Full Weekend Kit List

Read the advice below before continuing to the Weekend equipment checklist

Equipment Advice

If you’re not sure what anything means or you’re thinking of buying something but what to check it meets the required standards please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we’d much rather you ask than spend your money on the wrong thing.

Let us put the need for adequate equipment into perspective. Firstly the standard of equipment required for training on Dartmoor and for the event is set by the army. This is to ensure that all participants have equipment adequate to cope with the worst weather that Dartmoor can conjure up. If anyone was found not to have equipment to the correct standard the whole team would be escorted from the moor and our team eligibility for this and future years would be in jeopardy.

Secondly as leaders we expect the same high standard of equipment on all overnight hikes, not just those which take place on Dartmoor. This not only enables walkers to get used to dealing with zips, pockets and ties and the principles of layering, but the same standard enables us as leaders to operate safely.

Thirdly we will not expect the standard of equipment required for the day hikes, which are in relatively non hostile terrain, to be to the same high standard except for boots; waterproof jacket and waterproof trousers. This then should enable everyone to participate safely but without parents/guardians needing to engage in lots of expense as both the waterproof jackets and waterproof trousers can be borrowed from us. This also then allows more expensive items to be purchased as Christmas and birthday presents.

Loan equipment

  • We have a stock of waterproofs, rucksacks, microfleeces, sleeping bags and gaz cookers which are available on loan at a small returnable deposit.
  • Boots – we have only a few pairs of boots to loan out.
  • Contact Rich (equipment AT cabottentors.org.uk) to arrange to borrow equipment.

The standards required

The standards required for the day hikes are lower, refer to the day hike kit list. However, for weekend hikes your equipment must meet the standards listed below and detailed in the weekend hike kit list above.

  • Boots – these must have vibram type sole (i.e. high quality and much stiffer than a trainer) and support the ankles. Also ensure you have good socks and insoles, really good boots won’t do much if you only have some old thin socks underneath!
  • Waterproof jacket – must be “drenchproof”; have taped seams and attached hood. Avoid the “high cut” jackets which end at the mid-drift –these do not meet the Army rules. The jacket must be long enough to cover and extend beyond the trouser pockets.
  • Waterproof trousers – must also have taped seams. If possible buy a pair that have knee length zips. This will greatly assist ease of use and avoid your performing some ritual hopping dance out on the moor.
  • Fleece jacket – The rule states 200 gram or equivalent (feels like a thick sweatshirt). Fleeces come in different weights, different qualities and different functions. A microfleece (usually 80-140 grams) is not a fleece which meets the rules- but it might be useful. Polyester fleece is usually better quality than acrylic fleece. Windstopper fleeces have a thin midlayer which stops the wind blowing through- but these are a luxury and not essential.
  • Gaz cookers must be of the sealed cartridge type which enables the gaz cylinder to be safely removed from the cooker unit. Following a number of accidents across Europe there is now a move to ban the sale/use of cookers that use pierced cartridges. Once attached to the burner unit they cannot be removed until the gaz cartridge is empty. The Scout Association has banned the use of this type of cooker.
  • Rucksack – No more than 65 litres. Avoid the thin nylon bags –they will simply not take the abrasion over time. The back system must be FULLY adjustable – you will grow so make sure your bag grows with you. Also ensure good back ventilation. Pay more for a long term investment. It may be worth looking at ladies bags which have slimmer backs if you struggle to find one that fits.
  • Sleeping bags – the standard for a sleeping bag is now a lower limit rating of 0 degrees. It’s very important it meets this standard. This will typically be a 3 or 4 season bag and have a comfort rating of 5 degrees or lower. This page is pretty good at explaining the sleeping bag rating system.

Buying new kit – bear in mind the following

Before you invest in inappropriate OR poor standard equipment please do contact us. We will either direct you to retailers who will give you sound advice OR give you a considered opinion as to which items to buy.

Consider the following:

  • Boots – we do not supply; they will be key to your success; but your feet will grow!
  • Sleeping bag. If you can afford to spend £80-£100 then the bag will be warmer, lighter, pack into a smaller space AND will last for 20 years. A wise investment. A synthetic bag will keep you insulated even if it has got damp whereas a down bag will lose some of its insulating power. More information
  • Waterproof jacket – It doesn’t have to be Gore Tex to be good. Do not buy a ski jacket and be wary of “3 in 1” outer jacket/fleece combinations.
  • Waterproof trousers – as per jacket.
  • Retail Outlets such as at Swindon or Street often have excellent markdowns on top quality products. However it is often luck as to whether or not they have your size.
  • Go Outdoors often have “weekly” specials. To qualify you need to buy a Discount Card- but Mike and Laurence have one so contact them first. Some of the discounts they offer are extremely good, other “discounts” can easily be matched or beaten elsewhere.
  • By producing evidence of doing Ten Tors (the Handout) or of being a scout, you should get at least 10% from most outdoor shops.
  • You can sometimes save money by finding what you want and what fits in a retail shop but then buying it cheaper online. It’s best not to buy items on line (especially boots) without first testing them though!