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SITE AND TENTS

The Patrol Site

Always plan your patrol site carefully - remember you have got to live in it. There should be specific areas for different activities. Be particularly careful about siting the fireplace and wet pit. Dont have the fireplace in the centre of the campsite where it will be in the way.

Make sure your boundary is substantial - about 4' high with two strands of sisal. Large elastic bands, possibly from a car inner-tube (not the ones used to hold your tent poles together - more are available from HQ) could be used to keep the sisal taut, otherwise it will need constant adjustment.

Think about the position of the entrance - it may be a good idea to have two.  Encourage the patrol to use this entrance and not to step over the sisal - they will not be tempted to do this if the entrance is in the correct place. If you construct a gate it should open easily, and remember that scouts will need to carry bulky wood etc onto the site.

Remember that the site belongs to a particular patrol. You should only enter another patrol's site by invitation.

A tidy patrol site is a safer one - it should be completely tidy before anyone leaves. Your motto should be A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE.

The Patrol Tent

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The patrol ridge tent and its groundsheet cost a lot of money. Always remember that a badly erected tent causes damage to the fabric and so does careless folding and packing.

Pitching the Tent 

Unpack the tent carefully.

Lay it out in its approximate position and insert the poles. Be very careful not to tear the tent with the poles, and do not stand on the canvas.

Fold the tent over the poles.

If the tent has a flysheet, this should be put on at this stage. Remember the spacers. The main guys go on over the flysheet.

Carefully lift the tent into position. Do not allow the tent to fall, as this may break the poles. It usually requires 2 scouts to hold the poles, and at least one other to lift the middle. In windy weather, this number increases. Mind that the poles do not slip on the ground.

Peg back the main guys (storm set). They should cross in the middle of the tent, but may need adjusting later.

The pegs should slope so that the guy rope comes off the peg at around 90o.

Once the guys are secure, you need no longer hold the poles.

Fasten the doors.

Undo the other guys and peg out in a line.

The corner guys should have a 90o angle between them.

Wall pegs should go in vertically. The walls should be vertical, and the whole tent square. Twist the brailing loop before putting it on the peg.

Put the ground sheet in carefully – dull side down. Make sure the wall sacking goes under the groundsheet.

Put the pole, sisal and peg bag into the tent bag. Fold it up and store safely. You may be able to return the bag to the mess tent for the duration of camp.

Care and Use of the Tent 

Parts

 Striking the Tent 

  1. Remove the front door pegs before removing the grounsheet – otherwise you will rip the groundsheet on the pegs.
  2. Remove the wall pegs, clean them and stack them to dry.
  3. Unpeg the side guys of the inner tent, and fold the ropes. Do the same for the flysheet.
  4. DO NOT REMOVE THE MAIN GUYS – a careless act at this stage could cause a lot of damage.
  5. Remove all pegs from around the tent.
  6. Make sure that the patrol are holding the poles securely. Unpeg the guy ropes and remove the pegs.
  7. LOWER THE TENT INTO THE WIND. Remove the guy ropes from the tops of the poles before the tent hits the ground. LOWER SLOWLY.
  8. Remove and tie up the poles.
  9. Open the tent out. Carefully lift the main tent clear of the flysheet.
  10. Fold in the doors
  11. Fold up the bottom third.
  12. Fold down the top third.
  13. Fold the ends towards the middle.
  14. Put the peg bag and main guys in.
  15. Roll the bundle up.
  16. Place it in the bag and lace it up.
  17. Fold the fly sheet in the same way (omitting point 10).

TIP: If in doubt – keep folding the tent towards the middle – that way you don’t have any bits left hanging out.

The tent must be returned properly packed at the end of camp, and it will only be checked off if it is in satisfactory condition. 

If you are unsure at any time, ask a helper.

Kitchen

You will need an area about 4m square to give adequate room. Store tent, chopping block and wetpit need to be close by, but not part of the kitchen.

The kitchen must contain the fire, a proper place for the stove, a food preparation area and a dresser

Fireplace

If the campsite allows fire pits, you need to remove an area of turf at least 1m square. Place the turf, grass side up, on a polythene sheet outside the kitchen area, and water each evening.

According to the wind direction, dig a shallow trench across the area, around 3cm deep. Pile the earth at the sides to support fire bars with the help of stones and bricks. A grid over the fire bars provides a stable platform for pans.

It should be impossible for the fire to burn the surrounding grass. Make sure that there is enough room by the side of the fire to place hot billies - never place a hot billy on the surrounding grass.

Dresser

The dresser needs to be stable. The lashings need to be neat.

The uprights could be vertical poles at each corner or a pair of A-frames. You will need a pair of long poles to support the lath table and a washing up bowl. A plate rack could be made of garden canes.

Washing Up Area

Stack dirty pots and dishes carefully in this area. Effective washing up needs plenty of hot water. Wash the least dirty dishes first. Don't put them on the grass after they are washed, construct a draining board or use the tray.

Woodpile, Chopping and Sawing areas

Confine chopping and sawing to a small, designated area, as all chippings must be cleared up. Stack chopped wood neatly in graded piles under cover.

The chopping area MUST be roped off, and only people who are chopping/sawing should enter. Remember the rules of axemanship.

If te woodpile has been depleted, replenish it before you finish clearing up. A supply of dry kindling should be kept at all times in a polythene bag. Chippings can make good kindling.

Store Tent

Nothing must rest on the ground - use the patrol/cleaning boxes, groundsheets, and the shelf provided. Food must be kept safe from flies and vermin, and away from the tools and stoves. Main food supplies are stored at HQ and issued as necessary.

DISPOSAL OF WASTE

As much as possible should be burned, especially paper, card and food scraps. Tins, bottles, etc may need to be separated and put in designated bins on the campsite.

Other rubbish should be put in black bags, which should not be overfilled. Tie a knot in the top when full. The waste sack needs support - why not build it a frame?

There are two methods to dispose of liquid waste:

The Wet Pit

This needs an effective grease trap, which means a lashed wooden support for grass, ferns, etc. it is no good if the grease trap disintegrates each time you pour something in. Food scraps must be removed from the cover and burned. In fact, the whole cover should be burned regularly. The disadvantage is that the whole pit becomes waterlogged regularly

The Filter Bag

Most permanent campsites do not allow the digging of wet pits, so a filter bag should be used. Make holes in the bottom of a strong polythene bag (available from HQ)