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12/11/2018 1:58:31 AM
11/9/2018 9:21:38 PM
Posted: 12/2/2018 5:40:30 PM EST
I am a leader in our new local Trail Life troop. We are wanting to purchase tents and outdoor cooking equipment for our troop.

We are needing tents that will allow us to backpack and be light enough for our youngest members to carry or be easier for our older troop members to help the younger.

We are wanting a mix of tents. Some modern and some of the old style military half tents or pup tents. I believe we are looking to purchase 4 at this time.

Our cooking gear is pretty squared away however, we are going to want to pick up some cast iron skillets and dutch ovens. We are looking at walmart for those for as far as I know, Cast Iron is Cast Iron.

My question:

To help us with saving money, who sells tents and equipment at amazing prices that would work for our budget we have for this? I will check back on this thread every no and then so if I don't respond, please do not think I am not watching it. I just may not be able to respond as much as I want. However, all advice is very appreciated!

I also don't know if there is anyone on here that runs an outdoor equipment store or not. If there is, who might that be as I wish to also support them if I can rather than just corporations.

We do have a meeting this week with the leaders and we will be assessing our present equipment and what we may also need so I will have a better direction of how much and of what to get then. Thanks for the advice!
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 6:48:34 PM EST
Need a little more information.

How much is your budget for 4 tents? What capacity do the tents need to be? What time of year do you plan on using said tents and in what location(s) for weather purposes?

As I'm sure you're aware, lighter = mo money when it comes to camping stuff. Cast iron at Wal-Mart is gtg, but gets heavy quick. TI or AL is a better choice if walking in, albeit not as rugged as iron.
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 7:47:21 PM EST
Budget, I am thinking 300 for tents and 200 for cooking.

However, I am able to shift some from the cooking to the tents.

I am thinking two to four man and as far as temps and weather, we have done some fall campouts and maybe early winter.

I am wanting to set up for real hard core camping (no real modern equipment), so while their may be other lightweight options, for this, cast Iron is going to last longer.

For our younger troop, we do have some lighter options but they are not ready yet for the heavier type camping (bunch of K5-1st grade ).
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 8:31:58 PM EST
I was warned a long time ago to not trust
what's in the cast iron from China. I only
buy Lodge new. I have bought a few vintage
Wagners.
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 8:33:50 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Johnny_C:
I was warned a long time ago to not trust
what's in the cast iron from China. I only
buy Lodge new. I have bought a few vintage
Wagners.
View Quote
Hmmm....I hadn't heard that. I have a few of the Ozark brand. Maybe I need to change?

I love cooking with mine at home. I make a mean deep dish Pizza!
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 8:37:38 PM EST
Cast iron gear is not really compatible with backpacking.

Campmor is a pretty good discount place for youth groups.

Philmont Scout Ranch occasionally sells off excess gear.

Tooth of time traders is also a place for gear.
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 8:40:35 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By rrbgeb:
Cast iron gear is not really compatible with backpacking.

Campmor is a pretty good discount place for youth groups.

Philmont Scout Ranch occasionally sells off excess gear.

Tooth of time traders is also a place for gear.
View Quote
I may then need to plan for backpacking.

I may consider just a small grill grid and an open fire. But for regular camping, we could pull out the Cast Iron.
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 8:43:57 PM EST
lodge cast iron. Do Not buy chink crap
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 8:49:14 PM EST
I checked our cooking tools. Glad I poked. We have one Lodge Dutch oven.

Guess I am going to purchase new stuff. Since I have very little in that, I can start fresh.

So, where is a good place to get cast iron Lodge at good prices?
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 8:50:06 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By rrbgeb:
Cast iron gear is not really compatible with backpacking.

Campmor is a pretty good discount place for youth groups.

Philmont Scout Ranch occasionally sells off excess gear.

Tooth of time traders is also a place for gear.
View Quote
Thank you. I will get on that tomorrow and look around!
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 9:13:25 PM EST
You really want some of them to hump old school military shelter halves?
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 9:17:04 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By tc556guy:
You really want some of them to hump old school military shelter halves?
View Quote
If possible.

We have some young campers but we have a couple older ones that may like it.

We are talking about getting just a couple and letting those boys that want to really try run with it.

I am hoping they really start to get our other kids fired up about it!

We are going to also try to get an open house to get other boys into the troop. Up till now, we have kept it closed until we could figure out what we are doing.

I think we are ready...think.
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 9:19:31 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Jarem08:
If possible.

We have some young campers but we have a couple older ones that may like it.

We are talking about getting just a couple and letting those boys that want to really try run with it.

I am hoping they really start to get our other kids fired up about it!

We are going to also try to get an open house to get other boys into the troop. Up till now, we have kept it closed until we could figure out what we are doing.

I think we are ready...think.
View Quote
I'll have to look through my old stuff, but I have at least one, maybe two, complete shelter half sets. I'll donate them to your cause if you cover shipping
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 9:21:37 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By tc556guy:

I'll have to look through my old stuff, but I have at least one, maybe two, complete shelter half sets. I'll donate them to your cause if you cover shipping
View Quote
PM sent
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 10:38:45 PM EST
Honestly, sleeping in military shelter halves is probably the best way to turn anyone off to camping. Each half weighs as much as a moderately-priced modern tent, when it rains the kids WILL get wet, and the first time someone kicks the poles at night and breaks it they’ll be dealing with a collapsed tent and figuring out how to support that end of the tent in the dark. Don’t do it! SteepandCheap.com has a lot of good backpacking tents, and check Sierra Trading Post, too. I’ve had a fair amount of experience with ALPS Mountaineering tents and find them to be very good quality at very reasonable prices.
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 11:26:36 PM EST
I’ve gotten half the boys in my sons BSA troop using hammocks.
Generally light and cheap.

About the only ones who don’t are those who don’t like sleeping on their back, already have some nice gear, or are too cheap to invest in there own gear and are getting by with what’s available.

When I was a leader, I got the troop to move away from buying gear to encouraging the boys to get their own.
Boys who have bought their own stuff take care of it. Troop gear gets abused. Even gear bought by mom and dad usually gets trashed.
I’ve seen kids get pretty creative with their gear and take a lot of personal pride in their setups.

Also, boys planning on sleeping in a bivy, hammock, or digging a snow cave tend not to appreciate humping in gear they have no intention of using.

My recommendation would be to get a nice kitchen box set up for truck camping and a few donated items for new kids to use/try before getting their own.
Link Posted: 12/2/2018 11:41:42 PM EST
Link Posted: 12/3/2018 12:25:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/3/2018 12:26:17 AM EST by ColtRifle]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Jarem08:
Hmmm....I hadn't heard that. I have a few of the Ozark brand. Maybe I need to change?

I love cooking with mine at home. I make a mean deep dish Pizza!
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Jarem08:
Originally Posted By Johnny_C:
I was warned a long time ago to not trust
what's in the cast iron from China. I only
buy Lodge new. I have bought a few vintage
Wagners.
Hmmm....I hadn't heard that. I have a few of the Ozark brand. Maybe I need to change?

I love cooking with mine at home. I make a mean deep dish Pizza!
I don't own any vintage cast iron but do have a fair amount of Lodge. I would only buy Lodge if buying new. I won't touch the Chinese cast iron. Lodge isn't much more than the Chinese cast iron anyway.

I also take mine, grind the inside surface smooth, and then re-season.

I also wouldn't be backpacking with cast iron.
Link Posted: 12/3/2018 7:46:10 AM EST
Forgive the interruption, CR, How do polish the surface?
Link Posted: 12/3/2018 8:29:52 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By cecILL:
Forgive the interruption, CR, How do polish the surface?
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Not a problem. Actually you beat me to the question as that was going to be what I was going to ask.
Link Posted: 12/3/2018 8:36:33 AM EST
Thank you all for the help thus far!

I am humbled by the willingness to help us reach out to the boys. Here is what I am setting up now, in light of the information here.

Our Cast Iron is going to be for base camp. Not really hiking. I will figure something else out on that (Maybe teach how to cook on an open flame). I will still pick up cast iron from somewhere. I am familiar with Lodge but I will check the other names out. I mean no offense if I do not go with what may be suggested besides Lodge. I just need to go to the best price I can.

As far as the tents, I really appreciate the thoughts as well. I took this information and spoke with our equipment "manager" and he and I agreed that we will not FORCE any of the boys into those tents. However, we may still want them so if one of the boys WANTS to try them they are available. We will have backup tents available. I know the troop does have about three tents that are the troop's property but I love the idea for the boys to get their own.

One of the things we are going to be doing is fundraising. I figured we will tie a percentage down to how much the boys sell. If a Trailman sells $100, we give them $10 in equipment credit. Then that can be used to buy their own gear. So they are working for it as much as also helping the troop.

I really appreciate all of the advice. Thank you again so much and if there is anything else you all suggest, I am all ears!
Link Posted: 12/3/2018 10:38:10 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/3/2018 10:43:46 AM EST by ColtRifle]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Jarem08:
Not a problem. Actually you beat me to the question as that was going to be what I was going to ask.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Jarem08:
Originally Posted By cecILL:
Forgive the interruption, CR, How do polish the surface?
Not a problem. Actually you beat me to the question as that was going to be what I was going to ask.
There are some videos on YouTube.

I use a flap disk on a grinder and a paint stripping disk. It makes a bit of a mess so do it outside.

Just use a course flap disk to knock off the majority of the roughness and then a finer disk to smooth out the surface. I use the paint stripper disk to smooth out the sides. I don't polish the outside since it's not needed.

I then clean really well and then wipe down with vegetable oil. Usually use canola oil. Then, turn upside down and place on my propane grill. Run the temp up to 500 and allow to cool. Once cool, recoat with oil and repeat. I re-season occasionally.

To clean, heat up water while also heating the pan. Then, when the pan is hot enough to sizzle water, pour hot water into the pan. It'll steam the food particles right off. Repeat if really dirty. Then, wipe down with oil and it's ready for the next use.

Wagner and Griswold are the old cast iron that is the standard to meet. However, they aren't made any more and are very expensive usually if the seller knows what he/she has. There is nothing wrong with Lodge aside from a bit of a rough surface texture (easily fixed). The Ozark Trail stuff is probably ok too but I just don't trust Chinese cast iron. Lodge is US made.

We have cast iron pans in the house and in our camper. Once you learn how to use cast iron, you'll use it for most cooking duties.
Link Posted: 12/3/2018 10:44:30 AM EST
If they are to pack the tents -.
1- dont excede 6lbs fully packed. That 3 lbs per kid to split. Or 2 lbs if its a 3 man tent.
2- check out coleman exponet,slumber jack,kelty for entry level " good stuff".
Either way seam treat and spray before use.
3- sleep pads and good sleeping systems. Are key!
4- cook sets - go light ,especially if packing in.
Simple 8 inch grease pan from chinamart is under 10$ , stainless cups are cheap, and get each kid a good spork or old long handled spoon and dremel the fork end.

Screw shelter halfs.
Buy each kid a 50 ft length of rope/550 etc and a 10x12 poly tarp if they wish to be hardcore.
In fact...make it a challenge/game/contest.

Have them pick from this, its been around for ever..
Tarp set designs
Link Posted: 12/3/2018 10:56:14 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By protus:
If they are to pack the tents -.
1- dont excede 6lbs fully packed. That 3 lbs per kid to split. Or 2 lbs if its a 3 man tent.
2- check out coleman exponet,slumber jack,kelty for entry level " good stuff".
Either way seam treat and spray before use.
3- sleep pads and good sleeping systems. Are key!
4- cook sets - go light ,especially if packing in.
Simple 8 inch grease pan from chinamart is under 10$ , stainless cups are cheap, and get each kid a good spork or old long handled spoon and dremel the fork end.

Screw shelter halfs.
Buy each kid a 50 ft length of rope/550 etc and a 10x12 poly tarp if they wish to be hardcore.
In fact...make it a challenge/game/contest.

Have them pick from this, its been around for ever..
Tarp set designs
View Quote
Thank you.

There is some good info here and I will also read through the designs.
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