Required Gear

Uniform

Venturer Uniform
Venturers require a Venturer Uniform Shirt which can be purchased from the Snowgum Store in Westfield Geelong or online from the Scout Shop.  www.thescoutsshop.com.au

A Unit Scarf and Woggle is provided at no cost during the Investiture Ceremony. 

Venturers may purchase and wear additional uniform items including pants and hats however this is completely optional.

Note: The Venturer Uniform shirt is NOT required for new members that are just trying Venturers (new members just wear casual clothes)

Basic Gear Required

All Bight Venturers need to have access to some basic gear to make the most of their time in Venturers including
  • Hike Pack
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Mat
  • Lightweight Stove
  • Hiking Boots
* See Gear Selection Tips below

You do not need to run out and buy all these items straight away but if you can work towards it using Birthdays and Christmas, it would greatly help.  The Bight Unit has very little suitable resources.  There are also companies that hire camp gear if you get stuck and can't borrow or share items.  Bight Venturers run an active adventurous program.  These items will get regular use by Venturers active in the Bight Unit.

Don't forget eBay is a great place to get these sort of items at below retail prices.  Anaconda and Rays often have specials as does the Scout Shop / Snowgum.  Venturers can also get a 10% rebate from purchases at Snowgum as a member of Scouting.

www.snowgum.com.au
www.thescoutsshop.com.au
www.ebay.com.au
www.anaconda.com.au
www.raysoutdoors.com.au

Jason's Tips on Gear Selection

DISCLAIMER:
These tips on gear selection are provided as a guide only.  Feel free to seek other's advice on selecting these items.


Hike Pack
A hike pack is the preferred Venturer's gear bag for every camp regardless of whether we are hiking or not.  They are easy to handle and transport and generally have mulitple pockets/sections making it easier to get to gear.  Venturers should also be able to fit all gear required for most camps into their hike pack which helps to reduce excess baggage which is now becoming an issue with so many Venturers.  There are also several camps each year that Venturers must carry their gear in.  We might even use them to do some hike camps!

You should look for a sturdy hike pack with mulitple sections/pockets and a good comfortable harness that is designed to fit the size of the Venturer and adjustable to accommodate growth.  I recommend getting a largish capacity pack as the larger packs weigh about the same as the smaller packs when empty but give you the flexibility of carrying extra gear if required.  It is also highly recommended to get a pack that fits everything inside rather than having tents, sleeping bags etc strapped onto the outside.

Tent
2 or 3 man hike tents are ideal.  1 man hike tents tend to be too small for a person plus gear and make it hard to get dressed etc. 2 man hike tents are ideal for one person plus gear. Two Venturers (of the same sex) can comfortably share a 3 man tent with gear and can divide the weight between packs if hiking.  Ensure that the tents have sturdy construction and must have a separate fly sheet so there is a gap between the main tent and the fly.  Ensure the tent is rated for reasonably extreme conditions as many cheap tents are really fair weather tents and will disintegrate in a storm.  Tents with a side opening door provide easier access in wet weather without the inside of the tent getting wet.  The new popup style tents are fantastic and can be opened up in seconds but unfortunately they are too bulky for Venturer camps and transporting.  Look for a simple style tent without lots of extra flaps and bits and pieces or add-ons.  Hike tents need a good Ventilation system that lets moist air out of the tent in winter due to breathing but still prevents rain entering.  A lighter weight tent is also better for hiking.

Swags (like a small tent with an inbuilt mattress)
Most swags are large, bulky and often heavy and therefore not suitable for Venturer camps due to limited space for transport of gear.  They are also unsuitable for hiking and carry in camps.  There are some light compact tent-like single swags which are popular amongst some Venturers and would be acceptable for some camps however a tent is much preferred especially during inclement weather.

Sleeping Bag
Bags come in a very wide range of shapes, sizes, types and ratings and can all be a bit confusing.  My advice is to find the most compact sleeping bag rated to -5 degrees that you can find/afford.  There are two main compositions being synthetic fiber or feather down.  Not surprisingly the synthetic are much cheaper however they have a distinct advantage of being much more washable as well as dry quicker if they get wet.  Feather Down bags tend to be warmer and lighter and a little more compact and well suited to ski touring or other very cold climates.  A -5 degree synthetic bag and a set of thermals will keep Venturers warm through winter at normal camps, especially in a small tent (small tents stay warmer).  Tip: If your Venturer is a bigger person, check the size.  A few centimeters in the width of the bag can make a big difference.  Sleeping bag warmth can be increased by adding a inner bag / liner and also by wearing thermals to bed.

Sleeping Mat
I have had a Thermarest self inflating camp mat for around 10 years and it was the best camping purchase I ever made.  The technology has improved over this time but the good quality mats are still quite expensive.  A good quality self inflating mat will provide excellent insulation from the cold ground and can be very confortable and less likely to get leaks.  The thin camp mats still provide adequate comfort and are easily carried inside a pack. 
 
Look for a self inflating sleeping mat that is full length (some are only 1/2 or 3/4) and one that is reasonably thin and lightweight.  Thermarest is the leading brand but others such as Denali or similar would be fine.  If you let the staff in the store know that you want a self inflating mat suitable for a young adult to use for hiking they should be able to steer you in the right direction.

Lightweight Stove
By far the most economical stove are the "Trangia" style alcohol stoves.  These are made by a variety of companies with Trangia being the leading brand name.  I have used a cheap generic brand version of a Trangia for many years with no major issues.  These alcohol cooksets usually come with 2 bowls/saucepans and a frypan that doubles as a lid.  Some also have a mini kettle which are not often used by most people.  They run on normal metho which is cheap and they are pretty indestructable.  I recommend against the non-stick pans as they will likely get scratched, cost more and a plain pan can be cleaned with a scourer if required.  The genuine Trangia fuel bottle is worth the money as they keep the metho well contained, are lightweight, robust and easy to pour.
For a more hi-tech stove, the new Jetboil lightweight stoves are truly impressive.  They run on gas canisters and have lots of nice features but are around $180!  Available from most camping stores plus online.
Petrol based stoves/burners like whisperlight are unsafe for use at Venturers and must not be brought to Venturer camps or events.

You will also find a variety of good stocking stuffers and small useful gifts at camping stores such as flint sticks (for lighting fires instead of matches - work even if wet), Lightweight Bowl, Plate, Cup, Cutlery or Spork, waterproof bags, pack liners, sleeping bag liners, hydration packs, first aid kits etc.

Hope this helps

Jason Martin
Venturer Leader
Bight Venturer Unit
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