One Wood Badge candidate's opinions on what equipment to take camping (or not)


The "top roll" can be anything you want to strap to the top of your pack. Most external frame packs have loops through which staps can thread for securing additional gear. The following items are things you might find strapped to the top of my pack:

Thermarest Pad

Thermarest Pad   While its not as comfortable as sleeping in your own bed, a Thermarest pad sure beats sleeping on the ground. These come in a variety of thicknesses, lengths, and colors, and provide a reasonable amount of comfort for the weight. On winter nights, they also serve to insulate you from the cold, cold ground. These can be pretty pricey, but are worth it if if you plan on real backpacking campouts. Thermarest isn't the only good brand for "self-inflating" ground pads, and they do go on sale periodically.

Coleman Sundome 3 Tent

Coleman Sundome 3 Tent   I listed this tent as a Cub Scout recommended item, but have used it myself on numerous occasions. Although this is advertised as a 3-person tent, its 7' x 7' footprint makes it more of a large one man tent, or a fairly cramped 2 man tent (for adults). I have seen these tents priced as high as $50 and as low as $25 new, so keep an eye out for a good deal.

Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight

Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight
  This is the ultralight 1.5 man tent I bought over 20 years ago. This tent is still available new today, only weighs a couple of pounds, and has just enough room for me and my gear. It is the sort of tent you might take solo on a very long backpacking trip. Price and weight are inversely proportional in camping gear, and this piece of equipment cost several times as much as the Coleman tent shown above. It also comes with a rain fly, which is not shown here. I have enjoyed owning this tent and still use it.