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flat and clips (with bungee cords) to a pack. When weight is a concern, nix the stool and bring a square of closed- cell foam.


Nix the Rain Pants The zippered ankle closures don’t keep out rain—they just restrict ventilation and make you sweat (primitive man learned long ago that water doesn’t flow uphill). Plus, the zippers jam with debris and often fail. And the zippered legs can’t be shortened to fit short people. Avoid rain pants with wicking liners. When the liners get wet, they droop below the cuff and absorb water and wick it to your legs. They may also catch on vegetation and cause a fall.


Mix Fabrics While you might get by with a cotton T-shirt, a synthetic fabric (such as Dry-Fit) will help keep you cool


during summer. But socks, no matter the season, should always be nearly pure wool. Trousers may be nylon, polyester, cotton-polyester, or a mix of these fabrics. Shorts and sunburn go hand-in-hand. Do not wear blue jeans except for day hikes in perfect weather.


Jacket for Windy Weather Everyone should have a breathable nylon wind shell for dry, blustery days outdoors. Wear the wind shell for gusty weather and save your rain gear for rain. Why? Because any garment that is worn too much will soon develop holes. Store rain clothes in a protective fabric sack in your pack.


Cover the Hands Wear wool gloves with rubber traction dots for cold and neoprene gloves for rain. Winter trips demand both gloves and mittens.


Keep It Personal Everyone should have a personal supply of adhesive bandages, aspirin, soap, and hand cream in case the first- aid kit is inaccessible (perhaps in a leader’s pack). Each person should take responsi-


bility for small cuts that can become infected if they’re not washed and quickly bandaged. Frequent use of hand cream will deter cracked skin. And how can you freshen up during the day if your toothbrush and soap are packed away? Many Scouts don’t have the latest


gear. But they often camp more com- fortably than non-Scouts who do. Why? Because Boy Scouting takes its motto seriously: Be Prepared. ¿


CLIFF JACOBSON is a Distinguished Eagle Scout and the author of more than a dozen popular books on the outdoors.


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