Congratulations, you’ve chosen to join a very active, very outdoor-oriented troop. In order to have fun in the wilderness (no matter what the weather!), it’s important to live up to the scout motto: Be Prepared. That means having the right gear for camping and for in-town scouting.
A few words about gear. The troop does maintain some “loaner” gear if you don’t have your own personal stuff yet, or can’t afford to buy it all at once. We’re also really picky about gear quality and fit for some outings, so it’s important that you talk to one of the adult leaders before you go buy anything expensive, because there’s some stuff we won’t allow. Most guys start out with the things marked R (required - we don’t have loaners) and SR (strongly recommended - we have a few loaners), then build up from there. We will always provide what’s necessary when family means cannot. Most families find that over the course of the first year or so, normal purchases of jackets, pants, shoes, etc. can "double" as scouting and in-town gear with careful selection.
The troop also arranges several discount group purchases each year through local and on-line vendors Bivouac to help families. As we hear of them, we will send information about special sales out via email. We encourage families to patronize our Troop+8+Recommended+Outfitters as these businesses we've found to sell reliable gear and offer decent assistance and prices over the years. Many local vendors have long-term relationships with the troop, and deserve your support.
There are a few items you need to have as a Boy Scout. These can be purchased from the Council office on Huron Parkway (just North of Washtenaw).
Except for these items, we can not recommend any other gear from the scout shop.
Troop 8 camps in a wide variety of weather conditions. To ensure the comfort and safety of scouts, we require equipment checks prior to most outings. The following items are generally expected for most outings year-round. The troop is able to provide a limited amount of gear-for loan when necessary, but we would encourage you to consider these items for purchase.
Because so much clothing (including blue jeans, sweat clothes, and flannel) is made of cotton fibers, we tend to see a lot of cotton on campouts. Please understand that while cotton is soft and cool on a sunny day in the summertime, it makes very poor outdoor clothing in other conditions. Cotton, when wet, holds a great deal of water and acts as a NEGATIVE insulator, actually cooling the body more than if it were unclothed. Sweat clothes, in particular, become baggy and very difficult when soaked. We therefore expect scouts to own non-cotton outdoor clothing, either wool or synthetic. On most campouts, a layered insulating system of non-cotton clothing will be required for comfort and safety.
You can look in our recommended publications section on the web site to find a number of fun outdoors and resource books that you might enjoy. However, we do want to strongly recommend getting a copy of Wilderness First Aid: Emergency Care for Remote Locations. This book is the “official” Troop first aid text, which replaces the information in the BSA literature. SR
Troop 8 provides all group gear for your trips. This includes 2-man North Face tents, stoves, pots, pans, first aid kits, lanterns, rain flies and other gear for the patrol. We do not recommend scouts purchase their own tenting or cooking equipment until they are Venturers in high school. Occasionally, scouts inquire about bringing their own tent on a campout. This is OK with the permission of the patrol leader, provided the scout is familiar with the tent setup, the tent is appropriate for the type of campout we are doing.