prime day guide

Save Money with our Prime Day Guide


I’ve scoured the Amazon Prime Day Deals so you don’t have to. A scout is prepared, and part of being prepared is having the right camping gear. Of course, for new scouting families, getting camping supplies on a budget is crucial.

You can spend hundreds of dollars equipping an 11-year-old. Having the right stuff on that first campout can make the difference between a scout having the time of his life, and telling all his friends, or dropping out of the program. Of course, most parents wisely won’t want to spend big money on equipment for a kid that age, knowing that they’ll be rough on it, and possibly lost it.

So low-cost alternatives are a very good thing. So here are a few deals I’ve found that could be helpful to your unit going forward.

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Camping Lantern

This tiny, powerful and lightweight camping lantern will brighten your scout’s tent. It’s solar powered, so you don’t need to worry about batteries (or you can charge it off a USB cable.)

It weighs less than three ounces. It’s also got a handle that can be used to hang from the top of the tent at night.

And it folds up like an accordion. How cool is that? When it’s compressed, it works like a flashlight.


Every scout should have a good backpack. It needs to keep and protect their stuff. The proper backpack can make a hike much more pleasant.

There are very good arguments for external frame backpacks, but I prefer internal. I find them lighter and more comfortable. I’ve also got a vivid memory of nearly knocking myself unconscious trying to take off an external frame pack when I was 12. They also tend to have a greater interior storage capacity and leave you with less stuff hanging on the outside.

My dad, on the other hand, loved the old army ALICE pack. I always thought it was heavy when empty. He swore by it.

The Wasing 55L Internal Frame Backpack is a good-sized backpack at a reasonable price on Prime Day for a newer scout. It’s probably more than they should need on an early campout, but the extra room will come in handy by the time winter camping comes along.

Backpacking Camp Chair

The problem with most camp chairs is that they’re simply too large to take backpacking. They’re fine for camporees, summer camp, and car camping, but if you’re heading out into the backwoods, you’ll be leaving them at home.

On the other hand, this little chair folds up into a tiny package that can fit in a backpack. It only weighs a little over two pounds, and compresses down into a little carry bag – yet it will support someone weighing over 300 pounds!

It’s not a Laz-y-Boy, but it does beat sitting on the ground, or a rock.

Mess Kit

A good mess kit can make a big difference to a new scout. You want something that’s sturdy. If I remember correctly, my first mess kit was bought at KMart and had flimsy wire handles. It made cooking very precarious. All new scout cooking is adventurous at best.

All new scout cooking is adventurous at best. That’s how they learn.

(Here’s a tip… if anyone ever tries to rope you into judging an Iron Chef competition involving new scout patrols, find a way to decline in the politest way possible. However, watching the same activity is something you’re going to want to do.)

So you want to make sure you’ve got them using cookware that’s as easy to use as possible.

You also want something that will clean up easily, as 11-year-olds are not famous for their attention to detail, or their persistence when it comes to cleaning cookware. If it doesn’t get cleaned at camp, it’s going to be nasty coming home… and it’s not unheard of that the mess kit won’t be looked at until right before the next campout, and you could have a moldy mess on your hands. So an easy-to-clean kit is essential.

You also don’t want to spend a whole lot of money on their first set, so this high-quality 10-piece cooking set is a great deal right now. It comes with a one-liter pot, a frying pan, two bowls, a spatula, a spork and a sponge.

Hiking Socks

A blister on your heel can ruin your hiking trip in a hurry. While you can treat them with moleskin, it’s a lot better to not get one at all. One of the keys to this is having properly-fitted hiking boots. The other is keeping your feet dry.

The right socks go a long way towards making this happen. You want a pair that will wick away the moisture from your foot. This pair, made of wool, nylon and of all things, spandex will keep feet dry and healthy throughout the hike.

Pocket Knife

Every scout needs a pocket knife (once they’re old enough). It needs to be sharp, compact, and useful. On Amazon Prime Day, there’s a 13-function knife that will be on sale. Just make sure they know their Totin’ Chip rules before they start carving on their own.



Not great for camping, but great for working on Robotics merit badge, it’s Ozbot (which admittedly sounds like somthing Mork would say when upset.)

It’s a small programmable robot that also looks like it would be a blast with Cub Scouts… and people in their 40s.

Unit Presentation Items

Having a good video projector can have many great uses for a Scouting unit. From recruiting nights, training presentations, Courts of Honor, Camp presentations, pack meetings, to year-in-review videos, a good projector can be a big help to a unit.

There’s a pretty good ViewSonic that’s going to be going on sale on Prime day.

And here’s another handy thing to help with your presentations. It’s a wireless clicker to help with any PowerPoint presentations that might come up during training. Saves you the awkwardness of someone sitting next to the laptop, and you screaming “now” at them every time you want to advance a slide. Plus it’s got a laser, and who doesn’t like lasers.

Not a Prime Day Item… Just Awesome

Come on now… how is the Ninja Squirrel Patrol patch not the best thing you’ve seen all day?

Photo by theglobalpanorama

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