Technology Hiker

Cub Scout Car Camping – Logistics & Gear List

My outdoor adventure planning has evolved from solo backpacking, thru-hiking, mountaineering, family camping & backpacking, and now to Cub Scout Pack planning.  I am a Den Leader for my first grade son’s den, and I’m helping organize ~20 families and ~50 people for a car camping trip at a local California State Park.  This will be the first camping trip for many families. Organizing a larger trip represents a slightly different challenge than my previous adventures.  Here’s a logistics plan and a gear list that may help others plan similar large car camping trips with the Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts.

Car Camping Logistics Plan

We look forward to the Pack group camping trip this weekend.  We have currently have 18 families signed up.  The weather forecast is favorable – partly cloudy with high of 58 and low of 45.

Timing

  • Arrive ~ 2 pm or after on Sat, Dec 2 / Leave by noon on Sunday, Dec 3
  • Will see if I can get the keys earlier but the times are the official reservation times
  • Sunrise is 7:07 am – Sunset is 4:50 pm
  • Heavy Rain cancels (not an issue)

Location

  • Please carpool since parking may get a little tight

Food

  • Please bring snacks for personal use or if you have a picky eater or allergies, please bring your own food.  Here’s the team menu
    • Dinner
      • Spaghetti & meatballs
      • Mac N Cheese & Peas
    • Dessert
      • Smore’s
    • Breakfast
      • Instant Oatmeal (just add hot water)
      • Hot Chocolate (just add hot water)
      • Cereal & milk
      • Scrambled Eggs
    • Remember to bring personal cups, plates, silverware

Approximate Schedule

  • Saturday afternoon
    • Arrive & setup personal tent
    • Kids burn energy / Boys usually run around in packs – can hit beach, use slackline
    • 5:00 ish – prepare group dinner
    • 6:00 ish – folks eat as food prepared
    • 7:00 ish – Campfire / Smore’s Skits Saturday night
  • Sunday
    • 7:30 – start cooking breakfast / coffee for boys
    • 8:30 ish – eat breakfast
    • Group hike along adjacent CA Coastal Trail – toward Pillar Point Harbor
    • Police the area for trash
    • 11ish – Pack up tents & head out (alternatively, families can leave earlier)

Volunteer Activities – will assign to folks to help with the following tasks

  • Purchase food (done)
  • Purchase firewood (done)
  • Bring pans for cooking (done)
  • Cook group dinner on coleman stoves (will assign folks onsite)
  • Clean up group gear (will assign folks onsite)
  • Setup campfire Saturday night
  • Cook group breakfast on Sunday morning (will assign folks onsite)

Car Camping Gear List

Some good car camping links
http://boyslife.org/outdoors/outdoorarticles/6976/scout-outdoor-essentials-checklist/
https://pmags.com/the-joy-of-car-camping
https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/family-camping-checklist.html
Personal Gear Notes
Tent Either car camping or backpacking tent.  I prefer backpacking tents since more versatile.  Big Agnes (Copper Series) makes best backing tents.  REI Half Dome is best value for a tent
Tent ground cloth (essential) Just need a piece of plastic / tarp to create barrier between tent & ground
Sleeping bag I prefer down 20 degree bags – most versatile
Sleeping pad Therm-a-Rest Z Lite folding sleeping pads are best value – and very hardy – especially with jumping boys
Camp pillow Folks can bring pillows.  I usually stuff clothes in stuff sacks
Headlamps Please bring a headlamp for the boys.  We’ll also bring little LED lights
Water treatment Site has a water pump that we can use
Backpack / duffel bag Duffel bags work well for car camping.  Also putting stuff into smaller stuff sacks make it easier to organize
Folding chair There are picnic tables, but it helps to bring a folding portable chair if you have one
Personal Eating Gear Notes
Water Bottle Old gatorade bottles work well
Plates / Cups / Silverware Please bring your own cup, plate, silverware for personal use (can use plastic too)
Personal Clothes Just need to be reasonable with clothes – layers are key
Rain shell
Insulation layer Down, Fleece, or Synthetic Fill
Hat Hat that covers ears
T-shirt Cotton does not dry quickly.  Wool or synthetic layers more versatile
Pants Jogging pants works well – dry quickly
Bandana
Socks (synthetic or wool)
Towel Hand towel is good compromise between size & coverage
Sleeping clothes Good to bring different set of clothes to sleep
Shoes Crocks are good as extra shoe
Tooth brush… Bring personal gear
Klenex / Toilet Paper Always good to have a personal stash
Group Gear – Pack will Provide
2 burner stoves for cooking Pack will provide
Stove Fuel Pack will provide
Pots Pack will provide
Matches/lighter Pack will provide
Biodegradable soap Pack will provide
Collapsible water container(s) Water is available onsite as well
Group Dinner & Breakfast Pack will provide
Finger lights Pack will provide – fun for the kids
Camp first aid kits Pack will provide
Garbage bags Pack will provide