Foothills Trail - Apr 17

Backpacking trip. Lead by David B. and Kevin W.

The goal of this trip will be Ultra-Light Backpacking – which at a minimum means tarps only and no tents. In addition, Patrols/scouts should make every effort to minimize other gear that is carried. A gear discussion should be part of every patrol’s preparation for this trip. Some things to think about:

Start with a gear list for your basic gear

  • What is the minimum amount of gear you really need to bring in order to have a safe hike?
  • How can you “lighten-up” your basic gear?
    • When possible, the things you bring should have more than one use. For example, a Thermarest can double as a seat or a “table-top” for certain food prep. Hiking poles double as tarp poles.
    • Completely empty out your pack before you start packing for this trip. I’ll bet you’ll find some extra “stuff” that has been hanging around the bottom of your pack for a long time. Get rid of it.
    • If you have gear that you have not used on the last several trips and it is not essential safety gear – don’t bring it
    • Try to come up with the lightest menu possible that meets minimum calorie and cost requirements. No patrol should exceed $15/scout for weekend. Receipts will be required.
    • Plan out exactly what cooking equipment you will need based on your menu. Bring only what you need.
    • Bring plastic wear or paper plates where possible – lighter than the plastic or metal alternative
    • Minimize or change out packaging – take food out of unnecessary boxes (make sure you keep any necessary recipes). For example, don’t bring an entire jar of peanut butter if you only need it for one meal
    • Cell phones are heavy, and they won’t work, and they are against T-33 Rules…..

Uber Competition:  During the trip we will have a patrol competition to determine the Uber Ultralight Patrol.  Critical elements of the competion will be as follows:

  1. Successful free-standing (must be held up by your own gear eg hiking poles, not trees) tarp set-up that provides sustainable over-night cover for entire patrol on Friday night.
  2. Successful secondary tarp for gear stowage Friday night (does not have to be free standing). Secondary tarp can be a tent rain-fly or other tarp material so long as it provides cover for all Patrol gear.
  3. Lowest average pack-weight – see “Uber Weigh-In” below
  4. Every meal prepared and eaten by Patrol – Saturday night meal must involve cooking. No gear can be borrowed from other patrols or adults. Meal cost must not exceed $15/scout for entire weekend. Receipts and menu for all meals must be turned in Friday night at PLC.

All compenents of the competition will be judged by non-patrol sponsor Uber Judges. All judges decisions are final. Items 1 and 2 will comprise 30% of the total score and will be scored on a basis of 1-10 with 10 being completely covered and secured and 1 being, well, not so good. Item 3 will comprise 50% of the score. The patrol with the lowest average pack weight will receive a score of 10 on this portion of the competition. Remaining patrols will be scaled accordingly (e.g. if the lowest average patrol pack weight is 25 lbs. (the minimal man patrol) and the maximum man patrol has an average pack weight of 35 lbs. (40% more) minimal man patrol will score a 10/10 and maximum man will score a 6/10.) Item 4 will comprise 20% of the total score with a 10 being adequate food properly cooked, eaten and cleaned up by the patrol and a 1 being cooking failure.

Uber Weigh-In:  We will have a weigh in on Saturday morning prior to departing on the hike.  Your patrol goal:  Lightest average pack weight per scout.

Weigh-in procedure:  As patrols depart for the hike we will weigh each scout separately with and without his pack.  The individual scout weight will be subtracted from the total weight to determine the pack weight.  The pack weights for each scout in the patrol will be totaled.  This total will be divided by the number of scouts in the patrol resulting in an average pack weight per patrol.  The patrol with the lowest average pack weight will score a 10/10.


Note:  you may not cut any corners around safety in order to cut weight from your pack.  That means appropriate clothing, rain gear, first aid kits, and adequate water must be carried by each scout.


Essential Gear Required at Weigh-In (Subject to revision):  Each scout/Patrol’s gear must include the following items in order to be official for the weigh in procedure.  These items will be checked by the Uber judges.


Patrol Gear

  • Patrol First Aid kit
  • Patrol Tarp and ground cover
  • Gear Tarp (can be a tent rain fly or other material that can be used to form a tarp to protect gear)
  • Water Pump,
  • All Patrol food for Saturday lunch and dinner (Saturday dinner must involve cooking)
  • All Patrol cooking gear necessary for food prep.
  • Patrol cleaning supplies
  • Bear bag and rope


Personal Gear

  • 2 full Nalgenes of water per scout
  • Compass
  • Trail Map
  • Headlight
  • Rain Gear
  • Pack
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Ground Pad
  • Appropriate Clothing for Weather
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste, Soap or hand sanitizer, sunscreen, bug spray
  • Pack Cover