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  1. #1

    Scouting and Hammocks

    Hello all,
    First off I want to thank everyone on this forum for all the great information and sense of community that you are bringing to the world of Hammocks.
    I currently am a Cubmaster and Scout leader training here in Central Florida that has also been bitten by the Hammock camping bug. I get asked all the time about it when camping with the pack or doing adult leader training campouts. We have even had our own Cub scouts build their own Hammock and they love it. I see so many skills that can be taught around it. So this year I am putting together a course for the Central Florida University of Scouting to introduce Hammock camping to all levels of scouting in an official level. My hopes is this will be a start of something bigger. Also have it help people do it safely and correctly.

    I have been reading all over the forum and read many great insight from the members here people like Derek, Shug and many others for the past 3 years. I would like to hear from scouters their stories, pictures and helpful tips that I could use to build this class. I have most of it laid out but again it is based on just my experiences.
    Again thank you for a great forum and information.
    I love Hanging out here!
    Last edited by kirkavguy; 08-31-2015 at 15:52.

  2. #2
    doogie's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Birdsboro, PA
    Hammeck Envy or DIY
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    WL 3/4 UQ, DIY TQ
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    You should look into the Hammock Camping Merit Badge (unofficial). Some info can be found in this thread.
    "Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. ... To live only for some future goal is shallow. Itís the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top. Here's where things grow." - Robert M. Pirsig

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Therealweaz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Willard, Mo
    Pad / Sleeping Bag
    Grand Trunk

    Scouting and Hammocks

    So here is a overview of my scout troop hammock camping. We have a few scouts that aren't that interest in camping due to this society's generation wanting to stay indoors & play technology. The idea of sleeping on the ground in tents is not the idea of a good time for them.

    However, I introduced to them the idea of hammocking, & broke it down to 4 basic types of camping. Cabin, tents, hammocks, & tarp camping. The idea of hammocks was a fresh idea outside the box for them.

    We had a 2 night campout, & I told them to hang however they wanted. Some did pretty good. The next day i had 4 different mini classes with them, with info., handouts, hands on of how to hang better & tricks/tips on different gear.

    If i am not mistaken, i now have my few scouts that hate camping, more excited. The idea of sleeping "off" the ground is a better idea. I believe i have most if not all the scouts wanting to sleep in hammocks nows.

    Plus, Tenderfoot requirement #2 is... Spend at least one night on a patrol campout. Sleep in a tent that you helped pitch... Well a hammock could be considered a tent, just a "tent" that is off the ground... Boom, requirement done. Its faster, and easier to step up than messing with tent poles, rain fly, especially in bad weather. Overall, my scouts are in love with hammocks now.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mountain_man_mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Clovis, CA
    DIY silnylon
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    The hammock camping merit badge thread referenced above is a great start. Here are a few photos of what we experienced and it has been a fantastic experience for many.
    Happy Trails to one and all.
    Enjoy the outdoors wisely and elevate your perspective.

    Modified Penny Wood Stove instructional Video-

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    Another Really cool JC Penny Puffer instructional-

  5. #5
    captaincoupal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Hennessy Hammock Backpacker UL
    Stock Diamond Tarp
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    Here's a great article published by our very own Derek Hansen. Came out in Scouting Magazine in June 2012.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Lubbock, Tx.
    Custom Old Man Win
    My fat butt
    My kids
    It's great seeing all the other fellow scout leaders showing the scouts new and exciting things to keep them interested. Because I have seen to many scouts lose interest over the years.

  7. #7
    This is why I love this forum. Very quick to get information.
    Yes I have seen both the hammock camping merit badge and Dereks articles. Loved them both.

    Therealwez and mountain_man_mike that is what I guess I am looking for. The technical stuff can be googled I want to see how real people are using it in the real world and what they find works and does not.

    Again Thanks

  8. #8
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Saco, Me
    HH Explorer Deluxe / WB XLC DL 1.7
    JRB MW4/ H.S. Sniv
    That's awesome, I'm a Scoutmaster and the "Dean of General Studies for the University of Scouting" and this year we had also a class on Hammock Camping. It was great.

  9. #9
    Good luck with the class. Where I have fallen down in the past is that I haven't put enough emphasis on under insulation. I have lost a few people to the idea of hammock camping because they got cold the first night. Especially with the boys the need for under insulation is a hard concept to grasp.

  10. #10
    I think it's great what you guys are doing. I can remember my scouting days, and most of what I remember was schlepping stuff around, and thinking, "why do we need all this stuff?!" We would often bring a trailer full of stuff just for an over-nighter.

    That got me interested in lighter-weight camping, namely, tarp camping. As this was in the 80's, there wasn't much in the way of light weight hammock camping yet.

    I would have loved to have this when I was in scouts!!

    A couple of ideas:

    * Might be neat to show them how to go-to-ground.

    * Show them UQ's, but let 'em squirm on a cheap foam pad for a while.

    * I really think there's a fun factor appeal to hanging. That should get them interested.

    * I really love the idea of having the boys involved in making gear. I never realized before I got into DIY that I could ever make high quality, light weight gear. I think the Scouts have always failed when it comes to teaching light weight camping. Again, I always loved camping as a child, but always dreaded BSA camping due to all the stuff we had to drag around.

    Anyway, keep up the great work!!!

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