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Is your patrol ready to roll?

Learn what to look for as you check your kit to see that it’s in a fit state before your next adventure.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Camp kit to check
  • Tools and replacement parts (such as whipping cord or guy ropes)
  • Cleaning products (such as rush remover)

Before you begin​

  • This activity is best run in the weeks leading up to a camp or event. It could be run as a base or set of bases for small groups during a session, alongside other camp preparations.
  • This activity follows on naturally from Keep your kit fit, and the group will be checking the position of parts, their function (whether they work properly) and what condition they’re in.

Tool check

  1. Set out the tools from the camp kit. This might include gardening implements and sharp hand tools, like knives, axes or saws. Everyone should choose a tool to check.
  1. Everyone should look at their tool. Check that it has any coverings, sheaths or other components that are supposed to be with it.
  2. Now, check how well the item functions. Look out for loose handles, dents and blunt edges.
  1. If a sharp tool is blunt, it should be sharpened using the right sharpener for that kind of item. Handle sharp edges with care, even where they’ve been blunted. An adult should supervise all tool sharpening.
  2. Now, everyone should look out for general wear on the tools. Look out for tarnished or rusty metal parts. These should be cleaned and treated with oil or another lubricant, as over time corrosion will weaken the metal.
  3. If planning a large camp and camping in several groups, it’s wise to mark each tool with the name of its group, so that it doesn’t get mixed up with other tools if borrowed or misplaced.

Tent check

  1. Set out the tents. Everyone should check a component of each tent, so that each part listed below is checked as described.
  2. Once all of the items attached to the tent have been checked, the group should put the tent up together.
  3. If everything’s as it should be, take the tent down, fold it neatly and put it back into its bag. Everything you need to put up the tent should fit into the bag, so that it’s all in one place.

Reflection

Taking responsibility for your kit is much easier when we all promise to take care of possessions and property. Shared equipment, like tents and tools, may be used by thousands of people over the course of its life. This is only possible if the equipment is taken care of.

Some people see equipment as disposable, with thousands of pieces of camping equipment left at music festivals and other events every year. This extreme form of littering has an impact on the environment, and shows little care for your temporary home. Whilst it doesn’t seem like the most enjoyable part of the camping experience, caring for and putting equipment away properly makes it easier for whoever needs it next time to get on and have fun.

Safety

Poles and long objects

Be careful when moving poles or long items. Take care if the ends are sharp. Have appropriate supervision for this activity.

Sharp objects

Teach young people how to use sharp objects safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.