We have a nice troop trailer that I think was well thought out in design. For the most part, we have what we need with patrol boxes for each patrol and then extra shared items as well. Over our last couple of trips, especially a week at camp, I have started to think about what we are missing. While we have all the big tools, I realized we don’t have a standard toolbox of the small tools (i.e. hammer, screwdrivers, tape measures, etc). I also registered that we may be missing some common scouting items that a scout might forget (i.e. a compass). Other than the big common items, what do you have on your trailer that have come in handy?
Great discussion! My son’s our Troop QM, and he’s working to get our trailer organized for summer camp this week. Here are a few things he wants to make sure are stocked.
- Hand tools (which you already mentioned)
- Tent repair stuff (patches, adhesive, shock pole parts, extra stakes, etc.)
- Weather band radio
- Big/Backwoods First Aid Kit
- OTC meds (allergy tablets, ibuprofen, pepto bismol, etc.)
- Bug spray/citronella
- Hand sanitizer/hand soap/towels
Our most recently added item is an emergency Hub - so if we have bearing go out we can just replace the hub on the road there
Everyone has a spare tire (I hope…) but a spare hub is a really good idea – it’s small, but can save the day.
Take a look at Scouts BSA’s web page on trailer theft. Most often thieves after the trailer, not the contents. Painting the troop number on the roof can be invaluable in recovery.
Yes this is very important. Another scoutmaster I know was telling me that the police were able to find the stolen troop trailer because the troop did this.
I was wondering if a simple GPS tracker like a Time tucked somewhere in it would do any good.
Do your troops use anything special to pack propane tanks? Ours get loaded first then covered by other items. Was thinking about a small floor chest or cabinet to hold them more securely.
We have a heavy-duty gardening wagon that we use for shuttling stuff from the trailer to the camp site. We put our propane tanks in that, and pack around them so they don’t move.
We use the plastic milk crates. One tank to one bottle. The crate protects the tank from damage, helps keep them upright and prevents them from rolling if they get tipped over. I do NOT remember where we got them but it was a donation a long time ago from somebody who had authorized access to the crates who gave them to us.
Our trailer has wooden shelves in it and on one side at the back there are propane tank shelves that have boards across them to secure the tanks. I think there are 3 shelves that hold 6 tanks total.
One think I don’t like is the propane and other heavy items are on the driver’s side. There is a door on the passenger side, so less shelving so overall, the driver’s side is much heavier so that tire always appears underinflated.
Our next modification will probably be a tongue mounted spare tire carrier so we can get it out of the trailer.
Get some cheap plastic hangars and run a line or mount a rod to hang all the uniform shirts on. Worn only for travel on back woods trips, this keeps them dry, mud free, and easily accessible for donning for the ride home.
To that point, routine maintenance on trailers is a must! If you consider they sit around and are only used 1x per month at best (and probably less if you don’t always take the trailer) then the wheels can go flat, hub bearings need grease, lights need checked and seams may need caulking. Our annual University of Scouting held a class on trailers including pulling & backing training. Much needed!! Are your Troop leaders properly trained on loading and pulling a trailer?
Plastic milk crates. Bottles fit in snug, can be secured w/ bungee straps and the square crate keeps the round bottle from rolling around.
A UofS class is a great idea - I just passed that along to our councils UofS team
Here is a great resource from the online guide to safe scouting.
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