Top ten Camp Packing mistakes
A bespoke, First Thurstaston list of Camp packing mistakes to avoid when packing for your camp.
1) Bin bags
Many of our Beavers, Cubs and Scouts are sent with their clothes in bin bags. Obviously, on camp this becomes a difficulty when they rip or tear and they have nothing to put their clothes or sleeping bag in. We recommend you buy dry bags. Not only are they cheap, but also keep your clothes protected from water and dirt.
Specifically, rucksacks or bags which are far too big for the person carrying them. It is too common that children are sent on camp and physically unable to carry their bag. Please either pack less, or if unavoidable use smaller bags, meaning the young person can carry lighter bags separately. Rucksacks tend to be easier to carry then over the shoulder bags.
3) Packing too much
This applies to both leaders and young people and is one of the more common problems when packing. We like to be prepared for every eventuality, but sometimes it is unrealistic. Make sure you know how many nights the young person is on camp for and pack accordingly. Consider how many pairs of shoes, blankets and torches someone might need for a weekend camp. (Not many at all!)
4) Beaver fashionista
It is remarkable how trendy some young people like to dress on camp, but it is also unnecessary. Our activities can be muddy, wet and rarely clothes might even be damaged. Therefore it is not suitable for people to be sent in their designer clothes, or clothes that are unsuitable for camp. We recommend against jeans and ask young people to have at least one pair of waterproof trousers or over-trousers and a waterproof coat. Whilst specific hiking clothes are not mandatory for camp, they can be a useful investment for comfort whilst outdoors.
We encourage parents to give their children sweets to snack on camp, but ask you to be realistic. Many activity centers actually have their own shops where children can purchase even more sweets. Many children arrive on camp with too many and after eating too much are ill. (Not the best part of being a leader!)
6) Mobile phones
Many parents give their children phones, perhaps for entertainment or safety. This is not necessary whatsoever on camp, unless we specify that they are to bring them. Many of the places we go are lacking in signal anyway, but the leaders can all be contacted in case of emergency. Mobile phones are subject to abuse, for example asking parents to bring children a pair of socks has happened more than once!
7) Ignoring the weather
This is unbelievably important. We will likely notify you of the weather situation when giving you the kit list for the camp, or at least amend it accordingly. However, we ask you not to pander to the weather report, due to its wonderful unpredictability. T-shirts, jumpers and coats are all things that have been neglected in packing for sake of good or bad weather conditions.
8) Not packing their own bag
It is often easier to pack your child's bag for them. Tents and rooms can however become very messy places after a weekend or week of camping! Therefore your child needs to know the contents of their bag and be involved in the packing process. Not only will it help them identify their clothing, but ensure that they can be more independent when packing for the next camp. They also are more likely used to being on a scout camp than you, meaning two heads are better than one!
9) Not writing names in clothes
This appears self-evident, but is often neglected when packing. Due to the high volume of lost property we keep at the hut on a regular basis and the difficulty of returning items to their owner, we require that every item has your child's name or initials on the collar or tag. Check before you pack!
10) Not checking the list
It is unlikely that your child is going to need trekking poles, and swimming trunks take up space when they wont be swimming. Therefore our final plead is that you check the specific list for the camp they will be going on. It saves space and also gives you an estimate of how many of each item you need to take.