Camping gear and footwear

posted Sep 24, 2014, 6:23 AM by   [ updated Sep 24, 2014, 6:23 AM ]
With  upcoming camps we have prepared a gear list for both fall and winter. You can look it over here:
We would like to really stress the importance of proper footwear. Your feet are by far the most important things to keep comfortable and dry while outdoors. This means appropriate footwear depending on the activity and just as important is wearing really good socks and bringing extras. Under no circumstances should a youth wear open toed sandals or flip flops, even in the summer closed toes sandals or crocs are preferred. Also youth should not wear rubber boots if hiking is involved, they are not at all comfortable for extended walks.
From past experience some scouts would show up to camps with cotton sports socks and inappropriate footwear. This leads to them having a miserable experience as they usually end up with cold wet feet, not to mention sore with blisters if any hiking is involved.

We have a camp coming up on October the 18th where we will be doing some back country hiking so it's important that your scout starts to think about what they have and what they need for their feet. 

For socks I would recommend they try to wear two pairs, one thin layer to wick away moisture and depending on the temperature another layer to stay warm.  When outdoors in the fall/winter we should never wear cotton socks, they retain moisture and your feet will get cold that much faster. 
For material I would recommend any kind of wool/synthetic blend, nylon, acrylic and polypropylene for the liners. Polyester is even ok given it's still better then cotton.  

I've found more than adequate socks at Giant tiger ion Embrun, so you don't need to go to an outdoor specialty store for socks. Just make sure to check the material.  In the winter go for a heavy thermal sock and fall two pairs of regular thickness should suffice.  And always bring extra, try for two or three pairs for each day you're camping.

Next is the shoes, it's a good idea to invest in a decent pair of hiking shoes or boots. I understand that at this age the shoe sizes are constantly changing so it's hardly worth investing $200 in a top of the line hiking shoe.  But if you watch kijiji or go to a value village you can usually get a really good deal, I picked up a pair of hi-tec hikers for Olsen for $20.  Hikers typically run small so it's a good idea to try them on at a store before buying online.  I take a size 10 but for hikers I need 10.5 or 11; take the sock thickness into consideration too.

This time of year you can usually get clearance prices if you do want to go for a new pair.  I have shared three shoes for reference below that are 50% off at Sail in Ottawa. 


Sizes 7 and up available