Monday, August 3, 2009


"There will be no electricity. There will be no running water. There will be no 'facilities'. And there will be no whining. This is Man Camp - not pamper camp."

I'm a youth pastor at a church near Bangor, Maine. Each year I take a group of Jr. and Sr. High boys on a short but rugged weekend camping trip that I've dubbed "Man Camp." These are not all boy scouts, and for many of them this is their first experience camping in the real woods (campgrounds do not count as woods). We learn new camping skills and build something to add to our outdoor gear collection.

This year we're building a minimalist kitchen set, and they'll all be cooking their own food for the entire trip. I am so excited! I just got a box of (15) IMUSA 12cm Aluminum cook pots from George at (great guy, excellent service and shipping!). I felt like a little kid again at Christmas, diving into that box.

Here's the kitchen set the kids will build:
- IMUSA Aluminum Cook Pot, 12cm
- Pot lid (aluminum bake sheet)
- Windscreen (aluminum flashing)
- SuperCat alcohol stove
- Ziploc Twist'n'Loc mug (sm) w/cozy (reflectix)

Two years ago we built survival kits, and last year was soda can jet stoves that run on denatured alcohol. I'm really looking forward to this year. I also put a 35lb weight limit on their packed in gear. Last year it was horrendous how much stuff we carried in. This year we add a slight minimalist element with the weight limit and the cook set.

The kids will be sleeping in tents. Meanwhile, I and a few of the other adults will be snoozing comfortably in the air. Hammock camping has really revolutionized my camping experience, and I'd be hard pressed (pun intended) to go back to the ground. I was converted a couple years ago by a good friend (at a "Man Camp", nonetheless) and since then I've converted a few others. I think, after this trip, many of the kids will all be wanting to build hammocks for next years "Man Camp." If I can find a way to make the project feasible and affordable, that's just what we'll do.

Here's a pic from the trail to Big Moose Pond, where we went last year.

No comments:

Post a Comment