Archives

Aerial Runway

Found a thorough document on aerial runway at Pioneering Made Easy (although document is hosted at ScoutBase UK). Take a look at it before your next aerial runway pioneering project.

Aerial runways are potentially dangerous and remain so, even when all reasonable precautions, both in their construction and use, have been taken. Indeed, without some apparent element of hazard, much of their appeal and training value would be lost. The aim should be, therefore, to eliminate all avoidable risk and thereafter to exercise the highest degree of responsibility in the use of the aerial runway without destroying the challenge and excitement generated by the activity.

Click here for the full article at ScoutBase UK (PDF)

Camping Platform

I remembered during my Venture days, we wanted to build an elevated camping site during Group Camp. Due to the “massive” idea plus the lack of time, we shelved that idea. Now as I was surfing this site called Pioneering Made Easy, I realised we were not the only crazy people thinking of this idea. In fact, they have conceptualized a down-sized version of our initial idea.

Camping Platform

In the 1970s there were a large number of Groups taking up a challenge by John Sweet to build multi-storey camping platforms. This is a basic design which could be adapted and extended to suit the available materials.

Equipment

  • 17 x 6m (18ft) spars
  • 9 x 4m (12ft) spars
  • 2 x 3m (10ft) spars
  • 10 x 2.5m (8ft) spars
  • 2 x 2m (6ft) spars
  • 10 x 1.2m (4ft) spars
  • 2 x 1m stakes
  • 4 long ropes for guys
  • 51 lashing lengths
  • 4 tent pegs
  • mallet

Click here for the full article at Pioneering Made Easy

Pioneering – Kitchen Gadgets

I like the dustbin (or addressed as filter bin in this article) mentioned in this article, especially the concept of separating wet and dry waste. Try it just you feel it is workable!

A filter bin is another gadget that I would consider essential for the camp kitchen. Waste disposal is very important to handle correctly at camp, hygiene in camp is very important to control for everyone’s good health. You will need to build at least two types of bins, one for dry refuse (e.g. empty packets, tins, sweet wrappers) and one for those with a ‘wet’ content (food slops, dirty washing up water etc.).

Simply construct two ‘box’ frames formed from uprights driven into the ground lashed together. It would be good idea to site the bins in the same place, within the same frame. Attach a strong plastic bag within each box securing it firmly at the corners at least. Both of the bags should have perforated bottoms (use a fork to make plenty of small holes). The dry bin can be now left as is. The wet bin will now require lining with some material to absorb the waste. A sensible technique would be bracken on the bottom weighed down with small stones. A layer of charcoal and then sand/gravel should go on top of this, finished off with a layer of bracken. This will have all the properties to absorb all types of waste, water/grease etc. If you want to finish this off you could construct a lid to cover the bins (if you think the local wildlife will be inspecting the left-overs when you turn in for the night) although I would leave the lid off during the day for ease of use and to remind everyone exactly where they should be putting their rubbish!

Click here for the full article at Scouting Resources

15 Essential Scouting Skills

Happened to read some useful “essential” scouting skills in the Scouting Magazine Online. I thought some of them are quite true and worth highlighting so here it is.

9. Know the safe way to go night hiking

It’s easy to lose sight of each other, so it’s vital that the group stays together and goes at the pace of the slowest member. Listen out for hazards and make regular voice contact with each other. Use the pavement if there is one or walk on the right-hand side of the road. Approach right-hand bends with caution and walk no more than two abreast single file when there is an oncoming vehicle. Let the driver know you are there; your group should have two torches one at the front and one at the back but be careful not to aim the beam directly at the driver. Finally, wear light reflective clothing; ideally a jacket for the people at the front and back, with a reflective arm-band for each member of the party.

Click here for the link to the full article OR the PDF archive that I have saved.

Note: The article is written under UK context, so some points might not be relevant in Singapore. Also, I have saved a PDF archive as I don’t trust links that are using IP address (87.127.227.195 in this case) as you never know when the link will be broken.

Compass

A compass is an important tool during outdoor hiking. Read up on what you should know about compasses.

The compass is a useful tool, especially when combined with the use of a map. Once you are used to them they are easy to use and in poor weather conditions or unfamiliar country they are a welcome addition to anyone’s personal equipment.

The most common type of compass simply uses a magnetic strip, carefully balanced and isolated, that will simply point to (Magnetic) North.

Click here for the full article at Scouting Resources

eBooks

Have found some links to ebooks relating to scouting, including the famous Scouting for Boys!

The following ebooks are linked with permission from The Dump. More can be found on their website other than those listed below.

Enjoy reading.

Camping Fire

Types of fires and how to light them and use them

Always have problem starting your fire for outdoor cooking? Take a look at this article on camping fire and understand the logic behind lighting and using them. Read this before you light your next fire and you will understand better!

Tinder

Tinder is any kind of material that will take very little effort to light. Good tinder will only need a spark to ignite it. Some examples are;

  • Birch bark, dried grasses, fine wood shavings, cotton fluff, bird down and waxed paper
  • Pine needles, pulverized fir cones and the inner bark from cedar trees
  • Dried fungi (apparently!), scorched or charred linen/cotton
  • Dry nests of mice and birds are rather good (CARE must be taken. They must be abandoned and free of life!)

There is just one major thing to remember – Your tinder must be dry

Kindling

I would class kindling as the next step up from tinder. It is the wood that you use to raise the fire from the (short burning) tinder so that eventually you can use larger pieces of fuel. The best kindling is small, dry twigs (soft woods are preferable as they flare up quickly).

Those woods that contain resins burn readily and make firelighting easier. The only problem with soft woods is that they burn fast! Make sure you have a plentiful supply to hand, arranged in different ‘grades’ according to size.

I would suggest that the smallest kindling grade be thinner than a matchstick for certain, working up to the thickness of two or so matches. The thinner and smaller the better. I’ll say it again, as it is important, go and get some more kindling now before you even think about starting the fire. There is nothing worse than starting a small flame and lacking the fuel to keep it going.

Click here for the full article at Scouting Resources

P.S. It has been rare quiet for a while here. Don’t worry, the site is still being updated. Have been trying to find good contents to post but it is hard to find. Also, I am currently working at a new company so it is back to the old long working hours for me. Found a good site with good articles. Will be writing to them soon asking for their permission to include their content here. Stay tune!

Edit: Permission has been granted to include excerpts of articles from Scouting Resources!