeping bag. The moisture of your breath will condense in the bag, and cause it to become wet and ineffective as an insulator.

Buddy System.

Buddies can help each other pack for a trek, look after one another in the woods, and watch for symptoms of frostbite, hypothermia, and exhaustion.


Make a checklist of everything you need before you start to pack. Then check each item off as you pack it. This way you will not forget anything.


Keeping Warm


Keeping warm is the most important part of cold weather camping. Use the C-O-L-D method to assure staying warm.

- C - Clean

Since insulation is only effective when heat is trapped by dead air spaces, keep your insulating layers clean and fluffy. Dirt, grime, and perspiration can mat down those air spaces and reduce the warmth of a garment.

- O - Overheating

Avoid overheating by adjusting the layers of your clothing to meet the outside temperature and the exertions of your activities. Excessive sweating can dampen your garments and cause chilling later on.

- L - Loose Layers

A steady flow of warm blood is essential to keep all parts of your body heated. Wear several loosely fitting layers of clothing and footgear that will allow maximum insulation without impeding your circulation.

- D - Dry

Damp clothing and skin can cause your body to cool quickly, possibly leading to frostbite and hypothermia. Keep dry by avoiding cotton clothes that absorb moisture. Always brush away snow that is on your clothes before you enter a heated area. Keep the clothing around your neck loosened so that body heat and moisture can escape instead of soaking several layers of clothing.



- Footwear.

As with other clothing, the layer system is also the answer for foot- wear. Start with a pair of silk, nylon, or thin wool socks next to your skin. Then layer on several pairs of heavier wool socks. When and if your feet become damp, change into another pair of dry socks at the first opportunity. Rubber overboots will protect the feet from water and will allow more comfortable shoes to be worn within.

- Mittens and Gloves.

Mittens allow your fingers to be in direct contact with each other. They will keep your hands warmer than regular gloves that cover each finger. Select mittens that are filled with foam insulation, or pull on wool gloves and cover them with a nylon overmitt. Long cuffs will keep wind and snow from getting in.

- Headgear.

The stocking hat is the warmest thing you can cover your head with in cold weather. Get one that is large enough to pull down over your ears. Also ski masks are great in the winter and can help in keeping your neck and face warm as well. Noses and ears can be very easily frostbitten, so a scarf can be an invaluable item to have.

- Parka and/or Overcoat.

Your coat or parka is the most important piece of your winter clothing. It needs to be large enough to fit over extra clothing without cutting off blood flow, and allowing ventilation to keep moisture away from your body. A large permanently attached hood will prevent heat loss around your head and neck.

- Sleepwear.

Never should you sleep in the same clothes that you have worn all day. They are damp and will cause you to chill. This could cause frostbite and hypothermia. It is advised that you bring a thick pair of sweats and thermal underwear to sleep in. Keep the thermals and sweats for sleeping in only. Do not wear them during the day, this will keep them the driest. Also be sure to have a couple of layers of wool or heavy thick cotton socks on as well. Always sleep with a stocking hat on your head. Your sleeping bag needs to be a winter rated bag. Typically rated down to 15 degrees and stuffed with 5 pounds of Holofil, Fiberfil, or other polyester ticking. It is also a very good idea to have some kind of sleeping mat to use in the winter. The mat can be a $90 Thermal Rest from Galyans (Scouts get a %10 discount by showing Scout ID card) or a piece of high density rubber foam at least one inch thick. In cold weather camping you never want to sleep on an air mattress or off the ground in a cot. The air under you will cool you off in no time and this would create a threatening situation. If you don't have a sleeping mat, bring a spare wool or natural fiber blanket to use as a ground pad under your sleeping bag. The sleeping mat is worth it's weight in gold.


Have fun!

Every year, tens of thousands of boys will go winter camping. Although the threat of danger is always present in a winter camp, planning and knowledge can overcome this. It is very important that the Scouts come prepared. If a Scout feels that at this time winter camping is not for him, then he should not go. There is always next year and the year after and so on. If a Scout comes to camp and I do not feel that he is prepared, I will have to ask him to stay behind. Make sure you are ready, and most of all, SAFE.


Cold Weather Camping Survival Guide

Cold weather camping represents one of the greatest challenges a Scout will face. With the proper planning and knowledge, this challenge can be easily attacked. Without proper planning, the challenge could prove to be a dangerous defeat. This guide is intended to provide the Scouts with a quick start course of the skills of cold weather camping. This guide is broken down into several key areas that include clothing, the layering system, special equipment, bedding down, nutrition, and cold weather first-aid. We hope everyone will accept this challenge and most importantly, enjoy it!


The clothing that your son brings on a winter camping trip will be one of the most important determinants of his warmth. While the clothing will not directly provide warmth, it rather provides insulation to preserve body heat from activity.

Clothing material can primarily be broken down into wool, synthetics, cottons, and blends. Each type of material holds its own advantages and disadvantages. Wool, although itchy, provides warmth when wet. Synthetics provide waterproof and windproof advantages yet lack breathability. Cottons are primarily used in warm weather camping by providing lightweight, cool clothing. Finally, blends represent a mix between cotton or wool and synthetics. The Scout uniform represents an ideal example of blends.

Before running through a recommended list of clothing for the weekend, it is important to address several important issues. First, perspiration can prove to be a serious side effect of intense winter activity. To avoid this, it is important that the first layer of clothing be able to wick moisture away. Polypropylene long underwear is the solution. Commonly referred to as "Wicker’s", poly’s wick moisture away from the body allowing your body heat to evaporate your sweat and ultimately reduce any chilling. The second important issue concerns breathability. Waterproof materials do a superb job in keeping us dry, however, they hold one important drawback. They lack breathability. What this means is that they counteract the effects of Poly’s by trapping the moisture that the thermal underwear attempts to wick away. Ultimately, when this occurs, it is important to change layers throughout the day to avoid excessive moisture build-up that brings down the body temperature. Finally, the proper clothing on your feet is important to enjoying a cold weather weekend. Poly liners should be worn under wool or wool synthetic socks in order to wick away moisture. Wool socks help combat cold feet in the event that your socks get wet. Wool, unlike other fabrics, will still keep you relatively warm if wet. Be sure that your socks are not too tight, as this can reduce blood circulation and lead to cold feet. In the event your feet to get wet, be sure to change into a dry,
clean pair of socks as soon as possible!

The following list represents the recommended clothing for a two day winter camping trip:

2 shirts (wool or flannel) 
2 pairs of wool or casual pants (similar to Dockers) 
Polypropylene long underwear 
Boots (Waterproofed) 
2 pairs of heavy socks (wool recommended) 
2 pairs of lighter socks (preferably polypropylene liners) 
Wool stocking cap, ear warmers, & neck gators 
Parka or heavy jacket 
Wool mittens (preferable to gloves) 

If it is at all possible to single out one important feature of clothing, it would be that no Scout should have sweatsuit material in his pack. The only exception to this rule is a hooded sweatshirt for sleeping at night. We cannot over emphasize how important this is, sweatpants absorb moisture like a sponge and hold no wind breaking capabilities.

The Layering System

While clothing will provide the insulation to maintaining a constant body temperature and steady warmth, it is useless if not worn properly. Layering represents an individual’s personal thermostat. As you begin to feel cool, you can put on another layer. As your body begins to sweat, you simply remove a layer. More often than not, this body temperature regulation can be performed through the wool cap. The body loses 80% of its heat through its head. A wool cap helps maintain this heat within your body, warming you rather than your surroundings.
The layers begin with the polypropylene long underwear and work their way up to the parka. In short, the primary importance of the layer system lies in body temperature regulation. For this reason, it is important to have various layers packed in order to properly regulate your body temperature.

Special Winter Camping Equipment

This section is intended primarily to introduce equipment concerns that need to be addressed when camping in extreme cold weather. The first, single most important piece of special equipment is fortunately the cheapest. Zip Lock Bags! All underwear, socks, and long underwear should be packed in zip-lock bags. All other clothing should be stored in something waterproof. This can range from a garbage bag to stuff sacks. All the wool and polypropylene in the world won’t do any good if is wet from the beginning. Dryness is the key to success.
Foam pads are the second most important piece of special equipment. The ground is cold! When you are sleeping, it is important to have that added insulation under you to avoid losing body heat to warming the Earth. Remember the rule of thumb, it is a good idea to have two to three times as much insulation under you as you do above you. The next most important piece of equipment will more than likely not cost anything because you probably have it lying around the house. All Scouts should carry a wool blanket with them on the weekend.
Finally, the next important piece of equipment is not one that we want everyone to run out and purchase for the weekend, however, in the long run, it may want to be considered if your son enjoys Scouting. Mummy sleeping bags provide a great degree of warmth due to the contour and snug fit of the bag to the body. Unfortunately, the degree of warmth represents a direct function of price. These bags can range anywhere in price from $50 for a 35 degree bag to $300+ for a zero degree or sub-zero degree bag. For recreational use, a good quality zero degree to fifteen degree mummy bag can be purchased for approximately $60 to $80. If you have questions on a specific bag, please let one of the adult leaders know.


Talk with your pack about all equipment needs.  Do not run out and purchase items.

Bedding Down

Sleeping in the winter is really no different than camping out in the summer. However, there are a few important tips that require mentioning. The first most important tip is to never wear wet clothes to sleep. Not only will it decrease your body temperature, it will also cause moisture in your sleeping bag that will decrease the insulating properties of the bag. Secondly, if you do get cold during the night, do not place your head inside the sleeping bag as this will cause moisture from your breath to have the same effect as mentioned above. Wearing a hat while your sleeping will produce the same results as sticking your head inside the bag. Finally, the insulated capabilities of the bag come from warmth being trapped in the dead air space of the synthetic fibers (or bag fill), be sure that the bag is as fluffed out as possible to increase the insulating characteristics. In addition, it is recommended to keep the bag in a stuff sack until you are ready to bed down, this will keep moisture in the air from finding a place on or in your bag before you bed down. When storing your sleeping bag at home, hang it in a closet rather than in the stuffsack in order to avoid crushing the fill in the bag. Preparing your bed roll for winter camping requires a little more effort than a summer night under the stars.
Insulation under you is the key to enjoying a warm winter night. The first layer down should be a plastic ground cloth to keep moisture from the cold ground from coming in contact with and ultimately penetrating your sleeping bag. On ½ of the ground cloth layout the sleeping pad. On top of the pad layout a folded wool blanket (army blankets work great) to add extra insulation form the cold ground. Place your sleeping bag on top of the wool blanket and fold the remaining ½ of the ground cloth on top of the bag. The ground cloth on top of the bag helps to prevent dew and frost from forming on the bag and ultimately reducing the insulating capabilities. In extreme cold weather, newspaper, hay or more natural materials such as leaves and pine needles can be placed under the sleeping pad to provide more insulation. Finally, get warm before going to bed. Increasing activity by cutting wood for the morning fire or doing jumping jacks increases your metabolism and body heat before hitting the sack!


Menu planning and a properly balanced diet become crucial in cold weather camping. Unfortunately, it is sometimes difficult to do. Who wants to cook and clean a full course dinner or grand slam breakfast in zero degree weather? Most important to realize is that you will require a greater calorie intake in cold weather. In addition to increased activity, increasing your metabolism is a good way to increase your warmth. A proper diet should be high in carbohydrates and protein. Many of the menus have already been planned and approved by the adults. However, we would recommend sending some extra snacks along for the trip. Rather than sending cookies and chips, replace them with cheese and crackers, granola bars, and trail mixes (My favorite is Cheerios, chocolate chips, peanuts, raisins, and M&M’s). Foods high in protein result in a slow release of body heat as your metabolism digests the foods.
Candy and other high sugar foods result in a quick release of body heat that causes your body temperature to drop below what it was originally. Ultimately, it is important to have a high calorie diet that is high in protein and carbohydrates.

Cold Weather First Aid

This subject always become an important topic that I hope no Scout will ever have to use. However, up to date knowledge is of extreme importance. In addition to basic first-aid skills that many of the Scouts are educated on, cold weather first aid concerns and safety issues often take precedence on cold weather outings. As a refresher to cold weather first aid, it is important to review common problems and remedies found in cold weather camping:

Dehydration- Excessive loss of body water that impairs the ability to reason, so the victim may not react properly. Prevention: 1) Drink at least 2 quarts of water a day 2) Avoid dehydrating foods (High Protein) and fluids (coffee, caffeine). Treatment includes increasing liquid intake and keeping warm. Severe cases require immediate medical attention.

Hypothermia - Lowering of the inner core body temperature. Can and usually does happen in temperatures above freezing. The victim may not recognize the symptoms and may not be able to think clearly enough to react. Injury or death may result. Prevention includes good nutrition, consumption of high-energy foods, proper clothing, and increased activity. Treatment includes providing shelter and warmth for the victim from the elements, hot drinks followed by candy or other high sugar foods to jump start the metabolism, and increasing body heat through huddling. If hypothermia is suspected medical attention should be contacted as quickly as possible.

Frostbite - Tissue injury involving the actual freezing of the skin and underlying tissues. Recovery is slow. Once exposed, the victim will be predisposed toward frostbite in the future.
Prevention includes proper clothing, good nutrition, drinking fluids, immediate treatment of minor symptoms, and use of the buddy system to check face, nose, and ears of fellow Scouts.
Treatment includes warming area through exercise, heat, or water (Do not rub with snow).

Snow Blindness - Inflammation of the eye caused by exposure to reflected ultraviolet rays when the sun is shining brightly on an expanse of snow. Prevention includes wearing sunglasses when any danger is present. Treatment includes blindfolding the victim, rest, and avoided future exposure. Snow Blindness heals in a few days without permanent damage.


It is our hope that this cold weather survival guide has been helpful in preparing you for your cold weather trek. Please do not throw it away. It will provide a valuable resource for years to come. The information on cold weather camping is abundant. If you have any specific questions or are interested in learning more about anything discussed in this packet, please do not hesitate to contact us. The Troop is filled with extremely knowledgeable and experienced Scouters that would love to pass this information off. Enjoy the weekend!

More Cold Weather Tips

If you only have a rectangular sleeping bag, bring an extra blanket to pack around your shoulders to keep air from getting in. 
Use a ground cloth (or poncho) to keep ground moisture from forming your bag. 
Put a hand warmer (in a sock) in the bottom of your sleeping bag to warm it up before bedding down. 
You may want to take a bottle of propane into your tent with you at night. This will keep it warmer and make it easier to light the stove for breakfast. 
Placing ground pepper in your socks prior to a day in cold weather increases the circulation to your feet and reduces that chance of cold, wet feet. 
Avoid eating snow. The coldness requires to much energy to convert to water and could result in a decrease in boy temperature. 
Using deodorant on your feet before a day in cold weather reduces the chance of sweating which can cause a chill in your feet. 
Use the buddy system to check each other for signs of cold weather health problems. Notify the adult leadership if any symptoms occur. 
Place the next day’s clothes inside your sleeping bag as added insulation and to warm them up. 
Stay warm and dry. Have Fun!


Stay warm by being C-O-L-D

Scouting expert suggests method of comfy survival

Special to The Patriot-News

The most common errors people make during outdoor activities in cold weather include not eating the right foods, not drinking enough water, not having adequate clothing, and being unaware of the signs of frostbite and hypothermia, according to a survival expert with the Boy Scouts of America.

"One of the best ways to remember what is appropriate to eat when you are spending extended periods of time outside in cold weather is to use good nutrition to build the fire within," said Dave Bates, experienced outdoorsman and head of the Boy Scouts' Camping Service.

"Make sure your food consumption includes sugars, which act like a fire starter; carbohydrates and proteins, which act as kindling; and fats that produce the energy needed to keep the fire burning and your body running at peak performance," he said.

"Stay away from caffeinated drinks, such as soda, coffee and tea. Drink plenty of plain water or sports drinks to keep yourself properly hydrated."

To help outdoors enthusiasts avoid safety hazards, the BSA is sharing its tried-and-true winter safety tips.

"Being prepared isn't just for scouts. Proper planning is the critical first step for any outdoor outing or excursion," Bates said.

"Before embarking on your next cold-weather outing, don't forget to pack a positive attitude, pace yourself and warm up to these easy-to-re-member, but often overlooked, safety tips."

Keeping warm is the most important part of cold-weather camping and outdoor activities.

Use the C-O-L-D method to stay warm.

Clean: Since insulation is only effective when heat is trapped by dead air spaces, keep your insulating layers clean and fluffy. Dirt, grime and perspiration can mat down those spaces and reduce a garment's warmth.

Overheating: Avoid over heating by adjusting the layers of your clothing to meet the outside temperature and the exertions of your activities. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and avoid caffeinated drinks that act as diuretics.

Loose layers: A steady flow of warm blood is essential to keep all parts of your body heated. Wear several loosely fitting layers of clothing and footgear that will allow maximum insulation without impeding your circulation.

Having clothing that is bright colored (orange or red) is also a good idea, so hunters and sportsmen can see you in snowy conditions. Wear a hat.

Dry: Sweaty, damp clothing and skin can cause your body to cool quickly, possibly leading to frostbite and hypothermia. Keep dry by avoiding
clothes that absorb moisture.

Always brush away snow on your clothes before you enter a heated area. Keep clothing around your neck loosened so that body heat and moisture can escape.

Prepare for icy weather. Select bright, thermal clothing that can be layered as the temperature changes. When hands and feet begin to chill, it's time to put on a hat. Hats help trap body heat by preventing it from escaping through your head.

Wear suitable shoes for walking on frozen ground or ice, and don't forget other essentials such as mittens, gloves and scarves or neck warmers.

Find supplies for campfires. Prior to sundown, find tinder and wood for starting and maintaining a campfire. , ;

Know the area. Thoroughly research the place where you are planning to go, or go with someone familiar with it. Be-mindful of potential avalanche areas or unstable ice.

Travel with a buddy. Groups of four to 10 are an even better idea. Should a problem arise, such as injury or hypothermia, someone can stay with the injured person while others seek help.

Watch for frostbite and hypothermia. Keep an eye on friends and fellow campers.

If the areas around the eyes and lips, or the lips themselves, begin to turn grayish! white, the person may be experiencing frostbite. Confusion, inaction and shivering are all progressive signs of hypothermia.

If you get cold, huddle up or sit by the fire. Action and movement will also stimulate blood flow and distribute warmth throughout the body.



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Last modified: 09/26/10