16 things every scout should know

Practical and handy skills-wise, here are some of our favourites at the Ottawa Scouting Museum:

  1. Taking a seat

If you are ever in an unfortunate situation where you are required to hang between nothing and space with only a rope for support, all you need to do is to hang with your left hand, support the rope with your right hand and bring your lower body under the loop. After that, grip the rope with both hands and sit comfortably in the loop.

  1. Useful and functional tweezers

If a splinter or thorn ever gets into your hand when scouting, a pen-nib can be used to force the splinter or thorn out of the skin. The nib needs to be placed in front of the splinter followed by the sides of the splinter to let the splinter come out from the hand with ease.

  1. Preventing the slipping of articles

When carrying heavy articles from one place to another with a hook, use a “Blackwell Hitch” to loop the rope over the hook to reduce the chances of slipping.

  1. Cleaning plates

Oily plates are difficult to clean without hot water when camping so a tuft of grass containing damp earth can be used as substitution. Rub the earth over the plate to remove the grease followed by rinsing the plate in cold water to clean it.

  1. Building a bottle beacon

A beacon is not always readily available but an improvised bottle beacon can be made. Firstly, break the bottom of the glass bottle followed by planting the candle in the ground to light it and cover the bottle over the candle firmly into the earth.

  1. Opening a new book

The right way to open a book is by placing the back on the table, let the front and rear covers down gently while holding the pages in one hand followed by opening a few pages in front and a few at the back until the centre pages are reached.

  1. Night camping light

A night camping light is made from a small tin half-filled with earth without a lid. The odd ends of a candle are melted until enough tallow thickness is obtained. Calico is then wrapped round a thin, dry stick which is pushed down the tallow and earth right to the tin’s bottom.

  1. Preventing a glass from cracking

Hot water poured immediately into a glass will most likely cause it to crack. Placing a metal spoon in the glass so the hot water can flow down the metal spoon while making its way into the cup will preserve the glass quality.

  1. Boiled egg hooker

A special device made for boiled eggs at a camp. It is an egg holder made of wire with a spiral shape at one end to contain the egg and a hook at the other to fasten the can side. The hook is then lifted and the egg is removed from the billy.

  1. Using a soap to hide objects

Making a hole in a bar of soap and placing the coins in the middle followed by sealing it up by banging the bar on something hard can be used to hide certain objects very well.

  1. Standing a strain

Making a holdfast consisting of three pickets driven into the ground at a gradient with one behind the other will be able to endure a tremendous rope strain.

  1. Checking an egg quality

When an egg is put into the water for boiling, a fresh egg sinks to the bottom whereas a stale egg rises. If the egg rises slightly, it may be a little bit stale depending on the angle of its rise.

  1. Hammering nails into objects

When hammering a nail into an object, the tendency is to hammer the nail all the way down which will cause the nail to turn out of the object. Instead, one should place an object thin and circular like a piece of wire under the nail projection when hammering downwards to enable the nail to be driven inside.

  1. Dining in camp

Digging an oval trench that is approximately two feet deep with a rectangle space in the centre is a good way to form a makeshift table. The legs are then planted into the trench while sitting down with food plates in front on the floor for eating.

  1. Folding clothes neatly

When folding a jersey or sweater in camp, fold the collar inward first followed by the sleeves coming together and fold the lower part of the sweater inwards as well. Then, fold the two parts of the sleeves again so that they come together.

  1. Curing painful legs when running

When running, it is common to feel an unpleasant pain by the side of your legs. To solve this issue, bend down and use your hands to cup your hips and walk a few yards. The pain will soon be gone and you can get up again.

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